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What is a pot, and what is a pan?

Pots are deeper, with straight up sides, for liquids. Pans are shallower, and may have sloped-out or curved sides.

Some say a pot should have two handles, and a pan only one, a longer one. In practice, most pots have one long handle.

Pots are for liquids; pans are for solid ingredients.

Pots often get called pans, but pans are almost never called pots. A saucepan is technically a sauce pot, but you would never refer to a frying pot.

A chip pan is actually a chip pot.

A wok is a pan.

Of course, all guidelines go out the window with Dutch ovens and large soup kettles.

The role of cooking pans is to contain food over heat, and deliver heat from the outside heat source -- burner or oven -- to the food inside.

See also:


Aebleskiver Pans; Appachatti Pans; Appakarai Pans; Broiling Pans; Cast Iron; Chafing Dish; Crêpe Pans; Electric Frying Pans; French Roasting Pans; Frying Pans; Kanom Krok Pans; Meatloaf Pans; Non-Reactive Pans; Non-Stick Pans; Omelet Pans; Paella Pans; Pans; Quiche Pans; Roasting Pans; Sauté Pans; Self-Basting Roasters; Spiders; Wok

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Oulton, Randal. "Pans." CooksInfo.com. Published 29 September 2010; revised 29 September 2010. Web. Accessed 05/22/2018. <http://www.cooksinfo.com/pans>.

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