Saute vs Stir Fry
Saute and Stir fry are two important cooking techniques that show some differences between them. The Saute and Stir fry techniques are very popular in France and Chinese cuisines respectively. These two techniques have moved to the cuisines of the other parts of the world as well. The difference between saute and stir fry lies in the ingredients that are used, the amount of fat used, the type of pan used, the size of the food items, and the method followed in stirring the food in the fat during cooking. When you pay attention to all these details you will see that there indeed exists some difference between saute and stir fry.
What is Saute?
Saute technique uses very high heat in a small amount of fat. The fat used in Saute type of cooking technique is clarified butter or oil. The reason for the use of clarified butter instead of plain butter in Saute is that clarified butter has a high smoke point than plain butter and can withstand the high heating procedure involved. On the other hand, plain butter does not withstand the high heating involved in the process and it gets burnt. At the same time, expert cooks use a good combination of both butter and oil too in the Saute procedure. Also, sautéing does not need any kind of sauce or any kind of liquid for that matter to be added to the food while cooking. Of course, you can add a small amount of vinegar in the preparation of food by the sautéing method. This will cause the pan to get deglazed.
It is interesting to note that you can prepare many types of food in the French saute method. You can prepare chicken cutlets or fish by the saute method. You can nicely coat the fish with breadcrumbs and saute. Similarly, vegetables can be used in sautéing.
Saute pan is used in the act of sautéing. A saute pan looks similar to a frying pan, but has sides that are vertical. That means the sides do not move outwards. A big skillet can also be used though. Ensure that the surface area is large in the pan. Pans used for sautéing are generally made of cast iron. This is due to the fact that such a pan can conduct heat quickly and efficiently.
What is Stir Fry?
Stir fry also uses a high heat, but more oil is used than in saute. Also, stir fry technique of cooking is comfortable with the use of oil without the addition of butter. Oil with a high smoke point should be used in the act of high heating. Oils such as peanut oil and sesame oil can be used in stir fry cooking technique. Moreover, it is better to add soy sauce or any other sauce while you cook food by the stir frying method. Then when we look at how food is used in stir frying, you can see that stir frying can be done when vegetables are cut into small pieces. These pieces should also be thin. Cutting the vegetables into pieces enables you to prepare food very quickly and comfortably. Also, this ensures that the food is coated nicely by the sauce. This kind of coating can cause the glazing of the food while cooking.
Stir frying is done on woks. However, nowadays, there are stir fry pan also available that will get the job done for you easily. These pans have slanting sides.
What is the difference between Saute and Stir Fry?
• Techniques, heat, and amount of fat
In Saute, you cook food cut into small pieces or large pieces in a little amount of fat in high heat. The food pieces are tossed or turned often or just once. In stir fry, the food items are cut into small pieces and cooked in oil at high heat. The amount of oil used is larger than the amount used in sauté. The food is constantly moved in the stir fry technique.
• Type of fat
Clarified butter or oil is used in sautéing but only oil is used in stir frying. Expert cooks use a good combination of both butter and oil for Sautéing. Both, butter used in Saute and oil used in stir fry, should have high smoke points to be able to withstand the heat.
• Size of food items
For saute, the food can be cut into large or small pieces depending on the quality of the food. However, for stir fry, the food is cut into small, thin pieces of food.
It is important to know that saute and stir fry differ from each other in the types of pan used. You can use saute pan or a skillet for sautéing while you can use a round sided wok for stir fry. You can also use a stir fry pan that has sloping sides.
These are the differences between saute and stir fry.