Saucepan Vs Frying Pan: What’s the Difference? [Pros & Cons]

Are you one of those people who are always confused when it comes to saucepans & frying pans? This may be because both have similar looks, but they have their roles, from cooking to presentation. Unless you are interested in cooking regular food or are not a professional chef, you may need only one of the two pans.

But if you have a restaurant and the food demand of the customers is not complete without all types of pans as each one has different food cravings. As a chef, you need to understand the differences between the two. To clear up this confusion, we are going to break down the difference between a saucepan and a frying pan.

Saucepan Vs Frying Pan – Comparison

Difference based on Construction & looks


The saucepan is thoughtfully designed to hold much more liquid than a frying pan. This deep pan has equally high sides relative to its width. These pans are available in different sizes. Some pans have less capacity to hold ingredients, while some options are capable of heating up to four quarts of liquid. In general, the larger a saucepan is, the higher its sides are.

Almost every manufacturer offers a lid with a saucepan, so it is hard to find them without lids. These pans feature handles for strong grip, balance and hand stability. Some large pans are equipped with a handle on each side for easy moving the pot around the stovetop & induction.

Saucepans have handles but they are usually not as long as those on a frying pan. The height is the one plus point that makes this pan unique and the favorite cookware of many users. Plus, they do not look traditionally like a frying pan.

What are the Advantages of Saucepan?

To deeply know about the pans, there is no better to check out their advantages and disadvantages. When it comes to benefits, the saucepan has a lot to show. Some of them are as follow:

  • Versatility

In terms of versatility, the saucepan is one of the best options as it can be doubled using for a variety of pots or pans. If you put it in the oven with the lid on, it can function as a small size Dutch oven. This unit can be used for some recipe calls when the frying skillet is needed.

  • Uniform Heat Distribution

Because the pan has a high wall that allows the heat to spread evenly to every nook and corner of the food. This will allow you to cook multiple dishes without any hassle.

  • Flexibility in Cooking

The saucepan is a versatile piece that is a must-buy for your kitchen. In addition to preparing sauces, it will allow you to prepare pasta, stews, soups and other liquid-based recipes.

  • Offer in Multiple Sizes

Saucepans come in a variety of sizes, so you can choose one that suits your cooking needs. Plus, you’ll go with a set of saucepans, which will be affordable and come under your budget.

What are the Drawbacks of a Saucepan?

In addition to benefits, a saucepan has some disadvantages. These include:

  • Limited Food Batches

Even though it has a larger pan size than a frying pan, but limits the amount of food or liquid. This is a perfect choice for those who are living alone or frequently preparing small batches of food.

  • Many risks of Burning

There’s a big risk with a saucepan that you could burn the ingredients that you cook. Heat distribution is both pros and cons of the pan, which increases the chances of burning the food. You need to watch what you prepare, stirring constantly.

  • Difficult to Clean

The make and shape of the pan require a lot of effort to clean weather cleaning manually or putting into the dishwasher.

  • Less Portable

If you buy newly designed pans with a hotplate handle on the front, it can be difficult to lift a saucepan at the time of serving. It can be weightier and there is a high chance of it falling.

Read This Also: Saucier Pan Vs. Saucepan: Pros & Cons

About Frying Pan Construction & Looks

Ceramic Frying Pan

In comparison, frying pans tend to be shallow, with the sides set at a slight angle. One of the most important properties of frying pans is their sloping edges. They are smaller than saucepans because their bottom makes them appear smaller, so even a large unit will look small.

These pans are generally wide starting at 30 cm, but their edges are very short, being only 2 to 4 cm high. Though they can be wider in the periphery, meaning more surface area is uncovered to heat.

These pans have a longer handle than a saucepan, and they do not come with a lid. Some frying pans rarely come with matching lids. But, it is difficult to cover the pan with a lid due to slanted sides. In the case of a larger unit, it may be possible to add a lid if needed.

Another way to distinguish a frying pan from a saucepan is to check out the handle. Commonly used frying pans will have just one long sized handle, while saucepans will have a short handle on each side for finer addition.

If you look at any of the pans separately after knowing about them, you will be able to differentiate between the two properly without any problem.

What are the Advantages of a Frying Skillet?

Like saucepans, frying pans also have a lot of advantages and disadvantages. Before buying, knowing about their pros and cons will determine if it is a good fit for your cooking tasks. First, let’s talk about the benefits.

  • In-rich Flavors and Taste

A frying pan is the only cookware that helps you to get more delicious dishes. The only reason behind these delicious flavours is their shallow base which enables the food to respire during frying, avoiding them from piling up in the base of the pan.

  • Faster Cooking

Compared to a saucepan, food cooks even faster in a frying pan. This is because the heat in the pan is distributed more evenly across the base, resulting in easier cooking over a low flame without sticking or taking too much time.

  • Versatility

This piece of cookware is extremely versatile compared to a saucepan. It can be used to prepare any food in fat, oil or butter. You can show off your cooking skills by preparing eggs, stir-fry vegetables, bacon, rice, or any other dish you love to cook the most since it helps you to cook a variety of dishes very easily.

  • Larger Size

The size of the frying pan is not only long but the base also has many more in comparison to the saucepan. The wider base and size makes it likely to cook larger batches of the meal than the saucepan. The starting size of the frying pan starts from 30 cm.

What are the Drawbacks of Frying Skillets?

Some of the major disadvantages of a frying pan are as follow:

  • Risk of Burning food

When working with a frying pan, you need to pay more attention as it gives even heat circulation. That does not mean that it will increase the chances of burning the food. When it comes to cooking on low flame in a frying pan, you have to keep a constant watch on your food which can cause the food to burn.

  • Required Cooking Oil

Cooking in a simple or traditional frying pan requires oil. Otherwise, your food will start sticking to the pan, irrespective of the flame it is being cooked on.

Difficult to Clean

As we have mentioned, cooking in a traditional frying pan is impossible without cooking oil, so it should be cleaned thoroughly before and after every use since the oil come in touch with the base. You also need to hand wash it to completely remove the oil before placing it in the dishwasher, resulting in a double effort at cleaning.

  • Less Versatile

Because of the shallowing nature of this pan, they aren’t ideal for preparing liquid-based food like sauces. They are only suitable for even browning and fast cooking food items.

Difference based on Material

Saucepans are usually made of stainless steel, aluminium, or a combination. Aluminium is a good source of heat conductor and is resistant to rust and corrosion. Like aluminium, stainless has the same qualities, the only additional feature is dishwasher safe and induction ready. Anodized Aluminium is also a good option since it is dent and scratch resistant, also creating great heat conduction.

A frying pan is available in almost every material, but it will provide a nonstick coating, which prevents food from sticking to the surface. The most popular frying pan options include a pan made of cast iron but it requires a little seasoning throughout some use.

Bottom Line:

If you think about investing in either of the two, you should know which suits your preference and cooking needs. That does not mean that you should ignore the other one maybe that can become your companion in many dishes.

Other Pans Comparison:

Copper Pan Vs Titanium Pan Square Pans Vs Round Pans
Red Copper Pan Vs Gotham Steel Pan Dark Pans Vs Light Pans
Cast Iron Pans Vs Nonstick Pans Stainless Steel Pans Vs Nonstick Pans
Regular Nonstick Pan Vs Titanium Ceramic Pan Vs Stone Pan
Red Copper Pan Vs Copper Chef Pan Bundt Pan Vs Loaf Pan
Baking Pan Vs Baking Sheet Seasoned Vs Unseasoned Cast Iron Skillet
Jelly Roll Pan Vs Baking Pan Skillet Vs Frying Pan
Glass Vs Metal Baking Pan Porcelain Vs Ceramic Cookware
Copper Vs Stainless Pans Braising Pan Vs Dutch Oven
Dutch Oven Vs Roasting Pan Shallow Vs Deep Baking Pan
Roasting Pan Vs Baking Pan Tube Pan Vs Bundt Pan
Carbon Steel Pan Vs Stainless Steel Pan Saucier Pan Vs Saucepan
Ceramic Vs Teflon Frying Pans

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