What is the difference between a pan and pot?(with pictures)

Pan and pot are some important part of cooking. Many people think that they function in the same. If you are curious about whether you can use them interchangeably or not, you are at the right place. Here we would like to discuss about what is the difference between a pan and pot .In order to get the exact information, please scroll through the article!

What is pan?

Pans refer to a kitchen cookware that has relatively shallow depth with lower sides. Generally, the height of the sides of a pan range from one to two inches. Pans have sides that may either curve or slope at an angle. It can also be fashioned in a straight manner. Its single long handle is also something that helps to mark it as a pan

What is pot?

A pot is a type of kitchen cookware that has a deep bottom and high sides. They are normally circular based with the sides shooting straight up. This design is suitable to hold larger quantities of food. Pots typically have smaller handles .These handles are located on opposite sides for support and easier carrying.

What is the difference between a pot and a pan?

What is the difference between a pot and a pan

Sometimes you may use a pot and pan in the same way in your kitchen, but to be honest, there are many differences between these two. Because of their names tend to be confusing e would like to focus on how they differ from each other. The differences can be based on these four factors:

·          Other Attachments

·          Material

·          Their use

·          Appearance

Based on Attachments

The pots generally have more attachments than the pan. As pan does not have enough spaces to fit the more attachments, they do not come with many attachments. The attachments of pot may include steamers, pasta inserters, double boiler attachments etc.

Based on Material Used

A lot of time pot and pan both can be made from the same material. But the combinations from material may be different. For example, pots are made from stainless steel or aluminum. In the same way, pans are also made from this material. But some made out cut of cast iron have to be done for better flavor.

Based on the Usage:

Cooking in a pot involves liquid substances. So it is suitable for stew, soup etc. A pot helps to allow the heat to move all around the side. In case of a pan it is best for stirring and sautéing as it is shallow. So for making pan cake, crepes, eggs etc a pan is the correct choice.

Based on Appearance

The pots are generally cylindrical in shape. They may have different diameter but it’s usually quite high. The sides of the pan are quite slant. It has two handles and possibly a lid. On the other hand, the diameter of the side of a pan is relatively lower. It may extend to one inch or two. Unlike pot, the sides of a pan are totally straight. Besides this, Pan only has one handle.

How Do Chefs Use a Pot and Pan Differently?

If you are a newbie to the kitchen you may use these according to your wishes. But for a professional chef it is an important factor as they are very keen about every little detail.

For any liquids a chef will use a pot. This can include boiling pasta water or making some soups .Since the pots have higher sides, it allows the heat to spread evenly all around the liquids. As a result the liquids boil not only from the bottom heat but also from heat from all around the pot. Chefs tend to use pan when they have to fry foods. It allows a thinner layer of food to cook quickly and evenly.

When a pan becomes a pot?

One of the most important differences between a pan and pot is their height. In previous sections, we said that pans are shallow and they got fewer diameters in height. So, if you ever buy a pan that has a height over 4 inches, you actually got a pot. You cannot call it a pan. You can also check the angle of a side. Pans are normally more curbed than the pots. If a pan is deep enough to boil your foods, then it’s a pot!

Can I use a pot Instead of a Pan?

We can consider a pot as a pan, but we cannot call a pan as a pot. So for the use of a pan we can choose either pan or a pot. But it is not the case for a pot.

Saucepan is a good example of this discussion. In the next section, we will ponder over this.

Saucepan: A Pot or Pan???

From its name it seems like a sauce pan is a pan. But if we consider how it looks it has high sides which are a characteristic of a pot .So people get confused about what a saucepan actually is! The answer to the confusion is it is both. We can use it however we want. It is easily interchangeable. But it has the best result when we use it as a pan to reduce sauces.

Pot or Pan: which is safer for health?

Generally we can’t say which one is better for healthier cooking. It is all about materiel of the cookware.

But the saucepan made out of cast iron is not a good option for acidic foods. It happens because cast iron starts to reactivate, when it comes closer to acid. Aluminum also tends to react with some foods. So it is better if we use the cookware that has material which does not reactivate with foods.


So after discussing about both the pan and the pot, we can say that, they are two different cookware. You should choose what to buy according to your needs. But sometime they may replace each other.

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