Anyone who has tried to make paella without a paella pan would know the struggles of keeping all the ingredients in a frying pan. It just doesn’t work - but you want to enjoy your favorite meal without the added mess and stickiness.
Paella pans are, as the name suggests, designed specifically for cooking paella. A traditional Spanish rice dish, paella is a delicious meal that is enjoyed by everyone worldwide for its gorgeous flavors and large batches to serve a whole family.
If you’re looking for a paella pan, you’ve come to the right place. We have found the best paella pans on the market, ranging from a couple of high-quality Garcima pans to a La Paella mini pan for tapas. Let’s get started!
Garcima 16" Carbon Steel Paella Pan
Mauviel M'Elite 13.8" Paella Pan
La Paella Mini Paella Pan
Garcima 23.75" Paella Pan
Victoria Cast Iron Paella Pan
Before we go into the product reviews, here are the key criteria points we have followed to compare and contrast the products.
Paella is well-known for being made in large batches to feed large gatherings. If you have the storage space to hold a paella pan that can feed up to 20 people, then go for it!
However, if you’re only planning on making the occasional paella for your family of four, you might want to reconsider the size of the pan.
Of course, the quality of the paella pan is paramount in your search for the perfect pan. Cheap materials might seem more attractive to your bank account, but not if the rice continuously sticks to the bottom or if the handles retain heat.
There are several materials that make paella pans, including stainless steel, carbon steel, and cast iron.
As with the previous key criteria point, does the paella pan come with a non-stick coating? If so, how long-lasting is the non-stick coating? How do you tend to a pan that doesn’t have a non-stick coating?
While you might think material and size is all there is to a paella pan, there’s a couple of other extra features worth mentioning.
Does the paella pan have cool-to-touch handles to prevent burnt hands? Is the paella pan dishwasher safe? What are the rules to prevent rust?
Best Paella Pan
1. Best Overall Paella Pan: Garcima 16" Carbon Steel Paella Pan
This paella pan has a 16” (40 cm) diameter, which generally amounts to around six to ten servings. This is a good middle-sized pan for the average family, plus it should take upon a large stovetop burner (or potentially two smaller ones). It should be able to fit into most ovens.
As for thickness, this is a light paella pan that weighs 2.8 pounds.
This paella pan is made of carbon steel, which is a highly durable material that is great at conducting heat. It’s no surprise that this heat conductive material is the reason why it is the most common material for paella pans in the origin city of Valencia.
This is a long-lasting material - but only if you provide it with enough care and preparation for the next use. Carbon steel is fairly high-maintenance that requires a light covering of vegetable oil to prevent rusting after cleaning.
This is a real paella pan, which means that while it doesn’t come with a non-stick coating, it must be seasoned properly before and using it.
To do this, wash the pan with a sponge and soapy warm water. Then, spread a light layer of vegetable oil over the pan with a paper towel. This will prevent it from rusting and sticking.
This is not a dishwasher-safe paella pan. Carbon steel is prone to rust if left in water or a wet environment for too long, which is why it should be washed by hand and thoroughly dried (not air-dried).
The handles are made of steel and are cool to the touch. You should always wear oven gloves when handling kitchenware in the oven.
Garcima is a Spanish company that specializes in kitchenware. Their ethos is about inspiring healthy and tasty home-cooked food with a Spanish flare with the highest quality pots and pans, which is why Garcima is one of the most popular brands for paella pans in the world.
They currently sell their products to more than 30 countries, including the United States.
Why this is the best overall paella pan?
This paella pan has everything you would expect from a paella pan - an excellent build made from high-quality materials, a seasoning requirement, and a decent-sized footprint to make multiple servings of food. It’s not too bad for those on a budget, either.
Customers rave about this paella pan, with some Spanish customers expressing their excitement about cooking like a true Spaniard. The 16” version is the best size for families of four to six people.
Few customers have complained about rusting and discoloration, but this is only down to lack of seasoning and maintenance.
- Good size - Ideal for a family of four to six people
- High-quality - Carbon steel material is durable and ideal for paella
- Handles - Cool-to-touch handles prevent burnt hands
- Inexperienced or uneducated customers might encourage rust to the pan if they don’t clean or season it properly
- Informative pamphlet with each pan, which contains two recipes.
- Can be used on a gas or charcoal grill, on the stovetop, or in the oven.
- Carbon steel is durable and conducts heat well.
- Dry the pan right after washing it and then rub the inside with a little vegetable oil to prevent rusting.
- If the pan does rust, a few passes with steel wool takes it right off.
2. Best Quality Paella Pan: Mauviel M'Elite 13.8" Paella Pan
This paella pan is 13.8” in diameter and has a thickness of 2.6 mm, making it a fairly heavy pan at 4.1 pounds. This is an ideal pan for families of four, as it can make between four and six servings.
This is an extremely high-quality paella pan made of 5 ply stainless steel. The company was created in 1830 and has since become a leading expert in cookware manufacturing for both household and professional cooking.
The five layers of stainless steel mean that this pan is highly durable, has brilliant heat conductivity, and the heat is evenly distributed across the pan. It can also be used on every cooking surface, including gas and electric stoves, ovens, and induction hobs.
This stainless steel paella pan comes with a non-stick coating and does not require pre-seasoning as with cast iron and carbon steel pans. This is great for those who cannot commit to the maintenance of other pan materials.
This paella pan is dishwasher safe, and given the size, it should fit into most empty dishwashers. The handles are stainless steel and remain cool to prevent burnt hands. Due to the size, this pan is ideal for cooking a variety of foods - not just paella!
Founded in 1830 France, Mauviel M’Elite is known worldwide for its premium-quality kitchenware products.
The company specializes in heat conductive materials to create delicious, evenly-cooked dishes for both home and professional use. Today, 70 craftsmen work daily to create exceptional kitchenware.
Why this is the best quality paella pan?
The sheer craftsmanship of this paella pan is what earned it the title of the best quality paella pan on our list.
Five layers of stainless steel work to create a durable and highly long-lasting pan that evenly conducts and distributes heat to cook food excellently. It also looks gorgeous, which is a bonus.
Customers are very impressed with the quality of this pan. The price seems to be worth it for how much they can cook with the pan as well as paella. Plus, with minimal maintenance (like seasoning), it’s hard to destroy this pan.
- Extremely high-quality - Five ply, premium-quality stainless steel is hardy and durable
- Reputable company - Professional kitchens use these paella pans due to exceptional craftsmanship
- Minimal maintenance - Dishwasher safe and no seasoning needed
- Price point is fairly high for a paella pan
- Made in France since 1830. Mauviel is the leading cookware manufacturer for professional and household chefs throughout the world
- HIGH PERFORMANCE 2.6 mm thickness; 5 Ply 18/10 SS Construction. M 'Elite is polished and hammered on the outside. Superior heat conductivity and controlled even heat distribution
- Handles stay cool. Cast Stainless steel handles stay cool during use. Pouring rims on every shape. Dishwasher safe
- Can be used on all cooking surfaces. Gas, electric, induction, halogen stovetops, and in the oven. Oven safe including under the broiler
- Guarantee. All Mauviel products are guaranteed for life against any manufacturing defects for household use
3. Best Small Paella Pan: La Paella Mini Paella Pan
This small paella pan is only 15 cm (6”) in diameter, which is why it is the best paella pan for tapas and small dishes. Sure, you can’t get a whole paella in here for multiple people, but it’s a good option for those who live alone. It only weighs 0.8 ounces.
This mini paella pan is made of alloy steel with an enamel surface. It is made in Spain, so the quality is of professional quality.
The enamel coating provides a non-stick layer of protection across the entire pan to prevent foods from sticking to the surface.
This means that pre-seasoning isn’t required, which is ideal for those with no seasoning experience. The coating is black with white speckles, which makes this an attractive pan.
This mini paella pan comes with cool-to-touch handles and is dishwasher safe. As it is so small, it can fit into dishwashers easily.
La Paella has been selling paella pans of all shapes and sizes for over two decades. The owner, Sarah Jay, first visited Spain when she was 15 in the 1980s. She ended up studying there and then moved back after five years of moving back home to Connecticut.
Sarah fell in love with the Spaniards and their culture - especially their paella. She ended up making her own paella and finding a true passion for creating the perfect paella pans. The rest is history!
Why this is the best small paella pan?
It’s not often that you’ll find a small paella pan. Sure, you can’t feed the masses with extra servings of paella in this pan, but that doesn’t mean you can’t cook anything in it.
This size is ideal for making tapas and small dishes. If you live by yourself, you can make a single portion of paella without having to deal with leftovers.
Plus, the enamel coating means that no food will stick to it, and you don’t have to season it after every use.
Some customers were shocked at the size of this pan, but that doesn’t mean they didn’t find it brilliant in action.
Customer reviews show how impressed they are by the quality of La Paella pans, and how there are minimal scratches on the coating after multiple uses.
- Small but fierce - Mini pan is great for tapas and small/singular paella portions
- High-quality - Made with passion and premium-quality materials
- Great coating - Enamel coating prevents sticking and rust
- Won’t be able to make multiple servings of paella
- Authentic mini-paella pan. Made in Spain.
- Perfect for serving tapas.
- Coated enameled surface makes for easy maintenance.
- Informative pamphlet included with pan.
- Offers convenience and value.
4. Best Paella Pan for Large Gatherings: Garcima 23.75" Paella Pan
This is the largest paella pan on our list with a diameter of 23.75 inches (60 cm). This is an ideal size for feeding between 9 and 16 people.
This paella pan is made of a high-quality carbon steel that is the ideal material for paellas - though this material does require some maintenance. However, despite its size, this is a fairly lightweight pan that weighs 4.4 pounds - which is light for carbon steel.
Garcima is a Spanish kitchenware company, which means that this pan is as authentic as it gets.
This is a carbon steel paella pan, which means it doesn’t come with a non-stick coating. Instead, it must be cleaned and thoroughly dried by hand, and then pre-seasoned after every use.
To do this, simply wipe a light layer of vegetable over the surface with a paper towel after it has been dried. Failure to commit to this maintenance will encourage rusting.
Plastic, cool-to-touch handles are ideal for preventing burnt hands. This is a large pan that is technically dishwasher safe, but it won’t fit in the average dishwasher.
This paella pan comes with an instruction guide that gives maintenance tips, paella tips, and two recipes.
Garcima is a Spanish company that excels in kitchenware for both home and professional use. Their exceptional paella pans are sold to more than 30 countries, including the United States.
Why this is the best paella pan for large gatherings?
This pan has a diameter of 23.75”, which means it can comfortably make a paella large enough to feed between nine and sixteen people. This is much better than cooking multiple medium-sized batches in a smaller paella pan.
Customers are impressed by the quality and size of this paella pan. The handles are great for balancing the weight of the food-filled pan, and it comfortably sits across two burners on a stove top.
Few have complained about rusting or discoloration, but this is due to lack of maintenance.
- Large - Big pan is ideal for feeding large gatherings of up to 16 people
- High-quality - When seasoned and maintained properly, this pan produces the best paellas
- Great material - Carbon steel pan is ideal for paellas
- Some may struggle with the maintenance requirements
- Large pan might be hard to store
- Authentic paella pan. made in spain.
- Carbon steel is durable and conducts heat well. requires a bit of maintenance after washing.
- Safe for stovetop, oven, or grill.
- Ideal for serving 9 to 16 people.
- The pan comes with an informative pamphlet that contains two recipes, tips for perfect paella, and care instructions.
This paella pan is 13” in diameter, but it also comes in other sizes included 6.5”, 8”, 10”, and 12”. The 13” pan is an ideal size for feeding a family of four or five. Due to the material, this is a heavy pan weighing 7.54 pounds.
This paella pan is made of cast iron, which is the joint second most popular material for paella pans (next to stainless steel and behind carbon steel).
Cast iron is a durable and heavy material that conducts heat excellently, assuring for an even distribution across the surface.
This paella pan comes with an 100% non-GMO flaxseed oil seasoned coating, which means you won’t have to constantly season the pan.
This paella pan comes with two handles, though as the cast iron retains heat for 15 minutes, you might need to wear protective gloves.
Interestingly, cast iron is a great option for paella, as traces of iron will naturally release to boost the mineral levels in your food.
Victoria is a family-owned business in Colombia that is all about creating the best-quality kitchenware to spread their passion for cooking.
Their products are used in homes and professional kitchens across 32 countries. Their craftsmen are experts in cast iron.
Why this is the best cast iron paella pan?
Cast iron is possibly the most durable material for kitchenware. This pan comes with a flaxseed oil pre-seasoning that only gets better after every use, which is ideal for those with minimal seasoning experience.
As it retains heat for 15 minutes, it will keep your paella warm until you are ready to eat.
Customers are thrilled with the quality of this paella pan. Some have compared this Victoria pan to other paella pans on the market, but Victoria has won every time.
Some customers also recommend seasoning the pan as you normally would aside from the pre-seasoning to get the best results.
- Great material - Cast iron is durable and retains heat for 15 minutes
- Good size range - Pan comes in a variety of sizes from small to medium
- Pre-seasoned - Pan comes with pre-seasoned surface
- Handles might not be cool to the touch
- ✔️Better Performance. The 13 inch cast iron skillet has greater retention and distribution of heat. This seasoned frying pan can keep your food hot for 15 min Or longer. Double loop handles for easy handling.
- ✔️Ready-to-use seasoning: 100% non-GMO flaxseed oil seasoned coating. Does not contain PTFE and Foes that can be harmful to your health. Flaxseed oil it's a vegetable oil, Perfect natural easy-release seasoning that gets even better with time.
- ✔️Healthy for you. Trace amounts of iron are naturally released when cooking with seasoned cast iron skillet, boosting the mineral in your diet.
- ✔️Versatile. This cast iron pan can be used for serving, cooking, baking, grilling, and oven-to-table. Multi-use, you can make a delicious paella, grilled steak nachos, beef tips stir fry, potato bacon hash and more! Fits all kitchen and camping needs.