Owning a traditional polished steel paella pan is a great experience. Not only can you make dozens of different kinds of paella, but you can even cook other recipes like Fideuà. However, there are things to take into account when dealing with polished steel versus enameled steel or stainless steel. While it is just as durable as the other materials, polished steel is also more likely to rust with care.
Unlike stainless steel that you can just throw into a cupboard and forget about it, it will rust quickly in the wrong conditions. Rusting can occur as the result of many things you should avoid such as placing your polished steel pan in the dishwasher or soaking for too long. However, certain household products like baking soda and vinegar can both remove rust from paella pans. Some of the most common ways polished steel pans rust include:
- Storing in damp location
- Soaking overnight with soap and water
- Not drying the pan after washing
- Not treating the pan with oil
- Using the dishwasher
- Leaving food in the pan overnight
How to Remove Paella Pan Rust
When it comes to removing rust, there are multiple ways to go about it that are all as effective as the next. For paella pans, we will focus on two of the easiest ways of removing rust from polished steel, baking soda and white vinegar.
Removing Paella Pan Rust with Baking Powder
The first step to removing rust from your paella pan is to clean it thoroughly with soap and warm water. Any amount of surface level rust you can remove during this time should be scrub out. You can use either a steel wool scrub pad or a non-scratch pad. I would start with the non-scratch and move on to the steel wool if you have issues removing the rust after using the baking powder. You want the pan to be completely degreased before adding your baking soda, which you will want to make into a paste. To do so, simply add baking soda and water to a bowl. Add the water after the baking soda to ensure you do not end up with too watery of a paste.
To prepare the pan to remove the rust, all you must do is then add the paste to the rusted spot and let sit for a couple of hours. For lightly rusted surfaces, you may not have to wait as long. After it has sat for an amount of time, you can remove using a non-scratch scrub pad. Rinse with water and dry immediately afterwards. You will then want to treat the pan using the instructions under “How to Prevent Paella Pan Rusting” to stop rusting in the future.
Removing Paella Pan Rust with White Vinegar
Removing rust with vinegar is just as easy as using baking soda, if not even simpler. Instead of making a paste, all you need is some white vinegar, some time, and some elbow grease. Simply fill the pan with some vinegar after washing it with warm water and soap. Make sure you completely dry the pan before adding your vinegar. Let the vinegar sit over the rusted area for about an hour and then simple remove with a non-scratch sponge. If the rust is not coming off easily, you may want to soak the pan for longer- even potentially overnight for a very rusted pan. As long as the oxidation is surface level, you can completely renovate an old or rusted pan back to its original condition.
How to Prevent Paella Pan Rusting
The number one thing you will want to avoid when dealing with any pan rusting is oxidation. But what exactly is oxidation, and why is it bad for pans? Well, oxidation is simply the name for the process of rusting. It is a chemical reaction that happens on the surface of metals. However, this is good news. Since oxidation occurs on the surface of the metal, it is easy to fix and prevent.
Many pans have special coatings like enamel or are made of special metal alloys that are heavily rust resistant like stainless steel. Rusting and oxidation that occurs inside the metal can ruin a pan as it eats through the metal. Simple rusting on the top is easily fixable with common household items. After fixing your rust, the next step should be preventing it from happening in the future. Follow the steps below to protect your authentic Machika Polished Steel Paella Pan:
- Clean your pan with a non-scratch scrub pad and warm water
- Dry immediately after with a towel
- Take a little bit of olive oil and spread across the pans surface with paper towel
- Cover in a thin layer of oil
- Cover your pan with wax paper and tape to ensure it stays covered
- Store in a cool, dry cabinet
Benefits of “Seasoning” or Treating Your Paella Pan
Treating your polished steel paella pan does more than stop it from quickly rusting. The oil that coats your pan does not need to be washed off before use. This makes it, so your pan has a non-stick layer of oil coating the surface. A properly treated pan will be more resistant to stuck on foods in addition to not rusting. If you notice that your pans suffer from a lot of stuck on foods after you cook, it may be because it requires “seasoning”. Seasoning is the same process are treating your pan, though some pans require extra steps such as heating the pan in the oven. If you want to get the best function out of your pan, then treating it is essential!
However, certain pans do not require seasoning or any treatment. These pans include your enameled pans and stainless-steel pans. However, if the protective layer of either of those pans where damaged, then you risk the pan rusting or oxidizing. You should avoid corrosive cleaners and scrubbing the pans too hard with these materials, or you risk damaging the protective surface.
Buy Authentic Paella Pans from Spain at Machika Today!
At Machika, we believe in quality above all else. If you are looking for an authentic paella pan made in the birthplace of modern-day Spanish paella, then look no further than Machika. Rather than getting the cheapest materials and importing cheap products, we get our pans from Valencia, Spain. You can see our pans everywhere and in many paella photos. The red handles and silver polished steel dimpled surface are unmistakable. If you are looking to get started cooking paella at home today, then we have both polished steel paella pans and enameled steel paella pans. You can purchase a brand new authentic polished steel pan here or an enameled steel pan here today!