Best Paella Pan

Paella is probably the most well-known and often eaten dish in Spain. Spanish recipes for this rice casserole with meat, herbs, and vegetables are passed down for generations. One of the best ways to ensure a delicious outcome for your own paella is to cook it using a special paella pan.

NOVEL PAELLA PAN
10 mins to read
63 products considered
19 products reviewed
69 hours reviewing

Top 6 Paella Pans

PicturePaella PanSizeMaterial

Garcima 15-Inch15"Carbon Steel

Garcima 26-Inch26"Carbon Steel

Garcima 16-Inch16"Stainless Steel

Nordic Ware15"Aluminized Steel

Lodge Carbon Steel15"Carbon Steel

Lodge Cast Iron17"Iron
DID YOU KNOW?
The origin of the paella pan was in Valencia, Spain.

Paella Pan Buying Guide

Hammered Copper Paella Pan

What is a Paella Pan?

A paella pan is a specially designed pan that was created for cooking paella, a traditional and popular Spanish dish of rice with meat, vegetables, and herbs.   The paella pan is typically a thin, sturdy pan with looped handles and sloped sides that make cooking this popular Spanish dish fun and easy. These specially designed pans can be used for other dishes, but their primary purpose is to cook paella.

Making sure that the paella pan you purchase has all the features you are looking for is very important if you want to be happy with that purchase. A good paella pan has several particular traits that we are going to cover below so you understand what to look for when you’re researching.

  • Pan Size – One of the most important considerations you will make when looking at different paella pans is the size. There are many different sized paella pans available, the most commonly used being between 9” and 12”. If you don’t have a large number of people to cook for the smaller sizes will work just fine. Make sure that the pan you choose can handle the method of cooking you like for your paella such as being small enough to fit in the oven or on the stove.  Pay attention to the size of your paella pan’s handle as well and make sure that the handle is dishwasher and oven safe before you put it in the oven or dishwashing machine.  Below we have provided a chart of the common paella pan sizes and the typical number of people that each size serves. 
    • 10” pan – 1 to 2 servings
    • 12” pan – 3 to 4 servings
    • 15” pan – 4 to 6 servings
    • 18” pan – 6 to 8 servings
    • 20” pan – 8 to 10 servings
    • 22” pan – 12-16 servings

 

  • Pan Materials – Paella pans are made from a variety of materials. The material used in the construction of your pan will determine how well it works to cook paella.  The most popular material is carbon steel or stainless steel.   Carbon steel does require some maintenance after using it, but the maintenance is not difficult.  Carbon Steel is a reactive material that conducts heat quickly and adds a desirable flavor to the food. The thing people don’t like about carbon steel is that carbon steel can rust if it is not taken care of properly. The maintenance requires hand washing, drying, and then the addition of vegetable oil that is rubbed into the inside of the pan after each use after its cleaned.  Other materials include stainless steel which is beautiful in appearance and easy to maintain.  They are more costly than other materials but last years.  Iron is the least desirable material used for paella pans because they retain too much heat. 

signature copper paella pan

  • Pan Design – Most original paella pans have the same basic design. The metal used, whether it is carbon steel, stainless steel, or iron, is thinner than the typical pan but very rigid. The thinness of the material allows the pan to cool off quickly once it is removed from the heat. These pans are wide with sloping sides and are shallow as well. The handles of the paella pan are looped and located on either side of the pan. Cast iron pans look good, but it isn’t recommended to purchase cast iron pans for paella due to the fact that it holds heat for long. 
  • Pan Handles – The handles of the paella pan are important because that is how you will move the pan from place to place. On a paella pan, the handles are looped and there are two, one on either side of the pan.  Pan handles may not be made from the same materials as the pan itself so make sure that your pan handles are dishwasher and oven safe before putting the pan in either one of these appliances. Handles may be a contrasting color such as the red handles on a couple of our top rated paella pans, or they can be a little more flashy such as the paella pan we reviewed with gold colored handles. 

 

Conclusion

If paella is a dish that you like to cook often, you will be doing yourself a huge favor by getting a specific paella pan for this task. Most people who cook paella know that the dish comes out better and more authentic when they use the pan that was created for this particular dish.

Paella dishes range in price from inexpensive and affordable to higher quality, high dollar models that can cost close to $100 or more.  Most of the authentic paella pans on the market are made in Spain, providing a true authenticity that enhances the experience even more.

You can cook paella in a regular pan, but it is much easier and doesn’t have the potential problems that regular pans can have such as doming and damage that can occur from heating certain types of pans, such as aluminum, over high heat.

The reviews and top rated paella pans we have featured in this article are all high quality pans that will help you cook the most delicious, authentic paella dishes you can.  Any one of them will be a great addition to the kitchen.

In this buyer’s guide you have learned what features make a great paella pan, what to look for when shopping, and what materials are the best suited for this type of pan and much more.  Choosing the right pan will not only be fun to use since it will be an authentic pan made with traditional handles, carbon steel materials, and dimples in the bottom, but it will be easy to use and will produce the kind of delicious Spanish dish that your friends and family will love.

This knowledge will make it very easy to sort through all the pans out there that are authentic paella pans and ones that can be used for cooking this popular dish.  Paella pans can be used to cook other things as well such as omelets, grilled cheese and other dishes that do well in shallow pans.  Having the right information will enable you to make a confident choice that will be the best for your money. 

 

References

Garcima – http://www.garcima.com/

Nordic Ware – https://www.nordicware.com/