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Paella 101 – How to Pick Your Paella Pan

Machika carbon steel paella pan example image

Okay so we have talked about how to take care of your paella, but we haven’t addressed how to actually make a paella. At first, it might seem extremely overwhelming. Do not worry, Machika to the rescue! Welcome to paella 101, a new segment where we will give you tips and explain the basics of how to make a mouth watering paella. Today we are going to explore the first of the four key elements to make a delicious paella. Let’s get started. 

Element One: The Type of Paella Pan

Here at Machika, we offer a great variety of paella pans. The choosing from all the different sizes and materials can get a little overwhelming. So this is your guide to picking which pan is perfect for you.

Paellas are very unique pans. Made out of thin conductive metal, paellas allow for simultaneous cooking of all the ingredients. The shape of the pan evenly evaporates the juices as you cook your rice, creating that finger licking texture of a paella.

Machika Carbon Steel Paella Pans

We offer enameled steel paellas and carbon steel paellas. Carbon steel paellas are the most traditional pans. They have a slight advantage in how fast they heat up and cool down. Some people say, it;s exposed metal gets your paella a little closer to the desired flavor. However, the downside to carbon steel paellas is it’s tendency to rust easily if not taken care of correctly. If you want to learn how to take care of your paella, check out our blog post about it.

Machika Enameled Steel Paella Pans 

Enameled steel paellas are made out of carbon steel but have been coated in black enamel. This coat prevents rusting and creates for a much easier clean up. The only drawback is that the enamel coating can be damaged a bit if your paella gets banged around a lot. This risk however, would only affect the paella’s appearance and not it’s performance.

Element Two: Paella Pan Sizes

To decide the size of the pan you need, we have to look at how much rice you want to use. The more rice, the wider the pan. Remember your rice has to be spread out in a thin layer (½ to ¾ inch thick) throughout your pan. When everything is put in your pan, your liquid should be able to reach the pan’s handles. 

There is a famous Spanish saying that says: “Where four can eat, so can five”. Paellas are very flexible when it comes to serving size per recipe, as long as the cook knows how to adapt. So most homes in Spain do not have paella pans to fit every serving possibility. You can use larger sizes for smaller serving recipes but avoid trying to overload a pan with too much. Do not stretch your pan for over two servings. Instead, just purchase a bigger pan. Here are our pan size recommendations: 

10 26 2
12 30 4
13 34 5
15 38 8
17 42 10
18 46 12
20 50 14
22 55 16
24 60 19
26 65 22
28 70 25


Element Three: Treating Your Paella Pan Right

The last thing to keep in mind when getting a new paella pan is proper treatment. Now, that does not only mean treating it to prevent rust like a cast iron pan, but also knowing what to use and how to use the pan. For example, if you go with a nice enameled paella pan from Machika, you will not have to treat the surface to avoid rust. The enamel coating will protect the metal for reacting to air or water and oxidizing. However, the coating is not invulnerable. You can still scratch the surface with enough force and an abrasive material. When using stainless steel utensils, avoid scratching the pan's surface too hard. You should also be careful when using scrub pads like steel wool on either pan.

Carbon steel requires a bit more work to keep in tip-top shape. The first thing you should do upon receiving your pan is clean it to remove any chemicals that may have been left over during manufacturing. You can do so with washing with soap, water, and a soft sponge or by boiling water in the pan and rinsing it out. Afterwards, if you do not intend to use the pan immediately, you will want to coat the pan in vegetable oil. Place a couple drops of oil in the pan and use a paper towel to rub the oil all around the pan. Cover both the inside surface and bottom of the pan in a thin layer of oil. The oil will protect against rusting and oxidation. After use and cleaning, you will want to repeat this process. 

At Machika, #EveryoneIsInvited

Take it from me, when you cook a paella everyone will want to come. So have fun with it. Enjoy every bit of the process. Imagine the infinite possibilities of delicious foods you can create with a Machika paella pan. Get ready to laugh and share with your loved ones. I hope this helped. See you on the next post of our Paella 101 segment. You can check out our other articles and recipes at our blog here.

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