Paella pans make an essential addition to any modern kitchen as there is no better way to feed many people a delicious meal quickly and easily. The trick is deciding which the best paella pan to buy is. There are many types available, and you may wonder why you even need a pan that is specifically designed to cook paella – why not just use a regular large saucepan? The answer lies in the construction. Going through different reviews can help you make an informed decision.
The best paella is made with a thin layer of rice across a large surface area. This means that the rice can develop what is known as the socarrat – that is, a thin layer of delicious crusty rice on the floor of the pan. Development of a socarrat is seen as a vital component, and it is not something that is easy to create in the cooking vessel that is not specifically designed for cooking paella.
What is Paella Pan?
A standard paella pan has splayed sides. It is also wide, round, and shallow. It doesn’t have a lid. It may dip slightly in the middle for oil to pool for the preliminary sauteing. It also has two looped handles. The pan’s shape; paellera or paella, ensures that your rice cooks in a thin layer.
The Valencians say that the rice should be as thick as the width of one finger (about half an inch). This is to maximize the amount of rice touching the surface of the paella pan because that is where the flavor lives.
5 Best Paella Pan Reviews
Are you in the process of acquiring a new Paella pan? Then, you have done it right to read this article. Below is a review of the best five paella pans available on the market today.
Nordic Ware Paella Pan Reviews
The quality is super with nothing loose. Its handles are smoothly crafted, and the mechanism closes very tight. The 40030 Paella pan is well coated and therefore easy to clean.
- Easy to clean the coated surface.
- Uniform heat distribution to the edges.
- Easy to use.
- Does not stick when the spray is less.
- Made of durable heavy duty material.
- The handles get super hot.
- Poorly designed fastening rivets.
- Teflon coating easily rubs off.
- The flip of this pan is not easy to bend forward or back.
MageFesa Carbon Steel Paella Pan Reviews
- Durable carbon on steel
- Easy to clean
- Fast heat distribution to the pan edges
- Strong and comfortable handles
- A unique texture gives your paella
- Easily rusts on the inside
- This pan overheats on the very little heat
- The handles start tuning black on the first use
- The metal coating easily peels off
Garcima 15-Inch Carbon Steel Paella Pan Reviews
- Durable carbon steel
- Sizable for a bigger family (6-8 people)
- Convenient for use on different heat sources
- Dimples create “soccarat” when preparing rice
- Coated handles make handling easy
- Easy to clean
- Easily rusts after use.
- Not flat to rest on a glass cooktop.
- Easily get damaged after a short while.
- Hard to remove the sticker on the inside.
- It’s a bit pricey.
- Starts to turn yellowish on the inside.
The Hungry Cuban Steel Paella Pan Reviews
It is a solid construction pan but not super heavy. Its handles are coated to make it easy to handle. You can conveniently use it on a charcoal grill or a gas stove. The pan comes with maintenance and “seasoning” instructions.
- Ideal size for 6-8 servings
- Carbon steel conducts heat evenly
- Durable carbon steel
- Free maintenance and cooking videos on their website
- Requires a large burner due to its size
- Hard to remove the stickers on it
- The quality of the pan surface deteriorates with time
- Easily rusts after cleaning
Garcima 20-Inch Carbon Steel Paella Pan Reviews
It should be used over medium-low heat to avoid ruining it. The carbon steel evenly distributes heat to all edges. It is safe for a stovetop, an oven, or a grill.
- Carbon steel is durable
- An ideal size for 6-10 people
- An unrivaled value for the money
- Comfortable, strong handles
- Even heat distribution to the edges
- Resistant to rusting
- Requires a bit of maintenance after washing
- Too big for some stove sizes
- Damaged by high heat levels
- Very thin
- Paella burns in case of more heat
What makes the best paella pan?
Whenever you are planning to add a paella pan to your kitchen, it is best to consider quality and size. You should buy a durable paella pan and a perfect size for your family. You should take time researching before landing on a paella pan to get the best.
Choosing the best pan for your paella
To take home the best pan, you should consider several factors including:
- Price of the pan.
- Material used to make it.
- Ease of cleaning.
- Quality and type of handles.
Types of Paella Pans
Paella pans come in different designs and prices. The main difference between these pans lies in the material used to make them. The weight of these pans is also different. The weight is dependent is dependent on the material making it.
1. Polished Carbon Steel Pans
This is the best quality paella pan. Professional paella maestros use this type of paella pan. The pan develops a patina over time from the reaction of many of the ingredients with the steel that makes this pan. The thin film that forms on the steel imparts a particular flavor to your paella. A good carbon steel pan has a dimpled base that gives the rice a nice texture while cooking.
Carbon steel pans require a little more care than other types of pans to prevent them from oxidizing. This is because the steel is not surface protected. Carbon steel pans are suitable for open fires, gas hobs, and oven. Typically, the convex base makes them not so suitable for induction or flat electric stove-tops.
2. Enameled Steel Paella Pans
An enameled steel paella pan is quite traditional and much easier maintenance than a carbon steel pan. The enamel coating protects the surface from rusting. The enamel peels off easily if bumped or banged around. These makes them less durable. The enameled steel pan is suited for all types of heat sources except for induction or flat electric stove tops.
3. Cast Iron Paella Pans
These paella pans are not so popular since they are much heavier and take longer to cook paella due to slower heat transfer. These pans also retain heat much longer after you remove them from the heat source. The best paella pan is likely to keep cooking for some time in the pan.
4. Stainless Steel Pans
The stainless steel pans are very similar to the carbon steel pan. The main advantage of these pans is that they do not rust and therefore requires less care. This feature makes them much more expensive. These pans do not develop a patina and therefore do not impart any unique flavor to the paella.
A stainless paella pan has a reinforced base. The strong base makes them heavier than carbon steel pans. The thick base impairs the pans’ ability to transfer heat quickly.
5. Nonstick Paella Pans
Nonstick Paella pans have a unique nonstick surface that makes them easy to clean. They develop a rice crust or soccarat more easily than the other types of pans though the rice ends up less textured. This pan cannot be scraped with a metal utensil lest because the nonstick surface gets damaged.
What we recommend as our best paella pan?
In our reviews above, we recommend that Nordic Ware 40030 Paella Pan is the best paella pan. Its size is perfect for a big family. You don’t need to prepare paella twice to sever a group of ten or twelve people. It is light to handle with very strong handles that are coated for easy handling. It is considered cheap due to its unbeatable features.
This pan is ideal for all heat sources including a traditional charcoal grill or a gas stove. It works perfectly under low to medium heat and hence saving on energy. It is easy to clean compared to other paella pans and is much more resistant to rusting. It is perfect for rice paella, BBQ, or any other type of paella dishes. It’s ideal for those who are not yet experts in the kitchen. We highly recommend it.
Lastly, ensure you always go for the best paella pan for your dishes to stand out. All the pans in our review are great, and you only need to select the one that fits you best.