Cast Iron Skillet Vs French Skillet Vs Frying Pan – The Differences

With the different types of skillets and pans available on the market, it is easy to get confused when shopping for an addition to your kitchen.

It is natural to wonder about the difference between the cast iron skillet and french skillet. Or perhaps, you want to ditch both in favor of a frying pan and wonder if it makes a difference.

Simply put, yes, there are differences. In this article, we will be running a comparison of cast iron skillet vs French skillet vs fry pan and discussing the differences and what each item is best used for.

What is a cast iron skillet?

A cast iron skillet is a type of heavy-duty cookware that is forged from molten alloy. Cast iron skillets are widely known for their ability to heat up to super-high temperatures and retain the heat.

There are many upsides to having a cast iron skillet in your kitchen. They last super long when you care for them properly, and they are surprisingly easy to clean. Many people pass their cast iron skillets down for generations, and the skillets still retain their quality.

With all these features, you’d think that getting a cast iron skillet costs a fortune, but that is not the case. They are mostly inexpensive and are a must-have.

What is a cast iron skillet used for?

Cast iron skillets are super versatile and can be used for searing, sautéing, grilling, braising, broiling, frying, and even baking. You can even season and re-season your cast iron skillet if you want to improve the flavor of your dishes.

Are there any downsides to using a cast iron skillet?

The first and foremost downside to using a cast iron skillet is that it gets super-hot, and the handle does as well. Also, unless your cast iron skillet comes pre-seasoned, it isn’t the best option for cooking acidic foods or boiling water.

Cast iron skillets also take longer to heat up than other cookware, which we believe is worth it as they can retain that heat. You’ll need to re-season them to keep your dishes flavorful.

Lastly, a cast-iron skillet is often quite heavy, so it could damage your kitchen tiles (or hurt your toes, yikes) if you accidentally drop it. Even if you don’t drop it, you might find that carrying it and its contents around the kitchen is a lot more stressful when compared to other lighter cookware.

What is a French skillet?

A French skillet is somewhat of a mix between a frying pan and a sauté pan. Due to its design, you can cook or fry with a skillet, and you will not have to worry about spilling the contents at all.

A French skillet is similar to a frying pan, but not quite the same. The sides of a French skillet are often much higher than that of a frying pan, making it easier to fry more food with them. It is also easy to flip food in a French skillet due to its sloped sides.

French skillets and frying pans are often made from stainless steel, but frying pans often come with non-stick coating while French skillets do not.

When do you use a French skillet?

Since French skillets are often great with receiving and distributing heat, they are great for cooking meats and fish.

Are there downsides to using a French skillet?

There are quite a few downsides to using a French skillet, one of which is that it is easier to burn food when using a French skillet. And unlike the frying pan, most French skillets do not come with a non-stick coating, so the food will likely stick.

Also, the French skillet does not come with the triangular lip(s) that juts out of its side and is popular with cast iron skillets. As such, draining fluids from a French skillet could be tricky, especially during meal preps.

Can you fry in a skillet?

Yes, you can fry in a skillet. However, you will want to use a non-stick skillet or stick to a frying pan as it was designed specifically for frying.

What is a frying pan?

Also known as a frypan, a frying pan is a shallow pan with a flat bottom. It comes with a long metal handle and is typically used for searing or frying foods.

Frying pans are usually made out of stainless steel. Although there are some aluminum and ceramic frying pans too. The steel pans often come with a non-stick coating that makes it easy to clean them after use.

Read also: Misen Nonstick Pan Review

What is a frying pan used for?

As the name implies, frying pans are used for frying foods. Depending on its size, you could either fry one or two eggs or make stir-fry meals in a frying pan.

Are there downsides to using a frying pan?

Because the frying pan is so shallow, cooking in it requires constant attention so as not to end up burning your food. Frying pans don’t have sides as high as other skillets, so it is easier for food to spill out of a frying pan than a cast iron or French skillet.

And don’t forget, no matter how large a frying pan is, it may not be able to carry as much food as skillets as it is not as deep.

Read also: Doner Kebab Vs Gyro – The Differences

Is a cast iron skillet better than a frying pan?

No, a cast-iron skillet is not better than a frying pan. Even though they have some similarities, and each can be used for specific cooking techniques, they each have their unique functions, advantages, and downsides.

So, there you have it, we have cast iron skillets, French skillets, and frying pans – and they are all different. It might take a while to fully understand each item and what it’s for, but we believe this article should equip you with what you need to know. Left for us, we’d say they’re all must-haves. Each has its specialty as far as cooking goes, so you are in the best position to decide what your kitchen needs and which item should join your collection.

By Luong Tan

Luong Tan, the creative and passionate founder of Bourbono, is a multi-talented individual with a deep love for the culinary arts. An accomplished food blogger, cookbook author, and former Ambassador of US cuisine in Vietnam (2015-2016), Luong has been on a mission to share his appreciation for food with the world.

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