Although it is used in the kitchen, a saute or frying pan is frequently mistaken for a skillet. Even though a sauté pan looks a lot like a skillet, it serves a different purpose and is an essential part of every kitchen. This typical pan is a skillet; however, sauté pans can also be used for everyday cooking. So, let’s compare these pans to skillets and see where the former excels.
When Compared to a Skillet, What Makes It Unique?
A sauté pan is similar to the standard yet effective skillet; nevertheless, there are important distinctions. A 10-inch pan and a 10-inch skillet are not interchangeable, despite their shared versatility. And one of the most obvious distinctions between a frying pan and a skillet is the form of the pan’s edges.
The sides of a frying pan are flat, unlike a skillet’s curved design. Some key distinctions of a skillet are made possible by its straight sides. First and foremost, a frying pan offers more room to work with than a skillet. And there are several reasons why this size distinction is significant, such as:
- A frying pan has more room than a skillet, so it’s better for cooking many servings at once.
- A frying pan has more liquid capacity and less spillage because of its straight edges and comprehensive volume.
- Because a frying pan is heavier than a skillet, it usually has a “helper handle” on the side opposite the main handle.
- The volume and size of the pan are what set it apart from a skillet, and this makes it ideal for a variety of cooking methods.
It is already established that the form of a frying pan makes it better suited for specific cooking methods than a skillet. And each one of these will be investigated further.
Braising, which may produce exceptionally soft and flavorful meat, is best done in a frying pan. As such, a frying pan is far superior to a skillet when used as a braiser. So, the first step in braising is to sear or sauté the food over high heat (dry heat) so that the outside is browned. The meal is then covered and stewed in a liquid such as broth, stock, or wine until it is soft and has absorbed the flavours of the liquid, typically for several hours. And in contrast to cooking in a pan, braising results in meat that is very soft and easy to tear apart.
If you want to bake using your saute pan, ensure it’s constructed of oven-friendly materials like stainless steel or cast iron and that the handles are safe, too. Put it in the oven on a baking sheet if you use a pan that can go from stovetop to oven. Meat that has been seared and then braised retains its natural juices and becomes very soft. Besides, as a makeshift dutch oven, the pan may be used on the stovetop if you don’t have room in the oven to continue cooking.
Compared to a skillet, a frying pan is superior for frying food in oil due to its depth and volume. Although it may be used for deep frying in small quantities, its true strength is in shallow frying. The lid and straight edges of the pan keep oil from splattering and causing a mess on the stove.
Because of its vast surface area, a frying pan may be used to quickly sear a single large item (like a steak) or a huge quantity of smaller ones (like chicken thighs). Stainless steel’s uniform heat distribution makes it perfect for this technique. And after the sear is done, you may deglaze the pan with an astringent, such as red wine, to remove any lingering flavour and go on to the sauce coup de grâce.