Frying Pan/ Skillet

Frying Pan/ Skillet

The word pan is derived from old English panna. A frying pan, frypan, or skillet is a flat-bottomed pan that is typically 200 to 300 mm (8 to 12 in) in diameter with relatively low sides that flare outwards at an angle. They have a long handle and have no lid. There may be a small grab handle opposite the main handle in larger pans. They are used for frying, searing and browning foods.

Difference between a Skillet and a Sauté

A Sauté is a pan of the same dimensions as the Skillet but have less flared vertical sides and they often come with a lid. They have a wide flat bottom. The Sauté pan can be used like a Skillet but is mainly designed for lower heat cooking methods like in the case of sautéing.

Frying pan relatives


  1. Sauteuse

This versatile pan combines the best of both the sauté pan and the frying pan. A sautese pan looks like a soup pot as it has high sloping sides that are often slightly curved. It is designed in such a way so that it is better for simmering reduction. The larger cooking area allows even heat distribution. They usually have two handles on either side of the pot to make it convenient for transferring and pouring. They come with a slightly domed lid made of metal and glass.

It works well for searing, sautéing, braising and frying. It is good for cooking casseroles, stews, and pasta dishes as well as meat and poultry dishes.


  1. Evasée

This pan is also known as the Chef’s Pan. It is an arched long handled hybrid pan. It has the flat bottom but less broad than a sauté pan. It has deep sides that flare out from the bottom more gradually than a skillet and like the sauce pan rises to the vertical at the rim. The Evasée is designed to sauté, stir and toss veggies and small cuts of meats and fish with larger quantities of liquids, without spilling. This is the best option to start and finish pilafs, to construct and reduce sauces and also to prepare products that need stirring or whisking. The rim is flared for non-drip pouring. It comes with a lid.



  1. Fait- tout

The name is derived from the French for “does everything.” This versatile pan can simmer sauces, braise meats or sauté vegetables. It is the combination of the sauté pan and the frying pan.

It can be used for evaporating liquids as the sloping sides provide more surface area. They are shaped in such a way that they provide ample contact with the heat source.

The lid minimizes evaporation when simmering or braising.





  1. Grill Pan

A grill pan is a frying pan with very low sides. It has a series of parallel ridges in the cooking surface. It can also come with a removable metal grid. It is also known as the griddle pan. The grill pan cooks food with radiant heat on a stove top.

The professional kitchens have several of these utensils in varying sizes.


Frying pans were made of cast iron. Cast iron is still popular today, especially for outdoor cooking.  Most frying pans are now made from metals such as aluminum, copper or stainless steel.


Non-stick frying pans


Non-stick pans are made by applying a coating of Teflon on the surface of the pan. The use of metal utensils like spatulas can damage the coating and degrade the non- stick property. This is because the surface of non-stick pans is not as tough as the metal pans. Non-stick pans are the wrong choice if the food preparation involves deglazing.


Electric frying pans

An electric frying pan is nothing but a frying pan which is incorporated with an electric heating element. It can function independently without a cooking stove. They are usually rectangular or square in shape unlike normal frying pans.



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