I curated the Spanish Paella & Tapas Gourmet Gift box to make it easy for anyone to enjoy an
authentic Spanish feast at home. Relying on a range of imported Spanish food items, the box is
built around a traditional paella pan - made in Spain. While I’ve made paella many times with a
regular sauté pan and it totally works, a traditional paella pan produces a better result, and
making paella is easier when you have the right equipment.
Why is it such a game-changer? The traditional carbon steel pan has little divots in the bottom
of the pan that help distribute heat and increase surface area. It’s also much thinner than most
sauté pans, and wide and shallow to create the right rice distribution and exposure to heat. This
is the key to creating that crispy rice crust called socarrat that defines a great paella. There
should only be about a ½” of rice on the bottom of the pan for it to cook properly.
● Note on sizing -
It’s hard to distribute heat with a conventional stove top if your pan is
larger than 15”. So, I’ve included a 15” pan in this box. It’s a practical size and perfect to
feed 4 to 6 people.
Before first use
Cleaning the pan
Before you use your paella pan for the first time, you must clean it to remove a light residue
from the manufacturing process. To do this:
1. Start by rubbing the pan with a few tablespoons of white vinegar.
2. Add water to the pan and dissolve a tablespoon of salt in the water/vinegar mixture.
3. Bring it to a boil and boil for 5 minutes.
4. Remove from heat and discard the liquid from the pan.
5. Clean the pan with dish soap until it’s clean and residue is removed.
6. Rinse the pan.
Seasoning the pan
Because this pan is made from carbon steel, it is subject to rusting and will cause food to stick
to it unless it is seasoned. To season, coat the pan with a little cooking oil and heat on medium heat until the pan turns a golden brown. Now, it’s ready to go. The pan seasons with use, ensuring it becomes a treasured pan in your arsenal.
After each use
One super important note – each time the pan is used it must be washed properly, dried and
rubbed with a light coating of oil. This will keep the pan from rusting. Re-season your pan if food
begins to stick.
How to remove gunk
Add two tablespoons of salt and a little oil. Mix it together and rub it around the pan with a
paper towel. It should remove any difficult spots. Clean the pan well with soapy water. Dry and
rub with oil.
The manufacturer suggests not heating over 450 degrees and not putting the pan in an oven, so
follow manufacturer guidelines with this one.