paella pan placed on tabletop

How to Choose The Best Paella Pan - Materials, Size & Reviews


To cook an authentic paella you better invest in a solid paella pan. It's not an accident that this dish has it's own cookware type. Don't worry if you are not an expert in Spanish cooking, we will guide you through the best materials, sizes and brands to choose from. (1)

Paella Pans Reviewed

First of all, you have to decide on the size of the pan, or multiple sizes if you are cooking for different numbers of people. You’ll also want to consider what type of pan is best for you. After you will also need to pick the right style that works with your cook top.

Let's see the models that made our list of top-rated paella pans this year.

*We select and review all products independently, based on our opinion and customer feedback. Some links on this page are affiliate links and if you make a purchase we may receive a commission at no extra cost to you. You can read more info on our disclaimer page.

Top pick

1. Garcima Carbon Steel 22-Inch Paella Pan

- Base material: carbon steel
- Interior: carbon steel
- Cooktops: gas, electric, grill, oven

Our Rating

9.1

Best cast iron

2. Lodge Seasoned Cast Iron 17-Inch Skillet

- Base material: cast iron
- Interior: cast iron
- Cooktops: gas, electric, induction, oven, campfire

Our Rating

9.4

Best high-end

3. Matfer Bourgeat Black Steel Paella Pan

- Base material: black carbon steel
- Interior: black carbon steel
- Cooktops: gas, electric, glass top, induction

Our Rating

9.0

Best stainless steel

4. Garcima Stainless Steel 16-Inch Paella Pan

- Base material: 18/8 stainless steel
- Interior: stainless steel
- Cooktops: gas, electric, glass top, induction

Our Rating

8.9

Durable

5. Victoria Seasoned Cast Iron 13-Inch Paella Frying Pan

- Base material: cast iron
- Interior: pre-seasoned cast iron
- Cooktops: gas, electric, induction, grill, oven

Our Rating

9.1

Best full set

6. Garcima Mirador Carbon Steel Paella Pan Set with Burner

- Base material: carbon steel
- Interior: carbon steel
- Cooktops: gas, electric, induction, grill

Our Rating

8.5

Best enameled 

7. Vaello Campos Enameled Steel Paella Pan

- Base material: enameled steel
- Interior: enameled steel
- Cooktops: gas, electric, induction, grill

Our Rating

8.6

Durable

8. Lodge Carbon Steel 15-Inch Skillet

- Base material: 12-gauge carbon steel
- Interior: carbon steel
- Cooktops: gas, electric, glass top, induction

Our Rating

8.6

Best large/XL

9. La Paella Pata Negra Professional Carbon Steel Pan

- Base material: carbon steel
- Interior: carbon steel
- Cooktops: paella burner, gas, electric, grill

Our Rating

8.8

Best hard anodized

10. Cuisinart Chef's Classic Hard-Anodized Nonstick Pan

- Base material: hard-anodized aluminum
- Interior: Quantanium nonstick
- Cooktops: gas, electric, ceramic, oven safe

Our Rating

9.0

Top pick

1. Garcima Carbon Steel 22-Inch Paella Pan

- Base material: carbon steel
- Interior: carbon steel
- Cooktops: gas, electric, grill, oven

Our Rating

9.1

Best cast iron

2. Lodge Seasoned Cast Iron 17-Inch Skillet

- Base material: cast iron
- Interior: cast iron
- Cooktops: gas, electric, induction, oven, campfire

Our Rating

9.4

Best high-end

3. Matfer Bourgeat Black Steel Paella Pan

- Base material: black carbon steel
- Interior: black carbon steel
- Cooktops: gas, electric, glass top, induction

Our Rating

9.0

Best stainless steel

4. Garcima Stainless Steel 16-Inch Paella Pan

- Base material: 18/8 stainless steel
- Interior: stainless steel
- Cooktops: gas, electric, glass top, induction

Our Rating

8.9

Durable

5. Victoria Seasoned Cast Iron 13-Inch Paella Frying Pan

- Base material: cast iron
- Interior: pre-seasoned cast iron
- Cooktops: gas, electric, induction, grill, oven

Our Rating

9.1

Best full set

6. Garcima Mirador Carbon Steel Paella Pan Set with Burner

- Base material: carbon steel
- Interior: carbon steel
- Cooktops: gas, electric, induction, grill

Our Rating

8.5

Best enameled 

7. Vaello Campos Enameled Steel Paella Pan

- Base material: enameled steel
- Interior: enameled steel
- Cooktops: gas, electric, coal heat sources

Our Rating

8.6

Durable

8. Lodge Carbon Steel 15-Inch Skillet

- Base material: 12-gauge carbon steel
- Interior: carbon steel
- Cooktops: gas, electric, glass top, induction

Our Rating

8.6

Best large/XL

9. La Paella Pata Negra Professional Carbon Steel Pan

- Base material: carbon steel
- Interior: carbon steel
- Cooktops: paella burner, gas, electric, grill

Our Rating

8.8

Best hard anodized

10. Cuisinart Chef's Classic Hard-Anodized Nonstick Pan

- Base material: hard-anodized aluminum
- Interior: Quantanium nonstick
- Cooktops: gas, electric, ceramic, oven safe

Our Rating

9.0

Garcima Carbon Steel 22-Inch Paella Pan

Design:

Garcima Carbon steel pan is a wide silver colored pan with two dual riveted handles on opposite sides of the pan. The sides are slightly sloped towards the center and the cooking surface is dimpled.

The pan measures 22-inch in width and has a 2.25-inch-deep cooking surface that is enough to cook food for 7 to 12 people.

Materials:

A carbon steel body on this pan enables its use over a variety of heat sources including coal grills, cooking stoves, and the oven. The dual riveted handles have a gap where they meet the body to facilitate heat loss. This means that they remain cool to the touch.

Usability:

We like this pan's size because it allows it to sit perfectly over a 23-inch grill and a cooktop with four closely located burners. Note, however, that using the pan over the four burners requires that you rotate the pan frequently for even heating. The carbon steel material with a hammered dimpled cooking surface enables users to cook paellas quickly and with ease.

The pan requires careful handling to avoid rust. We advise that you cover the pan in a thin layer of vegetable oil after washing it, which will prevent rusting.

Feedback from users of this pan reveals that most of them love the fact that they can use it to cook for up to 12 people at a go. The pan's size, however, makes it too large for most ovens at home even though you can use it over multiple cooking stoves and coal grill.


Pros

  • Large size; you can cook for up to 12 people at once
  • Heats up quickly and conducts heat effectively
  • Supports use over gas stovetop, a paella propane burner, a grill, and the oven
  • Handles are heat resistant

Cons

  • Large size doesn't fit in most ovens at home
  • Require seasoning and extra care to prevent rusting

Lodge Seasoned Cast Iron 17-Inch Skillet

Design:

The Lodge Cast Iron Paella pan has a dark gray color on both the interior and exterior. With a cooking surface that is 17 inches wide and two inches deep, this pan is capable of holding enough food for your small family.

The pan has two loop handles that are extended from its body, thus eliminating the need for rivets.

Materials:

The Lodge pan is solid with an iron body that is pre-seasoned using vegetable oil from the manufacturer. Its cooking surface is not coated with synthetic materials, thus enabling healthy and safe cooking of food.

The pre-seasoned surface only gets better as the pan is used more. The pan is perfect for cooking on gas, electric, and induction cooking stoves, on a campfire, and in an oven.

Usability:

You will enjoy using Lodge products because they come already pre-seasoned and ready for direct use in your kitchen. The cast iron body is also viable for use over all cooktops including induction heaters.

The pan's convenient size and the ear loop handles also make transforming this pan from a cooking pan to a plate for a shared meal possible. Take caution when using the pan because the handles will heat up when the pan is in use. Only touch the hot handles with mints.

Caring for cast iron utensils needs you to be keen. We recommend hand washing the pan and drying it immediately thereafter to prevent rusting. Any hard to remove materials should be scrapped off after soaking in warm water with a pan scrapper.

Users praise this pan because its cooking surface comes ready to cook on and gets better with time as long as one cares for it properly.


Pros

  • Durable
  • Comes pre-seasoned from the manufacturer
  • Large size for cooking small and large meals
  • Supports all common stove tops including induction heaters

Cons

  • May rust if it is not properly maintained
  • The pan is heavy, which means that moving it with food could be difficult

Matfer Bourgeat Black Steel Paella Pan

Design:

This pan has a shiny dark appearance with two handles on opposite sides. The pan measures 15 inches wide and is 2 inches deep.

A circular cooking surface that comes with sloped sides and a weight that is barely 7 pounds make it easy to turn food as it cooks on this pan.

Materials:

Highly polished steel that makes up both the base of the pan and its cooking surface is ideal for use over all stoves including induction heaters.

The pan comes with handles that are almost erect, a unique design that is different from traditional Paella pans that came with handles directly welded to the pan's body. The polished cooking surface makes the pan suitable for dishes such as Paella, steaks, and vegetables.

Usability:

The polished utensil will require you to season the pan before you use it to cook anything. In fact, the manufacturer has provided users who purchase this pan with guidelines on how to season it.

The innovative design of the handles that are almost erect enables this pan to fit inside most ovens even with its wide size. These handles, however, get hot when the pan is in use and require you to use mints when handling the pan.

Users praise the pan's cooking surface because it becomes naturally non-stick after curing correctly. Moreover, metallic utensils do not affect it. We encourage users to follow the guide by the manufacturer and season the pan using a mixture of oil, salt, and potato peelings.


Pros

  • Supports all cook stoves including induction heaters
  • Non-stick surface is scratch free even from metal utensils
  • Wide and deep size enables users to cook a lot of food at a go
  • Sold with accompanying seasoning instructions
  • Fast and even heating

Cons

  • Sold without a covering lid
  • Requires seasoning before first use

Garcima Stainless Steel 16-Inch Paella Pan

Design:

Garcima have a stainless steel version of a paella pan that has a dimpled cooking surface and is shiny in appearance. This pan is 15 inches wide, which is enough to hold enough food for 4 to 6 people.

Two spacious handles that are golden in color are conveniently attached on opposite sides of the pan's body.

Materials:

This pans body is made of highly polished 18/8 stainless steel that makes it look elegant. The material is also thin for quick heating.

The gold colored handles remain cool to touch even after cooking for long hours. The medium sized cooking surface fits over most stoves and can even fit over two burners on smaller stoves.

Usability:

The thin design of the cooking surface is aimed at mitigating the ineffective heat conductivity of steel. This design, however, comes with limitations because the thin body overheats when left on the stove without any food on it. We, therefore, advise you to monitor the heat when using this pan and maintain it at moderate levels.

User feedback about this pan reveals that it is possible to use the pan over twin burners on a propane stove. All you need to do is rotate the pan in frequent intervals so that heat reaches all parts of the pan.

Some users, however, were dissatisfied with the pan due to its lack of compatibility with induction cookers.


Pros

  • Heats up quickly
  • Its large size allows you to cook family meals
  • Large size can fit over twin burners on regular sized stoves
  • It is lightweight
  • Easy to clean
  • Stainless steel material does not require seasoning

Cons

  • Does no support induction heaters
  • Golden colored handle discolors with time

Victoria Seasoned Cast Iron 13-Inch Paella Frying Pan

Design:

This pan comes in a dark gray color on both the interior and exterior sides of the pan. The solid nature has loop handles that extend from the body on opposite sides.

Two pouring notches are also etched into the top edge and are perpendicular to the handles. The pan is 13 inches wide and has a 2-inch deep cooking surface.

Materials:

The body on the Victoria Paella pan is made of cast iron and comes pre-seasoned from the manufacturer. The handles are part of the pan's body, which eliminates need for attachment rivets. The pan supports use over induction and ceramic heaters, campfire, grill, broiler, and ovens.

Usability:

This pan's solid body makes it look strong and durable. The cast iron body is pre-seasoned from the manufacturer with natural vegetable oil that makes the non-sick surface able to cook healthy and safe food free of PFOA and PTFE toxins.

You can use the pan for both cooking and plating due to its convenient shape and size. Another remarkable feature of the pan's thick body is its ability to maintain heat, thus keeping food that is served on it hot for a long time.

From the users' comments, the pan should not be cleaned in the dishwasher. We recommend hand washing and scraping the cooking surface with a scrapper as efficient methods to get out any leftover food particles that may stick to the pan during use.


Pros

  • Has a natural non-stick surface that is easy to clean
  • Delivers healthy and safe cooking due to lack of synthetic coating on the cooking surface
  • Pre-seasoned from the factory
  • Covering lids from other same sized pans fit the top
  • Can be used for cooking as well as plating

Cons

  • It is heavy, which means that moving it with food could be difficult for some people
  • Cannot be cleaned in the dishwasher

Garcima Mirador Carbon Steel Paella Pan Set with Burner

Design:

The Garcima Set comprises a red tripod stand with a burner that is 20-inch wide at the top and a 24-inch Paella pan that comes with wide red handles on opposite sides.

The pan is silver in color and has a depth of 2.25 inches. The burner has two rings that heat up the pan at the base with each ring independently controlled using a different knob.

Materials:

The carbon steel materials used to make this Paella pan enable quick heating while the dual rings on the burner ensure that all the parts of the wide cooking surface heat up at the same time.

The handles on the pan are red painted and riveted to the sides of the pan's body. The riveting increases their heat dissipation abilities to make sure they remain cool to the touch even after cooking for long hours. The pan supports use over stovetops, ovens, and grills.

Usability:

Enjoy cooking while outdoors with this set that has all you need in one easy to set up cooking set. The 24-inch pan also fits over large stovetops and can fit over twin burners on smaller stoves for when you want to use the pan indoors. The 30-inch tall tripod is sturdy and makes this set perfect for house parties, birthdays, and family holidays.

We sampled users' comments from contented users who liked the burner on this set due to its dual ring heating that can be adjusted individually. Some users, however, were let down by the setup, which only allows connecting to one gas inlet for both rings.

The tripod stand is also received positive feedback due to its heavy weight support that holds enough food for a large number of people without tipping over or caving in.


Pros

  • Burner has dual rings for heating that can be adjusted individually
  • The dual ring burner can support use with smaller sized pans
  • The tripod stand supports more weight, thus enabling cooking for a large crowd
  • The burner supports the regular propane gas tank
  • The pan can be used independently on another heat source
  • The tripod stand folds for easy storage

Cons

  • The set pieces cannot be sold separately
  • The set is sold without the connecting hose to the propane gas tank

Vaello Campos Enameled Steel Paella Pan

Design:

This large size paella pan is dark in color and a starry pattern on the cooking surface.

The pan is wide at 38 centimeters in diameter, which enables you to cook up to 8 individual servings at a time. The pan is light and weighs only 2.22 pounds.

Materials:

The pan's body is made of enameled steel that is quick to heat up and spreads heat evenly. The cooking surface comprises only a single layer of metal that is covered with enamel to ensure food is not exposed to the steel metal for safe and healthy cooking. Just like other enameled utensils, the handles are directly welded to the pan's surface. This pan is viable for use over gas, electric, or coal heat sources.

Usability:

The pan's large size is good for professional cooks who serve a large number of people and enables cooking up to eight servings at one go. The enameled covering makes food easy to peel off from the smooth cooking surface and reduces effort that is used to clean up after a cooking session.

The shallow and flat base supported by the two spacious handles on opposite sides of the pan enable you to shift it from the stove top to the serving table with ease.

Users who have provided feedback regarding their experience using this pan highlight its slightly dented shape on the cooking surface, arguing that it makes paellas not cook evenly.


Pros

  • Enameled surface is easy to clean after cooking
  • With its size, you can cook 8 servings at a go
  • Can be used to cook as well as serve food

Cons

  • Sold without a covering lid
  • Poor heat distribution makes food cook unevenly
  • The thin material on the cooking surface gets food burned if left unattended for some time

Lodge Carbon Steel 15-Inch Skillet

Design:

The Lodge Carbon Steel pan has a dark grayish appearance on both the exterior and interior. Large size handles on opposite sides are welded on the pan's slightly slanted sides to make them fit at an angle facing upwards.

The pan is 15 inches wide and has a cooking surface that is 2.5 inches deep. The overall weight of the pan is 7 pounds.

Materials:

The pan's body is thick and made of 12-gauge carbon steel that has the capability to withstand extremely high temperatures without warping. The handles are directly welded into the body of the pan, thus ensuring that they remain intact with the frequent moving of this heavy-duty pan.

The pan supports use over gas, electric, ceramic, and induction cooktops indoors and can be used over coal and campfires when you are cooking outdoors.

Usability:

We like this pan's thick and incredibly strong carbon steel body that is able to withstand and maintain high temperatures after heating up. The Lodge company has been refining their utensils for a long time. Currently, they pre-season the carbon steel pan, thus enabling direct use after purchase.

We recommend observing proper maintenance of this pan, which involves cleaning with a stiff nylon brush and warm water to get rid of leftover food items.

Avoid harsh detergents and soap on this pan's cooking surface. Make sure you dry the pan after washing and thereafter apply a thin layer of cooking oil. According to the manufacturer, proper care of the Lodge carbon steel pan should enable it to last a lifetime.


Pros

  • Compatible with all stoves including induction heaters
  • Can be used outdoors over a campfire and an open coal heat source
  • Retains heat after heating up
  • Pre-seasoned from the manufacturer
  • Develops non-stick surface that is natural and free of toxins

Cons

  • Its large size limits its use in the oven
  • Sold without any covering lids

La Paella Pata Negra Professional Carbon Steel Pan

Design:

A stunning silver color is what strikes the eye when you look at this pan. The cooking surface is dimpled and smooth for easy turning of the food cooking on the pan.

Two large handles are welded on opposite sides of the pan's body. The pan's top measures 18.5 inches in diameter while the bottom is 16 inches wide. The depth of this pan measures 2 inches.

Materials:

The pan's body is made of carbon steel, which enables it to withstand extreme temperatures without warping. The large size of the base can fit on large burners as well as closely located burners on common cooking stoves. The carbon steel metal is suitable for use over a paella burner, gas, or charcoal grill.

Usability:

The carbon steel body that has high heat tolerance makes this a versatile tool for both home use and commercial use in a busy restaurant. Maintenance of the delicate body requires care during cleaning where we advise you to avoid soap and detergents that might harm the cast iron body.

Manufacturer's instructions also guide that you avoid air drying the pan and ensure that it is coated with a light layer of vegetable oil before placing in storage.

The pan could rust if not properly cared for, which we recommend that you remove by wiping with steel wool before it accumulates.

Our review of user comments about this pan revealed happy customers who like the flat surface that spreads oil evenly without the need to redistribute it often.


Pros

  • The pan withstands extremely high temperatures
  • No synthetic coating on the cooking surface
  • Large size enables cooking large meals at a go
  • Supports all common cooking stoves including induction heaters

Cons

  • Requires seasoning before use
  • The pan can rust if not properly maintained

Cuisinart Chef's Classic Hard-Anodized Nonstick Pan

Design:

Cuisinart has an elegant looking pan that has a stylish modern look. The pan is dark gray in color and has a clear glass lid with a shiny circular edge.

Two loop style handles are located opposite each other on the sides of the pan's body and another spacious holding handle at the top of the covering lid completes the look of this pan. The pan is 13 inches wide and 2.75 inches deep.

Materials:

The pan's body has a hard-anodized aluminum core with a Quantanium non-stick cooking surface that is fortified with titanium to prevent scratching. The tempered glass lid is clear and features a silicone edge to enable it to sit tightly at the top of the pan.

Twin stainless steel handles are riveted into the sides of the pan for easy moving with food contents. The pan supports use on gas, electric, and ceramic stoves and is oven safe up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit.

Usability:

The pan's non-stick surface is one of a kind being that it is reinforced with titanium and offers cooks an easy time when cooking. A covering lid is a nice addition and sets this pan apart from the others in our list of Paella pans.

User reviews include pleased users who recommend this pan for oven use up to 500oF. However, an important thing to note is that the tempered lid only supports oven use to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Disappointed users who own induction cook stoves feel left out, however, since the pan's aluminum body does not work on induction heaters.

We recommend you avoid metal utensils on this pan to prevent chipping the non-stick cooking surface. To clean it, just wash it with soap and running water.


Pros

  • Easy cleaning
  • Supports oven use up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Sold with a clear covering lid
  • Handles remain cool to touch
  • Can be used for cooking as well as plating food on the dinner table

Cons

  • Non-stick surface chips when scratched by metal utensils
  • Does not support induction heaters.

Buyers Guide

Different Materials for Paella Pans

Paella pans are made from different materials that have different properties. The materials used will determine how heavy the pan is, what kinds of cooking stoves they can be used on, and how fast they conduct heat. There are three common materials that are used to make paella pans.

Carbon steel paella pans

Paella pans made from carbon steel are able to heat up quickly and spread the heat to all parts of the pans surface. Carbon steel paella pans are the most popular kind of pans in Spain where the paella meal originates from.

The pans require seasoning before they are used and extra treatment on the cooking surface after every cooking session to prevent them from rusting.

Enameled steel paella pans

Enameled steel pans are made by coating a carbon steel metal base with an enamel coating that prevents rusting. They have easier cleaning and maintenance procedures unlike the carbon steel pans.

The enameled surface is delicate and requires careful handling to prevent it from chipping and exposing the interior metal base.

Stainless steel paella pans

Stainless steel pans are also easy to handle because they do not require seasoning or coating with a layer of oil to prevent rusting. They have a shiny look that makes them great for serving food at the table.

When buying stainless steel pans, we recommend that you consider buying pans that have an 18/10 or 18/8 rating because it guarantees that the pan is corrosion resistant.

Heat conductivity on stainless steel, however, is lower than that of carbon steel, which means the pans require more heat. To bridge this, the manufacturers make the stainless steel pans' body thin, which in turn reduces their durability.

What Is the Best Size Paella Pan?

Paella pans come in a variety of sizes. The size that suits you will depend on the number of people that you are cooking for. The size of the cooking stove you use also guides the size of the pan you will use on it.

Some pans can fit over two closely placed burners even though you have to keep rotating the pan to ensure all parts of the pan heat up equally.

Below is a list of paella pan sizes and the number of people food cooked on the can serve.

Size in inches

Size in centimeters

Servings

14

36

2 to 4

15

38

3 to 5

16

40

4 to 6

18

45

5 to 8

22

55

7 to 12

24

60

12 to 20

26

65

14 to 22

28

70

16 to 25

Size in inches

Size in centimeters

Servings

14

36

2 to 4

15

38

3 to 5

16

40

4 to 6

18

45

5 to 8

22

55

7 to 12

24

60

12 to 20

26

65

14 to 22

28

70

16 to 25

How to Clean Paella Pans?

Cleaning your paella pan after use is important. The cleaning method that you use, however, depends on the material that is used to make the pan.

Cleaning carbon steel pans requires warm water and a silicone or plastic scrapper to remove the food stuck on the surface. We don't recommend using soap or any detergent. Moreover, don't forget to wipe the pan after washing and apply a thin layer of vegetable oil to prevent rusting.

cleaning the carbon steel paella pan

Stainless steel pans and enameled pans are easy to clean. You can use warm water and a non-abrasive sponge to clean the cooking surface. Take care not to scratch the surface on the enameled pans because doing so will expose the metal core interior and cause it to rust.

Do I Really Need a Paella Pan?

When cooking for a large number of people at gatherings such as birthday parties or family cookouts, you definitely need a pan that can handle many servings at the same time. A paella pan will not only enable you to cook many servings but also help you serve the food to your guests.

Can I Use a Wok Instead of a Paella Pan?

A wok can substitute a paella pan in some situations. Paella pans are large, and it would not be economical to use it to cook few servings. When you are cooking for a small number of people, therefore, you can use a wok instead of a paella pan.

Sean Bennett
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