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What You Need to Know about Skillet Sizes & How to Choose a Frying Pan

When you are buying utilities for the kitchen, it is essential to pay attention not only to the materials of pans and pots but also to the sizes. Undeniably, you do not want to pile your kitchen with at least four different skillets and numerous other cookware. Therefore, it is necessary to understand not only how skillets are measured but also how to choose among different skillet sizes the one that will suit your needs most of all.

Therefore, we are going to tell you about the principles of measuring frying pans, which size is best for specific dishes. We will also talk about different materials from which skillets are manufactured. In this way, you will be able to select the right pan for your needs.

How to Measure a Skillet

If you have already checked one of the sites of cookware stores, you have noticed that there are different sizes of skillets in inches. This is the diameter of a pan from its wall top to the wall top. Keep in mind that this diameter is different from the base edge to the base edge length. Hence, the diameter mentioned in the description of skillets has nothing to do with the cooking surface. The latter can be different for the same diameter of skillets. For instance, two 12-inch pans may have different base edge to base edge diameters contingent on how steeply their walls rise.

More so, you need to take into account that the skillet size categorization foresees rounding either down or up. If you are considering a 12” pan, take into account that there is no unified standard. Manufacturers are free in designing their products and round the size differently. Sometimes, the indicated skillet diameter is the distance between external walls, so the lids from skillets of different manufacturers will not be compatible or interchangeable.

What Size of a Skillet Do I Need?

Understanding how to measure a skillet is essential for only one purpose - to define the right size of a frying pan for your needs. Therefore, we are going to list the most commonly encountered sizes in the market and provide the dishes that are best cooked on skillets of these sizes. We are going to base our list on the available carbon steel skillets in the Yosukata range.

7.9” Skillet

A smaller size of a skillet means that the heat will be evenly distributed, while the ability to achieve high cooking temperatures will be ensured thanks to collateral heat exposure from the sloped walls of the skillet.
Dishes to cook in a 7.9” skillet:

a fried egg or two (the most), steak, chicken breast, fluffy omelets, vegetable sautés.

10 ¼” Skillet

A skillet of medium size ensures the possibility to cook more products without overcrowding, while the heat retention sacrifice is reduced to a minimum.
Dishes to cook in a 10 ¼” skillet:

frying three eggs, frying two chicken breasts, frying latkes, reheating leftovers, searing steak, vegetable sautés with more ingredients.

How Big is a Large Skillet

If you have got a large family or are used to cooking a lot of food at once, you might want to acquire a skillet of the largest size. We have described the three options, from 7.9” to 11.8”, but there are also 14” frying pans offered in the market. Some might consider the acquisition of such a skillet. However, keep in mind that such a pan requires sufficient space for storage. And it will undeniably not be a one-size-fits-all choice. Selecting the best skillet size, this size might not be the best option. But the choice is up to you contingent on your necessities.
how to measure a skillet

Material or Size: What Matters More?

If you are looking for a perfect skillet, first of all, it is necessary to select the material, and the next step will be the definition of the necessary size. The difference made by the chosen material is larger than the difference made by the size of a selected skillet.

So, we are going to list the main materials and their designations:

Stainless steel: It is a classic choice when it comes to the choice of a frying pan. This skillet is suitable for a wide range of cooking tasks, e.g., sautéing and frying Skillet with a non-stick coating: Thanks to this coating, such skillets are a perfect choice when you need to prepare delicate foods that often stick, for instance, fish or fried eggs. Carbon steel: Such a skillet is heavy-duty and a good choice for stovetop and grill cooking of sears, chars, and crispies. Cast iron: To a certain extent, it can fulfill the same functions as a carbon steel pan, however, one should keep in mind that it is slower during seasoning-in, it conducts the heat a bit worse, and reacts less to temperature changes.

Choose the Right Skillet for Your Purpose

Since you already know the difference in materials of frying pans and are already aware of how to measure a skillet size, it is highly likely that you have determined a frying pan of a certain material and size for your cooking needs. It is likely that you will need two skillets, let’s say, one 7.9” and a larger one. Probably, you will select skillets of different materials. Regardless of how many posts you read, you will not understand what skillet is the perfect choice for you unless you try them.

Finally, it is crucial to keep in mind that regardless of the material and size, a chosen skillet should have a properly secured handle that will stay cool in the process of cooking, be oven-safe, and come with a warranty from the manufacturer that will cover the possible workmanship defects. It is also better to acquire a lid in the same store to ensure that it will be perfectly compatible with a chosen skillet. Enjoy cooking!
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