Advertisement

Join in
Mumsnet is supported by readers. All our writers obsessively research every product we recommend. When you buy through a link on our site we might earn commission but this never influences our product choices.

10 best paella pans for cooking up a tasty Spanish feast

Are you reminiscing about long overdue, sun-kissed Spanish holidays? Whatever your budget, kitchen set-up or culinary skills, enjoy a taste of summer with the best pans for cooking a perfect Spanish paella.

By Mumsnet HQ | Last updated Dec 6, 2021

traditional Spanish paella dish served in a large paella pan

When you think of Spanish cuisine, there is one dish that will almost immediately spring to mind – paella. Cooked in a wide flat pan, this traditional rice-based dish is the ideal meal for families to share and is often seen at the centre of a social gathering, with the whole group gathering round the table, serving up their own generous portion (or two). 

Advertisement

Whether it’s seafood, meat-based or vegetarian, Paella is also a simple and relatively healthy quick-cook dinner for parents to serve at home.

We’ve done our research, scouring the Mumsnet forums for recommendations and checking the pans loved by reviewers and professionals alike, to bring you the lowdown on the perfect paella pan to suit your budget, family size and hob type. 

Here are the best paella pans to buy in 2021.

1. Best overall paella pan: Garcima La Ideal Enamelled Steel Paella Pan

Garmica La Ideal pan

Price: £16.85 | Buy now from Amazon

Made of enamelled steel, this duel handled 30cm diameter paella pan is perfect for rustling up enough paella for a family of four to sit down and enjoy together. Fear not though, as this non-stick pan is also really easy to clean, meaning there’ll be no squabbles afterwards about who has to wash up. 

Suitable for cooking on gas hobs, in the oven or using firewood, this versatile paella pan requires no seasoning (i.e. preparing) in advance and won’t break the bank for those dipping their toe into the world of Spanish cuisine for the very first time. 

Key specs

  • Material: Enamelled Steel 
  • Weight: 758g
  • Size: 30cm diameter

Pros

  • Large enough for four servings
  • Easy clean
  • Non-stick
  • No seasoning required

Cons

  • Unsuitable for induction hobs
  • You will need a bigger pan if you have a larger family

2. Best budget paella pan: ProCook Non-Stick Paella Pan

ProCook paella pan

Price: £15 | Buy now from ProCook

“ProCook do reasonably priced paella pans”Demented Pixie

At only £15, this bargain paella pan certainly doesn’t sacrifice on quality despite its low price tag.

At 38cm, this budget-friendly paella pan is big enough to cater for large families, with space for around six helpings as a main dish. With sturdy helper handles, the ProCook Paella Pan is made from durable carbon steel with a tough, non-stick coating to help even the most inexperienced chefs cook a delicious paella. 

It’s worth noting that it can’t be used on induction hobs or hot plates if that’s how you plan to cook, but it is safe to use on other types of hob and in the oven (up to 260°C). We also loved that it’s dishwasher safe, making it a versatile choice and a low-risk investment for your kitchen.

Key specs

  • Material: Carbon steel and Stainless steel
  • Weight: 1468g
  • Size: 38cm diameter

Pros

  • Bargain price tag
  • Non-stick coating
  • Suitable for larger families

Cons

  • Unsuitable for induction hobs or hot plates
  • Larger pans take up more storage room

3. Best traditional paella pan: Intignis Professional Paella Pan

Professional paella pan

Price: £44.99 | Buy now from Amazon

“Not the cheapest but it’s an excellent pan – I use it for all sorts of things – excellent quality and a good weight.”  StrikeAttack

Made from heavy duty cast aluminium, this is a robust piece of cookware that will stand the test of time, no matter how many portions of paella you plan to consume each week. 

Not only does this paella pan look the business, but reviewers also loved its performance and impressive heat distribution. 

Compatible with gas, electric and even induction hobs, as well as oven and open fire, the Intignis is a great option offering versatility whatever your cooking set-up. 

We loved its standout feature, a German ‘Greblon’ non-Stick C3+ Ceramic reinforced coating, which prevents the food catching or sticking whilst you cook. 

Key specs

  • Material: Aluminium 
  • Weight: 2kg
  • Size: 40cm diameter

Pros

  • Suitable for every kind of kitchen set-up including induction hobs
  • Non-stick ceramic reinforced coating 
  • Large enough for six to seven portions

Cons

  • One of the heavier paella pans on the market 
  • Expensive

4. Best paella pan for families: Cadac Paella Pan

Cadac paella pan

Price: £44.25 | Buy now from Amazon

“We have this for camping to go with our Cadac.” - TreaslakeandBack 

If you’re a family who loves to get out and about in the great outdoors as well as cooking at home, the Cadac Paella Pan is ideal.

Suitable for cooking paella on the bbq or an open stove, the Cadac pan even comes with a convenient bag, meaning it can be nearly stored away easily when not in use. 

With a ‘GreenGrill’ ceramic coating, which prevents catching and sticking, it’s also super easy to clean, a feature we loved. 

Key specs

  • Material: Aluminium 
  • Weight: 1kg
  • Size: 36cm

Pros

  • Comes with a handy storage bag
  • Ceramic non-stick coating 

Cons

  • Unsuitable for induction hobs 

5. Best large paella pan: Garcima La Ideal Enamelled Steel Paella Pan, 42cm

Garmica large paella pan

Price: £23.95 | Buy now from Amazon

If you have a large family, enjoy entertaining or simply have plenty of additional mouths to feed, you’re going to need to invest in a larger sized paella pan. This Garcima La Ideal Enamelled Steel paella pan is big enough to serve up to 10 portions, making it ideal for sociable get-togethers and family gatherings.

Suitable for use on gas hobs, in the oven or with firewood, this pan helps create the ultimate traditional Spanish paella for everyone to share. 

It’s the second Garcima pan featured on our list and it’s a premium cookware brand for good reason – reviewers couldn’t get enough of the quality of paella it produces.

Key specs

  • Material: Enamelled steel 
  • Weight: Unspecified
  • Size: 42cm 

Pros

  • Suitable for larger gatherings
  • Made from robust enamelled steel 
  • Good price for the size of the pan

Cons

  • Unsuitable for induction hobs

6. Best small paella pan: Valenciana Enamelled Steel Paella Pan, 15cm

Valenciana paella pan

Price: £8.96 | Buy now from Amazon

On the flip side, if you are only cooking paella for yourself, a small family, or simply want to serve up a smaller tapas-sized portion, this 15cm diameter paella pan from La Valenciana is just the ticket.

A traditional Valencian paella pan made from enamelled steel, this pan is small but perfectly formed. It’s also easy to clean, lightweight and easy to store, all plus points.

If you’re wanting something more versatile that you can use for both smaller plates and for entertaining when needed without worrying about storing two pans, you’d be better to go for something larger but, at under £10, this is ideal for those on a budget too.

Key specs 

  • Material: Alloy Steel
  • Weight: 180g
  • Size: 15cm

Pros

  • Lightweight and easy to store
  • Ideal for smaller portions
  • Easy to clean
  • Budget option

Cons

  • Less versatile 
  • Not suitable for larger families

7. Best investment paella pan: Le Creuset Toughened Non-Stick Paella Pan

Le Creuset paella pan

Price: £103.20 | Buy now from Amazon

Do you have a bit more cash to splash or want to invest in a paella pan that is built to last? The Le Creuset Paella Pan may well come with a higher price tag, but it is made from long-lasting toughened cast aluminium, meaning you can expect to see this in your kitchen for many years to come. So confident are they, it even comes with a lifetime guarantee.

With a reinforced three-layer non-stick coating (and no seasoning required), the Le Creuset paella pan is suitable for all hob types, including induction. It has a wide flat base which enables easy, even cooking and a quick release coating to make serving up and cleaning a breeze. 

If you’re new to the world of paella cooking, we’d recommend starting with a cheaper option, but if you love cooking it’s the ideal choice.

Key specs

  • Material: Cast aluminium
  • Weight: 1.38kg
  • Size: 32.9cm diameter

Pros

  • Built to last with a lifetime guarantee
  • Strong non-stick coating
  • Suitable for all hob types including induction

Cons

  • Significant price tag

8. Best paella pan for induction hobs: Vaello Valenciana Enamelled Induction Paella Pan

Valleo paella pan

Price: £23.56 | Buy now from Amazon

If you have an induction hob at home, it’s worth noting that many traditional paella pans will only work on gas burner hobs. For paella pans specifically for induction jobs, the Vaello Valenciana pan is up there with the best.

With two handles for stability and made from glazed enamelled steel, this 32cm pan is a versatile option that can be used to serve up a range of home comfort dishes.

Some reviewers have reported that the pan ‘warps’ on the base, but most praise how well it works on an induction hob.  

Key specs

  • Material: Enamelled steel 
  • Weight: 1.42kg
  • Size: 32cm 

Pros

  • Made specifically for induction hobs
  • Two handles for stability

Cons

  • Some reviewers found it tends to warp slightly on the base

9. Best paella pan with lid: Intignis Professional Paella Pan

Paella pan with lid

Price: £46.99 | Buy now from Amazon

Whilst it’s super tempting to pop the lid on the pan whilst your paella sizzles to perfection, most traditional paella pans don’t come with a lid and there is actually a good reason for this. Being open to the air helps the liquid in your pan to evaporate, so your rice stays tender, but not significantly moist or soggy.

Should you feel more comfortable using a paella pan with a lid however, this is a great option and is versatile enough to be used for frying, oven baking and roasting a wide range of family-friendly dishes.

This reliable non-stick pan is great for avoiding a messy washing-up job and with removable handles, can easily be transferred from hob to oven as required. 

Key specs

  • Material: Aluminium 
  • Weight: 2kg
  • Size: 36cm 

Pros

  • Versatile option for a variety of family friendly meals
  • Removable handles 

Cons

  • Cooking paella with a lid comes with the risk of soggy rice
  • Pricey

10. Best alternative to a paella pan: Tefal Madras Collection Kadai Pan

Kadai pan

Price: £53.99 (for two) | Buy now from Amazon

"Buy a Kadai – proper non-stick. I’ve used it every week for almost five years and still as non-stick as the day I bought it." - Don Lewis

As some food for thought, do you need to buy a paella pan at all if you want something more versatile? Is paella a rare treat, only to be eaten when entertaining? If so, you may wish to choose another kind of pan for your kitchen; something which can be used for a wide range of meal choices.

A Kadai pan such as the Tefal Madras Collection Kadai Pan with Lid is a really versatile choice. With Durabase technology for even heat distribution and a non-stick interior and exterior, this pan is suitable for cooking a wide range of family friendly dishes from curries to casseroles, whilst of course being ideal for rusting up your favourite paella dish too. 

Key specs

  • Material: Aluminium 
  • Weight: 2kg
  • Size: 36cm 

Pros

  • Versatile pan choice that comes with a lid
  • Non-stick interior and exterior

Cons

  • Not a budget choice (but you get two included) 
  • Not a traditional paella pan

How to choose the best paella pan

There are clearly a wide range of options on the market when it comes to paella pans, so how do you know which one is right for you? Here are some things to consider:

  • Budget: How often are you going to use the paella pan? Is the pan you have chosen versatile for other dishes? Paella pans can range from around £10 to £100, so think about the expense you can spare.
  • Size: There is no point buying a large paella pan if you only intend on feeding yourself and your partner or a small family of four. If you are planning to also use your paella pan in the oven you may want to check the size of your oven too.
  • Where are you going to use it?: Are you wanting to take your paella pan with you when you travel or simply use it at home? Think about portability if you’re planning on taking it camping or on a family holiday.
  • Type of hob: Some paella pans only work on gas or electric hobs, so for induction hobs you will need to check suitability. It’s also worth checking other factors such as whether the paella pan is oven and dishwasher safe.
  • Material: Traditional cast iron paella pans are heavier and potentially harder to store, but are more durable and long lasting.
  • Non-stick coating: Does the paella pan come with a non-stick coating, or will it need seasoning before use? The latter may require more culinary skills and preparation before you can tuck in and may need regular maintenance to keep them looking their best.

How to use a paella pan

Whilst there is quite a bit of debate on the Mumsnet Forums about the best paella recipe, there are a few key tips to remember when using a paella pan. 

First up, if you haven’t opted for a non-stick paella pan, you will need to season and prepare the pan first to avoid it catching (see below). 

When cooking, turn up to medium high heat and leave it be. Whilst it can be tempting to over stir it, the magic happens when you allow the golden crust to form on the base.

If you find that your paella is heating too quickly on one side, rotate the pan or move it around on the heat source to try and gain a more even distribution. 

How to season a paella pan

Most of the pans featured in this roundup are enamelled or include a non-stick coating so don’t require seasoning before use. If you buy a carbon steel paella pan however, you will need to season the pan before you use it for the first time, in order to ensure your paella cooks evenly and doesn’t stick to the bottom. 

To season your carbon steel paella pan, wipe across the entire pan with a generous helping of good quality cooking oil, before popping on the hob and turning on the (medium to high) heat. Turning the pan regularly to ensure an even coating, the oil will start to turn a golden brown colour, building up a helpful non-stick coating ready for the first use.

What is the best type of paella pan?

The best type of paella pan is really down to personal choice. There are a range of different materials to consider, from aluminium to carbon steel as well as finding a pan that fits around your family requirements.

We think the best paella pan is one that is versatile, durable, non-stick and long-lasting, whilst being suitable for a range of kitchen set-ups. 

What is the best paella pan? 

The Garcima La Ideal Enamelled Steel Paella Pan ticks a lot of boxes when you consider budget, practicality and its ability to get the job done.

We felt that this paella pan was suitable for both experienced and novice paella makers, functional for the majority of kitchens and easy to clean too. Most importantly with no seasoning required before use, you can skip straight to the good part and just start cooking.

How we chose our recommendations

We scoured the Mumsnet forums to find your experiences and recommendations and on the best paella pan, including the paella pans you have bought personally and rated most highly. We also looked out for the paella pans that didn’t impress.

Next, we researched online forums, bestseller lists and online feedback / product reviews to find the most highly rated and popular paella pans to suit a wide range of requirements. 

We then cross-referenced our findings with the paella pans that had won the most accolades and recommendations across the board in order to create our final list of recommendations. 

Advertisement

Why you should trust us

We work hard to provide unbiased, independent advice you can trust. We do sometimes earn revenue through affiliate (click-to-buy) links in our articles. This helps us fund more helpful articles like this one.