When it comes to choosing the right pan for you, size does matter. Before you decide whats best for you think about your cooking habits.

How much food do you will typically make? Are you serving just yourself or cooking for a family?

There is no one right answer. Often times it’s best to have a few pans on hand for different occasions.

Make sure to take in consideration what type of pan you are buying as well. If you are looking for a non stick pan or a sauce pan then you’ll most definitely consider size differently.

Also note the type of items you will want to put in your pans. You wouldn’t want to cook a large steak in a 6 inch skillet but you also wouldn’t want to cook a single egg in a 16 inch one.

To help you make up your mind here are the most common sizes and what they are best used for.

6 inch pan

6 inch pan

Fry pans this size are not too common but we thought it’d best to include them since they do serve a purpose. Cooking a single fried egg, sautéing some veggies for one, are great ways to use a 6 inch pan. They are small, light, and very easy to maneuver.

If you typically cook solo and don’t usually eat a lot of food a 6 inch pan is a great tool to have in the kitchen.

8 inch pan

8 inch pan

An essential sized pan that is a must in every kitchen. An eight-inch pan is ideal for an individual cook or even a small family that likes to serve between 1-3 people at a time. You can cook a couple of eggs at a time, brown a single piece of meat, or have enough room to create a sauce.

We often refer to this pan as an everyday go to. It’ll be light enough to easily handle but have enough space to fit most meals. If there was one pan size to have in your kitchen this is it.

10 inch pan

10 inch pan

A better size pan if you vary between cooking small meals and larger ones. Good enough to serve between 2-4 people a 10 inch is a very commonly sized skilled.

Whether you actually have more people to cook for or typically like leftovers having a pan this size is a great compliment to your smaller ones.

12 inch pan

12 inch pan

A great pan for a family or if you enjoy the one pan type meals. Offers plenty of room to toss and cook food but can also be too big for certain tasks. A pan this size starts to make bigger tasks more possible like frying chicken in oil.

These pans typically start to get heavy which is why they come with a handle. Note if you like to toss your food this one might make it a bit tricky. However, they are great to start roasting meats or veggies and tossing them straight in the oven.

16 inch pan

16 inch pan

A very large pan and one not that common in many kitchens. These are a beast though to cook up large portions of anything.

The size of the pan makes it particularly sufficient to cook anything that needs spacing. You won’t cool this pan down too quickly either when you add ingredients since the surface area is much larger.

Having a good frying pan in your kitchen is the ultimate cooking tool. Find one that you are most comfortable with and can handle everyday tasks. It’s best to have a variety but you also don’t need too many either. Once you find the ones you like you’ll stick to it and find a way to make any dish work!