Compare any two skillets from different brands—be they antiques, modern pans, or from boutique cast iron makers—and you’re sure to notice a few differences. Shape, color, seasoned or unseasoned, the list goes on and on. But one of the most difficult details to work out among the brands is the actual size of the pans they produce. Some skillets feature numbers on the handles or the back, some have no markings at all, and others even differentiate their skillets with letters rather than numerals. But these identifiers don’t always mean what you might expect.

When it comes down to it, all these pans have the same purpose: To help you cook a delicious meal. But how do you know which pan to use with which recipe? Is a number 10 Griswold the same as a Lodge Manufacturing 10-inch skillet? How do you know if your pan is the appropriate depth for that skillet cookie? All the recipes in our magazine are tested with and call for specific pan sizes because the right size cooking vessel makes all the difference in the success or failure of a dish. That’s why we’ve created this skillet sizing guide—so no matter which company made your pan or what words, letters, or numbers are imprinted in its finish, you’ll be ready to try new cast iron recipes with confidence.

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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