Judith is a fairy in the world of writing: she manages to turn any topic (far not only a kitchen-related) into an entertaining text that is so easy and educating to read. Fond of gardening, reading, and cooking, of course.
Emily has over 10 years of professional experience using, testing and comparing kitchen appliances. Her knowledge helps to easily and naturally solve everyday problems. She is also the owner of the lifestyle blog emilyreviews.com
Last updated: February 15, 2021
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Making the perfect paella requires that you get the right pan and use the correct ingredients. There are numerous paella pans to choose from in the market. To get the best paella pan that delivers the original Valencian paella, scrolling through the countless pans out there is necessary. Since it is tough to locate that perfect pan that you desire, we have explored the extensive market on your behalf.
After exploring the market and evaluating 45 paella pans, we are confident of our comprehensive review. We spoke with sellers, paella chefs, and paella enthusiasts who helped us understand what it is that you should look out for in a paella pan. The Mauvel 5277.4 ‘Elite pan fully fits the description of an exceptional tool, and that’s why we picked it as our editor’s choice. It has a wide 15.7-inch cooking surface and weighs 5lbs hence making it ideal for paella.
A paella pan must have the right features if you wish to enjoy using it for years. Some of the features we considered in our review include the handle, accessories, certification, material used, and size among others. Our review starts off with a comparison table of the top paella pans we reviewed. This is then followed by an in-detail description of each product and a buying guide that lets you know the essential features to consider. The buying guide offers some quick tips on purchasing and maintaining the best paella pans on the market.
The Mauviel 5277.4 M’Elite Paella pan is, in many ways, the ideal cooking companion that you must have in your kitchen. While the pan exudes simplicity, one can’t help but notice that the embraces tradition while offering you innovative ways to cook savory paella. The Mauviel 5277.4 pan is made using 18/10 stainless steel that is 5 multi-ply. The rivets used are also stainless steel hence making the pan hardy and genuinely durable. Experience superior cooking with this pan that boasts of a non-drip edge and a finely polished and hammered exterior that makes it a perfect kitchenware tool for a modern kitchen. With a thickness of 2.6 mm and superior heat-conducting ability, it becomes easy to understand why senior chefs recommend it. It has a wide diameter of 15.7” while its weight is 5 pounds. The pan also features an even heat distribution ability, which helps you reproduce what professional chefs cook in multimillion kitchens.
Unlike cheap pans whose handles heat up, this M’Elite Paella pan prides itself to having handles made of cast stainless steel. They will stay cool throughout the time the pan is on flames. The rims of the pan are dishwasher compatible hence making it easy to maintain. The pan has been designed to work well on electric, gas, induction, halogen stovetops, and oven cookers. It will even cook under the broiler and still come out okay as it gives you finger-licking paella. Its oven safe and can handle 6800 F. The manufacturer has backed it with a lifetime warranty.
Are you looking to upgrade your kitchen? You will have your answer in the Le Creuset L2064-3417 Enameled Cast Iron Paella Pan. This pan is widely known for being excellent in making delicious paella and many popular traditional Spanish dishes. The pan boasts of a satin black interior enamel and a dazzling exterior. The interior of the pan is well protected from scratching, cracking, and chipping. The durability of the pan is guaranteed by matte black cast iron interior, which later develops a natural patina ideal for frying and searing. With this pan, you really don’t need to season your food before cooking it. The excitement around your dining table will grow from the moment you invest in this pan. You will soon forget the price tag the pan came with after seeing how excited your family gets after tasting paella made using this pan.
The pan features an even heat distribution and heat retention capacity that, in turn, guarantees delicious results. The pan measures 13.5” in diameter and weighs 5 pounds. You don’t have to worry about the fire to use with this pan as it works perfectly well with stovetop, induction, oven, electric, ceramic, and grills. The cool design of the pan not only makes a beautiful addon in your kitchen but also makes it compatible with your dishwasher. The L2064-3417 pan is made in France, and the manufacturer has extensive experience making high-quality paella pans. The limited lifetime warranty on this pan shows how reliable it is. It comes with a large surface area that ensures the rice layer is shallow and excess moisture evaporates.
Cooking delicious meals is something that you get used to when you buy the Matfer Bourgeat 062052 Black Steel Paella Pan. The stylish pan retains tradition and embraces innovation. It is a pan that has helped chefs around the world deliver the highest culinary expectations of their customers. The pan, which measures 15.7” in diameter ensures that you have ample surface area to do all your cooking. You can easily prepare meals for 4 to 6 people using the pan. The two handy handles are cool to touch even after the pan has been exposed to heat over time. The manufacturer has used black steel to make the pan. The material used is ideal because it ensures the heat is evenly distributed around the pan and as well as retaining heat. It is easy to handle pan not only because it comes with two handles but also because it only weighs 6 ounces.
The Black Steel Paella pan from Matfer Bourgeat is made in Spain and requires no special maintenance. The handy interior is resistant to chipping and scratches. Over time, the pan seasons your food hence making your paella more delicious. The exterior of the pan, together with the rivets, is tough, and never will any rust appear. As an authentic paella pan, it is designed to handle stovetop, oven, grill, or gas fires. With a 12 mm thick base, you can rest easy knowing that it will serve you for decades to come.
A unique paella pan that transforms your kitchen is something that every imaginative cook should invest in. Well, the Garcima La Ideal Polished Steel Paella Pan will give you the perfect exploratory kitchen experience that you seek. With this pan, you will make amazing dishes that every time. The pan has a span of 100 cm or 39.3 inches. It weighs 4 lbs, which makes it ideal for paella cooking. The polished steel used to make the pan serves to help you enjoy the pan for many years to come. The black interior of the pan will start seasoning your food, thus making your food exquisitely tasty. The exterior of this paella pan is red, and this makes it stand out in your kitchen. With four handles distributed symmetrically around the pan, you get an easy time cooking and storing it. Each of the handles has four rivets to make them firm. The handles are also designed to resist heat when you are cooking.
Cooking using this paella pan should be fun. Garcima, the manufacturer, recommends the use of almost all types of fire. Even though the manufacturer has not given information on the product’s warranty, you can rest assured that you’ll get the maximum value out of it. It is worth to note that the pan might attract a little rust when not cleaned. The easy to clean material, the light weight, and the unique design make it a must-have for an enthusiastic cook.
The Sertodo Copper’s PP-12 Alicante Paella pan has a great deal to offer any kitchen enthusiast. The pan combines tradition with innovation. The warm design of the pan guarantees exceptional delicacies out of your kitchen every time. With a 12″ diameter and a net weight of 3 lbs, you can rest easy knowing that cooking has suddenly become easy. Heavy pure 14-gauge copper metal has been used to make the pan. The copper used is 100%recycled. With a hot-tinned interior, you will easily achieve professional cooking standards without any fuss. Its two handles are made of stainless steel and are firmly riveted to make sure that they never loosen. Your comfort and safety are guaranteed through cool-to-touch handles. The stainless steel metal used is slow to heat conductivity.
There is little doubt that Sertodo PP-12 paella pan is a stylish piece of utensil that anyone can own. The manufacturer has made the pan to be compatible with your oven and grill. The other unique thing about this pan is that the pan’s floor and sides are the same and with a 2mm thickness. It will easily handle temperatures of 6000 F. Though the pan is without a doubt a durable add-on to your kitchen, the manufacturer has backed it with a limited lifetime warranty. Besides the manufacturer minding the environment by recycling materials, you will love your piece more after knowing that it was handcrafted. With the seasoning benefit, you are assured of getting a mouthwatering dish every time you use it.
When it comes to choosing the perfect paella pan that will make your kitchen a source of savory meals, then the Garcima Carbon Steel Paella pan is your answer. This is a pan that you can comfortably use to make at least 20 servings. It is a pan whose 32-inch diameter will enable you to make all manner of paella-based dishes. For that rice that produces the perfect socarrat, this pan will never disappoint. The pan is made from carbon steel, and this serves as a guarantee that you will use it for many years to follow. Carbon steel conducts heat efficiently and evenly. The downside to this carbon steel feature is that the pan demands regular cleaning after using it else it will tarnish.
This paella pan is just 4 pounds, and this makes it one of the lightest in the market. It is 0.25 inches thick, and this makes it the perfect tool to own. Paella is a Spanish tradition, and a Spain-based company makes this pan. Therefore, you are sure to get the best paella experience using the pan. Seasoning your food will become easy with this pan. The two handles of the pan are slow to heating and this makes it perfect for all types of cooking. To help you get started, the Garcima has included two easy to follow recipes and information pamphlet. With a large family or regular hosting of parties, this is the pan that will never disappoint because of its size and reliability.
What we liked:
Good with different fire sources
Easy to clean
What could be better:
Collects rust easily
Things to Consider
Cooking the perfect dishes that help you get professional chefs’ results requires you to invest in the best kitchen equipment. Having dived into some of the best paella pans that the market has to offer, we are now going to explore the numerous factors to consider to get the best. We are also going to look into some common FAQs, which will further help you pick the best paella pan.
Benefits of having your own paella pan
Paella cooking owes its origin to Valencia, Spain. Legend has it that people working out in the field used the simplest implements available to them to cook their lunch. They used to garnish their food with seasonal ingredients native to their locality. Here are the reasons why you should consider using a paella pan;
It’s a lifestyle – The word paella, which means pan in Valencia signifies the deep culture of the people of Spain. These wide and shallow pans that come without a lid are ideal for giving you the perfect socarrat (crispy golden crust).
The special ingredients – There is no way you will be able to come up with a perfect paella if you are without the right ingredients. The traditional Valencia recipe of paella includes 10-12 ingredients that go through fire transformation to give you a cohesive finger-licking meal.
Encourages socializing – Like an afternoon tea party on a Sunday afternoon, paella pan brings around similar social benefits.
Mouthwatering paella recipe
Paella is a traditional Valencian dish that has specific ingredients. In fact, it’s called Paella Valenciana. It is a dish nationally known in Spain to bring families together. It is, therefore, imperative that you stick to the basic ingredients when preparing your paella if at all, you want to achieve exceptional results.
The main ingredients of paella include chicken, rabbit, meat, and rice. For vegetables, you will need saffron, smoked paprika, rosemary, and garlic. Also included are artichoke green beans and tomatoes. Start by caramelizing the meat and then add the vegetables. A deep brown color is what you are looking for. You should then add soup or water and then rice. You mustn’t stir the rice to get the perfect socarrat.
You should use short-grain rice, and in case you don’t have or like rabbit meat, you can use chicken. Of course, you will hear of many different versions of paella. But try this recipe, and you will surely be amazed by the results:
Taste the price
A paella pan is a special tool whose results cannot be replicated using any other pan. As some paella enthusiasts insist, ‘there is paella, and then there is rice made with…’. This makes paella pans a bit pricey as compared to ordinary ones. There are paella pans that command a price of $300 and others that boast of an $80 price tag. It all depends on your taste and budget.
The best paella pan can be found by the following features
Investing in a good paella pan that will help you transition your cooking requires that you know what to look out for in such a pan. The good thing about these pans is that there are different materials to choose from. Pans made from carbon steel heat faster and also influence the paella’s flavor. Here are some of the features to consider when picking this pan;
A variety of materials are used to make paella pans. When it comes to picking the right pan to use in making your favorite paella dish, you should consider carbon steel. Carbon steel pans are widely used across the traditional heartland of paella, Valencia. The metal is fast in conducting heat. However, it requires regular maintenance between uses.
There are stainless steel paella pans to choose from. These pans are heavy-duty, but they do require some special skills to maintain them. These pans are a bit pricey, but they are very durable. You can go for the lighter affordable enameled steel paella pan too. These pans are attractive and are even dishwasher safe.
Cast iron is also used to make paella pans. While the pans are quite heavy as compared to the other pans, they are very good at heat retention and take longer to cook paella. You finally have nonstick paella pans to choose from. These pans have a special nonstick surface, which makes it easy to clean. Socarrat seems to form faster with these pans, but the rice is less textured.
Size and weight
Depending on the amount of food you want to cook, the paella size matters. The diameter of the pan is the one that helps determine how many servings you can get out of it. You can go for the Garcima Carbon Steel pan of 32 inches or the Sertodo Copper PP-12 pan of 12 inches. Below is a paella size guide;
16-inch pan – 4 to 6 servings
18-inch pan – 6to 8 servings
22-inch pan – 8 to 12 servings
26-inch pan – 12 to 20 servings
32-inch pan -20 to 40 servings
Nonstick coating option
Nonstick coating in paella pan s increasingly becoming popular. Nonstick pans are easy to maintain and wash. These pans tend to have a better socarrat than the other types of pans. Though the curst is less textured, you have to agree that this pan provides a shorter route to enjoying a paella. You must be very careful not to use metallic utensils on a nonstick pan. This then means that you can’t directly eat your paella out of the pan.
The handles of your paella pan also matter because with the wrong handles, your hands will get burnt. Many pans have a single handle but double handles are also common. There are those with four handles, such as the La Ideal Polished Steel paella pan. It would be best if you looked for a pan whose handles have been fixed with ample rivets. The handles of your pan should be comfortable to the hand and should be slow to conducting heat. The handles also give character to your pan.
Paella pans often get backed with warranties. Given that there the materials used to make these pans are handy and durable, you will find many manufacturers backing their products with limited lifetime warranties like the Mauviel 5277.4 M’Elite pan. But like is the case with other items, you should look for a pan that is backed with a warranty.
Many sellers sell their paella pans as stand-alone items. Unlike some pans, there is no lid to this pan. Many manufacturers now include a pamphlet that contains usage instructions and one or two paella recipes. As a newbie in the world of paella Valenciana, you will enjoy immensely the head start you get from your seller.
As your expertise in paella cooking grows, you should consider investing in an oil dispenser, a lid, a stovetop grill pan, a wood-handled spatula, and probably flat forged steel tongs.
PFOA stands for perfluorooctanoic acid. This a man-made chemical that manufacturers of products that get exposed to heat, grease, and sticking. PFOA helps these products resist all of the above. PFOA is used in the manufacturing process of these products, but the chemical is burnt out along the manufacturing process. PFOA is harmful to human health and has even been discovered to cause some serious diseases. To completely remove this chemical from products, some manufacturers use a nonstick coating. Many credible paella pan makers assure the buyers of the non-existence of PFOA in their pans.
Oven- and dishwasher-safe
An ordinary paella pan will work well with stovetops and grills. However, some are not designed to work on ovens. While the material of the pan matters, the size of the pan, in comparison with your oven, should be carefully considered. A 32-inch pan will most likely not fit in a small oven even if such a pan is compatible with ovens. Another thing to consider is whether your dishwasher can be washed with a dishwasher. Enameled steel paella pans such as the Le Creuset L2064-3417 can be washed using a dishwasher.
Yes, seasoning of a paella pan is important. However, if you own a nonstick or an enameled pan, seasoning is not necessary. A carbon steel pan should be seasoned in order for it to cook properly. You do it on a stovetop or in an oven. You should do routine maintenance of your pan once you have seasoned it. An important thing to note, though, is that, after washing the pan, apply a thin coat of oil. The oiling helps protect the pan from rust. Every time you use soap to wash your pan, it is necessary to re-season soon after. Rule of the thumb, re-season your pan whenever food starts to stick.
Yes, you can. Some people will insist that paella can only be made using a paella pan and with the exact right ingredients as those used by the traditional Valencians. The making of paella with an ordinary pan requires that you make some adjustments to the ingredients and the cooking times, though.
Ordinary pans are smaller than paella pans. Therefore, you shouldn’t overcrowd the pan. This will help you avoid making your rice lose texture. Remember that a great paella must have the essential basic ingredients such as saffron and round rice.
Cleaning your paella pan is easy when you follow the following simple steps. Start with scrubbing the pan clean and then using hot soapy water to wash it. Where necessary, you can soak the pan to let the grime loosen a bit. Rinse the pan thoroughly. Coat the pan with fresh oil before storing it in a dry place.
A paella pan should not come with a lid. The reason behind this is because all liquids in the rice should be given the maximum possible space to evaporate. This helps at giving you tender rice rather than soggy rice.
Our editor’s choice when it comes to paella pans is the Mauviel 5277.4 M’Elite Paella pan. The 15.7″ pan that is made of stainless steel will transform your kitchen. With this pan, you are sure to serve tasty food always. The limited lifetime warranty provided by the manufacturer goes a long way to ensure that you always get the best paella experience.
The Le Creuset L2064-3417 Enameled Cast Iron Paella Pan is definitely the best restaurant paella pan to own. This pan will prepare servings for four people. It’s made of enameled cast iron. It is easy to wash the pan, and it always replicates the same original crunchy paella results. It gives the best return on investment for a small restaurant.
The Matfer Bourgeat 062052 Black Steel Paella Pan is our value pick. It is your best bet if you are looking for an affordable and modern paella pan that helps you recreate that traditional paella experience. This can be a great asset to your kitchen if you have a small or medium-sized family.