We make five sizes of Field Skillets—Nos. 4, 6, 8, 10, and 12—so it can be hard to decide which one(s) are best for your cooking needs, especially when shopping online. This article answers our most frequently asked questions about skillet selection and will help you better understand our broad range of sizes, so you can make sure you’re getting the right pans.

If you haven’t already noticed, the names of our skillets don’t correspond to their size in inches. For example, our No.8 Field Skillet actually measures 10.25 inches in diameter from rim to rim at the top of the pan. There’s a good reason for this! Our skillets are inspired by vintage cast iron cookware, which employed a unique naming system. Renowned brands like Griswold and Wagner produced pans for use on wood burning stoves, the most common home cooking appliance of the early 20th century. Wood burning stoves had openings, or “stove eyes” on the top, which looked similar to modern day burners. Skillets were designed to fit onto specific sizes of stove eyes (a close fit with burner size was more important than it is on today’s stovetops), and were named after the burner they coordinated with. A #8 skillet would fit on a #8 stove eye, a #10 on a #10 eye, and so on. We wanted to pay homage to the heirloom pans that inspired our own skillet designs, so we’ve kept this vintage naming system alive.

What size skillet is best for me?

We’ll get into more specific dimensions for our skillets below, but first we want to answer a few of the most common questions customers have when choosing a pan:

Which size is best when cooking for a family?

If you have a family of four to six people, then the No.10 Field Skillet will be your best bet. This pan is large enough to cook food for all of you at once, but won’t take up too much space if you have a crowded kitchen. Party of three? Go with the No.8 Field Skillet. And a family of seven or more should probably get the No.12.

What’s the best everyday pan?

When it comes to reheating leftovers, making scrambled eggs in the morning or cooking a quick meal for one, we love the No.6 Field Skillet. If you’re looking for a super light and maneuverable utility pan that’s not too small, then this is a great choice.

I’m going to buy two Field Skillets, which sizes should I get?

Our No.6 and No.10 Field Skillets are a dynamic duo when used together; they’ll be able to handle just about any dish you can cook in cast iron. Between these two skillets, you’ll almost always have a size on hand that suits your needs.

What’s your most popular pan size?

The No.8 Field Skillet is our most popular pan, and it’s also our flagship size. We put a lot of thought into all our products, and especially into selecting the size and dimensions for our first skillet. This is really the ideal medium-size pan.

I only want one skillet; which size should I get?

First, we really do recommend having more than one cast iron skillet in your kitchen. Once you start cooking in cast iron you’ll want to use it for everything, and you’ll likely find that you’re in need of multiple pans at once. But, if you are only going to get one Field Skillet, then it should be the first pan we ever made, a No.8.

What pan is best for baking, roasting, frying?

These three cooking techniques are some of the main reasons that home cooks buy a cast iron skillet. Here’s what we recommend for each one:

1.

For baking, buy the No.8 Field Skillet. In terms of volume, the No.8 roughly translates to a 9-inch cake pan.

2.

For roasting, the No.10 is our top choice. This is the perfect size for roasting a chicken with vegetables.

3.

If you’re frying, you’ll want the No.12 Field Skillet (or a No.8 Dutch Oven, if deep frying is your thing). You need plenty of space when frying, so that the oil temperature doesn’t cool down too much when you add ingredients.

What’s the difference between all five sizes?

To help visualize what the difference is between each of these pans, we’ve put together an illustration that will make their proportionate sizes more clear:

Could you give some more detail on each size?

Let’s dive a bit deeper into each pan, what its specific dimensions are, and what it’s best for. One thing we especially want to call out is that you can measure our pans either by the diameter of their cooking surface or at the top of the skillet, from rim to rim. We’ve included both to give you a better sense of the overall size:

No.4 Field Skillet

This is our “extra-small” skillet (and our lightest pan, obviously). It’s great for frying one egg, making a single serving of mac and cheese, or toasting spices and nuts. Our favorite recipes to make in the No.4 include sides, single-servings, and sweet treats for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Here are the details of our No.4 pan:

Total Weight: 1.86 pounds
Top Diameter: 6¾ in
Cooking Surface: 5¾ in
Wall Height: 1⅜ in
Total Length:11⅝ in

No.6 Field Skillet

This is our “small” pan. The No.6 is great for making a grilled cheese, a three-egg omelet or serving up dips straight from the skillet. If you’re often cooking for one, you won’t regret having this pan for making dishes like baked brie or a classic tuna melt.

Here are the sizing details for the No.6:

Total Weight: 3 pounds
Top Diameter: 8⅜ inches
Cooking Surface: 7 inches
Wall Height: 1⅝ inches
Total Length: 14 inches

No.8 Field Skillet

Our flagship size and a perfect medium pan, the No.8 is adaptable to just about anything. It’s a good size for baking cornbread or pies, roasting vegetables and searing steaks (among many other things).

The exact dimensions for this pan are:

Total Weight: 4½ pounds
Top Diameter: 10¼ inches
Cooking Surface: 8¾ inches
Wall Height: 2 inches
Total Length: 16⅛ inches

No.10 Field Skillet

The No.10 was actually the second pan we designed, and it’s a classic “large” size skillet. We like to call this the “family pan” because it’s perfect for roasting a chicken, cooking a single-skillet dinner for several people or doing meal prep for the week.

Now let’s break down the details of our family pan:

Total Weight: 6 pounds
Top Diameter: 11⅝ inches
Cooking Surface: 9¾ inches
Wall Height: 2⅛ inches
Total Length: 17¾ inches

No.12 Field Skillet

This is our “extra large” pan, and the biggest size we currently produce. If you want to make a pan pizza, do some deep frying or cook some fideuà for a crowd, then this is the size for you.

Here how our largest skillet measures up:

Total Weight: 8 pounds
Top Diameter: 13⅜ inches
Cooking Surface: 11½ inches
Wall Height: 2¼ inches
Total Length: 19½ inches