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Old 01-08-2008, 11:20 AM   #1
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Saute pan or skillet

I'm looking to replace all of my old pots and pans. I figured a saute pan or skillet would be the first piece I purchase. I understand the differences in shapes between the two, but I'm not sure which one to purchase? Is it a matter of personal preference, or do each serve different purposes in the kitchen?

Does it make sense to buy one of each? Also what size would you buy if you are typically cooking for 3?

Thanks.

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Old 01-08-2008, 11:52 AM   #2
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Hi, jstarr

I joined this site last year when I started looking for replacement pots and pans, as it looks you have. I prefer a saute pan if I'm cooking something that splatters a lot because it has higher sides. It also has a lid that fits, whereas a skillet you have to make do. Last weekend I cooked some sausage, hamburger, various veggies, and added some spagetti sauce all in the same pan, my saute pan. I grab it when I don't know exactly how much stuff I'll be adding or if I may want to cover it a while while cooking.
I'll still grab a skillet for certain things and have three of those (2 SS and 1 nonstick). Lighter, easier to flip stuff, they don't have helper handles. They're just a smaller beast and sometimes I'd rather use a skillet, even for pork chops, which do tend to splatter.

That said, a few months ago I still thought I needed an inbetween pan and picked up a nonstick, wok type pan with a lid. It has it special uses, too, but it doesn't have the flat surface area of the others, so I wouldn't grab it if I was going to cook 4-5 pork chops or something I wanted to make a gravy from.

That's my thoughts anyway!

edited to say my 12" skillet does have a helper handle
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Old 01-08-2008, 12:06 PM   #3
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I use both very often.

Saute pans are usually measured in quarts and a 3 quart one would be a reasonable size. A 12 inch skillet.
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Old 01-08-2008, 12:12 PM   #4
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Welcome to DC JStarr!

Personal preference for me would be the Saute pan first.......the skillet later. Both are useful!

Have Fun!
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Old 01-08-2008, 12:23 PM   #5
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Welcome to DC!

I have both, I use both for different purposes. As has been previously stated, you can use a saute pan as a skillet, but not so much a skillet as a saute pan... and the lid that fits is more than helpful. I'd buy the saute pan first. at least a 3-quart. I use my 5 and 5 1/2 quart ones tons!
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Old 01-08-2008, 12:31 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChefJune View Post
Welcome to DC!

I have both, I use both for different purposes. As has been previously stated, you can use a saute pan as a skillet, but not so much a skillet as a saute pan... and the lid that fits is more than helpful. I'd buy the saute pan first. at least a 3-quart. I use my 5 and 5 1/2 quart ones tons!
I think it's the 3 quart that I use most but I also have a much larger one that I don't use as much.
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Old 01-08-2008, 01:23 PM   #7
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Wow. I'm very impressed by the quick and thoughtful replies. Would a 3 quart saute be big enough when cooking for 3 people?
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Old 01-08-2008, 01:31 PM   #8
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I think you will find the 3 qt. will fit the bill nicely when cooking for 3 or more on most recipes! Mine is 10 1/2" X 2" deep. (3 quart) I use it often!
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Old 01-08-2008, 01:35 PM   #9
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I vote for the saute pan as well. With its straight sides, flat bottom and cover, it is much more versatile than a skillet.
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Old 01-08-2008, 01:43 PM   #10
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What do you guys think of Gourmet Standards SS saute?
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