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When Does a Pan Become a Pot?

When does a pan become a pot? When it feels like it! In all seriousness, frying pan are characterized by its wide diameter and low sidewall. They are mostly meant to sear and saute food. Where as a pot is designed to hold a lot of liquid.

Height Differences Between a Pot and a Pan

A good rule of thumb when deciding if a pan is a pot is to look at its height. Most pans do not have sidewall that is higher than 3 inches. If you go pass that, what you will typically get is high walled saute pan. Pans that are generally 4 inch and above would be considered a pot.

Angle of the Sidewall

Another factor to consider is how the angle of the sidewall is like. Frying pan usually have a sidewall that is angled instead of straight up. The reason for this is to aid cooks in turning over food. A wall that is straight up will make it very difficult to move a spatula or fork under the food. To give you an idea, try searing a piece of food in a traditional saucepan. More than likely you would have to reach for a tong just to grab it. In a pan, you should be able to use a fork to flip the food.
Typically, most of the frying pans that I have tested, have a 2 inch reduction size from the top of the lip. Meaning the base diameter are usually 2 inch smaller than the top diameter of the pan. You can use this as a general guide for determining if it is a pot.

Height to Width Ratio

I like to use a ratio when determining if a pan is a pot. If the height of the pan is roughly 20-30% of the pans diameter, I would call it a pan. If the cookware height is around 50-80% of the diameter, I would consider that to be a pot.

When does a pan become a pot?

To summarize, here are some easy bullet point when considering whether a pan is a pot or not.
-If the cookware height is 3 inch or higher, those are usually pots.
-Angled sidewalls are usually meant for frying pan.
-A pot typically has 50-80% sidewall height of the diameter of the cookware.
If those three bullet point check out, you should be able to determine if it is a pot or a pan. I hope this was helpful, please let me know if you have any additional questions.

To find some of the best pots available today, click Here!

For my review of the best pots and pans, please visit the Pots and Pans Review page.

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