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Skillet vs Frying Pan

When it comes to the skillet vs frying pan debate, what is the best to use when you cook?

Most people think of a skillet as the beloved cast-iron skillet. The truth is that they are pretty much the same thing. A frying pan is more like a cast-iron skillet than a sauté pan.

Let’s dive into the mystery to get a better idea and compare them.

What is a skillet?

A skillet is a pan with slanted sides and a slightly smaller cooking area than the top.

Most people know and think of a skillet as a cast iron pan. These are the pans that you season with oil and as time goes on the oils make the pan nonstick.

It is not uncommon to get a skillet with a lid. Skillets and frying pans are pretty much the same thing.

Types of skillets

French skillet

To me, the French skillets are so close to a typical frying pan that I really don’t see any major difference. They are a bit deeper and the sides do not flare as much.

Cast iron skillet

I think that cast iron skillets are what everyone thinks of when you say skillet. They are really heavy and they retain heat well. They have great non-stick properties if you treat them well.

Cast iron skillets are one of the most affordable pans that you can buy.

The material used for skillets

  • Cast Iron: When you think of a skillet you think of cast iron. The cast iron makes them heavy but this adds the ability to retain the heat. They are also very popular for their nonstick ability after the pan is good and seasoned.
  • Stainless steel: This is by far my favorite material when it comes to a skillet. You do need to pay a little more for quality and when you do you will get an even heat and heat retention in the pan.
  • Non-stick: People love their nonstick pans. These pans are typically made with Teflon coatings. The coasting has changed over the years as they try to create pans that are not toxic. I personally stay clear of these types of pans because they have been known to be pretty toxic if not used properly.
  • Ceramic: These pans are 100% ceramic and seem to be a better option but most have a coating on them and it will break down very quickly and could end up in your food.

What is a frying pan?

The material used for frying pans

  • Stainless steel: Like the skillet, I love my stainless steel frying pans. They do come in different grades of steel. You want 18/10 stainless if at all possible.
  • Aluminum: I try to stay clear of these types of pans. They are on the more economical side of things but some say cooking with aluminum is not the best idea. It can leach the metal into your food. They are coated with a ceramic coating or a silicone coating that can wear off.
  • Non-stick: I am not a big fan of nonstick pans. These pans are typically made with Teflon coatings and other chemically made coatings. If it is considered to be toxic use a better option like stainless.
  • Carbon steel: I have yet to use one of these pans but they are very popular with chefs in Europe and the USA.

Differences between a cast iron skillet and frying pan

Skillet and Frying Pan ComparisonFrying PanCast Iron skillet
ExpensiveCan beNo
Not stickSometimesNaturally Yes
Retain HeatNot so muchYes
Cook acidic dishesYesNo
Easy CareYesNo
Slanted SidesYesYes

Conclusion: Skillet vs Frying what is my favorite?

For me, it is a stainless steel frying pan. I have them in 3 sizes 12″, 10″ and 8″. These frying pans I use daily.

Now not all frying pans are created equal. There are a lot of popular brands but the ones that I fell in love with and offer a great price is the Made in Cookware.

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