French Skillet vs Open Skillet


There are so many cooking ware out there and some are interchangeable in usage while some may not, some may be better for a several types of cooking and some may not mostly because of their shape or material. French Skillet vs Open Skillet are a type of cooking ware that comes with a different name but look very similar to each other. If you are confused and curious about whether they are different or not, you may want to check our article below.

In this article, we are going to give you information about:
– What are French Skillet and Open Skillet
– How to differentiate French Skillet and Open Skillet
– What French Skillet and Open Skillet are made of
– French Skillet vs Open Skillet

About French Skillet and Open Skillet
For those who live in the US, when talking about skillet, the first item that appear in your mind is probably the black cast iron one and it is actually correct because the cooking ware is indeed named skillet but it is not the only skillet type available these days because there are also other terms to call a skillet such as French or Open type which is simply those without a lid. These several terms are making people confuse and honestly us too.

Despite being also popular, in the last few years, French Skillet seems to be left behind because of the raising fame of cast-iron skillet. It doesn’t mean that the cooking ware is bad or can’t do the job properly but simply because the cast-iron type is seen as more beneficial than the more modern version. The return of traditional foods trend is also affecting the comeback of cast-iron skillet since it is more sustainable, eco-friendly, and healthy compared with coated pans.

In term of French Skillet or Open skillet the confusion goes through until today and since there are so many manufacturers out there, not all of them are offering both of them at the same time. The most popular French Skillet is obviously the one from All-Clad and their version of the cook ware may come with a lid but it won’t tightly stuck to the pan, so at the opposite side, Open Skillet should mean the version without the lid.

French Skillet and Open Skillet Shape
As it has been mentioned earlier, each skillet may have a slightly different shape depend on the manufacturer. For example, the French Skillet from Cuisinart and All Clad have the same name but with a bit different figure because the bottom of A-C cooking ware is flatter while the flare is less round than the one you can get from Cuisinart. Their handle are also different because Cuisinart version have a higher grip making it easier to move around food while the other is rather flat.

To ease the process of differentiating them, we will take the example from Cuisinart product since they offer both of the cooking wares. As you can see from the example picture above, both of them are similar yet also a bit different. First, a French Skillet may or may not come with a lid depend on the manufacturer or your option while an Open skillet is just like the name, it has no lid but you can put one if there is a matching size lid available.

Second, pay attention to the base because as you can see, the base of Open Skillet is wider and flatter even though this is also affected by the diameter of these cooking wares. At the other side, French Skillet has a rounder shape and look like a bowl sides while also not flaring outwards unlike the other version that has a slight flare on the edge of the sides. Third is the handle, in French Skillet, the handle is thicker while also more elevated than the one in Open Skillet that lay almost at the same level as the skillet upper flare.

Compared to the regular skillet and French skillet from All-Clad, the latter version is coming with a rounder side and is not flaring outwards at the top with more elevated handle while the regular skillet without lid is having a rather straight sides with a top sides slightly flaring outwards. The handle is also less thick and flatter compared to the other version. Read also: Saute Pan vs Skillet here.

French Skillet and Open Skillet Materials
Skillet, no matter what type is a versatile cooking ware to have in your kitchen. You basically can use them for almost any kind of cooking which is done without putting too many liquid like sautéing or frying as well making sauce thanks to the slanted sides of this cooking ware. Taken from the thekitchen, to add into more confusion, Skillet is also often called as frying pan. The design is making it great to move ingredients around the pan effortlessly while also great for dishes like frittatas.

The material used to make this cooking ware is also vary and each material may bring benefit to your cooking. For both French Skillet and Open Skillet, the most common material used is stainless steel. This type of material is made by combining chromium and nickel and is highly anti-corrosive.

Another popular material is copper, the best among materials commonly used in cooking ware because it is able to deliver heat rapidly and evenly on the surface while also quickly cools down after removes from the heat source. The second best material is aluminum in term of heat conductivity and it can be strengthen with other metals like magnesium or copper to make it an affordable yet great cooking ware.

Cast iron is also a popular material used in more traditional skillet but the one that made with this material is usually used for slow cooking because the material is known to be a poor conductor of heat which means it is slow to heat and slow to cool down. Unlike the lighter material type of skillet, this one is not used for sautéing since it is quite heavy, so it will be hard to move the cooking ware.

Now, let’s compare French Skillet with Open Skillet. As it has been mentioned earlier, each manufacturers may have their own design, but typically French Skillet is having a rounder sides that don’t flare on the upper side like a bowl and it may come with a lid while Open Skillet is regular skillet without a lid and have straighter sides with a slightly flaring upper part. French Skillet handle is also more elevated than Open Skillet which is flatter.

French Skillet vs Open Skillet

French SkilletOpen Skillet
- Rounder sides- Straighter sides
- Doesn’t flare at the top- Slightly flare at the top
- More elevated handle- Flatter handle
- May have lid- Don’t have lid

All in all, the decision is all yours to make. In our opinion, both of them works similarly but due to the slight difference in design, it may or may not affect the comfort when cooking but it all depends on you as the user. Our recommendation is to try them in store first and purchase the one that fit your preference the most.

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