Polished Paella Pan vs Enameled Paella Pan

Polished Paella Pan vs Enameled Paella Pan

No idea which Paella pan is the best option for you? Didn’t you know there are different types of Paella pans and you want to discover the differences between them?

Continue reading to clear all your doubts

This article about the differences between polished steel pans, also called carbon steel and enameled steel ones. It can be practical for you, either if you want to prepare paella party from time to time for your friends and family or you are a professional event catering chef that cooks for thousands of people.

First, let’s take a look to their similitudes:

With both of them you can achieve the sincerest appreciation of any Valencian: “ché que bo!” translated to English, “wow, that’s really good!”

Paella pans are traditionally round, shallow and the smaller ones have two handles. When bigger is the paellera, more handles they have. The base is slightly convex, so oil will go into the center of the pan to assist in the first stages. They are made of steel, that conducts heat quickly all over the surface. This material is thin, but very solid and durable.

These pans are suitable for gas, open fire. Enameled paellas are also suitable for oven in case you want to innovate and cook a “Pizza Paella” (please send us a photo if you do it).

Have you ever tried to do a Paella with wooden fire?


That’s a whole other level! Take control of fire is not so easy as it seems. That’s why people usually buys a paella gas burner. It’s really easy to cook with the flames of the gas burner (and your clothes will not stink afterwards). Anyway, we invite you to try the very traditional way with orange wood-fire at least once, just to feel proud of yourself, so you can tell us later on your experience. Don’t forget to tell your plans in advance to the firefighters!

It’s a joke, don’t worry. Most probably, first times, flames will die, rice will not cook well all over the pan or the worst that can happen is that you burn out everything. The paella kit makes your life easier anyway.


Going back to the main point of this article, let’s see now the differences between both pans, so you can purchase the best one for you.


Enameled steel Paella Pan

These Paella Pans are coated in tough black enamel, offering a layer of protection from rust and non-stick capabilities.

You don’t have to worry too much while you are cooking the rice, because with this pan it’s hard to burn it.

Once you have finished your delicious paella, it cleans up nicely and won’t have to be oiled to maintain it like first day. If the pan has the quality and the guaranty of Castevia’s one, it will not rust, at least if the coating is undamaged.

If the pan size allows, it can be fitted also in the dishwasher without troubles.


Polished Steel Paella Pan

This is the traditional pan used to make Valencian Paella. Enameled one is also traditional, but most chefs have this one.  This “paellera” is made from a sheet of polished steel, not stainless.

Opposite to the enameled pan, this one needs more attention, as it’s easy to burn excessively. The lack of coating gives less protection to the surface, so after every use should be oiled as they rust easily.

For all butterfingers and clumsy persons: this type of paella is made for you! It’s more impact-resistant.

There is also difference in price. This kind of paella pan it’s usually a bit cheaper than the enameled one.


But wait, wait… so, if the enameled steel pan it’s easier to care for and to cook, why most chefs have a carbon steel paella pan instead?


Because, in the right hands, the polished steel paella pan will produce excellent results. These pans offer much less burn protection and no non-stick capabilities giving the opportunity to Paella Pro’s to make the delicious “socarrat”. Socarrat is a light burned layer of rice at the bottom of La Paella, that add some crunch to the meal, making it tastier.

Once you have learn how to do the “socarrat” without burning everything and you know the procedure to maintain the pan in optimum condition can last as long as the enameled one.

And the winner is… (drum roll)…

Both! Yes, the two pans are of excellent quality.

Our advice for beginners is to buy the enameled pan, simpler to make a fantastic meal with them and to keep them perfect for a long time without caring too much.

Professional chefs, I’m pretty sure you have tried both types of paella pan and you know well which one you prefer. At the end, this election it’s something personal. The two have an excellent quality and will last for a long period of time, even if you use them daily.

There are chefs that prefer the polished one because they can give a personal culinary touch to the paella. By contrast, others know that when they work they have to cook a lot of Paellas at the same time and the enameled pan make it easier to keep an eye on each one.


And you, which one do you prefer?


Víctor Bosch
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