Sauté Pan vs. Fry Pan – What are the Differences?

Sauté Pan vs Fry Pan: When the fire was discovered, people learned how to cook food. They used leaves and clays to hold food while cooking. Over time, different cooking materials were evolved, and containers were discovered to replace these leaves and clays.

Saute Pan VS Fry Pan

These days, we’re using different types of modern cookware, including sauté pans and fry pans, but each has its own cooking purpose. If you want to use either a sauté pan or a fry pan for a particular recipe, you must know the differences between these pans.

For your information, a sauté pan comes with a heavy-gauge material and a sturdy bottom to allow high heat cooking. On the other hand, a fry pan is also made of durable material, but it’s mainly used for quick-frying meats, fish, eggs, and vegetables.

When it comes to measuring the shape, sauté pans usually come with straight sides for braising delicious meals. In contrast, fry pans have sloping sides for flipping the food ingredients easily while frying a wide variety of dishes.

What Is the Difference Between a Fry Pan and a Saute Pan?

When it comes to the main difference between a Saute Pan and a Fry Pan, the shape of these two cookwares differ from each other. More specifically, a saute pan usually has straight sides, while a fry pan typically has slanted sides.

Regardless of these differences, these pans don’t agree with each other on certain things, such as coating, dimensions, handle, lid, and many more. So, let’s see how these two pans differentiate in those essential factors below.

What is a Sauté Pan?

A sauté pan (‘Sauté’ is originated from the French word ‘Sauter’) is a piece of cookware that can cook a larger volume of ingredients at a time. It usually comes with a lid, allowing you to toss ingredients to and fro in the air when the lid is not in use.

Sauté Pan

Besides, this pan can be used for high heat cooking with fat or oil. In this way, ingredients are brown with a nice crispy crust. You can braise your favorite food with the help of a lid trapping heat and moisture inside the pan.


  • Comes with ample room for ingredients
  • Heats up as quickly as possible
  • Can be used in high heat cooking


  • A bit heavyweight
  • Doesn't remain hot as long

What is Fry Pan?

A fry pan is a piece of cookware designed with a flat bottom and sloping sides for browning, frying, and searing a wide variety of food. It usually comes with 20-30 centimeters in diameter, comparatively low sides than a skillet or a sauté pan, a long handle, and no lid.

Fry Pan

While cooking, a fry pan performs a jump-flip action suitable for frying different ingredients quickly and evenly. Besides, some larger fry pans have a small helper handle on the opposite of the main one so that you can easily carry them.


  • Relatively lightweight
  • Holds heat longer
  • Ensure even cooking


  • Heats up slowly
  • Less cooking area due to sloped sides

Sauté Pan vs Fry Pan – Some Key Differences?

Sauté Pan vs Fry Pan

If you want to know the differences between sauté pans and fry pans, you must carefully look at both pans' features. Here we're going to show you the comparison between the two in terms of construction, shape, handle, cooking versatility, and more.

Construction Material

A sauté pan is usually made of heavy-duty material to withstand high heat. It typically comes with a thick bottom so that it can heat up as quickly as possible. If you're looking for a sauté pan, it should be made of highly conductive materials, such as aluminum or copper.

On the other hand, a fry pan usually has a flat bottom but not as thick as the bottom of a sauté pan. Most of the time, top-quality frying pans are built with robust materials, such as carbon steel or stainless steel, so that they can be hot for a long time.

Cooking Versatility

As sauté and fry pans are different, they can be used for various versatile cooking methods. A sauté pan, for example, can help you cook shallow frying meat or vegetables. It also allows you to braise meat or fry the meat to make a crispy crust before placing it in the oven.

Nonetheless, a fry pan supports different cooking methods than those of a sauté pan. It can allow you to fry meat by stirring the ingredients. It also helps you fry crispy potatoes and vegetables by flipping them. You can instantly cook an egg in a fry pan.


When it comes to shape, a sauté pan usually has high, straight sides to help you braise delicious meals. However, a fry pan comes with low, sloping sides so that you can easily flip the ingredients while cooking.


Typically, top-quality sauté and fry pans feature long, riveted handles. However, the only difference is that a sauté pan features a helper handle opposite the main one. Unfortunately, a frying pan usually doesn't come with a helper handle.


A sauté pan is mainly used for cooking such foods that need to be locked with a lid. This is why almost every sauté pans include a lid in the package. On the contrary, a fry pan usually doesn't come with a lid because it cooks ingredients that need frequent flipping.


When it comes to coating, a sauté pan is usually used for high-temperature cooking. So, it doesn't have any coating. A frying pan is generally coated with a nonstick coating so that you can easily fry meat, fish, vegetables, etc.


Sauté pans are 8 to 12 inches in diameter. They can hold a lot of ingredients because they can have up to a 15-quart capacity. However, fry pans are not as big as sauté pans. They usually come in 7 to 14 inches in diameter but can be deep up to only-2 and 1/2 inches.


To sum up, a sauté pan should be made of aluminum or copper, while a frying pan should be built with carbon steel or stainless. Both pans come with a flat bottom and a long, riveted handle, but the frying pan usually doesn't come with a helper handle and a lid.

Now that you know the differences between the two pans, you should choose to fulfill your cooking requirements. Since each pan features different constructions and designs, you should opt for one that you need.

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