Cookware comes in different forms and functions. Sometimes, new cooks tend to get confused with kitchen utensils that might look the same but, in reality—works differently. The Saucepan and frying pan have differences that are noticeable just by looking at them. The Saucepan has a deeper pan, while the frying pan has a broader base.
Visually, both of these pans have the same long handles used to transfer the pan with ease. But the way the pan’s basin is constructed—you can quickly identify one against the other. If you want to retain liquid, you should use a saucepan; and you can get rid of liquid using frying pans.
What Is the Difference Between a Saucepan and a Frying Pan?
Daily cooking tasks may require specific cookware. Pans, for instance, have numerous varieties for every cooking method available. This is why people cannot distinguish one pan from another—due to its similar appearance. Technically, if your cookware has a single handle, it can automatically consider as a pan.
Identifying where the specific pan can be used provides a more evident difference. From the name itself, Saucepan is a type of pan used to simmer or boil small liquid batches. On the latter, a frying pan is used to reduce the liquid on food through frying.
What is a saucepan?
Saucepans are known for having a deeper width than other pan variants. This cookware structure provides more minor heat points that prevent your liquid (sauces, stock, gravy) from reducing drastically. The raised sides also provide room for the liquid once it starts boiling.
This cookware can be available in different sizes, with minor variants that can hold a pint of liquid and larger ones that can hold up to 5 liters of liquid. Having the standard Saucepan is essential for cooking single-sized liquid like soups, gravy, and sauces. This reduces the time and effort of cleaning and heating larger cookware (casserole, pans, etc.)
Traditionally, a saucepan does not look the same as a frying pan. It resembles a stockpot due to its height and vertical sides. Another factor that defines a saucepan is its handle—which provides a cooler temperature than a standard frying pan. Saucepan’s handles are made with high-quality insulators like silicon, wood, and rubber, giving a more relaxed sensation when touched.
The Saucepan is used with lighter materials for the liquid to simmer and boil faster, making your preparation tasks better than usual. Unlike a frying pan, a saucepan comes with a lid that prevents liquid from dispersing into thin air. However, most saucepans cannot be placed inside an oven due to their flimsy structure.
What is a frying pan?
Frying pans are ordinary cookware in every household. Unlike a saucepan, a frying pan has a shallower surface, which provides a broader surface area for meat, vegetables, fish, and other protein to wilt faster. The slanted sides provide a better feeling for the food to glide along the pan’s surface.
Due to their wider size, frying pans have more extensive and longer handles that provide enough grip and force to lift contents with ease. Due to its feature, frying pans tend to look smaller than a saucepan. They can only accommodate smaller amounts of liquid.
This feature, however, ensures that the liquid will evaporate faster than using your Saucepan. The larger surface area allows space for broader heat points, providing better means to eliminate excess fluid. Water escapes more quickly since it has shorter, sloping sides.
Cooking your meal with a frying pan ensures that you will have a crispy, nice meal suitable for your frying needs. Several pans have their accompanying lids, although it is not necessary during the cooking process. Caps prevent water from escaping, resulting in a mushy, slightly boiled meal.
Can You Fry in a Saucepan?
Pans may have the same parts, but specific pans are required for a cooking method. Frying your food inside a saucepan will produce undesirable outputs. As mentioned earlier, the Saucepan has taller walls that prevent liquid from escaping quickly. If you fry your protein in a saucepan, water will begin to accumulate into the pan’s surface.
High water content can produce a poor fried meal. Water will prevent oil from penetrating the protein—which will result in a slightly boiled food. This will also disrupt the authentic flavors of the meat since water reduces food seasoning. Using a saucepan to fry your meat will produce the exact opposite of what a frying pan offers.
Frying is a process of reducing the food’s moisture content by exposing it to heat and oils. Saucepans are not excellent substitutes for a frying pan due to their thick walls and lid. This cookware is intended to retain your food’s liquid content, which shouldn’t be the case when you’re frying it.
Investing in proper cookware will provide efficiency since it reduces the risk of creating failed attempts. Saucepans will not also work for deep-frying since the pan itself cannot hold extreme boiling oil temperatures. Deep-frying pans or woks must be used for deep-frying purposes.
What Can I Use Instead of a Frying Pan?
The frying pan is essential cookware for your kitchen. Still, there are times where you only have a single frying pan for multiple batches that requires frying. Listed below are some of the pots and pans that you can use instead of a frying pan.
- Skillet is similar to a standard frying pan but with a slightly deeper basin. This provides additional space for reducing liquids into thicker sauces. Just like a frying pan, you can use your skillet in frying and deep-frying beef, pork, poultry, seafood, and vegetables.
- A griddle is a flat surface that can accommodate larger batches of frying. Griddles can be operated on an electric source or can be placed on a double burner. This is a good substitute for frying meals that require small amounts of oil (burger, bacon, hash brown, etc.)
- Stock Pot. Stockpots are large pots that can accommodate large amounts of oils. This material is suitable for deep-frying, which standard frying pans cannot wholly acquire.
- Deep Skillet. A deep skillet or a sauté pan is a frying pan with higher, slanted sides. This allows liquids to efficiently reduce and could be an excellent vessel for deep-frying foods.