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Fry Pan - what is the most practical size?

Hi all Chowsers,

I am looking for a fry pan for every day use but I don't know if a 10 in or a 12 in would be most practical. There are only 2 of us in the household but we have a lot of family dinners. Would I need both?

Also, All Clad SS or MC2?

Thanks in advance!

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  1. I have a 12" Swiss Diamond that I just love, and seems to work well when I just cook things for the two of us. I'd go with the larger one.

    1. I'm single, but a lot of times I cook with leftovers in mind. I have a 10" skillet, but often wish it were larger. I picked up a 6" one at a yard sale, and use it occasionally, but I can't think of many - if any - times when it would have been a problem using the larger.

      1. I am a single old retired man and have both 10" and a 12" cast iron fry pans. I use the 12" 95% of the time. Also a little 6" I use for a couple of fried eggs.
        Size matters :-)
        Hope this helps make up your mind.

        1. Go for the 12 inch. I have a 10 inch and 12 inch, and I reach for the 12 inch a lot more than the 10. About the only time I use anything smaller is when I'm making scrambled eggs for one (something about the smaller pan size helps it come out better) or reducing wine for bearnaise sauce. Make sure you buy a skillet (with sloping sides) and not a saute pan (with straight sides). Despite the name of the saute pan, it's more suited for braising; the skillet is much more versatile.

          1 Reply
          1. re: JK Grence the Cosmic Jester

            I agree if you buy 12 inch fry pan with "LID". I bought my All-Cald 12 inch with lid last summer and I love it. I know i could buy 12 inch "Saute" pan instead of this but I k now fry pan serves me better as I have 3.5 qt buffet casserole for my braising needs. 12 inch saute pan with lid is really fabulous if you saute greens, like Swiss chard and Turnip green as they have a big volume at the beginning and after cooking they become smaller amout. For this purpose, I always feel 10 inch is a bit too small. In addition, In a 12 inch skillet, you can put 2 steaks and 2 chicken breast withough touching each other. When you braise, sometimes you want to brown your meat not in your dutch oven but in a large skillet. A 12 inch is ideal for it. So, Unless you are single, I recommend a 12 inch skillet with lid.

          2. Why not get both? Emerilware pans (rated
            higher by Consumer Reports)
            are available for about half the price of All-Clad.