The size of a paella pan is essential when preparing paella. But what size paella pan should you use for the number of servings to be prepared? Of course, depending on the size of the services, this question raises different answers.

Is a paella pan necessary to cook paella?

Although the answer may seem surprising, the answer is no. The paella pan is a tool for the preparation of this culinary dish for reasons of size. The paella pan is a tool for the preparation of this culinary dish for reasons of size. Generally we do not have pans or frying pans as big as a paella pan, and that is why this element is indispensable if we do not have something similar.

The paella pan is particularly suitable for the preparation of paellas because the pan is shallow but has a large surface area. The reason for the shape of the paella pan is the importance of cooking paella with a thin layer of rice. In Spain we use a finger to measure the thickness of the rice, approximately 2cm. If with this paella pan size and the thickness of the rice you have the portions you need, then you are using the appropriate paella pan size.

Measurement chart for the right paella pan size

The correct paella pan size depends on the number of paella portions you need to make. The size of a paella pan is not the same for making paella for two people as it is for eight people.

The following table shows the relationship between the number of paella portions and the appropriate paella pan size. These sizes are used by the chefs of the best paella restaurants in Valencia.

PortionsPaella pan size

Manufacturers use different sizes

Many manufacturers and shops give very different proportions and this is where confusion arises.

If we compare with the table above, many suppliers determine the following proportions:

PortionsPaella pan size

What size paella pan should I buy?

In an attempt to be clear about the relationship between paella size and paella portions, manufacturers specify that the portion size, whether it is a full plate or a smaller one, is what indicates the relationship between the two.

When buying a paella pan always think about the purpose for which you are going to prepare the paella, the number of people and the amount of rice per portion. Choose the paella pan that best suits the circumstances.

Paellas prepared with a thin layer of rice have the best flavour, and are the ones originally prepared in the Valencia area. This is why our recommendation is to choose a paella pan with the ratio in the first table.

The amount of rice per plate will be less, but it will be much tastier.

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