August 26th, 2014
Paella pans come in many different sizes. Some are as large as 150 centimeters in diameter while others are only 10 centimeters wide. These different sizes have their different uses. Mainly the reason for picking a certain size of the pan is guided by the number of people you plan to serve. The ideal pan depth should give you a paella dish depth of half an inch. Here is a look at the number of people different paella pan sizes can serve, advantages and shortcomings.
The pans ranging from diameter of 10 to 24 centimeters are normally for use by one person. The rice you cook with them will only be enough for an individual. They have the advantage that they are small and you can use them on a small oven. Heat will be spread quickly and evenly throughout the paella. Their only disadvantage is that they can’t be used by a family.
The pans above this range, which is pans measuring between 26 to 30 centimeters can be used to prepare a meal enough to serve at most three people. This is the ideal pan for a small family or a couple living together. Its size also allows heat to spread evenly.
The range of 32 to 36 centimeters in diameter paella pans can serve 4 people. The families which only have parents and two children can buy this size since it is enough for them without having leftovers. It can fit in many ovens and heat will spread evenly in it for even cooking of the dish.
For someone looking to serve 5 or 6 people the ideal pan to choose the ideal pans range will be either a paella pan of 36 or 38 centimeters in the diameter. This is a medium sized pan and it won’t be a problem in preparing the dish since it will fit in the oven nicely and good heat transfer to all the areas of pan.
The next pan sizes are 42 to 46 centimeters. With these you will be able to serve about 8 people. Care when using this kind of pan should be taken to ensure heat is distributed even not to have some areas of the paella fully cooked while others are semi-cooked.
paella pans having a diameter of between 50cm to 55cm can serve up to 12 people. A wide grill would be recommended to use when cooking so that all ends of pan are in direct contact with the heat. A large oven can also be used.
Having a family-come-together or inviting friends over and you want to serve them paella rice, you should consider pans of diameter size ranging from 60 to about 70 centimeters which are enough to serve up to 21 people. With this size you should have prior experience in using them or hire a professional to do it for you. It wouldn’t hurt even asking a friend for help. Reason is that most ovens will not distribute heat evenly to the whole surface area of the pan ending up with semi-cooked paella or some parts being burnt.
A paella pan of size ranging from 70 cm to 90 cm will be enough to serve between 20 people to 50 people. This pan size is not necessary for home use since it will not be used regularly. But if you frequently hold parties with rice being one of the dishes you serve then you can consider buying it. A small restaurant serving paella can buy this.
Pans ranging from 90 to 100 cm are able to serve 50 to 80 people. Those of between 100 and 115 cm will serve up to 110 people. If you are expecting more than 100 people it would be safe to choose pans of between 115cm to 130cm which will serve up to 180 people. The 150cm wide pan will serve up to 250 people.