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What are the differences between a skillet and a saute pan?

Though many cooks freely substitute one for the other, each pan is designed with specific functions in mind.

A skillet's sloping side allows you to turn and remove food such as scrambled eggs more easily. In contrast, the comparatively high, vertical wall of a saute pan interferes with these cooking tasks. The rationale behind its construction is different: The design is meant to reduce the amount of oil that splatters beyond the saute pan's rim when, for instance, the cook pan-fries chicken.

The sides of a saute pan, incidentally, should not measure more than 2 1/2 inches. Higher walls cause excess steam to build up in the pan as gaseous water molecules are released by the frying foods. Moreover, some of the imprisoned steam molecules then con-dense and fall into the oil, needlessly causing extra splatter and lowering the oil's temperature at the same time.

12:58:33 on 02/28/07 by Webmaster - Quick Cooking Tips -

What makes a pan wrap?

A metal will not shatter like glass, partially because it has a higher heat-flow efficiency, but chiefly because it has a sturdier intermolecular structure. Metal does, nonetheless, warp for the same reason that glass cracks: structural stress caused by a sudden and significant change in the relative temperature of two closely situated areas of the cookware.

The metal of inexpensive metal pots and pans (except for the cast-iron variety) is typically thin-gauged, and that of higher-quality utensils is thick-gauged. The thicker a sheet of metal, the greater its structural strength, and therefore the less likely it is to warp. Since warped cookware conducts heat unevenly, cheap pots are seldom a bargain.

01:08:25 on 02/28/07 by Webmaster - Questions and Answers -