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Find quick answers to your questions below - if you need additional assistance, please contact us.
First, how many people will you be serving? We give a range of servings for each pan size, so use those numbers as your primary guide. Also consider whether you'll be serving other food before or alongside the paella, as that will affect how much paella people eat and how many servings you can get out of the pan.
Second, consider your heat source as that may limit you to certain sizes. We can give some rough guidelines, but you might want to measure your stove, grill, oven, or firepit before ordering. For a home stovetop, the maximum size is usually 20 or 22 inches. In an oven, the largest is usually 17 or 18 inches. A large outdoor grill can usually handle up to a 26 inch pan. If you're looking for precise control over the heat and maximum flexibility, consider our gas paella burners, which can be used with any size pan up to 40 inches.
A good guideline is to choose the largest size pan that will work for your heat source. That's because the larger your pan, the thinner the layer of rice, and that translates into a more delicious paella.
Some customers find that it makes more sense to buy two smaller size pans rather than one large one. For example, maybe you're having a dinner party for 12 next week, but more often you'll be cooking for just four or six people. Or perhaps your heat source isn't large enough for one big pan and you're not ready to invest in our paella burner. Two smaller pans gives you the opportunity to cook two different paellas for your guests.
One more tip: it's very useful to pull out a tape measure so you can really "see" how big the pan is. The size you're considering might be much larger than you think! If you're still unsure which size to get, email or call us, we're here to help!
Carbon steel is most traditional. It perhaps has a very slight edge in terms of how quickly it conducts heat, and as a reactive metal, some people feel it adds a desirable flavor to the paella. Its main drawback is its tendency to rust if not properly maintained (i.e. dried thoroughly and rubbed with oil after each use).
Stainless steel pans are gorgeous with their mirror finish, and they make wonderful gifts and even better paellas. They are quite easy to maintain. They're more costly than our other pans, however.
Enameled steel pans are made of carbon steel that has been coated with a speckled black enamel finish. They won't rust, they're easy on the wallet, and they make cleanup a breeze. The only caveat is that the enamel coating can be damaged if your cookware gets banged around a lot in the cabinet or on the pot rack. But this is a small risk; even if the enamel did chip a tiny bit, it would be only cosmetic and would not affect performance.
The handles are not included in the measurement. As an example, on a 14 inch pan, the handles protrude about 2 inches on each side.
By the way, if you forget to seal the pan and it does rust before your next use, don't worry. Just remove the rust with a bit of steel wool (it comes off easily) before using it. No harm done.