Saute Pan vs. Skillet: What’s The Difference?

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People are usually confused between Saute Pan and Skillet but there are a lot of differences between them. These are mostly used interchangeably but they have different purposes.

The main difference between saute pan and skillet is its surface, usage, volume, weight, tossing ability, and evaporation. These differences can alter your cooking techniques and make you choose between the right pan for the right task.

This article will help you in exploring the differences between the two pans and suggest which one you can buy. Let’s dive in then!

What Is a Saute Pan?

A saute pan unlike its name is not used to saute veggies rather it is used to sear meat or reduce a broth or sauce. A saute pan has straight sides and a top lid. It comes in various sizes like 8 inches, 10 inches, and 12 inches.

The sizes are perfect for searing meat as you can put as many pieces as you want due to its size and straight surface. If you cook food at your house a lot then this is an amazing buy for you.

Saute comes from the French word Sauter which means “to jump”. It involves the cooking of ingredients in a small amount of oil, basically shallow frying.

What Is a Skillet?

A skillet is usually known as a frying pan. Ironically, you can use a skillet to saute your veggies and not a saute pan. Skillet has a sloped side so the diameter of the skillet gets reduced due to its edges.

This is a very versatile product as you can use it on the stove and even put it in the oven to finish off searing your chicken.

Saute Pan vs. Skillet: Comparison Table

The table below summarizes all the differences between saute pan and skillet.

CategorySaute PanSkillet
SurfaceStraight sideSloped side
WeightHeavy weightLight weight
EvaporationTakes timeEfficient
UsageSearing, for brothsSaute, shallow frying
VolumeMore volumeLess volume
TossingNot good for tossingBest for tossing

Differences Between Saute Pan and Skillet

The differences between saute pan and skillet are significant to understand which product you should use and for what purpose.

It is imperative to use the right utensil for cooking so that the dish comes out to be perfect. We have a list of differences panned for you:

  1. Surface

The surface area of a saute pan is larger than a skillet. A saute pan and skillet of the same diameter will have different surface areas due to their sides. The sides of saute pan are straight so the diameter remains the same overall.

But for a skillet, it changes because of curved sides. The area of cooking becomes less than the entire diameter of the skillet. For instance, if the diameter of both the products is 12 inches, then for saute pan it will remain the same but for a skillet, it will be 10 inches.

  1. Weight

Saute Pan is heavy as compared to skillet which is light in weight. It also has a wide base and an additional handle to lift the pan which makes the pan heavy.

Skillet on the other hand is perfect for tossing, shaking, and stirring due to its lightweight.

  1. Evaporation

Evaporation becomes a relevant point of a difference since a skillet has no lid. So, if you are putting some liquid in it then it will evaporate easily. Plus the surface area of a skillet is less so this again helps in the evaporation of the liquid.

For a saute pan, the surface area is more so it will take a bit more time for the liquid to evaporate.

  1. Usage

Skillet is amazing for tossing ingredients, searing, and sauteing veggies. While searing the chicken in butter, this pan is perfect as you can move butter, rosemary, garlic, and chicken to a side for proper searing. This is not possible in a saute pan.

Saute Pan is good for flat searing like you can put the meat or veggies on it and then change the sides. Due to its straight edges, you can even reduce a broth since there will be no spillage.

You can keep a lid on it to make the dishes as well. But you cannot do the same with a skillet since it does not have much volume and surface.

Also, you can use both products for shallow frying. A saute pan is better for shallow frying because it has a straight side so the splashing will be less but for a skillet, shallow frying is possible but the splashing will be more.

  1. Volume

The volume depends upon the surface area so a saute pan includes more volume than a Skillet. It includes more liquid or more ingredients than a skillet. The volume gives an advantage for shallow frying and it also helps in having a large quantity of broth in it.

  1. Tossing Ability

Due to the edges of the saute pan, it is difficult to toss the veggies easily in it. The famous technique of jump and flip cannot be done in a saute pan rather you can do that in a Skillet.

Skillet has slant edges which help in the easy movement of the veggies or tossing of the ingredients.

Is A Frying Pan The Same As Skillet?

Skillet is also known as a frying pan. Their properties are similar but a skillet comes in different varieties as well like a cast-iron skillet. Both are the same but the difference is only in the addition of the word pan. The confusion is only based on the different terminology.

Is A Saute Pan The Same As Skillet?

No, they both are completely different. Although people use it interchangeably, their properties, the way it is used, their handling all vary.
Their surface area, volume, tossing ability, sides, and inches all vary. Their usage for shallow frying and searing is the same but otherwise, both the products are different.

Final Thoughts

Skillet and saute pan both have their own advantages, one is good for sauteing and another for sauces and curry dishes.

If there is a choice between choosing one product then we would suggest a saute pan and if you are someone who loves to cook then both the products are amazing for you.

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