Skillet / frying-pan / griddle-pan

_priS

Member
Italian
Hi! I'm talking about kitchenware..
Do you normally use the word skillet? Or do you prefer frying pan (or other ones?)? Is there any difference between the two of them?
Thanks
 
  • languageGuy

    Senior Member
    USA and English
    We use both words in the US. I think frying pans are more heavy duty, larger, with perpenticular sides. They can hold a lot of oil for frying. Skillets are lighter with sloping sides. They are good for omlets. (This is how it works in my head any way.)
     

    panjandrum

    Occasional Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Skillet is not a term I use.
    If you came into my kitchen and asked for a skillet I would open the cupboard and watch to see what you picked out.
    I can't even be sure that I own one, despite the array of cooking utensils that have accumulated over the years.
    I have many frying pans.
     

    _priS

    Member
    Italian
    Thanks a lot everyone!
    But I'm wondering why you know and use this term, while panjandrum doesn't. =O
    Maybe it's not a word used everywhere...could it be?
     

    panjandrum

    Occasional Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Cuchu's implements are still frying pans to me.

    I wonder which of THESE would be called skillets elsewhere?
    (Alternative VIEW)

    A little bit of background might help explain this. Northern Ireland is famous for enjoying fried food. The Ulster Fry (that's a very prissy version) is cooked in a frying pan - I mean the term used for whatever it is cooked in is "the pan" - so there is a strong cultural bias here in favour of any of those implements being called a frying pan.
     

    Nunty

    Modified
    Hebrew-US English (bilingual)
    :D
    Now that is dedication to the WR cause. I wonder what Mrs. Panj thought while she watched her husband pull all the frying pans out of the kitchen...

    I think I would call most of these either frying pans or skillets, but not the fourth from the left or the two at the right.

    For me "cast iron" demands "skillet"; I would never say "a cast iron frying pan". On the other hand, I think I could comfortably say "skillet" whenever I say "frying pan".
     

    panjandrum

    Occasional Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    I've been thinking about skillets ever since (and MrsP hasn't come home yet so will never know that the pans spent the morning sitting on the bench outside).

    With Nun-T's point about cast iron in mind, and calling to mind restaurant menus, I think a skillet, for me, is a cast iron pan with an integral handle. The kind of thing that you stick in the oven or directly under the heat as necessary. The kind of thing that you keep forgetting does not have an insulated handle.

    I have skillet scars.

    Our last skillet went in the bin.
     

    cuchuflete

    Senior Member
    EEUU-inglés
    Panj has hit on the essential AE<>IrishE distinctions:

    I think a skillet, for me, is a cast iron pan with an integral handle. :tick:

    The kind of thing that you stick in the oven or directly under the heat as necessary. :tick:
    The kind of thing that you stick in the oven or directly over or under the heat as necessary. AE



    The kind of thing that you keep forgetting does not have an insulated handle. IrishE or PanjE :)


    The kind of thing that you don't keep forgetting does not have an insulated handle. AE
     

    Æsop

    Banned
    English--American (upstate NY)
    Skillet and frying pan are just regional terms for the same thing. In parts of the U.S., the term for this cooking utensil is (or at least used to be) spider. It's like bag/sack/poke or soda/pop/tonic.
     

    sound shift

    Senior Member
    English - England
    For the important business of frying (though not as yet for the production of the X-rated Ulster Fry) I've got (BE, non-PanjE) various pans, of various sizes and with handles made of various materials, and I don't refer to any of them as a skillet. I call them all frying pans.

    Another AE-BE distinction rears its ugly head?

    (Next week: the grilling vs broiling debate. Perhaps.)
     

    Æsop

    Banned
    English--American (upstate NY)
    For the important business of frying I've got (BE, non-PanjE) various pans, of various sizes and with handles made of various materials, and I don't refer to any of them as a skillet. I call them all frying pans.

    Another AE-BE distinction rears its ugly head?
    No. Skillet and frying pan are used in different parts of the U.S. I grew up in frying pan country but know what a skillet is, either from reading about them or from hearing the term on TV or from people from other parts of the country. Perhaps frying pan is Northeastern and Western, while skillet is Midwestern and Southern. This is the sort of thing that dialect atlases plot.

    << Please do not include off-topic comments in your posts. Such comments lead to threads with multiple topics. >>
     
    Last edited by a moderator:

    sound shift

    Senior Member
    English - England
    No. Skillet and frying pan are used in different parts of the U.S. I grew up in frying pan country but know what a skillet is, either from reading about them or from hearing the term on TV or from people from other parts of the country. Perhaps frying pan is Northeastern and Western, while skillet is Midwestern and Southern. This is the sort of thing that dialect atlases plot.
    Well, it would be an AE-BE difference of sorts if it turned out that "skillet" is not used anywhere in the BE zone.
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    Just to add...

    All of panj's pans would be frying pans to me. Except the middle one - the square one with ridges.

    That's a griddle pan:D
     

    cuchuflete

    Senior Member
    EEUU-inglés
    Drifting on the thin edge of off-topicality...

    A griddle pan may also be a griddle, or a griddle skillet in AE.

    Directly on-topic- The person who suggested that skillet is midwestern and southern doesn't seem acquainted with Maryland, Pennsylvania, New York, and the New England states. I've lived in all of these, and heard cast iron pans called skillets by local folk.
     

    cycloneviv

    Senior Member
    English - Australia
    I have always understood "skillet" to be largely, if not exclusively, an AE term. "Frying pan" is used for all types of pans here, although you do see labels such as "French skillet" on imported cooking utensils so perhaps that will change/is in the process of changing.
     

    cuchuflete

    Senior Member
    EEUU-inglés
    If the Online Etymology Dictionary is correct, and skillet has been known to English since 1403, then it is apt to be one of that large collection of words that BE has recently neglected, while AE maintains it in common use.

    Give me that skillet then ; and, if I'm true,
    I dearly earn it for the «oik I do."
    They 'greed ; they parted. On the tinker goes,
    With the same stroke of pan, and twang of nose,
    William King
    in...
    The Works of the English Poets, from Chaucer to Cowper: Including the Series Edited with Prefaces, Biographical and Critical
    By Alexander Chalmers, Samuel Johnson
    Vol. IX
    London
    Published by J. Johnson, 1810
     
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    panjandrum

    Occasional Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Give me that skillet then ; and, if I'm true,
    I dearly earn it for the «oik I do."
    They 'greed ; they parted. On the tinker goes,
    With the same stroke of pan, and twang of nose,
    The tinker was departing in a state of panic (stroke of Pan), not lovingly stroking his no doubt hard-earned skillet/frying pan.
     

    Mr Bones

    Senior Member
    España - Español
    Hello, friends. I just wanted to ask if there is any difference between a frying pan and a skillet and if one of these terms are more BE or AE, as well.

    Thanks a lot. Mr Bones.
     

    MichaelW

    Senior Member
    English (British)
    They mean the same thing, but I would (BE) think of a skillet as being heavier and maybe smaller than a frying pan, often cast as a single piece of iron and with a thick bottom.
     

    entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    For me (BE), a frying pan is the everyday thing we cook with now. I recognize frypan and skillet as more or less synonyms, but there might be dialect differences I don't know about. In stories about the past, I would expect to read about skillets.
     

    ewie

    Senior Member
    English English
    Hello Mr.B. I've added your thread to the end of the previous thread supplied by Tom, to avoid too much thread duplication. Don't forget to use the handy Search function to see if a question's been asked before:)

    ~ewie, moderator
     

    natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    Here's another difference: Restaurant dishes are sometimes served sizzling in a skillet, but rarely if ever in a "frying pan", at least in my (AmE) experience.
    I've never seen restaurants serving food in a pan (with a handle), but I've had food served in a hot cast-iron dish and these are normally called 'hot plates'.

    Just to add...

    All of panj's pans would be frying pans to me. Except the middle one - the square one with ridges.

    That's a griddle pan:D
    Yes, 'skillet' is not a word I use. They are all (frying) pans. The griddle pan is also known as a grill pan.
     

    Forero

    Senior Member
    USA English
    I call all of the things in Panj's picture skillets, except the griddle pan, since they are just modernized versions of the old-fashioned single-piece ones I grew up with. (I don't forget about the handle, but when my brother made Bakelite we unsuccessfully tried to make it stick on a skillet handle.)

    But I have never heard "out of the frying pan into the fire" any other way.

    When I read this thread, I keep hearing this little pentatonic song:

    Put on the skillet, slip on the led (i.e. lid),
    Mama's gonna make you some sho'tnin' bread.
    That ain't all she's gonna do,
    Mama's gonna make a little coffee too.

    I saw a dialect map of this many years ago and researched the spider, since it seemed an odd thing to call a cooking implement. It turns out that the first "spiders" had legs and were used in fireplaces.
     
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