DEPTH: HOW DEEP IS DEEP ENOUGH?

Depth is another key measurement to know for cooking with your favorite skillet. It’s less important for things like searing a steak or roasting vegetables, but when it comes to baking, frying, and even sautéing, the depth of a pan is a key player in recipe success or failure. To measure your pan, place the base of a ruler at the inside base of the pan and hold it up to the sides. Never measure depth from outside the pan, as a thicker base could give the appearance of more depth than is actually available for cooking.

In most cases, standard skillets are about 2 inches deep. This size is high enough to keep cake and cornbread batter from spilling over the sides but not so high that a spatula has a hard time getting into the edges of the pan. This size is also appropriate for shallow frying. But when you want to heat more than an inch of oil, you need a skillet that is 3 to 4 inches deep to safely cook and fry. If you want to deep fry, a Dutch oven is your best bet.

4 COMMENTS

    • Depending on the age of the skillet, the number may refer to the size of the woodburning stove “eye.” From https://www.castironcollector.com/numbers.php :

      “Often, the assumption is erroneously made that the large numeral, found normally either on the top of the handle or on the bottom of a piece, indicates its diameter in inches. A measurement of both the top and the bottom rim of a pan, however, will quickly confirm that the number has no direct correlation to either dimension.

  1. (Cast Iron Skillet Pan, 15 Inch)
    Skillet is great. Only downside is it wasn’t properly seasoned. But after a few coats with canola oil and after a few times cooking with it, it’s seasoned perfectly now.

    I took it camping and cooked bacon and eggs over the fire… worked like a charm!

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