View Full Version : how big of a paella pan?

07-31-2013, 01:12 PM
i have no clue about pans.

for two diners, wife and i..8" pan?

what about a 8 person dinner party? 15" or 18"?

i dont want to own a bunch of sizes..so i want to optimize two sizes. any help?m for sure, carbon steel, right?

oh, i plan on cooking the paella on my weber kettle grill with a burned down hardwood fire. my weber is 22.5", if i makes any difference.

thanks in advance..


07-31-2013, 03:19 PM
I have an 18.5" and a 13" paella pan. The 18.5" should be good for 8-10 people. I also use it on the weber grill but the handles don't quite fit inside with the lid down so I use a lid from an 18.5" weber grill. For two people you can probably just use a regular 8-10" skillet pan. I only got the 13" cause it was on sale at sur la table.

NO ChoP!
07-31-2013, 04:17 PM
I say the bigger the better. More surface area means crispier rice.

Mucho Bocho
07-31-2013, 04:22 PM
If you're going to go big. Then go big.


07-31-2013, 04:30 PM
I use mine on a Large BGE. Get the biggest diameter pan you can fit on your grill and then cut off one handle if you have to. They get too hot setting on the grill to be of any real use any how but one handle is nice to grab with the tongs so you can turn the pan on the grill if you need to.
I'd be thinking a lot more along the lines of 6-8 people out of an 18" pan. My 15" will feed two hungry hearty eaters (buuuuuuuuuuuurp) or 4 normal servings.


07-31-2013, 04:36 PM
I generally think that the recommendations for how many people a certain pan serves are ridiculous, especially if the paella is your main meal. But the again, Kellogg claims there are 12 servings of cereal in their box but I only find 4.... But getting the biggest one that fits the grill is definitely the way to go. I find paell to be a great social meal, and I happen to like leftover paella the following day in the rare cases that there are leftovers.


07-31-2013, 05:58 PM
thanks everyone. great tips!

i cant believe they are using an excavator on that big paella!!

10-30-2013, 03:23 AM
I've made a lot of paellas (over 100) and I have 5 or 6 pans now down from 8 or 10. The suggestions that come with the pans in spanish are pretty misleading. I even took a week long cooking course in Spain and they ate way more than the pans suggested. An 18" to 21" will work on a webber. You want the pan sitting on it's handles with a little open space around the edges so the coals can get some air - though I guess you could also sit the pan on top of the cooking grate. Paella pans have a range of servings but in general you want about a half cup of rice per person. A normal kilo bag is about 2.25 cups but should be good for 4-6 people depending on sides and the people. In an 18-21" pan the least I would do is 2cups and the most I would do is 3cups or 4-6 people. You don't want the layer of rice to be too thick or too thin and everything also depends on what else is in the paella, the rice and stock. If you do everything correctly it is generally thought that once the stock is added it should reach to about where the handle rivets come thru plus or minus a little. Once you get outside the optimal range for a pan it is better to go to a different size. Some quick words of advice... Using the best rice is the most important thing you can do to improve your paellas. Bomba rice is widely considered the best.It is a special varietal that is only grown for paella and is a little bit expensive. The best Bomba is grown at higher altitudes in Calasparra. It comes in a white cloth bag with red writing. The other rice that comes from that same cooperative is also good but you can really tell the difference with the Bomba. You can get it at La tienda online and other places as well. Bigger bags are less expensive per Kilo so a 5kilo bag is a lot cheaper. This particular rice will absorb as much a 5cups of water or stock and not seem to soggy but 3.5 cups is the amount I find works best. If you do those two things and get a good book like Paella by Jeff Koehler you should have success. If you keep it up you will want to buy a propane fire ring with wind guard(also at La tienda) and let the webber do what it does best. Other good resources are the Spanish table, Paella pans .com, and Donajuana.com. Cheers

10-30-2013, 12:05 PM
hey!! i ended up using a 12" lodge cast iron pan on my weber kettle grill. it worked pretty damn good!

i got too excited to take a photo..plus it was dark out. i did use Bomba rice which was about triple the cost of my regular bag of arborio rice. not so sure it was worth it.

10-30-2013, 04:15 PM
Took me a while to be a believer in the Bomba but I noticed over the years that most of my best paellas were made with the Bomba and I slowly made the connection. I can also tell a big difference with the leftovers the next day. And when you figure it out per person it is not that bad.... Of course there are other very good rices - just so long as you use a rice for paella and not some long grain or pre- cooked version you will have some happy customers!