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How Are Frying Pans Measured?

Frying pans come in different sizes and so, if you’re shopping for one, it is not just enough to know what type of pan you want. It is very important to know the specific size of frying pan you want to buy.

Although a smaller pan, say a 10-inch pan, can do the same tasks as a 12-inch one, they can’t always be used interchangeably. So, if you’re looking for a frying pan but don’t know which shape or size to choose, don’t panic.

In this guide, we’ll give you a complete lowdown on how to measure a frying pan so that you can choose the best one for your cooking needs.

How To Measure A Frying Pan?

Round-Shaped Frying Pans

Measuring a frying pan is fairly straightforward and for this, you either need a long ruler or measuring tape. When measuring a round frying pan, the important thing to consider is the diameter of its inner circle.

To know how much space is in the frying pan, measure from one end of the top rim to the other, passing exactly through the center. Remember not to measure the outer ends of the pan.

Square-Shaped Frying Pans

You need to use the same method as above when measuring square-shaped pans too.

square frying pan

But in this case, you must measure 2 points, i.e., across the longest point of the center and the other longest point so that it forms a cross. Then, multiply the two measurements i.e., 32 cm x 32 cm.

Oval-Shaped Frying Pans

It can be tricky to measure oval-shaped pans. Begin by measuring the center (widest part) and across the center of the shorter side.

If the longer side of the oval frying pan is 36 cm and the shorter side is 22 cm, then the measurement of the pan will be 32 cm x 22 cm.

Height Of The Frying Pan

To measure the height of the frying pan, there is no need to consider the handles and lids. The height of the pan is essentially the height of the outer edge from the upper edge of the pan perpendicular to the contact surface.

The internal height of the pan i.e., the height from the edge to the frying surface is determined by subtracting the thickness of the bottom from the overall height measured earlier.

What Is the Best Size Of Pan To Have In Your Kitchen?

The size of the frying pan to have in your kitchen is subjective and depends on your kind of cooking. But in general, it is best to have both a 10-inch, as well as a 12-inch frying pan in your home kitchen.

cooking fried eggs in a round frying pan

10-inch pans are best for searing meats, cooking eggs, sautéing veggies, caramelizing onions, etc. A 12-inch frying pan, on the other hand, is good to have if you want to brown chops, ribs, stews, etc.


Should Frying Pans Be Measured From The Bottom Or Top?

Generally, frying pans are measured across the top surface because it allows you to understand how much cooking surface is available. The pan is usually labeled 10 inches or 12 inches according to the central diameter.

So, to measure the size of your pan, simply place the pan facing upwards and place a measuring tape from the center to the other side.

What Is the Best Frying Pan Size For A Home Kitchen?

There is no standard rule for this and each home needs a different size frying pan depending on their cooking style and needs. Typically, 10-inch or 12-inch frying pans are best for most home kitchens.

If you’re cooking for 1-2 people, then a 10-inch frying pan will work well; however, if the cooking is for 3 or more persons, then a 12-inch pan is best.

cooking with a small round frying pan over a gas burner

If you have a large family, then getting a larger frying pan is a good idea as it will help to save time and effort when you need to cook for the entire family. And you can cook all the food at once instead of doing it in smaller batches.

Should Your Frying Pan Be Smaller Or Larger Than The Stove Burner?

If the frying pan is smaller than your burner, it can get very hot, which can be dangerous when handling it. 

On the other hand, if the pan is larger than the stove, it will not sit properly on the small burner and the risk of the food getting burned is higher. So, look for an optimal size frying pan that is not smaller or bigger than 2 inches from the stove.

How Are Frying Pans Measured: Summing Up

In conclusion, measuring the size of a frying pan is very simple. And, we hope with the detailed instructions discussed in our article, you can determine the size of the frying pan that will suit your cooking style the best.

Chef Matty
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