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Frying Pan: How to Choose the Right Size

Aug. 24, 2021

classic die cast fry pan

Classic Die Cast Fry Pan

Are you confused about how to choose the size of the frying pan? If so, I hope this article can help you.


When buying cookware, it is not enough to know which specific product you want. You also need to know the specific size you want. For frying pans, the right size is especially important.


Frying pans (also known as skillets) are a kitchen product with many different sizes to choose from, and the difference between these sizes is not as obvious as pans and other volume-based cookware.


Although 10-inch stainless steel pans can indeed accomplish many of the same tasks as 12-inch pans, they are not always interchangeable. In this article, we will first discuss the cookware materials and their relationship with the size of the frying pan, then help you analyze the advantages and disadvantages of the three most common sizes, and finally we will introduce the measurement method of the frying pan size. Once you master this knowledge, you will be able to choose the frying pan that best suits your needs.


What size frying pan is best for you?

Usually, when deciding on the size of a frying pan, the first thing you usually think of is what is the smallest pan I can use. Although when deciding on the size, preventing overcrowding should be the top priority.

But in some cases, having a larger or smaller size pan does not only depend on the volume of the food being cooked. Please take a look at the detailed description of various common size frying pans.


Common size of frying pan

8-inch frying pan

The advantages of this size: a smaller pan means more uniform heat distribution, and high temperatures can be reached due to indirect heat exposure on the inclined sides of the pan.

It can be done: Fry a steak or chicken breast. Make thick and fluffy omelettes (the eggs are forced upward due to the small cooking surface). Saute a small amount of vegetables as a side dish.


10-inch frying pan

The benefits of this size: a medium-sized pan means a middle ground where more food can be placed in the pan without being overcrowded, while minimizing heat preservation performance.

It can be done: fry 3 eggs or 2 chicken breasts. Fried latkes. Reheat leftovers. Stir a lot of vegetables.

12 inch frying pan

Benefits of this size: Obviously, a large pan means that a large amount of food can be cooked in it at once without overcrowding the pan. This also means better insulation, because there are more materials available to retain heat.

It can be done: frying 4 eggs or 3 chicken breasts. Fry the bacon strips without trimming the ends. Make flat pizzas or pancakes.


How to measure the size of a frying pan?

The size of the frying pan depends on the overall diameter of the pan (top to top of the wall), not the diameter of its cooking surface (bottom edge to bottom edge).

Due to different designs, the steepness of their walls rises differently. So usually two 12-inch pans have different cooking surface dimensions. In addition, cookware size classification usually includes rounding to the nearest inch (but never upwards).


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