Fry Pan vs Saute Pan | Frying vs Sauteing
The difference between fry pan and sauté pan is in the way the pans are built. We all know about fry pan and how important it is to cook food easily and in a fast manner that is also delicious. There is another category in cookware that includes sauté pan. Sautéing is similar to frying, but it uses a lesser amount of oil and cooking takes lesser time as the pan is kept over a high temperature for a short period of time. Thus, sauté pans are different from frying pans though to a casual observer they may look similar. This article will find out the differences between a fry pan and a sauté pan based upon their designing and features.
What is a Fry Pan?
Fry pan is a flat bottomed container that is made of a metal (usually aluminum). The sides of a fry pan are small and flare up outwards. It has a long handle but does not have a lid. The main plate of a fry pan is 8-12 inches in diameter. One cannot use a frying pan as a sauté pan because, in frying, you do not need to toss the pan back and forth like in sautéing, and the main purpose of fry pan is to let the ingredients become brown. You are not worried about time, so you do not need a lid either.
Also, more fat is used in a fry pan than a sauté pan. When you are using a fry pan, you cook at a lower heat. This is because the food items that are fried are not cut into small pieces as the sautéing ones. So, you need the outside of the food not to burn while the inside is cooking.
What is a Sauté Pan?
A sauté pan looks similar to a frying pan, but has sides that are vertical (they do not move outwards). Sauté pan also has a lid. One can use a sauté pan as a frying pan. One has to be careful while going out to buy a sauté pan as shopkeepers often try to sell a fry pan to unsuspecting buyers.
The main idea behind sautéing is to cook food quickly over high heat in very little amount of fat or oil. Sauté is a word that comes from French sauter, which means to jump. Of course, sautéing is an art that you have to master before you can expect yourself to be able to toss the sauté pan back and forth to make the food flip over in the pan that is kept over high heat for a very short time. Because of the technique to cook food, the pan is wide with vertical sides so that ingredients are not crowded in the pan. The intention behind sautéing is to brown the ingredients quickly without burning or steaming them. While outside turns brown, the inside of the food is cooked well.
Lid is also very important in sautéing as you want the steam to build up quickly. Therefore, see that the lid fits over the pan tightly so that steam does not run out from any direction. Another design feature that differentiates a sauté pan from a fry pan is the vertical sides that prevent ingredients from moving over and spilling when you are tossing the pan back and forth.
What is the difference between Fry Pan and Saute Pan?
• The size of the fry pan is similar to a sauté pan but whereas sides are sloping in a fry pan, these are vertical in a sauté pan to allow the cook to toss the pan back and forth for cooking the food over high heat.
• Fry pan does not have a lid whereas a sauté pan always makes use of a lid to build up steam quickly over high temperatures.
• Fry pan is designed for longer cooking than a sauté pan.
• One can use a sauté pan as a frying pan. However, one cannot use a frying pan as a sauté pan.
Once you understand the basic difference between frying and sautéing, you would be better able to appreciate the differences in the designing of a fry pan and a sauté pan. The main idea behind sautéing is to cook food quickly over high heat in very little amount of fat or oil. While the food is cooking the food is flipped over in the pan by tossing them. When you are using a fry pan, you cook at a lower heat. This is because the food items that are fried are not cut into small pieces as the sautéing ones. So, you need the outside of the food not to burn while the inside is cooking.
Images Courtesy: Stainless steel frying pan and an anodized aluminium sauté pan via Wikicommons (Public Domain)
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