People often think making paella is complicated. There is also a prejudice that it is difficult to find the right ingredients. Both conclusions are not entirely correct. When you use the right equipment and good quality ingredients, paella cooking isn’t that difficult.
Preparing paella in a frying pan
Preparing paella in a frying pan is possible. However, it is not recommended. Because after all, you do not hammer nails into the wall with a screwdriver? Although it is possible!
Just like everything else, using the right equipment is half the job. This is also the case with preparing paella.
Would you like to prepare your own paella? Then invest in a solid paella pan. A good quality paella pan is not that expensive. And with the right care, you will enjoy many years of this little investment.
If you want to buy a bigger size pan, it is also recommended to have a look at a Paella burner. The rice will not cook properly if the pan is bigger than the heat source – this makes cooking paella a lot more complicated.
The benefits of the paella pan
Why is a paella pan that much better for cooking paella than a regular frying pan? These are the surface and depth of the paella pan.
About the surface of the paella pan
The surface size of the paella pan is critical. The reason for this is that a good paella has a thin layer of rice and as much crispy ‘socarrat’ as possible.
Paella rice is a type of rice whose grains are not sticky after preparation. Entirely different from, for example, Pandang or Sushi rice.
Well-cooked paella rice is quite dry in structure and doesn’t glimmer of moisture, but fat. By filling the entire paella pan, you will never succeed in creating a good, dry layer of rice. The top layers of rice are still hard, while the rice at the bottom has become slimy.
A second reason why you need a large surface is the ‘ socarrat.’ This is how a crunchy layer of rice that is slightly caked on the pan is called. Having a thin layer of socarrat is not required, but doing this well will give the paella much more flavor!
Socarrat is created by raising the fire when all the moisture has evaporated from the paella. Note! Be careful that the rice gets brown and not burned. A delicate task!
So if you use the right size paella pan, and the correct number of servings it will make preparing a delicious paella a lot easier.
When answering the question ” What paella pan is best for me to buy” we have listed our advice for the right size of paella pan for you.
The depth of the paella pan
Another important reason why a paella pan performs better than a regular frying pan is the depth of the pan. Often a paella pan is no deeper than two inches.
In this case, the heat and water vapor can easily escape from the pan. Also, it is not necessary to make a deeper pan because the rice in it is only thin.
The second advantage of a shallow paella pan is the presentation. It is great to serve a homemade paella in a big, real paella pan to your guests. This is also possible in a frying pan, however…
Finally, a shallow paella pan has the advantage that the paella can be eaten directly from the pan. In Spain, this is how paella is eaten often.
Only ten ingredients
If you have the right equipment available and you want to make your own paella. It is then important to decide which paella you want to cook. You can make it as easy and as difficult as you like.
Are you going for an authentic Paella Valenciana? Then you only need ten different ingredients. When you choose a paella de marisco, you will need fish, shellfish and other seafood. And if you prefer a vegetarian Paella de Verduras, you can add some different vegetables to it to suit your taste.