How to Choose the Right Paella Pan for You

Many love paella, the traditional dish in Spain. To cook this delicious Spanish dish, you may need appropriate cookware. To make this authentic dish, it is important to use a pan that is specifically designed for it. Generally, this dish is cooked outdoors over an open grill, and it is aromatically served directly from the pan. This rice dish is served in family gatherings and parties that are served hot and directly from the pan.

The conventional paella pan is wide and has a shallow cooking surface. Further, there are two sloping sides and convenient handles that let you shift the dish to serving it effortlessly. Some of the paella pans have a porous interior that absorbs small amounts of liquids that helps to cook the dish evenly. The large surface of the pan helps to layer rice that forms a crispy caramelized crust. Therefore, if you want to choose the right paella pan, then you may need to think about some of the important factors. To know more about choosing the right paella pan, you can read this article.

The important specifications

  • Size

The paella pan is available from a diameter of 10 to 60 inches. To serve a large group of people, you may need a 60-inch pan that serves about 300 people. Moreover, for serving small groups, you can purchase pans below 30 inches. In any size of the paella pan, the exact thickness of the rice layer should be a half-inch.

  • Design

The traditional paella pan is round or circular in design. The bottom of the pan may be slightly flat, but it is a convex pan. A paella pan is mostly shallow. The pan is often thin rather thick so that the heat can spread evenly in all areas to avoid soggy rice.

  • Cooktop

Even heating is an essential factor in cooking the dish deliciously without burning or undercooking. Therefore, it is not wise to place the pan on heat sources that need a flat-surfaced pan. For example, in the induction stove, it may be hard to cook the dish. However, you can use outdoor, grills, gas stoves, or ovens to prepare the dish. Mostly, uniform heating performance is the key to cooking delicious paella.

Type of material

  • Carbon steel

The best and traditional cooking surface is the carbon steel pan. This pan is lightweight, heats quickly and evenly. This pan has reduced the risk of overcooking. For a rich and intense flavor, the carbon steel pan is used.

  • Stainless steel pan

These pans are durable, attractive, and easy to maintain. They do not need to be oiled, and they are dishwasher friendly. It is a less conductor of heat than the carbon steel pan.

  • Cast iron pan

This type of paella pan can be used on any stove, but as it is heavy, do not use it on glass cooktops. This pan helps in even heat distribution but also has the heat retention feature. As it retains heat, shift the pan a few minutes before the rice is cooked.

If you want to choose the right paella, you can think about the size and material of the pan. Further, carbon steel is the most recommended pan to cook authentic paella. However, depending upon your need, you can choose any one of the paella pans.