Cooking for two: 10" or 12" skillet?

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Trying to be healthier and eat more fish. Looking at enameled cast iron probably. What is your ideal pan size for cooking two portions (two separate filets) at once? Say you want to be able to sear first and then finish in the oven, and be able to deglaze and make a pan sauce afterward. 10" or 12"?
 
it's hard to say without knowing specifically which pans you might be looking at because a straight sided 10" is usually not much smaller than an aggressively tapered 12. that said, I find 10" to be too small even with straight walls. It happens there are 11" pans, which I have found to be a goldilocks size for me personally.

debuyer makes an 11" size for some of their stainless. for your described application, I would choose that.

staub makes an 11" straight sided ceramic coated cast iron, if you really want that material.
 
You know, I completely missed the part about the fish. But yea, if I had to only have one I’d choose the 12”. Say you’re cooking flounder filets for 2: it’s gonna take forever to cook enough batches in a 10” skillet, and depending on how slopy the sides are you may not even be able to fit a whole filet in.
 
Thanks for weighing in. You talking about this guy? De Buyer ALCHIMY 3-ply Stainless Steel 11" Frying Pan 3604.28:

https://www.webstaurantstore.com/de...tainless-steel-fry-pan-3604-28/904360428.html

that's the one. now personally I havent used that line but have heard good things about their stainless. I LOVE LOVE LOVE their carbon steel.

I think stainless is fine for fish personally. Put a lot of miles on All Clad D3 but no 11" option from them. My expectation would be the de buyer would be largely equivalent. Cooking fish in stainless requires a modicum of technique but not really that much. I never cooked a massive amount or variety of fish though, mostly skin on salmon or similar, so maybe we have some folks who cook lots want to weigh in on stainless vs the competition.
 
Cooking fish in stainless requires a modicum of technique but not really that much. I never cooked a massive amount or variety of fish though, mostly skin on salmon or similar.
Yeah it can get tricky when you don't have the nonstick qualities of seasoned carbon steel but I can't bring myself to deglaze a seasoned pan and I want a one stop shop for making pan sauces after cooking the protein.

Kinda curious about hexclad as a solution but I'm worried about falling victim to Big Kitchen™ marketing schemes 😖
 
Yeah it can get tricky when you don't have the nonstick qualities of seasoned carbon steel but I can't bring myself to deglaze a seasoned pan and I want a one stop shop for making pan sauces after cooking the protein.

Kinda curious about hexclad as a solution but I'm worried about falling victim to Big Kitchen™ marketing schemes 😖

I dont find it too bad, but Im also willing to cook with fat and just eat a smaller portion. Temperature control and a bit of fat as per usual with stainless.

I am unconvinced by Hexclad and reports from folks I know, plus the Chris Young youtube review, has me unwilling to buy it. And I'll buy (almost) anything just to try it 🤷‍♂️
 
10” should be plenty for 2 people. And if u plan cooking fish, get enameled cast iron.
 

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Yeah it can get tricky when you don't have the nonstick qualities of seasoned carbon steel but I can't bring myself to deglaze a seasoned pan and I want a one stop shop for making pan sauces after cooking the protein.

Kinda curious about hexclad as a solution but I'm worried about falling victim to Big Kitchen™ marketing schemes 😖

Tbh, I mostly use a 12” Tramontina nonstick when doing fish filets. 😱

If worried about fish sticking, just put a piece of parchment under the fish in the pan. Still crisps up nice.

Huh, really? Never thought of that.
 
I like my Staub All-Day pan for this, cooking area is slightly smaller than my 12" lodge since the sides are more sloped, but will fit 2 filets Or 4 chicken thighs nicely. I think their regular enameled skillets are cheaper if you don't want the added expense or dome lid etc, but after getting this I never use my All-Clads. Really is just a handy pan for everything. Measurements below but I don't think you're going to be happy with anything under 9.5-10" flat cooking area. I am always cooking for 2.


https://www.surlatable.com/staub-35...K3QwhrNqKRFRn0QtyRxoCsRIQAvD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds

Just checked side by side and:

Staub all day is 12" rim with 10" flat spot.

Lodge 12" skillet is 12" rim and 10.25" flat.

Lodge 10" skillet is 10" rim and 8" flat.

All Clad 3qt saute pan is a hair over 11.5" rim and 9.5" flat.


My 12" lodge is very well seasoned and has slightly superior food release to the Staubs, but I still like the enamel for fish in particular so I can clean with soap and be done with it, plus you can go buck wild with acidic pan sauces and not worry about de-seasoning.


Just a few pics for reference to help you search

Staub vs 12" Lodge
20231126_165235.jpg


20231126_165315.jpg
20231126_165322.jpg

20231126_165329.jpg
20231126_165334.jpg



Staub vs 10" lodge
20231126_165439.jpg
 
I always find myself using my 28 cm models by far the most, whether I'm cooking for just 1 or 2.
 
i cook for two almost exclusively. i use a #9 Griswold. it isnt even 10", i dont think. two pork chops, two steaks. it fits.

i'm not judging here, but two pork chops each? maybe get the 12"
 
Also huge difference in filet size depending on what species you like/can get fresh.

Individual cuts of a thicker salmon or halibut filet like in that video will be easy in a 10" pan but if you've got thinner, longer filets from something like a flounder, snapper, or trout then you run the risk of the filet running up the sloped sides.

Be sure to check your parchment paper brand if you're going to do the hack. Some of them have PFAS for added nonstick properties. We already are inundated with them, you don't want to add any more to your diet on purpose.
 
Trying to be healthier and eat more fish. Looking at enameled cast iron probably. What is your ideal pan size for cooking two portions (two separate filets) at once? Say you want to be able to sear first and then finish in the oven, and be able to deglaze and make a pan sauce afterward. 10" or 12"?

8"x12" oval roaster/skillet. This example is stainless-lined copper but enameled cast iron, ceramic or carbon can be found.
0000174_classic-oval-gratin-30x20-cm-118-x-79-in.jpeg
 
Individual cuts of a thicker salmon or halibut filet like in that video will be easy in a 10" pan but if you've got thinner, longer filets from something like a flounder, snapper, or trout then you run the risk of the filet running up the sloped sides.
Lucky enough to live on the coast in the Pacific Northwest so we get fresh chinook (king) salmon and halibut, caught off shore or coming into the bay. Also have local black cod (sablefish) and rockfish. Local albacore too. Nice thick cuts of all the above. Definitely need to start taking more advantage of the bounty.
 
Multiple sizes is beneficial. Food steams when a pan is crowded. This can be avoided by sizing up in pan size.
 
For fish I generally prefer nonstick, and Woll make an amazing fish pan with a removable handle that you can pop in the oven for finishing. Not sure how easily available it is in the U.S., but the model number for the induction-capable model is 1538IL. It's large enough to cook two pretty decent size black sole, plaice, and other flatfish side by side. Probably overkill for small fillets of salmon, but a whole butterflied trout fits perfectly in it.
 
If in doubt, get the larger pan. It can do things that a smaller pan cannot do, and using a larger pan when a smaller one would be sufficient is almost never a problem. On the other hand, if you only have a smaller pan, there are recipes that will be out of reach until you add a larger one.
 
If u want similar pan to cast iron ,but stainless demeyere pro skillet is ur answer. 4.8mm thick bottom make it such a monster of a pan ,love it ! Best pan ever made imo.

enamel cs id go with staub. I feel like its way better than lc ,atleadt in cocotte category.

Some heavy vintage copper could bang with fiah tho !
 
If in doubt, get the larger pan. It can do things that a smaller pan cannot do, and using a larger pan when a smaller one would be sufficient is almost never a problem. On the other hand, if you only have a smaller pan, there are recipes that will be out of reach until you add a larger one.
I agree. I have an excessively large 15.75 le creuset and it’s great for spreading hash browns thin resulting in a crispy product. I’ve tried making the same amount of food in a 10 inch pan by stacking hash browns thicker and it became a steamed soggy mess. On the other end, I have some tiny skillets that don’t take much oil to fill up when frying, so I don’t waste a gallon of oil when cooking small fish. I like having some versatility with the sizes.
 
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