Everything you need to make a perfect paella

One of the most traditional and enjoyable ways to make paella is outdoors. It’s no surprise that many people, especially those not familiar with preparing this dish, wonder how to make a paella in their own backyard or what equipment they need to achieve it.

Don’t worry, in this article we’ll not only tell you everything you need to know to prepare a perfect paella, but also how to set up all the necessary equipment. Additionally, we’ll provide tips on how to make the cleanup easy, quick, and cost-effective.

Whether you’re a novice or an experienced cook, you’ll find all the information and recommendations you need here to ensure your next paella is a complete success.

Where to prepare a paella?

Importance of the environment

The environment in which a paella is prepared not only influences the comfort of the cook, but also the overall experience of those who enjoy the dish. Cooking outdoors is a tradition that adds a special touch to the preparation of paella, making the process a social and festive event.

In addition, cooking in an adequate space guarantees safety and makes cleaning later easier.

Recommended spaces

  1. The paellero: A paella pan is a structure specially designed to prepare paellas. This space, protected by a building, offers maximum comfort and security, allowing the fire to be controlled and protecting it from inclement weather. Although it is the most expensive option, its investment is justified by the comfort and efficiency it provides. Ideal for those who prepare paellas frequently and want a space dedicated exclusively to this purpose.
  2. Open fire with tripod: Another option is to use an “open fire tripod”, where the paella is cooked directly over an open fire. This method is economical and traditional, but has certain risks. It is crucial to take extra precautions to avoid accidents, as open fire can be dangerous and the surroundings can easily get dirty. It is a more suitable option for those looking for an authentic experience and have the necessary space and safety measures.
  3. Detachable gas burner: The most practical and versatile option is to use a removable gas burner. This system is easy to assemble and disassemble, making it easy to store and transport. Plus, it’s affordable, some cost less than 100€, and offers precise fire control, ensuring even cooking. This method combines the convenience of portable equipment with the efficiency and cleanliness of gas, making paella preparation quick and accessible to any amateur.

Regardless of the method chosen, the important thing is to ensure that the environment is safe and suitable for preparing paella. Considering the importance of space not only enhances the dining experience, but also ensures that everyone enjoys the process and the delicious end result.

The Valencian paella pan, the ideal thing to prepare a real paella

The choice of the paella pan is crucial for the preparation of an authentic paella. Below, we explore the main types of paella pans and their features to help you choose the one that best suits your needs.

Polished carbon steel paella pans

This is the classic paella pan, used by professional paella masters. Made from carbon steel, these paella pans do not have a protected surface, which means they require a little more care to prevent rust.

However, their ability to retain and distribute heat evenly makes them ideal for gas stoves, open fires and ovens.

Advantages of the polished steel paella pan:

  • Excellent thermal conductivity.
  • Traditional and authentic.

Disadvantages of the polished steel paella pan:

  • Requires extra care to prevent rust.
  • The convex base may not be suitable for flat electric or induction stoves.

Tips for use and maintenance:

To ensure the longevity of a polished carbon steel paella pan, it is crucial to clean and dry it immediately after each use. This prevents rust formation, which is a common risk with this type of material. After cleaning, it is advisable to apply a light coat of oil to the surface.

This creates a protective barrier against moisture, helping to keep the paella pan in excellent condition and ready for next use. By following these steps, you will ensure that your polished carbon steel paella pan remains in optimal condition and ready to prepare delicious paellas at any time.

Enameled steel paella pans

Enameled steel paella pans maintain a traditional appearance and are easier to care for than carbon steel ones, thanks to their enamelled surface that protects against rust.

These paella pans are suitable for all types of heat sources except flat electric or induction hobs, and although they are easier to maintain, the enamel can chip if bumped.

Advantages of enameled steel paella pans:

  • Easy maintenance thanks to the enameled coating.
  • Rust resistant.

Disadvantages of enameled steel paella pans:

  • Less durable if the enamel chips.
  • They are not ideal for flat or induction electric hobs.

Tips for use and maintenance:

To keep an enameled steel paella pan in good condition, it is essential to avoid strong impacts that could chip the enamel. The enamel coating is what protects the paella pan from rust and other damage, so any damage to the enamel can compromise its durability and functionality.

Additionally, it is important to make sure you clean the paella pan well after each use. This involves washing the surface carefully and avoiding the use of abrasive pads that can damage the enamel. Proper cleaning not only keeps the paella pan free of food residue, but also helps preserve the integrity of the enamel coating.

With these simple but effective care, your enameled steel paella pan will remain in excellent condition, allowing you to enjoy many delicious paellas in the future.

Additional types of paella pans

Stainless steel paella pans

They offer exceptional durability and are easy to clean. They are ideal for those looking for a low-maintenance, rust-resistant option. Although they are not the most traditional, their efficiency and ease of use make them a popular option.

Induction paella pans

Specially designed for use on induction cooktops, these paella pans have a flat bottom and are generally made of stainless steel or carbon steel with a special base that allows heat transfer on induction cooktops.

Choosing the right paella pan depends on your personal needs and preferences. If you are looking for authenticity and are willing to spend a little more time caring, the polished carbon steel paella pan is the best option. If you prefer an option that is easier to maintain, the enameled steel paella pan is ideal. And if you’re looking for durability and low maintenance, consider stainless steel or induction paella pans. With the right paella pan, you will be one step closer to preparing a true Valencian paella.

A gas paella burner, FlamesVLC

A gas paella burner is an essential tool for preparing a perfect paella outdoors. Among the available options, the FlamesVLC burner stands out for its ease of use, efficiency and safety. In this section, we will guide you on how to mount the burner and light it correctly.

How to assemble the gas burner?

Assembling a gas paella burner is a simple and quick process. First, make sure you have a suitable butane cylinder and place the burner near your cooking area.

Insert the pineapple of the burner into the upper part of the butane cylinder. Press on the lower ring until you hear a “click“, which indicates that the burner is correctly connected.
Once connected, open the cylinder stopcock to allow gas flow to the burner.
With these simple steps, your burner will be ready to use in just a few seconds, ensuring a secure and stable connection.

Turn on the burner

Lighting the gas paella burner correctly is crucial to achieving even and safe cooking. The uniformity of the fire is one of the keys to preparing a perfect paella, and FlamesVLC diffusers are ideal for this, as they allow you to adjust the size of the fire according to the amount of food you want to prepare.

Fire size adjustment: FlamesVLC burners come in different diameters, with 40 cm (15.6″) being ideal for domestic environments. You can cook small paellas by lighting only the inner ring, or large paellas (for up to 25-30 people). using both rings.
Safe power On: For safety reasons, always power on the inner ring first. To do this, open the gas valve on the inner ring and use a long lighter or match to light the fire. Once the inner ring is on and stable, open the valve on the outer ring and turn it on the same way.

By following these steps, you will ensure that you have an even and controlled fire, crucial for cooking a perfect paella. The simplicity and efficiency of the FlamesVLC burner not only makes cooking easier, but also enhances the cooking experience, allowing you to focus on the details that will make your paella an unforgettable dish.

Tripod for paella burners

Using a suitable tripod for your paella burner is essential to ensure stability and safety during cooking. Tripods allow for height adjustment and provide a solid base, ensuring the burner remains level even on uneven surfaces. Below, we explore the different types of burner supports and their features.

Among the types of burner supports that we can find, there are:

Adjustable tripods

Adjustable tripods are the most versatile and convenient option for most paella cooks. These tripods allow you to adjust the height of the burner, making it easier to cook in a variety of environments and surfaces. The ability to adjust the height also allows for better heat control and more even fire distribution.

The advantages of this type of supports are:

  • Versatility: They can be adjusted to fit different heights and surfaces.
  • Stability: They provide a solid and safe base, reducing the risk of accidents.
  • Ease of use: They are easy to assemble and disassemble, making them ideal for transporting and storing.

Fixed bases

Fixed bases are another popular option, especially for those who have a dedicated space for cooking paella and don’t need to move the burner frequently. These bases are designed to provide exceptional stability, ensuring the burner stays in place throughout cooking.

And its advantages are:

  • Extreme stability: Perfect for permanent or semi-permanent locations.
  • Durability: Built to withstand prolonged use without significant wear.
  • Simplicity: They do not require constant adjustments, offering a simple and direct configuration.

Steel skimmer: Functions and advantages for cooking paella

The steel skimmer is an essential tool in the preparation of an authentic paella. Its robust design and resistant material allow ingredients to be handled with ease and precision throughout the cooking process. This versatile tool fulfills several key functions that guarantee the success of your paella:

  • Removal of foam and impurities: During the cooking of the broth and the preparation of the ingredients, the skimmer allows you to easily remove the foam and impurities that form on the surface, ensuring a clean and clear broth, essential for the authentic flavor of the paella.
  • Ingredient handling: From stirring the rice to evenly distributing the ingredients over the paella pan, the steel skimmer gives you precise and delicate control, avoiding breaking the rice grains and maintaining the characteristic texture of the paella.
  • Durability and ease of cleaning: Made of stainless steel, this skimmer is corrosion resistant and easy to clean, making it a durable and practical tool for any kitchen.
  • Ergonomic handling: With an ergonomic handle designed for a comfortable and secure grip, the skimmer makes it easy to handle during long periods of cooking, ensuring comfort and precision in every movement.

The steel skimmer is an essential accessory for cooking a traditional paella, offering functionality, durability and ease of use that help maintain the authenticity and unique flavor of this emblematic dish of Spanish cuisine.

Other useful accessories

In addition to the steel skimmer, there are other accessories that are essential to cook a perfect paella. These accessories not only facilitate the process, but also ensure optimal results and a more pleasant culinary experience.

Ladles

Ladles are essential tools for handling and serving paella broth. Made of materials such as stainless steel or wood, they allow the liquid to be distributed evenly over the ingredients, ensuring that each bite is infused with the characteristic flavor of the dish.

Kitchen gloves

Kitchen gloves are essential to handle the hot paella pan safely. Made from heat-resistant materials, such as silicone or flame-retardant textiles, they protect hands from intense heat while handling the paella during cooking or serving.

Aprons

Aprons are essential allies to keep clothes clean and protected from splashes and stains during paella preparation. Available in a variety of materials, from cotton to leather, they are not only practical but also add a professional and aesthetic touch to the dining experience.

These complementary accessories are key to ensuring not only safety and convenience during paella preparation, but also to maintaining the authenticity and enjoyment of this traditional Spanish dish.

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