Fry pan vs French Skillet : Difference between Frypan and Skillet

Fry pan? Or Skillet?

If you see “skillet” in the dictionary, you can be surprised to know that it shows the same meaning as “frying pan”. So you may be confused about French skillet vs. fry pan.

Yes, both are the same in general features. But for the chef or cooker, there is a slight difference.

Actually, what do you need? It is the question. Don’t need to be confused much. You can easily find the correct pan when you feel the necessity for a special feature to cook a particular item.

A major difference among these cooking equipment that you can see between these two is- the deepness of both pans. Usually, the skillet is deeper than the normal frying pan.

Let’s find what a Frying Pan is?

A frying pan is a flat bottom pan that can provide equal heat to the whole surface of the pan. So the food can get the temperature at the lowest time with equal temperature all over the pan. You can get the same texture and taste of deep frying with the help of a frying pan as a very low amount of oil is enough for the frying.

A frying pan can be made of different material that is high-quality metalcore. The bottom is much flattened too even heat distribution and non-stick coating features of cooking. The scattered sides of the frying pan help to slide over the food smoothly and prevents confinement of the steam to one place and cook very fast.

Originally a frying pan was made from heavy cast iron and this metal is extremely sturdy and durable which stayed for a longer time with huge daily usage for bread, pancake, eggs, saute, etc. With the availability of the cast iron fry pan, today there are more options like stainless steel, copper, aluminum, hard anodized, etc. You can cook on gas, electric stove or induction with any of these.

Fry pans always come with handles to hold in the bare hand to move the pan to stir the internal food. Sometimes it comes with a lip to pour the liquid or solid foods like sauce, gravy, milk. Custard etc. But one thing that you can’t get with the fry pans is the lid. It never comes with lids whatever the size is.

With 8 to 12 inch rounds with 200 to 500 mm diameter; you can get a variety of sized fry pans that a kitchen may contain. It is perfect for deep frying with less oil, sautéing, browning, or even grilling too.

Some popular fry pans:

  • Stone Earth Frying Pan by Ozeri
  • OXO Good Grips Non-Stick Pro
  • T-fal E938S3 Professional Total Nonstick
  • De Buyer MINERAL B Round Carbon Steel

Let’s find what a French Skillet is?

French skillet is somewhat larger and deeper than a frying pan. It is the combination of a saute pan and a frying pan. The skillet not only lets you fry things, but you can saute or make the cooking with light gravy that needs a larger space. The side edges are a bit steeper than a frying pan, so it seems to be deeper inside.

It was stated earlier that a frying pan doesn’t come with a lid, but you can get the skillet with a lid as the saute pan has the feature to take a lid. For the steepness, you cannot pour the food easily to the plate-like frying a pan.

You can cook any type of food through the french skillet like vegetable, meat, fish with saute, and browning procedure. The skillet is flat and deep in a way that you can stir and flip any type of food with seasoning through the available space inside. It helps to cook more foods without splashing and with less oil.

The French skillet also comes with cast iron, all-clad stainless steel, non-stick coating with the copper and aluminum core. The size of a skillet is larger and deeper but lighter than the frying pan. Handling a skillet is not more difficult than a frying pan.

You should read: What’s the Difference between All-Clad HA1 and B1?

With a range of 7.5 to 14 inches sized a french skillet is bigger than a frying pan. And a chef wants to choose a skillet which is a bit larger to cook so many items at a time in the skillet. As the size is larger, the food is kept scattered in the skillet and high temperature may cause burning to the food. So the food that needs very low heating like sauce, creamy cheese, etc, the skillet is not ideal for this, if you use this you have to keep continuous low heat with steering.

Like a frying pan, a french skillet comes with a long handle to hold with comfort. It doesn’t come with a lip mostly, but for searing, some liquid or semi-liquid like sauce seeks the lip option to pour the food easily.

Some popular skillets:

  • Cuisine Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet
  • Utopia Kitchen Pre-Seasoned
  • Simple Chef 3-Piece Set

Difference between Frypan and Skillet

DetailsFry PanFrench Skillet
surface arealittle bigger than a skilletlittle smaller than a pan
SizeTaller than a skilletSmaller than a fry pan
Liquid Holding CapacityCan hold more liquid as compared to a skilletcan hold less liquid as compared to a fry pan
Tossing abilityNot better than skilletBetter than fry pan
Rate of Evaporationnot a good choicePerfect choice

So, the vital differences that we can shorten down are-

  • Frying pan is just flat and wide. French skillet is flat, steeper, deeper, and wider.
  • The main task of a frying pan is frying fish, meat, or vegetable with less oil, so you may have to keep two or more according to the size you need. French skillet is larger than the frying pan, so you can cook as much food as per requirement.
  • Both come with long handles. But a frying pan comes with a high rise lip that you can’t get from a french skillet.
  • As the frying pan is flat to all sides, even heating is possible to cook perfectly with less oil and without steering foods. In the french skillet, you need to steer foods all over the skillet to make the perfect texture and taste.
  • French skillet is somewhat larger than the frying pan.
  • French skillet gets heat quickly, so you should cook foods in a low heat. On the other hand, the high rise lip also helps a frying pan to pour the liquid easily.
  • The price of a frying pan is slightly higher than that of a french skillet.
  • For the size, maintenance of a skillet is harder than a frying pan.

You may read: What is the difference between a griddle and a skillet?


What is a French skillet used for?

French skillets are mainly used by those who want to keep their meal plan with low-fat foods i.e. eating low-fat oil vegetables and meats by sautéing and browning. Since modern skillets comes with lid, a lot of people likes to braise thick sauces and curries also.

What are the types of frying pans?

There are different types of frying pans like Stainless Steel, Earthenware, Copper, Glass, Cast Iron, Stoneware, Ceramic, etc.

Final Verdict (Fry pan vs French skillet)

You can keep both pans and skillet, it is up to you completely. The deepness and heating procedure creates the main difference between these two. Fry pan vs French skillet differentiates the cooking menu slightly too. And you can use one of these two alternatives.

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