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7.6 pounds when empty. Black steel materiel won't peel, stretch, or chip. Curved sides and extra deep. Non-stick material once food is seasoned. Handles are designed to withstand high temperatures. Can be used on all heat sources.
Chrome-plated handles that won't get hot. Designed with Hydrolon, a non-toxic water-based coating. Carbon steel, dimpled bottom for even heat distribution. Dishwasher safe. Packaging is made from 70% recycled material.
This material and coating are thinner and flimsier than the more expensive models.
Serves 6 to 10. Hammered, dimpled bottom is durable and heats evenly. Made from carbon steel. Comes with informative pamphlet with recipes and tips. Made in Spain.
The raw steel design requires extra care and must be rubbed with vegetable oil after use.
Serves 6 to 8 people. 18-inch diameter can sit on top of 2 burners. Can be used on paella burner, gas stove, or charcoal burner. Made from extra-thick carbon steel. Comes with informative pamphlet that includes care instructions and recipes.
Customers comment that after the first use, the pan will never look new again.
Made with heavy-duty aluminized steel. 15-inch diameter along the top. Rust-proof with the proper care. Great for crepes and pancakes. Bottom measures 10 inches across. Non-stick surface.
Non-stick surface is very sensitive and rusts quickly without proper care.
We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.
Although it bears the name of a traditional Spanish rice dish, a paella pan can be used to make more than classic paella. In fact, you may find yourself reaching for this versatile skillet frequently. You can prepare everything from eggs to veggies to pancakes in a paella pan.
Paella pans have wide, flat cooking surfaces to make enough room for lots of ingredients. They are also shallow in depth, which promotes the evaporation of liquid for the correct paella texture. Crafted in durable metal, a quality paella pan can last for decades, if not a lifetime.
Whether you are accustomed to cooking in a paella pan or not, a little guidance is essential to choosing one that fits your needs. Our buying guide has everything you need to take into consideration when shopping for a paella pan, including material, size, and price.
Paella is a classic Spanish rice dish made with saffron and other spices, vegetables, beans, and different types of meat or seafood. It is best prepared in a wide, shallow pan that melds the flavors together and creates a consistency that isn’t too moist or too dry.
The original paella pans were made for cooking over an open fire. Cooks preferred the shallow depth for spreading rice into a thin layer on the bottom of the pan to maximize flavor and texture. Modern paella pans also have wide, flat bottoms and a shallow depth. And just like the paella pans of yesteryear, today’s models are crafted of durable metals like steel and cast iron that can withstand high temperatures and are suitable for stovetops, ovens, outdoor grills, and open fires.
Obviously, paella is the most popular dish to make in its namesake pan, and you’ll probably want to give this delicious rice dish a try once you own the traditional cookware. Paella is made with rice as the main ingredient, but from there the options are nearly limitless. Classic Valencian paella is typically made with spices, green vegetables, beans, and meat, but you can customize the recipe by including your favorite ingredients, adding seafood, or making it vegetarian.
Beyond paella, the uses of a paella pan are numerous. Let your culinary creativity guide you in preparing your favorite recipes. Here are a few suggestions for dishes that can be cooked in this special skillet:
Before you choose a paella pan, there are some key features to consider.
To withstand high cooking temperatures, well-made paella pans are constructed of tough metal. Carbon steel is the most common and has been used to make traditional paella pans for generations. It heats up nicely, cooks evenly, and is made to last. However, keep in mind that carbon steel pans need to be seasoned to keep them from rusting between use.
Cast iron paella pans also require seasoning and are quite heavy to use. On the plus side, cast iron can handle extreme temperatures and is suitable for cooking over outdoor flames.
If you don’t like the idea of seasoning cookware, enamelled steel is a good choice. Pans made of this material are typically crafted in steel with a baked-on enamel glaze that resists chips, scratches, and other wear. They provide nonstick results and also perform well over high heat.
A more affordable option is a steel pan with a nonstick coating. However, this type of finish is prone to peeling and scratching over time. You’ll also want to be sure the coating is PFOA-free, which means it’s made without certain harsh chemicals that could leach into food.
Stainless steel is also used to make paella pans. With a sleek look and high-shine finish, these pans are as aesthetically pleasing as they are functional. They handle heat well and don’t require seasoning, but stuck-on food can be an issue. Additionally, stainless steel paella pans can be quite costly.
It’s the shallow depth of paella pans that makes cooking paella to perfection, meaning not too dry or too soupy, easy. The depth of most paella pans ranges from 1 3/4 to 3 inches, although some models are shallower or deeper. Just like other types of skillets, paella pans are available in a wide range of sizes, from as small as 8 inches in diameter to as large as 32 inches in diameter.
Unlike the single handle on a standard skillet, paella pans have loop handles on both sides. The dual-handle construction provides better leverage for lifting heavy dishes. These handles are made of strong, riveted metal to hold up to frequent use.
Very few paella pans come with lids. That’s because lids are not traditionally used to prepare paella. However, some models do include lids, which come in handy for keeping prepared food warm. Paella pan lids can also be purchased separately and are available in a variety of sizes.
Paella pans range from budget-friendly basic models to large, pricey pans. If you choose a cheap pan, it may not deliver the results or longevity you want. You can find quality paella pans ranging from $25 to $135 with features and craftsmanship to fit your needs.
If you need an affordable paella pan, look for a model that falls between $25 and $45. At this price, you may find that some pans are made of thinner metal or have coatings that could peel with frequent wear and tear, but they generally serve their purpose well.
Most paella pans in the $45 to $65 range are crafted from heavy-gauge, durable metals like carbon steel and stainless steel. You’ll also find some larger pans in this price range.
Superior craftsmanship is available if you don’t mind paying a higher price. Many paella pans that sell for $65 to $85 are authentic pans made in Spain. Rugged cast iron pans also fall into this price range, as well as carbon steel and enamel-coated models made to resist rust, stuck-on food, and damage caused by high temperatures. Extremely large paella pans that can fit enough food to feed a group of 20 to 40 people are pricier than other models and may cost $85 to $135.
Some stainless steel paella pans can be quite pricey – as much as $180 to $250. While beautiful, they are impractical for some consumers and not necessarily better to cook in than paella pans made of other metals.
Q. Why do some paella pans have dimples on the bottom?
A. Paella pans with dimpled bottoms date back centuries. The dimples attract moisture from the food in the pan, which improves texture and flavor. These small indentations can help make some foods crispy. The dimples also promote even heat distribution. Think of a golf ball and how its dimpled surface distributes air for enhanced performance. The dimples on the bottom of a paella pan work in a similar way to spread out heat so that food cooks evenly for the best results.
Q. Can I wash my paella pan in the dishwasher?
A. It depends on the paella pan you choose. Carbon steel and cast iron pans may rust if put in the dishwasher. Plus, the high pressure of the water and extreme temperatures can remove their seasoning. However, some pans have coatings that prevent rust and make them dishwasher-safe. Always follow the manufacturer’s care instructions for washing your paella pan.
Q. What is the best size paella pan to prepare meals for a family of four?
A. Either a 16-inch or 18-inch paella pan will suit your cooking needs perfectly. A 16-inch paella pan can fit enough food for approximately four to six servings. However, if you like to have leftovers, choose an 18-inch model that can accommodate six to eight servings.
Q. Can I use a paella pan on my grill?
A. Quality paella pans made of durable steel are designed to hold up to extreme temperatures. These pans are suitable for a variety of heat sources, including a backyard barbeque grill.