10 Easy Pieces: Paella Pans
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No traditional Spanish kitchen is complete without a paella pan, said to be one of the keys to creating Spain's beloved dish. The best paella pans are shallow (for efficient evaporation of liquids), have a broad surface (for sauteing and browning), sloped sides (to increase the surface area while still allowing enough volume to add necessary liquids), and are made of quality materials (for even heat distribution). Plus, the signature double handles of paella pans are great for carrying and table serving. Our selections feature 13-to-17-inch diameter pans that serve between six and ten people, and which work on most stovetops (including induction), ovens, barbecues, and even over open fires. Not in a Spanish state-of-mind? Paella pans are perfect for jambalayas, stir-frys, and pastas as well. For a fun take on Paella and a few good recipes, see the New York Times piece: Paella, by Land and Sea . Grab a glass of sangria and read on. Above: The classic Spanish Garcima Traditional Steel 17-Inch Paella Pan features a dimpled surface for even heat distribution. Economical and effective, it requires some maintenance: hand-washing and seasoning with oil to prevent rust. Available for $34 at La Tienda (smaller and larger size options are available). Above: Garcima offers the same traditional pan in a professional version that is made of double gauge steel that resists warping and stands up to heavy use. The 18-inch Garcima Pata Negra Paella Pan is $52 at La Tienda. Above: The Paderno World Cuisine 15.75-inch Paella Pan is made of black steel and offers upturned handles and sides that are a bit higher than the classic Spanish paella pan; $46.90 at Amazon. Above: The 15-Inch Lodge Paella Pan is made of heavy gauge carbon steel that heats rapidly and adjusts quickly to changing cooking temperatures. Made in the US, the pan comes factory seasoned with natural soy bean oil; $75.71 at Amazon. Above: Enameled pans are favored for their rust resistance and ease of care. The Spanish-made Enameled Steel Paella Pan is available in many sizes, including the 17-inch version (the largest that will fit into a standard oven) priced at $34 at the Spanish Table. Above: The enameled cast iron Staub Paella Pan works equally well indoors or out. Made in France, it measures 15.5 inches in diameter; $199.95 at Williams Sonoma. Above: All-Clad offers a slightly smaller paella pan with a lid. The All-Clad Stainless Steel 13-Inch Paella Pan is $209.95 at Wayfair. Above: The most handsome in the stovetop-to-tabletop category, the Mauviel Professional Copper Paella Pan is made of heavy gauge 2.5mm-thick copper lined with stainless steel. This professional-grade pan is made in France and features riveted cast-iron handles; 16 inches in diameter; $530 at Williams Sonoma. A thinner gauge home-grade 1.5mm-thick copper Mauviel Copper 15-Inch Paella Pan is available for $410. Above: New from Mauviel is the hammered-steel Mauviel M'elite Paella Pan that is dishwasher safe; $199.95 for the 15.7-inch size at Sur La Table. Above: Inspired? Let Alberto Herraiz' Paella Cookbook be your guide; $26.63 at Amazon.