When thinking about kitchen utensils one of the first things that come into our mind is frying pans and skillets. They are used very often for cooking dishes such as fried eggs, grilled cheese sandwiches, frying steaks, or frying vegetables. Well… frying pans and skillets aren’t the same things! So let’s get down to business and find out what a frying pan is and what is a skillet?
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Frying Pan vs Skillet! What’s the difference?
Frying pans and skillets are both used for cooking. They are used to cook food over a heat source such as a stovetop or oven.
Frying pans, primarily made of metal, also have deep sides while skillets have shallower sides.
Skillet is usually made up of cast iron, enameled steel, carbon steel, or le Creuset (a type of cast iron). A skillet is also a frying pan with shallow sides.
The term “skillet” can be used to mean the same as a frypan or frying pan. It was not until around 1940 that skillets were called by this name.
The word “frying pan” is a very old term and was first used in 1550. However, the origin of the word “skillet” remains unknown; it may have been derived from the Old Norse word “skinflaki” meaning “a wooden lid” or kjottfaelge which means pot handle.
The frying pan is more popular than skillet these days. Nowadays, most frying pans are made up of non-stick materials such as Teflon or stainless steel which makes them easy to clean and easier to work with.
Frying pan is mainly used for searing, sautéing, braising, and frying whereas skillets are used for cooking omelets or pancakes, or more simply eggs.
Frying pans are used to make stir-fry as they have high heat conductivity whereas skillets are not preferred for making stir fry because of the low heat conductivity.
Skillets come in different materials such as aluminum, anodized aluminum, enameled cast iron, enameled steel, and so on. However frying pans are mostly made up of stainless steel, aluminum, or copper.
It is important to know the difference between a skillet and a frying pan because knowing about these differences will help you buy the right cookware that suits your cooking style.
What is the actual confusion between frying pans and skillets?
The confusion is that the words are used interchangeably but they are not the same thing. A frying pan has a lot of different names such as frypan, skillet, or wok and it is often used for searing, sautéing, braising, and frying.
Skillets, on the other hand, are used to cook omelets or pancakes or eggs and not stir-fry.
Frying pans come in many materials such as copper, aluminum, stainless steel, and so on while skillets are mostly made up of cast iron.
Copper is considered to be one of the best frying pans because it heats quickly and distributes heat evenly well. Aluminum is lighter than stainless steel but it does not heat as evenly. Aluminum pans are particularly fast and good for simmering.
The best material for a frying pan is stainless steel, but it cannot be used on an induction cooktop if it doesn’t have magnetic properties.
Enameled cast iron is great for cooking omelets or pancakes and it does not react with the food.
At last, a skillet is just a frying pan with shallow sides but sometimes it can be used as a term to mean frypan or frying pan.
What are the pros n Cons of a frying pan?
- A frying pan can be used to fry meats without flipping them over or using much oil.
- The pan can also be used for searing, sautéing, braising, and frying.
- A frying pan does not require much oil to cook in the pan as well as clean up.
- A frying pan has a flat bottom and the heat spreads evenly across it.
- A frying pan cannot be used on an induction cooktop if it doesn’t have magnetic properties.
- It is also not suitable for omelets or pancakes as well as searing fish fillets in oil before baking them in the oven.
What are the pros n Cons of a skillet?
- The main uses of a skillet are cooking omelets or pancakes and eggs.
- The major benefit of using a skillet is that it has shallow sides which make it easier to flip the food.
- It can also be used for searing, braising, and frying but it cannot be used on an induction cooktop if it does not have magnetic properties.
- The bottom of a skillet is not flat and it cannot spread heat as well as other pans.
- It is also not suitable for searing meat and is used only for cooking omelets or pancakes.
When you are deciding between a frying pan and a skillet, you should consider what you want to cook and how much you are willing to spend on the pans.
If you are just starting out with cooking, it is better that you invest in a skillet because it will serve all your basic needs for cooking omelets or pancakes, eggs, and searing.
On the other hand, if you are an advanced cook and you want something that can be used for other purposes, then frying pan would be a better choice because it has more uses than skillet.