Most cooks use the terms panfry and sauté interchangeably, but there is a difference. Although both terms refer to cooking in a small amount of hot oil, butter, or other fat, sautéing means to toss foods over high heat, while pan-frying describes cooking pieces of meat, seafood, or large pieces of vegetables in a hot pan, turning with tongs, a spatula, or a fork only once or twice.


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