What Is a Large Skillet?

Mary M. Saucedo

As a professional copywriting journalist, I often talk about cooking, and one of the most versatile cookware that I have come across is the large skillet. A large skillet is typically wider than a frying pan, and its sides are higher, allowing for more cooking space and versatility. Skillets are made from different materials, including cast iron, stainless steel, and non-stick coatings, which affect its size and weight.

Large skillets come in various sizes, but generally, they measure 12 inches and above in diameter. The size difference is not just about the cooking space. Instead, a larger skillet allows for a broader range of cooking techniques like deep-frying, stir-frying, and even baking.

Key Takeaways

  • A large skillet is a versatile cookware that offers more cooking space and cooking technique options than traditional frying pans.
  • A large skillet typically measures 12 inches and above in diameter and is available in different materials, including cast iron, stainless steel, and non-stick coatings.

Types of Skillets and Choosing the Right One

Skillets come in various materials, including cast iron, non-stick, and stainless steel. Each has its unique features and benefits. When choosing a skillet, consider the type of food you’ll be cooking, how much you’ll be cooking, and your cooking style.

Cast Iron Skillets

Cast iron skillets are a popular choice among culinary experts. They’re versatile and can be used on any stovetop, including induction cooktops and ovens. Cast iron skillets retain heat well, distributing it evenly throughout the cooking surface. Plus, they’re durable and can last for generations if properly maintained. However, cast iron skillets are heavy and require seasoning to prevent rust and maintain their non-stick surface.

Non-Stick Skillets

Non-stick skillets are perfect for cooking delicate food items like eggs, fish, and pancakes. They’re easy to use and clean and require less oil for cooking. Non-stick skillets are lightweight and typically come at an affordable price point. However, non-stick skillets don’t retain heat as well as cast iron or stainless steel skillets, and their non-stick coating may wear off over time.

Stainless Steel Skillets

Stainless steel skillets are durable, easy to clean, and don’t require seasoning. They’re perfect for searing and sautéing food items and are suitable for use on any stovetop, including induction cooktops. Stainless steel skillets are lightweight and maintain their shiny appearance even after prolonged use. However, stainless steel skillets may not distribute heat evenly and require a higher level of cooking expertise to use effectively.

When choosing a skillet, consider your cooking needs and budget. A cast iron skillet is an excellent investment for those who enjoy a wide variety of cooking techniques. For those seeking a quick and easy cooking experience, a non-stick skillet is a great option. If you’re a fan of searing and sautéing food items, a stainless steel skillet is the way to go.

Benefits of Using a Large Skillet

Using a large skillet in your cooking can offer various benefits. Not only does it increase the cooking surface area, but it also allows for the even distribution of heat, making it ideal for various cooking techniques.

One of the main advantages of using a large skillet is for stir-frying. The size allows for tossing and turning ingredients easily, ensuring even cooking and a crispy texture. The high sides of the skillet also prevent ingredients from spilling over, making it a convenient choice for preparing large meals.

Sautéing is another cooking technique that benefits from a large skillet. The larger surface area allows for more ingredients to be added at once, ensuring even browning and cooking. The heat distribution is also ideal for creating sauces and gravies in the same pan.

A large skillet is also a great option for deep-frying. The depth of the skillet is ideal for holding a considerable amount of oil, allowing for easy frying of chicken, fish, or other foods. The size enables the oil to maintain its temperature, ensuring crispy and evenly cooked results.

The versatility of a large skillet means it can be used for various recipes. From cooking breakfast items like eggs and bacon to preparing one-pan dinners, a large skillet can handle it all.

Overall, a large skillet can enhance your cooking experience in many ways. Its size and heat distribution allow for various cooking techniques, making it a useful addition to your cookware collection.

Features and Functions of a Large Skillet

When it comes to choosing the right skillet, size is just one factor to consider. A large skillet boasts several features and functions that set it apart from other cookware options. Here are some of the key features to look for when purchasing a large skillet:

Feature Function
Heat Distribution Quality large skillets should distribute heat evenly across the cooking surface, allowing for consistent cooking and preventing hotspots.
Handle Design A comfortable, ergonomic handle is essential for safe and easy handling of a large skillet. Look for a handle that stays cool to the touch on the stovetop and has a secure grip.
Oven-Safe Capabilities If you plan on using your large skillet in the oven, make sure it is oven-safe. Some skillets can withstand high temperatures of up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit, while others may have lower maximum temperatures.
Cleaning Ease Some large skillets come with non-stick coatings that make for easy cleaning after use. However, these coatings may wear off over time, so it’s important to follow care instructions to ensure longevity.

Another feature to consider when choosing a large skillet is the material it is made from. Cast iron skillets are durable and retain heat well, but require seasoning and can be heavy. Stainless steel skillets are lighter and easier to clean, but may not retain heat as well. Non-stick skillets offer easy cleaning and require less oil for cooking, but should not be used with metal utensils.

Overall, a large skillet is a versatile and essential tool for any home cook, as it can be used for a wide range of recipes and cooking techniques. When choosing a large skillet, consider its features and functions, as well as your personal cooking needs and preferences.


In conclusion, owning a large skillet can greatly enhance your cooking experience and expand the range of dishes you can prepare. Whether you’re stir-frying vegetables, searing a steak, or deep-frying chicken, a large skillet provides ample space and even heat distribution to achieve delicious results.

Throughout this article, I’ve discussed the definition of a large skillet and highlighted the different types available on the market, along with a buying guide to assist you in choosing the right one. We’ve also explored the benefits of using a large skillet and the unique features that distinguish it from other cookware options.

So don’t be afraid to experiment with your large skillet and try out new recipes. With its versatility and reliability, it’s a valuable addition to any kitchen. Happy cooking!


Q: What is a large skillet?

A: A large skillet is a type of cookware that is used for frying, sautéing, and other cooking techniques. It is typically larger in size compared to regular pans and has a flat bottom and flared sides.

Q: What size is considered a large skillet?

A: The size of a large skillet can vary, but it is generally considered to be around 12 to 14 inches in diameter. However, skillet sizes can range from 10 inches to 16 inches or more depending on the brand and style.

Q: What are the main characteristics of a skillet?

A: Skillets are typically made of materials like cast iron, stainless steel, or have a non-stick coating. They have a long handle for easy maneuverability and often come with a lid. Skillets are versatile and can be used for a wide range of cooking tasks.

Q: How do I choose the right skillet for my needs?

A: When choosing a skillet, consider the material, size, and type of handle that suits your cooking preferences. Cast iron skillets are known for their excellent heat retention, while stainless steel skillets offer durability. Non-stick skillets are easier to clean. Assess your cooking style and needs to make an informed decision.

Q: What are the benefits of using a large skillet?

A: Using a large skillet provides several benefits. The size allows for cooking larger quantities of food, making it ideal for family meals or entertaining guests. The wide cooking surface makes it easier to toss and stir ingredients. Additionally, the large skillet’s versatility allows for various cooking techniques and recipes.

Q: What features should I look for in a large skillet?

A: When purchasing a large skillet, consider features such as even heat distribution, a comfortable handle design for easy grip, and the skillet’s oven-safe capabilities. Other features to look out for include a non-stick coating, compatibility with different cooktops, and easy maintenance.

Mary M. Saucedo
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