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Measuring a frying pan is a fairly simple exercise.

To determine the size of a frying pan, all you need to do is take a piece of measuring tape and hold it in your hand. After that, you should position the frying pan so that the right side is facing upwards and place it on a surface that is level.

After you have completed this step, you should then run your measuring tape along the entire length of the front of the pan. Just verify the measurement from the edge of the measuring tape to the end of the pan and you will receive the required measurement of your frying pan.

You need to be aware of the fact that the length of a pan’s longest dimension is typically used to determine the overall size of the pan. In the case of a frying pan, it would be the section that is the widest when viewed from the top. That is the distance from one lip of the pan to the other.

While this is the most frequent manner, when a corporation or shop specifies a frying pan, they will almost always be referring about its side to side dimension.

If you want to be more specific, you may measure the size of the pan from the inside of the top lip all the way to the other inside the top lip in a straight line. This is the overall circumference of the pan, which must be precisely accommodated by the cover (if it has one).

On the other hand, using this method will not assist you in calculating the total volume of your pan. This is due to the fact that the diameter of the pan’s lip, which is located in the center, is how all pans are measured. To clarify, we are not talking about the circumference of the actual cooking surface here.

Aside from that, the majority of residential burners, which includes gas as well as electric and induction cooking ranges, have space restrictions. This implies that excluding enormous industrial cooking ranges, they have been built to comfortably accommodate a frying pan with a maximum size of roughly 12 inches or so, in diameter.

Measuring a Sauté Pan VS. the Skillet Frying Pan

Because it has straight edges, a sauté pan that is one foot wide will likewise have a cooking surface that is one foot broad (12 inches). In terms of volume, this amounts to around 113 square inches. Think of it as a skillet while you’re cooking. The volume of the latter will be less than that of a sauté pan even if it is the same size as a sauté pan. This is due to the fact that the cooking area of the later is smaller.

This is due to the fact that a skillet frying pan has edges that slope inward and are stretched outward by at least an inch on all sides. This indicates that the usable space for cooking is just around 10 inches, which brings the total volume down to about 80 square inches.

In a nutshell, if you have a skillet and a sauté pan with the same diameter, the total cooking area of the skillet will be at least 30 percent less than the cooking area of the sauté pan. This is because the diameter of the skillet is less than the diameter of the sauté pan. This is a significant portion of the volume that was lost during the cooking process.

In the actual world, you will be able to put around ten pieces of chicken rather easily in a big pan that is one foot wide, but you will not be able to do so in a skillet. Furthermore, if you possess the latter, you will need to do the task in many batches in order to complete it.

Boiling Water and Making Curries and Stew

When it comes to creating curries and stews, the conventional sauté pan with its straight sides is the best option since it will enable you to fit a considerably greater amount of liquid into the pan. The greatest part is that you will be able to complete the task with using the same amount of room in the oven.

In addition to this, the typical straight edges will make it far less probable for the liquid contained inside to spill outwards. When you take your pan from the kitchen to the dining table, or when you transfer it into or out of the oven, this comes in handy.

It will also make it possible for the lid of the pan to fit in more securely, so reducing the amount of liquid that is lost to evaporation to a significant degree.

When doing jobs such as deep-frying meatballs in your skillet in an inch of cooking oil, the additional volume will come in useful and be an advantage you can take advantage of. For instance, you might use it to braise half a dozen chicken thighs in red wine and use it as the liquid in the recipe.

When it comes to cooking food in a sauté pan, the outwardly sloping skillet frying pan is really regarded to be significantly better than the actual sauté pan itself in terms of its effectiveness.

In this case, the size of the pan is irrelevant since the most effective method for sautéing anything is to quickly cook the meal in hot fat while continuously stirring the food around in the pan (this is also called stir-frying).

This method makes it simple to prepare cubes of meat and vegetables that have been coarsely cut into tiny or medium-sized bits. Your frying pan has edges that slope inward, which means that you can shake it as much as you wish without the food within the pan pouring out.

Executing the Jump and Flip Maneuver

The leap and flip technique is something that a lot of chefs who have Michelin stars like to show off on television cooking programs, and the sauté pan is one of the best tools for pulling it off properly. To be clear, the purpose of this strategy is not only to bolster one’s ego; this is an essential point to keep in mind.

To the contrary, this is by far and away the finest technique to redistribute the food items that are already in the pan, so ensuring that everything cooks at the same rate and in the same manner.

Although it is possible to sauté food in a pan with straight sides, doing so will not be as simple as using a frying pan to do the task. The continual swirling and twisting with a fork or spatula is mostly responsible for this result.

Evaporation Plays a Key Role

The general geometry of a pan may also have an effect on the amount of moisture it is able to retain. That is to say, the shape of the pan plays a role in how successfully moisture is forced off of your food, allowing it to remain hot and crispy as a result of the cooking process.

In addition to that, it will also determine the pace at which the sauces that are included in the meal will evaporate. The sloping edges of a frying pan, according to the assertions of a number of highly skilled chefs, have the additional benefit of removing extra moisture from the meat while it cooks. The meat may be seared more thoroughly and quickly when the fluids are allowed to drain at a faster pace.

The Role of the Total Cooking Area in Searing Meat

To answer your question, yes, it is undeniably true that a frying pan may sear meat more successfully than a conventional pan; however, this is only the case if both have the exact same amount of cooking surface. To put it another way, if you want to sear food to perfection, you should use a foot-wide skillet frying pan rather than a 10-inch sauté pan. This is because the cooking area in the foot-wide skillet is 10 inches.

However, if you want to sear your steaks in a pan, you should keep in mind that the bigger surface area of a standard pan will not provide any notable benefits over its skillet frying pan counterpart. Instead, you should choose the smaller frying pan.

This is particularly relevant in the event that you have the same amount of food that has to be seared at very high temperatures. (like steaks cooked to an extreme well-done, for example). In either scenario, you will need to cook the meat in separate batches during the process.

The same may be said for sauces that are reduced in volume. The sauces will likewise evaporate just as quickly in a sauté pan that is one foot wide as they would in a skillet that is twelve inches wide.


Given the information shown above, it is reasonable to conclude that figuring out how to accurately measure a frying pan requires just a few basic procedures to complete.

In light of this, it is of the utmost significance that we take into account not just its volume but also its whole cooking area as well.


How do I measure a frying pan?

The procedure is, in all honesty, not that complicated. To get the measurements, invert the frying pan so that the inside is facing up and set it on a level surface. After that, you should extend the tape measure over the middle of the top from one side to the other. You are looking at the proper measurement, which is the number that you see.

How do you measure size of pan?

“The traditional method for determining the size of a skillet is to measure it horizontally across the top. If a recipe asks for an 8-, 10-, or 12-inch skillet, measure the pan from the top rim to the bottom rim to get the correct size “She gives directions.

What is the ideal pan size?

26-28 cm Frying Pan

Use: This is the most adaptable sized pan that is perfect for cooking single portions or it can easily prepare dishes for up to 4 people. Use it to cook anything from a single serving to an entire meal. This size of pan can uniformly cook all of your components, regardless of whether they are chopped, sliced, or left whole.

How can you tell a good frying pan?

Before making the purchase of a new frying pan, there are a few aspects to think about, including the pan’s dimensions, weight, composition, and whether or not it has a nonstick coating. If you are just going to purchase a single frying pan, we suggest investing in a skillet made of stainless steel. The All-Clad 12-inch Stainless Steel Tri-Ply Bonded Fry Pan is a workhorse in the kitchen that can be used for a variety of cooking tasks.

What is the standard size of a frying pan?

Fry pans are available in a range of metals that effectively transfer heat and come in a variety of sizes, the most prevalent sizes being 8, 10, and 12 inches throughout the industry.