What Is the Difference Between a Cast Iron Skillet and a Frying Pan?
If you are looking forward to upgrading your cookware, you may face the challenge of choosing between buying a frying pan or a cast-iron skillet.
The two both fall under the category of pans because of their nearly similar looks, yet this type of cookware needs a closer look to spot the difference. Maybe you should give them a try?
In this article, I will be discussing the difference between a frying pan and a cast-iron skillet along with their advantages and disadvantages.
This will help you determine which one to buy on your next shopping trip. Who knows?
Maybe after reading this short article, you’ll end up buying both.
Cast Iron Skillet: Explained
Cast iron has been utilized as a reliable tool to cook food. It was used in the so-called “Iron Age” approximately 2500 years ago.
Years passed and it became stylish cookware allowing you to cook a variety of delicious foods including lasagna, s’mores, crepes, panini, Spanish tortillas, and so much more.
For health-conscious individuals, it is good to know that cast iron is natural.
Compared to non-stick frying pans that come with coatings, a cast iron skillet is made from 100% natural materials such as oil and iron.
This is why farm-to-table restaurants, as well as establishments that center on natural ingredients and clean cooking, are going for cast iron skillets.
Aside from that, cast iron is incredibly durable. If you maintain it properly, it could last forever.
Unlike other cookware, cast iron can be repaired if damaged or scratched.
Therefore, if it accumulates rust, just remove it, and then you are ready to cook again.
Usually, people opt for cast iron skillets because they are oven-safe.
A cast-iron skillet is not only durable but also versatile cookware that can be used for different types of cooking.
It can go in the heat of an oven, be used over an open flame, and stand up to induction, among others.
You can also use it to fry eggs, bake anything, and cook sauces because of its natural non-stick ability.
Features and Usage of a Frying Pan
A frying pan is a pan with a flat bottom that is used for searing, frying, and browning foods.
Usually, a frying pan is 20 to 30 centimeters in diameter with significantly low sides that spread outward.
Aside from that, a frying pan has a long handle and no lid.
Big-sized frying pans, on the other hand, may come with a small handle on either side, parallel to its long handle, for added support.
Among the advantages of frying pans is their fast cooking results because of their thinner material.
Their wide and shallow design helps to provide this advantage because the heat spreads throughout the flat surface, allowing multiple pieces of food to cook at the same time.
Frying pans also produce flavorful dishes. Thanks to their fast cooking features, the flavor of the food is preserved.
The problem when you cook with thicker cookware is that the taste and aroma of the ingredients gradually escape into the pan.
Thus, cooking them faster using efficient cookware like frying pans makes cooking easier and better.
Another advantage of frying pans is that they arrive with a scratch-resistant surface.
Because most frying pans are made out of high-grade stainless steel or aluminum, they became resistant to scratches.
You may also enjoy non-stick pans, which require less oil than regular pans.
These frying pans come with a coating that does not hold food particles when heated.
As a result, the food fries naturally, without the need to soak it in unhealthy oil.
What Makes a Cast Iron Skillet and a Frying Pan Different?
Unlike a frying pan, a cast iron skillet is all-natural. There is no coating that can contaminate the food you cook.
Thus, it can bring out the best flavors of your ingredients.
Meanwhile, frying pans are faster for cooking as compared to a cast iron skillet because of their thinner construction.
However, this advantage can also be a disadvantage if we look at it from a different angle.
When you use a frying pan to cook and you fail to estimate the time to check out what you’re frying, you’ll be surprised to see a burned egg or meat.
Therefore, utilize a frying pan only if you need to fry faster.
In terms of maintenance and cleaning, a cast iron skillet and frying pan are different.
Cast iron pans develop a layer of seasoning, which is made of oils and liquids that protect the pan from rusting, and that render a non-stick effect.
Never use soap to wash them because residue from soaps can get stuck into the pores of the iron metal.
Now you know why cooking with a cast-iron skillet may create a soapy taste when the dishwasher makes a mistake.
Aside from that, don’t clean them harshly. Make sure to use only soft cleaning tools like a sponge (and not steel wool) to clean cast iron.
The same goes for non-stick frying pans.
When you use abrasive cleaning tools to clean such pans, prepare your budget to buy a new one.
It is not also recommended to stir or flip the food you cook with metal utensils because the non-stick coating of frying pans might peel off.
Spotting the difference between a cast iron skillet and a frying pan is easier when you know the advantages and disadvantages of both types of cookware.
If you are opting for a natural tool to cook food, a cast-iron skillet is your best option.
Frying pans, on the other hand, are beneficial for those who want to cook faster.
You can also use cast iron to fry an egg and cook other foods that you usually cook using frying pans.
However, if you don’t want it to take forever to cook a single egg, use a frying pan instead.
The best reason to choose between the two is the result you are opting for.
Yet, those unique results may also be the reason why you need both of these pans.