How to Choose a Paella Pan?

Do you want to cook paella but you don’t dare because you don’t know how to choose a paella pan? Which size would be enough to make rice for everyone? Is the paella pan I have good or will I have to buy another one? Will I be able to make it with the paella pan I have?

If you’ve come this far, it’s because you want to buy a paella pan but you have some doubts. I will explain the different types and which are the best for you to take a good decision. Here you will find the best paella pan for your needs.

First of all, I can save you time. If you want to buy a paella pan, just click here to find the best paella pans in Amazon

How big a paella pan do I need?

How big a paella pan do I need?

How big? The diameter is more important than it looks. The best paella comes out when you cook a layer of fine rice and that is achieved by using the recommended diameter of each paella.


When you cook paella with a small paella pan, always, it comes out with little flavor and many times with a dough of overcooked rice. If the paella pan is very large the rice does not cover the entire base of the paella and does not reach the edges but it ends up great.

I mean, if we can choose, it is better to exceed the size than staying small. Then:

What size paella pan for 4 people? to serve 12? 8? or 10?

What size paella pan to serve X people do you have to buy? Well, before choosing the material, it is necessary to decide the size of the paella pan we want to buy.

The final result of the paella will depend a lot on the size of the paella pan. Keep reading our recommendations because many paella recipe websites never talk about this vital aspect.

What size paella pan for 4 people? to serve 12? 8? or 10?

The recommendations for the size of the paella pan are suitable for all types of materials that we will talk about later on, such as polished steel, stainless steel, enameled or induction.

The paella measures are designed for a certain number of people and portions, the measure of the paella pan is measured in all manufacturers by the diameter of the container.

How to measure a paella pan?

The paella diameter that is measured to calculate the number of servings is the top part of the paella pan, not the one at the base of the paella.

Each cook has his preferences depending on the amount of rice he wants to prepare. It is usually recommended that the thickness of the rice of a paella once finished is somewhat below the rivets of the handles of the container (about 2-3 cm).

Table of paella pan diameters according to people.

In this table, you can see the relationship between the diameter of the paella and the number of servings for which it is recommended. When choosing a paella, it is better to be guided by this table:

Diameter (cm) / servings

  • 20 cm (7,9″) – 1 person
  • 28 cm (11″) – 2 people
  • 30 cm (11,8″) – 3 people
  • 32 cm (12,6″) – 4 people
  • 34 cm (13,4″) – 5 people
  • 36 cm (14,2″) – 6 people
  • 38 cm (15″) – 7 people
  • 40 cm (15,7″) – 8 people
  • 43 cm (17″) – 9 people
  • 46 cm (18,1″)– 10 people
  • 50 cm (19,7″)– 12 people
  • 55 cm – 15
  • 60 cm – 18
  • 65 cm – 22
  • 70 cm – 26
  • 80 cm – 32
  • 90 cm – 50
  • 100 cm – 70
  • 115 cm – 85
  • 130 cm – 100

I have to admit I usually exceed the rice amount so I can keep one serving in the frezer, for example seafood paella when it is not creamy.

Best paella pan

If you are looking for information about the best type of paella pan to cook paella, you are at the right place.

Once the size is clear, it’s time to choose the material. Each type of paella pan has its advantages and disadvantages that we will explain below.

The time has come to choose the best material and type of container we want to buy and we are presented with the option of choosing between polished, stainless steel or enameled paella pan.

The polished ones have the color of the steel (a gray tone), the stainless ones have a brighter metal color, and finally, the enameled one has a layer that covers it of black color, like black paella. But:

What is the best paella pan?

Well, it depends on many factors. Each type of paella pan has its advantages:

  • The polished steel paella is the traditional and most economical
  • The enameled paella has an enamel that protects it from oxidation and requires no maintenance, is our favorite!
  • The paella of special thickness has a greater thickness of the steel, indicated for intensive uses as in restaurants, bars, etc.
  • The stainless steel paella does not need maintenance and is also indicated for those who seek the most spectacular presentation for its mirror finish and finally the family of special paellas for induction.

All the paellas have in common that they can be used in our gas burners or on firewood. But let´s go in-depth. What type of paella pan is best?

Cast iron Paella Pan

Although cast iron paella pan is not the traditional one, cast iron is one of the best materials for cooking because it is an excellent heat conductor. Besides, it is suitable for all kind of heat. Even induction!

Induction Paella Pan

Induction paella pan

Induction paellas are perfectly flat to optimize the contact surface and thus work perfectly on an induction worktop.

paella pan for induction hob
paella pan for induction hob

So, in the case of paellas for induction, there are paellas from 32 cm (4 persons) to 40 cm (8 persons). Much larger paellas are difficult to find, especially because there are no larger inductors with a diameter of 38-40 cm.

The advantages of the cast iron paella pan are:

  • Correctly used cast iron pans are perfectly non-stick
  • Durability: With a small investment and proper maintenance, cast iron pans pay for themselves very easily
  • They are suitable for induction
  • Easy to clean

These are the drawbacks:

  • Cast iron pans are very heavy
  • Require additional maintenance to keep them rust-free and non-stick features
  • Special care should be taken when using them on glass-ceramic
  • Paella purists say the taste is not the same with a non-traditional paella pan
With this info, you are qualified to buy a cast iron paella pan in Amazon

Polished Steel Paella Pan

It is the original paella pan, according to most chefs who are experts in paellas are the best tasting, and in fact in restaurants in Valencia where the best paellas are served use the container of this material.

polished steel paella pan

These are the advantages of the polished paella pan:

  • They are the cheapest of all types and are very resistant to shocks.
  • As they have no surface treatment or metal they are much more resistant to shocks and falls.
  • They are used for gas fires (both butane and city gas) and firewood.

These are the drawbacks:

  • The main drawback is that they can rust after scrubbing and they cost quite a lot to clean. It is advisable to dry it very well and spread it with a little oil after each use to avoid this oxidation.
Buy a polished steel paella pan in Amazon

Stainless Steel Paella Pan

They have the same characteristics as the steel paellas we talked about earlier, but as you can see in the photo they have a special shine and are very nice. However, they have a slightly higher price than conventional steel. This type is used for gas fire (both butane and city gas) and firewood.

These are the advantages of the stainless steel paella pan

stainless steel paella pan
  • They clean better
  • They do not need any maintenance

These are the drawbacks:

  • Stainless steel paellas are more expensive

Enameled Steel Paella Pan

They are paellas made of steel and are covered with ceramic enamel that gives the property of stainless steel and is also very easy to clean. They are used for gas fires (both butane and city gas) and firewood.

These are the advantages of the enameled paella pan:

enameled steel paella pan
  • The paella does not rust and does not release cinder when made open fire.
  • Very easy to clean
  • Can be used in the oven

These are the drawbacks:

  • They are a little more expensive
  • t is necessary to be more careful with the blows so that the enamel does not bite.
Now, you have all the info to buy a paella pan, so you can get here the right one (Amazon). I hope you enjoy your cooking and eating.