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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 -