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What is more useful for you? Saute pan or Frying pan?

Chemicalkinetics May 30, 2012 10:09 PM

This is a question I have for awhile, and I think it can be interesting to hear from all of us.

If you only get to use one of the two, then which would you opt for? A saute pan like this?

http://www.reluctantgourmet.com/images/saute_pan_3.jpg

Or a frying pan like this?

http://iweb.cooking.com/images/produc...

Alternatively, if you have both styles of cookware, which one do you actually use more often?

Feel free to elaborate your reasoning.

I understand there are various definitions, but I believe the above is the more common understanding of a saute pan vs a frying pan.

I am not asking about the cookware material or dimension, just the shape and style. To make this simple, let's not discuss other cookware like skillets, karahis, woks..etc.

For me, if I only get to have one cookware, then I would pick a saute pan because I can use it as a shallow sauce pan. However, as this question stands, if I get to pick one of these two but not limiting on other cookware, then I rather have a frying pan. So my answer is the frying pan. How about you?

Thanks.

  1. s
    smkit May 31, 2012 07:10 AM

    I probably use my saute pan more these days, BUT the one pan I like more then either of them is my calphalon 12" everyday pan in the picture below. It has an inch more in diameter at the surface than my al-clad 12" fry pan and the same as my saute pan, the sides are taller and steeper but not straight like a saute pan, and it doesn't have a long handle making it easier to put in the oven. It is a great hybrid between the two and the handles make it better for the oven. I have even done roasts in it because the top rounds and gives nice clearance.

     
    2 Replies
    1. re: smkit
      f
      FitMom4Life Jun 14, 2012 02:30 PM

      I second this. I don't have a frying pan like the one pictured in the OP, other than 2 very small ones for omelettes and other similar small dishes. To me, "frying pan" means a square-sided flat-bottomed pan, and I suppose that's because it's the type of pan that I use the most, for dinners. It holds more, and I prefer the flat-bottom for even cooking. However, I did recently buy a Calphalon everyday pan like the one above (although mine is non-stick) and I do use it quite a bit for certain dishes that work better in a non-stick pan.

      1. re: smkit
        b
        brooktroutchaser Jun 15, 2013 05:57 AM

        Amen. I wore out a ten inch Calphalon version of this and replaced it with a ten inch All Clad petite braiser. It is a multi-use pan.

      2. cowboyardee May 31, 2012 08:14 AM

        Depends on whether you have other pans (saucepans, stockpots, etc) or if the saute/frying pan is to be your only cooking vessel.

        If it is to be my only vessel, a large saute pan is more useful for the reason you listed - it more easily holds and heats liquids and larger volumes of food.

        In practice, given other pans in my kitchen, I use a 12 inch frying pan a little more than my large saute pan, and I use both more often than my smaller frying pan.

        1 Reply
        1. re: cowboyardee
          Chemicalkinetics May 31, 2012 08:30 AM

          <Depends on whether you have other pans (saucepans, stockpots, etc) >

          You can have other pans, stock pots, saucepans, woks... you name it.

        2. ipsedixit May 31, 2012 08:22 AM

          Frying pan.

          Because I have a wok, and anything I need to do in a saute pan, I can do in a wok.

          3 Replies
          1. re: ipsedixit
            Chemicalkinetics May 31, 2012 08:31 AM

            <Because I have a wok, and anything I need to do in a saute pan, I can do in a wok.>

            In your thinking, does the reverse holds. That is, can a saute pan do anything a wok can? My experience and my theory is "no"

            1. re: Chemicalkinetics
              ipsedixit May 31, 2012 08:35 AM

              In your thinking, does the reverse holds. That is, can a saute pan do anything a wok can? My experience and my theory is "no"
              _______________________________

              For a typical home cook, if you are just doing simply things like stir-fry veggies or fried rice, then yes, a saute pan would suffice. Is it a perfect sub? No, but it'll do.

              1. re: ipsedixit
                John E. May 31, 2012 10:05 AM

                We used to have a steel wok. We never had a gas burner on which to use it however. We used it for a few years on our electric coil stove and then stopped using it because that just was not working. Then I did a few 'stir fry' recipes I saw on ATK using a nonstick 12 inch skillet and that's how we've been cooking stir fry ever since. Of course we only cook that way about once a month.

          2. w
            wiselad May 31, 2012 08:45 AM

            I use my frying pans more than my sauté Pans. I find that my 12 inch all-clad fry pans are more nimble than my 3qt sauté. I tend to only use sauté when I know that I'll be simmering in liquid and covering the dish at some point. Otherwise, for general pan frying or sautéing veggies, I find the fry pans to be easier to maneuver and get into with turners and spatulas due to the slopes.

            1. s
              selfportrait93 May 31, 2012 08:45 AM

              I have both frying and saute pans.
              For small size portions or single and up to two person meal, the frying pan is more convenient for me. Otherwise, the saute pan is my go to vessel.

              1. e
                escondido123 May 31, 2012 09:11 AM

                The saute pan has a larger surface area so I use it when I need to saute larger things and since it has more volume and a lid it's better for dishes with a lot of sauce, say a chicken cacciatore, which needs to simmer covered. If I was frying some chicken just in oil I would use the fry pan since the sloped sides make it easier to flip things without burning my hand on the rim--something I do too frequently when I use the saute pan for that purpose.

                7 Replies
                1. re: escondido123
                  Chemicalkinetics May 31, 2012 09:19 AM

                  Very nice points. I think to good extend, our choice of cookware depends on our choice of dishes and foods. For example, I use my Dutch Oven less than half as often as my frying pan or wok, but that is because my choice of food.

                  So what do you cook more often? Things with sauce (saute pan) or simply frying (fry pan)?

                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                    e
                    escondido123 May 31, 2012 10:01 AM

                    Saute pan for surface area, volume and tight lid. Our most typical meal is pasta with some veg and some meat. Like last night we had one of our standard dishes, broccoli with sausage. So the crumbled sausage gets browned in the saute pan, gets removed. Blanched broccoli gets chopped up, put into same pan and sauteed with olive oil--scraping up all the brown bits left from the sausage. Once broccoli is brown, lots of chopped garlic is added along with a little water and lid is put on for about five minutes--we like the broccoli soft. While pasta is cooking, sausage goes back into saute pan and it all gets another hit of high heat. Al dente pasta gets added and sauteed for another minute, Romano cheese gets added and then it goes into large serving bowl and brought to table. (Fry pan would be too small so though it might be fine for frying the sausage it doesn't allow for the rest of the ingredients so a no go.)

                    1. re: escondido123
                      Chemicalkinetics May 31, 2012 10:36 AM

                      Cool. Everything cooked in one pan (separate time).

                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                        e
                        escondido123 May 31, 2012 10:40 AM

                        My husband is a big believer in cooking items separately, taking them out when done and recombining late in the process. It seems to keep flavors from getting muddied. (You should see all the steps for his zucchini and red pepper baked risotto!)

                        1. re: escondido123
                          Chemicalkinetics May 31, 2012 10:48 AM

                          I agree with your husband. Unless I am really really really in a hurry, I try to cook different items separately. Maybe not everything separately, but certainly in 2-3 separate batches/groups. In my case, the reasoning is not due to "mudding" the taste. It has to do with the fact that it takes different amount of time and different temperature to cook different items, and I have better control of the cooking process when I cook these items separately. Otherwise, one item is being overcooked while the other one is not done yet.

                          1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                            e
                            escondido123 May 31, 2012 10:54 AM

                            That is his other reason. It is also worth considering the order of cooking so all those brown bits can be used to add flavor at just the right time. We both are very patient when we cook so if we need to spend fifteen minutes coddling a fry pan of sliced mushrooms to perfect browness by turning them individually, we'll do that. Good food is certainly worth the time.

                      2. re: escondido123
                        v
                        vrtualchik Jul 3, 2012 01:33 PM

                        I hope it is not too late to respond too this post, as I am hoping to find out what size and maybe even brand pan you (Escondido) are using. I am 43 and don't really cook due to an illness and a physical disability. However, lately I have been glued to these cooking shows
                        and find myself thinking that I may be able to make some of these easier recipes Well one is very similar to what you listed above but I am at a loss when it comes to which pan is the right one that would end up fitting everything in at the end. Then I came across your post and was hoping you'd be able to answer me. The other thing you helped me with was about the broccoli, I had just seen a recipe for angel hair with broccoli and pancetta but we don't like hard broccoli and I didn't know what to do. So as I was reading your post the first time I was thanking you for showing me how make it soft using the same pan. If anyone else knows the answer about the pan and is willing to help me I would appreciate it. I have really learned a lot on these boards. Thanks

                  2. paulj May 31, 2012 09:14 AM

                    I end up choosing pans based on size and material more than the details of the rim shape.

                    I use a small saute pan quite a bit. It's my only stainless steel pan in this size; it is induction compatible; and the vertical sides maximize bottom area. I use it for sauteing, and sauces. In fact I have nearly identical 3qt sauce pan - same in all ways except the sides are taller.

                    I have a couple of nonstick frying pans. I tend not to use them unless the induction burner is already in use.

                    My favorite nonstick pans are induction compatible cast aluminum. Their shape is half way between the saute and frying, with the rim rising in a smooth curve, not quite vertical at the edge, but also not flaring out. This gives good bottom area; allows some access for turning items; but is not as prone to splashing as the frying pan sides.

                    1. John E. May 31, 2012 09:16 AM

                      We use frying pans (skillets) more often than saute pans although we have fully clad SS versions of both. I like to be able to 'flip' the food. We use the large saute pan for things such as cassoulet, frying pork chops or chicken or just for cooking that requires a larger pan.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: John E.
                        s
                        SeaKoz Jun 4, 2012 07:32 PM

                        Do you have a cassoulet recipe that isn't ridiculous in the amount of effort required??

                        1. re: SeaKoz
                          John E. Dec 29, 2013 08:29 PM

                          I just saw your reply, this thread was revived and I somehow missed your question from so long ago.

                          While I do not watch her Food Network show, I find this to be an easy cassoulet recipe. I really do not wish to go to the effort to confit duck legs.

                          http://m.foodnetwork.com/recipes/447936

                      2. j
                        jljohn May 31, 2012 10:33 AM

                        This one is really tough, because there are so many undefined variables out there.

                        If the question is, 'what one, and only one, piece of cookware would I choose if I could only have one', frankly I'd take a dutch oven or a casserole, and since the saute pan is closer to that shape, between the fry pan and the saute pan, I'd take the later.

                        If the question is, 'assuming I already have pots and pans in other categories, but I can only have one saute or fry pan, which would I take', then my answer is a large carbon steel fry pan. Without getting into a materials discussion, I answer this way, because if I was limited to another material, I might choose differently. Basically, I'd pick the CS fry pan, because I have sauce pans and a dutch oven, and between a sauce pan, a dutch oven, and a frying pan, I can do most anything I would ever do in a saute pan (though the saute pan might be easier). The CS fry pan offers several things that the saute would not: (1) it handles true high heat searing without damage to the pan; (2) it is relatively non-stick; and (3) I can do omelettes in it.

                        Regarding what I use most now: I have an array of frying pans--various sizes in various materials--but I only 2 saute pans (and one of them needs to be retinned). I probably grab a frying pan more often than I grab my saute pan, but I use that saute pan more often than any one of my frying pans. However, this really is skewed by the fact that we make a lot of eggs and regularly make grilled cheese, and I tend to buy nuts raw and toast them in a fry pan/skillet right before using them.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: jljohn
                          Chemicalkinetics May 31, 2012 10:39 AM

                          <If the question is, 'assuming I already have pots and pans in other categories>

                          Same as you. As I have mentioned in my post, if I only get to have one cookware, then I would need a saute pan. However, if I have other cookware, then I pick a frying pan over a saute pan for my regular cooking.

                          Yep, so that was the question. In other words, with other cookware assisting, which of the two (saute pan and frying pan) get more use or more demand in your kitchen. Sound like your frying pan is the answer.

                        2. g
                          GH1618 May 31, 2012 10:51 AM

                          The sauté pan is more useful, if you can have only one or the other. Michael Ruhlman, in The Elements of Cooking, writes that you need four pans: a large and a small sauté pan, and a large and a small pot. However, not many people make do with the minimum number of pans. The pan I use most often is my smallest frying pan, which I use to fry or scramble eggs about four times a week, and for nothing else.

                          1. b
                            biscottifan May 31, 2012 11:03 AM

                            When I got my induction cooktop I replaced my frypans but because I had a LeCreuset braiser I didn't replace the saute pan. I don't have the wrist strength to toss and flip.

                            1. Chemicalkinetics May 31, 2012 06:30 PM

                              Chemicalkinetics - frying pan
                              smkit------------------saute pan
                              cowboyardee------- frying pan
                              ipsedixit-------------- frying pan
                              wiselad---------------frying pan
                              selfprotrait93--------saute pan
                              escondido-----------saute pan
                              paulj-------------------frying pan saute pan
                              John E.--------------- frying pan
                              jljohn------------------frying pan
                              GH1618--------------saute pan
                              biscottifan------------frying pan

                              sum--------------------8 votes frying pan to 5 votes saute pan

                              I hope I did not make a mistake. If I did, please let me know.

                              1. j
                                jljohn May 31, 2012 07:03 PM

                                So Chem, is this purely theoretical, or are you trying to figure something out for yourself?

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: jljohn
                                  Chemicalkinetics May 31, 2012 07:26 PM

                                  More on theoretical side. I mean I know what I want for myself. On the other hand, we often hear other posters asking what cookware they should have. So this is also for myself, but from a knowledge point of view.

                                  I often do polls like this just to better educate myself and create a situation for us to share opinions:

                                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/809759#6878950

                                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8113...

                                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                    e
                                    escondido123 May 31, 2012 09:17 PM

                                    But the only way this is really helpful is if you juxtapose type of pan with what types of foods people are making. Heavy on meat--fry pan. Other choices--saute pan.

                                    1. re: escondido123
                                      Chemicalkinetics May 31, 2012 10:54 PM

                                      It is good in an ideal case, but I have not able to successfully execute it. Once the poll get to have multiple levels, it get difficult to execute (with limited resource). For example, if you ask a simple question, then you may get 20 people to participate. If you ask part 1 and part 2 question, then usually you get like 10 people willing to participate. Now, if you have part 1, 2, and 3... it get to be herding cats.

                                      My Teflon pan poll was a two part question polls, and that took a lot of energy to finish. Remember it?

                                      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8122...

                                      In this case, I am just curious about saute pan vs frying pan usage. Yes, you are correct that it would be nicer to have a secondary variable.

                                2. irodguy Jun 2, 2012 09:14 PM

                                  I would purchase a nice stainless or copper saute and purchase a Teflon frying pan. The teflon pan is great for eggs, or searing etc. The saute is good for vegetables and even for a braise if you don't have a braiser or dutch oven.

                                  1. SanityRemoved Jun 4, 2012 09:41 AM

                                    I think technique comes into play here. If you use a saute pan in the classic sense to saute(jump) then certainly the saute does a better job than a fry pan. If you are going to use a spatula to saute then it isn't a big deal.

                                    Although with practice you can do a classic saute in a fry pan it's design presents not one but two problems. The first problem is when food leaves the surface at the front of the pan (the side opposite the handle). Most people can adjust to make this part work. The second problem is when the food returns to the surface. The fry pan may allow the food to exit the pan on the handle side if not careful. The design of the saute pan provides a wall to reduce the possibility of the food exiting on the handle side.

                                    To me the fry pan and saute pan are related but each is better suited to certain tasks.

                                    So once again Chem I am going to make a mess of your poll and go with both pans ;)

                                    5 Replies
                                    1. re: SanityRemoved
                                      g
                                      GH1618 Jun 4, 2012 09:54 AM

                                      I have a solution — I'll get rid of my sauté pan and my frying pans, and keep my All-Clad French Skillet.

                                      1. re: GH1618
                                        Chemicalkinetics Jun 4, 2012 10:35 AM

                                        I just looked up the All Clad French skillet. It looks kind of in between. Am I correct?

                                        1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                          g
                                          GH1618 Jun 4, 2012 01:58 PM

                                          Yes, that was my point.

                                          1. re: GH1618
                                            SanityRemoved Jun 6, 2012 07:56 AM

                                            Laughing because that was exactly why I bought the d5 French Skillet set a few years ago.

                                      2. re: SanityRemoved
                                        Chemicalkinetics Jun 4, 2012 11:59 AM

                                        <So once again Chem I am going to make a mess of your poll and go with both pans ;)>

                                        That's fine, as long as you do feel both styles of pans are similarly important to you.

                                      3. Kajikit Jun 4, 2012 09:47 AM

                                        I use my deep-sided frying pan almost every day... I like the high edges to keep stuff from spilling out onto the stove (especially since I usually cook with liquid and /or vegetables in the pan, and I hardly ever dry-fry) but I've probably only ever put a lid onto it once. The shallower frying pans are useless.

                                        1. greygarious Jun 4, 2012 10:59 AM

                                          Having heard a headspinning discussion about terminology (skillet, frying pan, saute pan) on ATK, I realize that pan definitions vary as much as those for cuts of beef, but it seems to me that the frying pan should be the deeper, straight-sided one. Shallow-frying requires depth and volume of oil, plus enough surface contacting the heat source to maintain oil temp. Saute is French for "jump". The idea is that the food will be moved around a lot, for which sloped sides are ideal, allowing both the pan-flip/toss and easy maneuvering of a spatula/pancake turner (because the original definition of spatula is the kind that spreads frosting, not a rubber scraper).
                                          I use the slope-sided pan, and a chef's pan/saucier - I know there are differing understandings of the latter pan, too. I mean wide, flat bottom with curved corners ending in straight sides about 4" high. I actually think THAT is the most versatile and useful pan.

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: greygarious
                                            Chemicalkinetics Jun 4, 2012 11:21 AM

                                            < I mean wide, flat bottom with curved corners ending in straight sides about 4" high. I actually think THAT is the most versatile and useful pan.>

                                            Excellent points. I think the defintiion of saute pan vs frying pan varies from person to person and vendor to vendor. I believe most vendors (including All Clad) have the saute pan as the one having a straight edge, while the frying pan having a sloped edge. Meanwhile, Tramontina has a definition which agrees with yours. That is, a sloped edge pan for sauting.

                                            http://www.walmart.com/ip/Tramontina-...

                                            1. re: greygarious
                                              f
                                              FitMom4Life Jun 14, 2012 02:37 PM

                                              "it seems to me that the frying pan should be the deeper, straight-sided one."

                                              I've always thought that too! Never understood how a shallow sloped pan could be referenced as a pan to fry anything in!! :-) My straight-sided pans are always called frying pans in my house.

                                            2. u
                                              unprofessional_chef Jun 4, 2012 11:56 AM

                                              My workhorse is a Berndes 10" frying pan (aka skillet) with a disk bottom which I use almost every time I cook. The Berndes has steep sloped high sides like a French skillet. I tend to eat a lot of chopped veggies. Sloped sides are easier for tossing the food to incorporate the ingredients and spices. The French skillet is also deeper so I can finish pastas with the sauce in the skillet. There is also less splatter with meat and fish because of the higher walls. So the shape of the French skillet is really beneficial for my style of cooking.

                                              I also have two saute pans. The AC D5 is brand new and has never been used. And the Multiclad is rarely used. I pull it out for sauteing larger pieces or big batches of meat or fish that won't fit in my 10" skillet.

                                              1. s
                                                sueatmo Jun 4, 2012 05:57 PM

                                                I use my saute pan far more than my frying pan. I can make an entire supper in it. I actually did that tonight. I use my frying pan basically to do an egg or two for breakfast. I also have iron skillets, but you don't want us to discuss skillets. It seems to me that you need one or two of each. Why limit yourself? I guess I'd buy the saute pan first, though.

                                                2 Replies
                                                1. re: sueatmo
                                                  Chemicalkinetics Jun 4, 2012 06:19 PM

                                                  I don't really mean to limit people. I am just wonder what do people find to be more used or more useful in their kitchen. For example, I use sugar in my cooking, but I use salt is more essential to my daily cooking. Not that I add much salt at all, but salt is more important to my daily cooking. Now, baking is another matter. That I would reverse the order of importance.

                                                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                    s
                                                    sueatmo Jun 5, 2012 07:59 AM

                                                    I was thinking it through as I wrote my answer. I should have phrased it differently. I definitely use my saute pan more often than the frying pan, especially for actual cooking--that is making a composed dish. My fry pan or iron skillets are used for (usualy) for pan grilling or the occasional fish or chicken piece saute. Since I am more likely to make a composed dish, especially now when I am trying to use up everything usable in my freezer and pantry, the saute pan is quite helpful.

                                                2. m
                                                  Mojave Jun 4, 2012 06:28 PM

                                                  I love my saute pan. I use it always over a fry pan. Only complaint I have is that you can't drain liquid from it, like fat. That's usually the only time I use a fry pan.

                                                  1. Chemicalkinetics Jun 4, 2012 06:46 PM

                                                    ************************frying pan*****saute pan
                                                    biscottifan----------------frying pan
                                                    Chemicalkinetics------frying pan
                                                    cowboyardee------------frying pan
                                                    escondido-----------------------------------saute pan
                                                    GH1618--------------------------------------saute pan
                                                    greygarious----------------------------------saute pan
                                                    ipsedixit-------------------frying pan
                                                    irondguy------------------frying pan-------saute pan
                                                    jljohn----------------------frying pan
                                                    John E.-------------------frying pan
                                                    Kajikit---------------------frying pan
                                                    Mojave-----------------------------------------saute pan
                                                    paulj-----------------------frying pan-------saute pan
                                                    SanityRemmoved------frying pan------saute pan
                                                    selfprotrait93-------------------------------saute pan
                                                    smkit-----------------------------------------saute pan
                                                    sueatmo-------------------------------------saute pan
                                                    unprofessional_chef--frying pan
                                                    wiselad-------------------frying pan

                                                    12 votes for frying pans, and 10 votes for saute pan. Very even.

                                                    Please let me know if I incorrectly counted your vote. For those of you who indicate that both pans are equally important, I counted as one vote for each pan.

                                                    Thanks.

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                      e
                                                      escondido123 Jun 5, 2012 10:23 AM

                                                      If I need to fry something I could use the saute pan. But if I want to fry something, then add other ingredients and liquid and put a cover on the fry pan I couldn't use the fry pan because the sides are not high enough and it doesn't have a tight fitting lid. So while saute can sub for fry pan the reverse is not true.

                                                    2. j
                                                      John Francis Jun 5, 2012 06:53 AM

                                                      I have several skillets (frying pans) and a Meunier's tinned copper sauté pan. Haven't touched the sauté pan in years, Three main reasons I can think of, other than habit. I don't cook meals for large enough groups that I need the larger cooking surface of a sauté pan to avoid cooking in batches. I don't pan-fry chicken or whatever; if I did, the straight-sided deeper sauté pan would be safer and perhaps better in other ways. And the skillet with its sloped sides and curled rim is much easier to stir and flip the food while it's cooking and get the food out of when it's done.

                                                      I use two skillets regularly, a 12" Cuisinart anodized aluminum one most of the time and a 10" nonstick for omelets, fish, and side dishes. No Allclad, no cast iron. Neither skillet comes with a lid so I bought a universal lid for them.

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: John Francis
                                                        kaleokahu Jun 10, 2012 06:35 PM

                                                        Hi, JF:

                                                        Would you please post a photo or two of your Meunier's? I have never seen one, and I am an avid collector. kaleokahu@gmail.com

                                                        Aloha,
                                                        Kaleo

                                                      2. nofunlatte Jun 6, 2012 11:34 AM

                                                        I don't own a fry pan, just a French skillet and a sauté pan. I like both, but would pick the sauté over the skillet if necessary. More versatile for me, as I don't fry much. But I'm glad I get to keep both!

                                                        5 Replies
                                                        1. re: nofunlatte
                                                          j
                                                          John Francis Jun 10, 2012 03:44 PM

                                                          Out of curiosity, what's the difference between a French skillet and a skillet, assuming there is one? What's the advantage to using a French skillet?

                                                          1. re: John Francis
                                                            g
                                                            GH1618 Jun 10, 2012 03:53 PM

                                                            In the All-Clad brand, the "French Skillet" is a little deeper than the "Skillet," and the side is a little steeper, with a rounded corner. The French Skillet comes in odd inch sizes, and the Skillet in even inch sizes. I specifically wanted a skillet a little larger than my 10" (of another brand). The 11" French Skillet holds considerably more. Not as much as my sauté pan, but it's much lighter.

                                                            1. re: GH1618
                                                              j
                                                              John Francis Jun 12, 2012 05:04 AM

                                                              Thanks. I went to the All-Clad site looking for this information, but the only apparent difference is that their French skillet comes with a lid and their "fry pan" (as they now call it) doesn't.

                                                              1. re: John Francis
                                                                g
                                                                GH1618 Jun 12, 2012 09:15 AM

                                                                Unfortunately, the All-Clad site is very poor with respect to descriptions of their products. Their is nothing about dimensions and weights. And the products change fequently. It is difficult to get any information on even recently disconti ued products.

                                                                By the way, my 11" LTD2 French Skillet came without a lid. I bought a ScanPan glass lid, which works but it's not a perfect fit.

                                                                1. re: GH1618
                                                                  nofunlatte Jun 14, 2012 11:04 AM

                                                                  My French skillet was lidless, too. Bought a lid at IKEA. which works just fine.

                                                        2. r
                                                          Rigmaster Jun 11, 2012 10:45 AM

                                                          I use my deBuyer Country Cheff pan, which I think is more of a deep-sided fry pan, than anything. Nothing else comes close. I can fry or sautee in it. It has a slope to the side that allows it to be used for sauteeing, frying, or even as a wok. I think the pan was meant to be the go-to, and it certainly is.

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: Rigmaster
                                                            Sid Post Dec 29, 2013 02:41 AM

                                                            I use my 32cm model a lot. When frying, it certainly keeps the splatters in better than a traditional skillet and tossing/flipping food is easier because stuff doesn't flip out on to the stove top.

                                                          2. sherrib Jun 12, 2012 01:21 PM

                                                            Hi Chem,

                                                            If I had to choose one, but was allowed other cookware as well, then I would choose the fry pan. My reasoning is that I could use a rondeau as I would a sauté pan. I do own both styles of cookware (of course!) and find that I tend to use sauté pans more often. It probably has more to do with what I cook and how I cook it than anything else.

                                                            1. c
                                                              Cam14 Jun 12, 2012 03:07 PM

                                                              I have both fry pans and 1 saute. Definitely use the All Clad fry pans more to cook up a quick piece of protein or an omelet or frittata weeknights after work. The 3 qt. saute pan works great but it's been a frustration for me with sauces simmering over the side when lidded or thick sauces popping goop over the side onto the stovetop. Just too shallow in many cases and I end up with a mess to clean. So, Williams Sonoma had a great sale over Memorial weekend and I popped for the AC D5 Essential pan. Nice large 10" bottom and deep 5" sides. Works for me! It really fills a need and I couldn't be more thrilled with it. If I had to pick one today, that would be IT.

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: Cam14
                                                                c
                                                                Cam14 Jun 13, 2012 08:49 AM

                                                                Correction: 8 1/2" bottom, flares to 11 1/2" diameter and 4" deep sides, was just able to measure, but works well!

                                                              2. Chemicalkinetics Jun 13, 2012 06:40 PM

                                                                Update:
                                                                *******************************frying pan****saute pan
                                                                biscottifan-------------------------frying pan
                                                                Cam14-----------------------------------------------saute pan
                                                                Chemicalkinetics---------------frying pan
                                                                cowboyardee--------------------frying pan
                                                                escondido-------------------------------------------saute pan
                                                                GH1618----------------------------------------------saute pan
                                                                greygarious-----------------------------------------saute pan
                                                                ipsedixit---------------------------frying pan
                                                                irondguy---------------------------frying pan------saute pan
                                                                jljohn-------------------------------frying pan
                                                                John E.----------------------------frying pan
                                                                John Franci----------------------frying pan
                                                                Kajikit------------------------------frying pan
                                                                Mojave------------------------------------------------saute pan
                                                                nofunlatte--------------------------------------------saute pan
                                                                paulj-------------------------------frying pan-------saute pan
                                                                Rigmaster-----------------------frying pan
                                                                SanityRemmoved-------------frying pan--------saute pan
                                                                selfprotrait93-----------------------------------------saute pan
                                                                sherrib-------------------------------------------------saute pan
                                                                smkit---------------------------------------------------saute pan
                                                                sueatmo-----------------------------------------------saute pan
                                                                unprofessional_chef--------frying pan
                                                                wiselad-------------------------frying pan

                                                                frying pan: 14 votes
                                                                saute pan: 13 votes

                                                                The result indicates that the two styles of pans are equally popular. I am a bit surprised because we see significantly more frying pan than saute pan in stores on display. I am certain the sale volume of frying pan is higher than that of saute pan. Yet, among Chowhound, saute pan is just as popular. This may be due to a shift among the average population and food lovers. Alternatively, of course, the frying pans break down more often than saute pan because frying pans are often made with Teflon nonstick coating.

                                                                **********************************
                                                                Please let me know if I incorrect counted your vote. Of particular, I am not entirely sure I made a mistake for sherrib and Cam14. For sherrib, I decided it is the saute pan just because it is the most used in spite of the availability of other cookware. For Cam14, the AC D5 Essential pan is somewhat in between a frying pan and a saute pan, but it looks more like an All Clad saute pan. It won't change the big picture, but I would rather not misinterpret people's choice.

                                                                9 Replies
                                                                1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                                  j
                                                                  jljohn Jun 13, 2012 08:29 PM

                                                                  "I am a bit surprised because we see significantly more frying pan than saute pan in stores on display. I am certain the sale volume of frying pan is higher than that of saute pan."

                                                                  I don't Chem, if you are surprised by this, it sounds to me like you are drawing too great a conclusion from your poll. Your poll was both limited and theoretical. For example, I said frying pan, only because I am allowed to take into consideration other pans I might have. If I could only choose one pan, it would be a saute. That's all theoretical. In reality, I own 3 saute pans (two that I regularly use) and at least 10 frying pans (7 see regular use). So, even though I use my saute pans at least as much as my frying pans, and even though I have a greater affinity for my saute pans, I own 3 times as many frying pans. The reason for this, is twofold: Size and Material. I could live with one 10" or 11" saute pan without any trouble at all. Sure, every once in a while I might need to saute in batches, but a 10" or 11" saute is a very versatile pan. I cannot figure out how I could make do without at least 2 (or maybe even 3) sizes of frying pan. A 10" and a 12" really are an absolute minimum for me. Then the material issue comes in. I have no need for anything other than a copper saute. If I was a try-ply guy, I'd say the same thing regarding tri-ply. However, when it comes to frying pans, I need at least two different materials--cast iron and some kind of non- or low-stick omelette pan. In the end that means that, at a minimum I'd need a 10" CS and a 10" and 12" CI pan. So, in my minimal battery, I'd have 1 saute and 3 frying pans. I would bet that most chowhounders who love their saute above all else still own more frying pans than saute pans (another poll anyone?). Finally, consider the options a kitchen store has when stocking shelves. For saute pans, they pretty much only have three material options--aluminum, try-ply, or copper, and really only 2 or 3 common sizes. For frying pans, there are at least 6 or 7 options: aluminum, tri-ply, non-stick aluminum, non-stick tri-ply, cast iron, enameled cast iron, and carbon steel. Then there are at least 3 common sizes for all materials and up to 5 common sizes with others (cast iron, for example regularly comes in at least, 6", 8", 10", 12", and 14"). For a well stocked kitchen store, this all might mean that they have 6 different saute pans, and 18-24 frying pans.

                                                                  1. re: jljohn
                                                                    c
                                                                    Cam14 Jun 13, 2012 09:33 PM

                                                                    Yes, even though the saute pan is the more loved and more versatile the fry pans are the workhorses that get the most use on a daily basis. I have a CS crepe pan, CI frypan, mostly for potatoes and burgers, 3 sizes of SS frypans for omelets, frittatas, chicken breasts & chops. All daily uses. The 2 saute pans get used more often on weekends when more time can be taken to create something more special and time consuming with more ingredients. Fonder memories with the saute pan, but the serious unglamorous nitty gritty comes from the fry pan. If the question was rephrased to which do you use more....frypans, hands down.

                                                                  2. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                                    John E. Jun 13, 2012 09:31 PM

                                                                    You really need to include a 'both' section and put me in it. While I seem to like to 'flip' food in a frying pan, I seem to be using a saute pan almost as much. We have a 5 quart Tramontina saute pan, a three quart Cuisinart saute pan, and a 4 quart Cook's saute pan that also get use. Last night I cooked a pound of Mayacoba Beans with a mirepoix, diced rutabaga, and potatoes with diced slab bacon in the the big Tramontina saute pan. I frequently grab the 12" Tramontina SS skillet and we also have two 8" Cuisinart SS skillets. So I guess we use both saute pans and skillets with almost equal frequency despite my earlier post.

                                                                    1. re: John E.
                                                                      Chemicalkinetics Jun 13, 2012 10:36 PM

                                                                      No problem. I will update later. Thanks, John.

                                                                    2. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                                      irodguy Jun 14, 2012 03:03 PM

                                                                      I personally have several of each from mauviel to all-clad to teflon. I replace my Teflon once a year or so. Each have their specific purpose. Since good Teflon pans are cheap either at a restaurant supply, or sams club it's just not an issue.

                                                                      1. re: irodguy
                                                                        Chemicalkinetics Jun 14, 2012 03:15 PM

                                                                        Make sense. Thanks.

                                                                      2. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                                        sherrib Jun 17, 2012 07:08 PM

                                                                        You counted my vote correctly Chem :)

                                                                        1. re: sherrib
                                                                          Chemicalkinetics Jun 17, 2012 07:14 PM

                                                                          Thanks for letting me know, Sherrib. :)

                                                                        2. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                                          Sid Post Dec 29, 2013 02:43 AM

                                                                          Consider the group you are polling too. The people in this thread aren't your normal group of shoppers at a mall or big box store.

                                                                        3. paulj Jun 14, 2012 11:15 AM

                                                                          What's the difference between the common cast iron 'skillet' and a saute pan? The sides are pretty steep on both.

                                                                          And what's the difference between a frying pan and the Lyon steel carbon steel that we all love? Just depth?

                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                          1. re: paulj
                                                                            j
                                                                            jljohn Jun 14, 2012 11:37 AM

                                                                            As I understand it, and I believe the egullet 'course' confirms this ( http://forums.egullet.org/index.php/t... ), the Rondeau, Saute, and Skillet all have the same basic shape, To begin, they all have wide bottoms and short, steep, walls. The walls are either vertical or almost vertical.

                                                                            There are two primary differences (beyond the obvious material difference) between these pans. First is the height of the sides walls. On a Rondeau, they are roughly 1/3 (or a little more) the diameter of the pan ; on a Saute, they are roughly 1/4 the diameter of the pan; and on a Skillet, they are roughly 1/5 (or a little less) the diameter of the pan. So, a 12" rondeau will be about 4" (or a little more) tall, a 12" saute will be about 3" tall, and a 12" skillet will be about 2.5" (or little less) tall.

                                                                            The second differentiation is in the handle. A Rondeau has two loop handles; a Saute pan has a curving handle that comes up and out from the pan; and the skillet has a handle that sticks straight out. Either the saute or skillet can have a helper, loop, handle.

                                                                            (Note too that as you extend the side walls taller from the Rondeau configuration you get a casserole as you reach a 2:1 (diameter:side wall) ratio, and finally at 1:1 you have a stock pot.

                                                                            )

                                                                            These subtle differences lead to several other pragmatic distinctions. In my experience, skillets are usually measured in inches, not volume, and usually do not have a lid. Saute pans are often measured in both inches and volume (some mfgs do both, some do one, some do the other), and many, but not all, come with a lid. The Rondeau, on the other hand, seems to be listed, usually, by volume and generally comes with a lid.

                                                                            1. re: paulj
                                                                              Chemicalkinetics Jun 14, 2012 12:19 PM

                                                                              <the common cast iron 'skillet' and a saute pan>

                                                                              Usually, a saute pan is deeper than a skillet, certainly for mine.

                                                                              <a frying pan and the Lyon steel carbon steel >

                                                                              I think there are overlay which is why I didn't want to compare a bunch of cookware in a poll... there will be no distinction to be made. I agree with you that depth is part of it.

                                                                              1. re: paulj
                                                                                kaleokahu Jun 14, 2012 02:47 PM

                                                                                Hi, paul:

                                                                                From Kinsey's article:

                                                                                "Cast Iron Skillet: This traditional pan is similar in configuration to the Sauté Pan, having a large cooking surface and short straight sides. But this is where any similarity ends. Cast Iron Skillets have short handles perpendicular to the base of the pan, and the sides are even lower -- from 20% of the pan’s diameter all the way down to 14%. As a result, they are not particularly well suited to sautéing as the ingredients would tend to jump right out of the pan."

                                                                                Contrast this with what he says about sautes:

                                                                                "A long, high handle helps the cook agitate the pan for even more movement. This is what it is to sauté. ... A lid allows the addition of liquids to sautéed items for a quick braising."

                                                                                Re: 'Lyon'... Maybe IN Lyon that has a separate and distinct meaning, but here I think the term is just a purse and wallet lubricant. There are allusions to the walls being slanted in such a way as to facilitate sliding food out of the pan, but I'm not sure what makes *that* particularly Lyonnaise.

                                                                                Aloha,
                                                                                Kaleo

                                                                              2. cannibal Jun 14, 2012 12:36 PM

                                                                                Count me in for the fry pan. I use a 12" carbon pan for a lot of different applications. from fried eggs and frittatas to making flat breads, pizzas, and everything in between. I find myself using a saute pan less than before, but that could be due to the foods i'm making being different. I tend to use the saute a lot more in winter as well.

                                                                                1. e
                                                                                  E_M Jun 15, 2012 02:14 AM

                                                                                  Could someone please (briefly) recap for me the definitions of a saute, fry pan, and skillet? Agree that all cookware manufacturers have different definitions.

                                                                                  5 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: E_M
                                                                                    j
                                                                                    jljohn Jun 15, 2012 05:30 AM

                                                                                    This article is a great reference for such questions. Each description is succinct:

                                                                                    http://forums.egullet.org/index.php/t...

                                                                                    1. re: jljohn
                                                                                      e
                                                                                      E_M Jun 15, 2012 07:53 AM

                                                                                      OK, if those are the definitions we are using....

                                                                                      I vote for the curved sauteuse. Which, hey, could also be called a chef's pan, a (high sided) French skillet, country fry pan....

                                                                                      1. re: jljohn
                                                                                        f
                                                                                        FitMom4Life Jun 15, 2012 01:51 PM

                                                                                        Great article, but every company makes up its own definitions, so it pretty much makes the article kinda useless. I saw an ad yesterday for a set of 3 pans - they looked like the traditional T-fal type of pan - shallow sloping and non-stick. Guess what they were called? Saute pans!

                                                                                        1. re: FitMom4Life
                                                                                          j
                                                                                          John Francis Jun 16, 2012 03:20 AM

                                                                                          You can fry in a sauté pan, sauté in a saucier, and make a sauce in a fry pan. A picture is worth any number of words.

                                                                                          1. re: FitMom4Life
                                                                                            SanityRemoved Jun 16, 2012 05:59 AM

                                                                                            The pictures in the article display the standard definitions for each. If someone or a recipe specifies using a particular type of pan that is what they intend for you to use. A manufacturer who either doesn't care about terminology or is trying to fool consumers into buying a pan based on name alone has to be treated as such.

                                                                                      2. Chemicalkinetics Jul 3, 2012 08:18 PM

                                                                                        Final Update -- a virtual tie. Thanks

                                                                                        *******************************frying pan****saute pan
                                                                                        biscottifan-------------------------frying pan
                                                                                        Cam14-----------------------------------------------saute pan
                                                                                        cannibal---------------------------frying pan
                                                                                        Chemicalkinetics---------------frying pan
                                                                                        cowboyardee--------------------frying pan
                                                                                        escondido-------------------------------------------saute pan
                                                                                        GH1618----------------------------------------------saute pan
                                                                                        greygarious-----------------------------------------saute pan
                                                                                        ipsedixit---------------------------frying pan
                                                                                        irondguy---------------------------frying pan------saute pan
                                                                                        jljohn-------------------------------frying pan
                                                                                        John E.----------------------------frying pan------saute pan
                                                                                        John Franci----------------------frying pan
                                                                                        Kajikit------------------------------frying pan
                                                                                        Mojave------------------------------------------------saute pan
                                                                                        nofunlatte--------------------------------------------saute pan
                                                                                        paulj-------------------------------frying pan-------saute pan
                                                                                        Rigmaster-----------------------frying pan
                                                                                        SanityRemmoved-------------frying pan--------saute pan
                                                                                        selfprotrait93-----------------------------------------saute pan
                                                                                        sherrib-------------------------------------------------saute pan
                                                                                        smkit---------------------------------------------------saute pan
                                                                                        sueatmo-----------------------------------------------saute pan
                                                                                        unprofessional_chef--------frying pan
                                                                                        wiselad-------------------------frying pan

                                                                                        frying pan: 15 votes
                                                                                        saute pan: 14 votes

                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                        1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                                                                          John E. Jul 3, 2012 10:07 PM

                                                                                          Yep, that's me, riding both sides of the fence. That really is not how I view things normally, but with such a monumental choice, I just could not do it. ; )

                                                                                        2. j
                                                                                          jhamiltonwa Jul 4, 2012 03:37 AM

                                                                                          I have to vote for frying pan, I don't have a saute (straight sided) pan.

                                                                                          When I cook something like a curry or a sauce based dish, I cook in in too large a quantity for the saute pan to work for me. I use a dutch oven, and freeze portions.

                                                                                          When I use a pan it's to brown or grill something. Now it might be that I brown up some Italian sausage of some sort in one of my skillets and then I might add to the pan a portion of some pasta sauce Ive made up in the dutch oven previously, at that point a saute pan might do the job better but I'm only reheating. When Im doing most of the work with the pan I'm preferring the sloped sides. Hope I'm making sense.

                                                                                          1. sivyaleah Jul 4, 2012 05:03 AM

                                                                                            Frying pan here. For all the cooking equipment I have, I realized I don't own a saute pan when I read this thread. Apparently, I've been doing fine without one for 33 years of cooking on my own. I mostly use a medium sized fry pan.

                                                                                            The few times I need something with deep sides to cook things like chicken for instance, I use my cast iron skillet, a deep pot or my large oval Le Creuset.

                                                                                            1. f
                                                                                              Flicker Dec 29, 2013 12:52 AM

                                                                                              Is it too late to respond to this question? I've got to say, I live with two skillets: DeBuyer 12" carbon steel skillet for steaks, chops, eggs and vegetables, and a Tramontina 5-qt SS-clad saute pan which I use to make my tomato sauce, boil lobsters .

                                                                                              I love this saute pan because it is fast enough to saute garlic and herbs and then large and flat enough to reduce 3 or 3-1/2 quarts of tomatoes down to 2-1/2 qts of oil-based sauce (boiling the water away and then essentially frying to finish it). It allows quick evaporation, minimizes splattering, and holds a lot.

                                                                                              Basically the DeBuyer skillet and the Tramontina saute are my work-horses. But if I were ever reduced again to a single cooker, it would be the simplest oldest skillet I keep on hand, my All-Clad 12" LTD skillet (used almost every day for 16 years and good as the day we bought it).

                                                                                              1. c
                                                                                                CookieCookies Dec 30, 2013 08:58 AM

                                                                                                I use my sauce pan a lot more often than the frying pan.

                                                                                                The sauce pan is deeper and has a lid. It fits more food than the shallow frying pan. Also, when the oil splashes, less oil gets onto the cooktop and the countertop.

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