Frying Pan vs French Skillet


We have many cooking ware available in the market these days. Many of them hold resemblance to each other. Some of us may be thinking that they are the same, if we don’t check the label first to discover that they have different names. Many manufacturers also not providing enough information regarding their similar products. Some of us who are not really into cooking, find it to be a hassle choosing which one is the correct cooking ware for us. In this article we will give you the information regarding two type of cooking ware which holds resemblance to each other, they are frying pan and French skillet. Although many people said that they are interchangeable, it is wise to know how they are actually different.

Frying Pan

Frying pan or fry pan is a type of cookware which have a flat bottom usually in 200 to 300 mm wide, and have a relatively low sides that flared outwards. Frying pan also have a long handle and commonly have no lid. Some larger pan have another small handle located at the opposite of the main handle. Frying pan have a long history and have been used by ancient people. Ancientmesopotamia people is known to use a cookware similar to frying pan made out of copper. In ancient Greece frying pan is called tagenonm while in Rome they were called patella or sartago. The word pan itself as we know today has derives from old English panna. Before stove top gains its popularity, former frying pan and other cooking pot used to have curved bottom and feet to support them when placed above the fire. After stove top began to be used by many people, flat bottom cookware became the new standard.

Frying pan commonly have nonstick feature which allow us to flip food easier, since the food won’t stuck at the bottom. The most popular nonstick coating is Teflon. Even though Teflon is known to release a toxic fumes when heated in certain degree this material is still used until today. (You can read the comparison between Ceramic Frying Pan vs Teflon). Nonstick fry pan may not suitable to cook with some kind of method, such as deglazing. Aside from traditional frying pan, there is also an electric frying pan. This type of frying pan required electricity to cook food instead of fire. Electric frying pan commonly have a square and rectangular. Most of them have a straighter side compare to traditional frying pan. The benefit of electric cooking pan is they have heat regulation. Frying pan is made with various material, the most famous might be the non-stick pan, since it reacts badly with high heat, it is recommended to use low to medium heat when cooking with a non-stick frying pan. The other type is stainless steel frying pan, this type of frying pan is said to be professional’s favorite. It is long lasting, hardy and completely non-reactive, which is good for deglazing. The good stainless steel is heavy and has 3 layers of material. The last is cast iron frying pan, this type of frying pan is good for cooking steaks, since it will transfer the heat very efficiently. Cast iron is known to heats evenly, has a heavy weight, and holds heat for longer period.

French Skillet

French skillet is a type of cookware which is very similar to frying pan. It has a wide, flat bottom and steep sides and a long handle commonly comes with no cover. French skillet is typically made from stainless steel but also available in non-stick type. French skillet is ideal to browning food, sautéing, and cooking many different kind of meat and vegetables. Since usually French skillet is made from stainless steel, you have to treat them correctly. When washing the skillet use a mild washer and warm water to gently scrub the surface and rinse thoroughly. Coat the pan with high smoke point oil such as, peanut oil. Use hand to coat the pan including the inner rim. The skillet have to be seasoned first. If you are using stove, place the pan with oil on medium heat and let it sit until the oils began to smoke. If you use oven, placed the oiled pan in a 350 degree oven for 1 hour. After it was seasoned, remove it from heat and wipe the excess oil with paper towel. Do not wash it again, and if you have to, repeat the step again to make the skillet stay seasoned.

Frying PanFrench Skillet
- Frying pan is shallower than French skillet- Have a steeper side
- It have non-stick, stainless steel, and cast iron variants, and many others- Usually made from stainless steel, but non-stick is also widely available
- It have sloppier side than French skillet- It have a deeper depth compare to frying pan
- Somehow pricier than French skillet- Is cheaper than frying pan
- Commonly used to fry food- Commonly used to browning and sautéing food


If you are not into using different cookware to cook each type of food, you can use frying pan or French skillet (which one available in your kitchen). Their difference does not have much effect on your cooking. Some people might be more comfortable using fry pan for browning and sautéing, and some people might be more comfortable using French skillet to fry food, making pancake, pan frying sausages, and so on. If you are comfortable with it then is fine to stay loyal to your style. But if you haven’t try one or both of them, it is recommended to try them first and see yourself. You might find a new interesting experience.

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