French Skillet vs. Frying Pan – What’s The Difference?

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Cooking utensils are the most important part of the kitchen, and every kitchen includes the basic cooking utensils.  From searing meat, caramelizing onions, vegetable sauté and frying food: every function is carried out in pans and skillets. The cookware world is vast, and our choices can get overwhelming.

Like other utensils, French skillet and frying pan are the basic and commonly used cooking utensils.  The frying pans and French skillet comes in various shapes and sizes. It isn’t clear to figure out the differences between French skillet and frying pan by just looking at the appearance.

Believe us; you will be shocked to know the differences they both contain. A French skillet and frying pan are similar in some ways but different in others. The main difference is that the French skillet has heighted sides to hold more food and liquid, while the frying pan has low sides, which only promotes frying.

The handle of the French skillet is long, while the frying pan handle is short.  Also, a French skillet is used for cooking a large portion of food, unlike the frying pan. This article will help you tackle the frying pan and French skillet debate.

Below we have thoroughly discussed the functions, features, material, similarities and differences between French skillet and frying pan.

French Skillet

French skillet and frying pan are similar in some ways, but of course, the difference exists.  Talking about the sizes of French skillet, various starting from eight inches to twelve inches. The bottom is flatty designed to provide effective conduction of heat.

Due to the flat bottom, more surface area is present for cooking. The French skillet sides are a little higher than the frying pan, which means the skillet has a side of two to three inches of steepness. The sides of the French skillet are round and sloped.

Due to this build-in of French skillet, more space is available for food and liquid. The handle of the French skillet is long, and in some designs, a grab handle is also present at the front.  The long handle allows you to move the skillet with ease and provide a comfortable grip.

Talking about the material used in making skillet is stainless steel which provides durability. The base of the skillet is non-stick, which provides ease in cooking as food doesn’t stick to the base, and you won’t have to add more oil during cooking.

As we have mentioned in detail the structure, build in and usage of French skillets, let us talk about the frying pan now.

Frying Pan

The frying pan is a diverse and most commonly used cooking vessel in the kitchen. There exist various frying pan sizes starting from six inches to sixteen inches. The fun fact is that the frying pan size helps decide the function.

Just as large frying pans are used for stir-frying, small pans are used for frying eggs; similarly, the function of the skillet is determined by its size to some extent.  The frying pans consist of flat bottoms, just like skillet pans which provide effective heat distribution. The sides of the frying pan are low as it is used for frying food, not simmering.

The frying pans handle is smaller so that one can easily manage to hold weight. The lid of the frying pan doesn’t exist. The material used for the build-in of frying pans is mainly stainless steel, but aluminum and ceramic pan also exists.

Stainless steel is used to make frying pans because it has anti-corrosive properties and distributes even heat. Stainless steel is also durable, long-lasting and non-stick. It doesn’t harm the health in any way as it is PTFE coated and user-friendly.

Ceramic pans are also bought in some areas, a chemical-free pan with non-stick surfaces, but the only problem is that they are not long-lasting and can crack easily. One can also roast and melt stuff in the frying pan with frying foods.

Are French Skillet and Frying Pan Interchangeable?

Directly moving on to the answer, and that would be YES! Yes, the French skillet and frying pans are interchangeable.  For some food items, it’s easy to interchange them both, for example, frying eggs, veggie sauté, meat searing and making sauce. All these little food preparation can be done in both.

The problem mostly arises when you try to change the specific function, which both are confined to. For example, if you try to make crepes in a French skillet, that would be a problem as it will stick to the base, you won’t be able to flip it easily, and the bottom will remain uncooked.

Similarly, some functions exist, such as simmering sauces and stew making, specially designed for French skillet; when you try making such things in a frying pan, your food will fall out of the pan and will not be cooked properly. So, you can use a French skillet as a frying pan or a frying pan like a skillet, but for some uses, not at all.

So, What’s The Difference Between French Skillet and Frying Pan?

Summarizing the article as mentioned above into the key points which include:

  1. One of the basic differences between the frying pan and French skillet includes is the sides are different. The sides of the frying pan are sloped and low, while the sides of the French skillet are higher to hold more food and liquid.
  2. Secondly, there exist many sizes in the frying pan, but French skillet has two to three size variety.
  3. The frying pan has a non-stick coating, but the French skillet doesn’t have such availability.
  4. The handles also make them different from each other such as French skillet has an elongated handle, but the frying pan has a normal-sized handle.
  5. French skillet is made from stainless steel or cast iron, but the frying pan is made from stainless steel, aluminum and ceramic.
  6. Lastly, talking about the frying pan and French skillet usage, which includes that the skillet is used for cooking a large quantity of food while the frying pan is used for frying stuff.