paella pan

Do Paella Pans Rust? (with Maintenance Tips)

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So, you’ve bought a paella pan for your steaks, fillets and roasts. Whenever we bring home a new kitchen utensil determining whether or not it rusts can impact how we use and store it. So, it’s natural for you to wonder, do paella pans rust?

Yes, paella pans can rust if not used and maintained properly. Carbon steel pans rust the easiest. But, enameled and stainless-steel ones don’t as easily. Even so, lack of care can even cause their rust resistant properties to fade and cause rust. 

In this article, I will extensively discuss the various types of paella pans and their rust resistant properties. I will also include how you can keep your paella pans free from rust. 

How Different Paella Pans Hold Up to Rusting 

There is no black and white answer to this question. Paella pans are typically made out of three types of steels. One is enameled steel, another one is stainless steel, and the last one is carbon steel. 

If you are owning a carbon steel Paella pan, you have to be extra careful because with excessive heat carbon steel Paella pans catch rust quickly. The other two options are safer. So, choose wisely, or else you might end up spending some extra money later. 

But it’s not the case that stainless steel and enameled steel Paellas are practically immune to rusting. But, with enough negligence even they can catch rust. 

Before using a carbon steel pan for the first time, do not ever forget to season it. You also have to clean the pan and re-season it after each use. These steps are specifically suggested by experts like Sara jay. 

Preventing Rust on Paella Pans 

You know that there are different types of Paella pans. To save them from rusting, you have to take different measures. Traditionally, there are 3 types of Paella pans and those are made out of stainless steel, enameled steel, and carbon steel. Now, let us explore how we can immune them from rust.

Stainless-steel Paella Pans

Stainless steel pans are the most common in the market. They are easy to maintain and do not get rust easily. So, how to keep them away from rust:

  • Avoid putting your empty pan on direct heat. If the pan is empty or nearly empty, then too much heat will turn the pan totally black within a few minutes and the pan will oxidize very fast. This will accelerate the process of rust. But until there is food on the pan, you can play with the heat.
  • Avoid seasoning.
  • Do not use steel wool pads to clean your stainless-steel paella pan.

Better to clean it with your hands and do not put it into a dishwasher. Stainless steel pans can survive in dishwashers but the condition sustains when you clean them with your hands. 

Put it in 1/4-inch boiled water and keep it there for more than 2 hours or for the whole night. Then, take it out of the water and clean it with a soft sponge scrub and soap.

Enameled-steel Paella Pans

Enameled steel paella pans are a bit expensive and it doesn’t catch rust easily. These are made of steel but the whole body of an enameled pan is covered with black and white enamel. This coating doesn’t easily catch rust. 

These are the best types of pans that you can pick for your kitchen. With proper maintenance, you can avoid the slimmest chance of rust. So how can you avoid that:

  • Clean it properly after every usage.
  • After each use, oil the pan and keep it in a dry place.
  • Clean it with your own hands and avoid using a dishwasher. You can put your enamel pan into a dishwasher, but it is not suggested by experts.

The maintenance process of these pans is very easy and quite similar to stainless steel pans. Just put it into 1/2-inch boiled water and keep it there for 2 hours. Then, use a sponge scrub and dishwashing soap to wash it.

But before starting to use it again, soak the remaining water with a paper towel. Enameled pans are best for regular usage and experts recommend these for big kitchens.

Carbon Steel Paella Pans

Carbon steel pans catch rust very easily. This is why to prevent them from rusting, you need to take special care. So how do you do it?

Before first use:

  • Before you start using your carbon steel paella pans for the first time, you have to remove the anti-rust coating.
  • You can do it with foamy water but the best way to do it is to put it into boiled water with some cider vinegar. Then put it there for more than 10 minutes and wash it carefully. 
  • Then dry your pan thoroughly and coat the entire body with vegetable oil. This will completely seal the surface of the pan which will prevent it from rusting.

Between uses: 

  • After using it, always clean it with your hands. Avoid putting it into a dishwasher. Carbon steel pans are not dishwasher-friendly.
  • Always dry the pan with a kitchen towel or paper towel. Do not ever dry it in the air or it will oxidize very fast.
  • When the pan is completely dry always coat it with vegetable oil and keep it in a dry place until you use it for the next time. For best results and long durability of the pan, experts recommend that wrap it with a paper towel and seal the pan inside a plastic bag.
  • Remember one thing if you forget to seal the pan properly, then it will catch rust for sure. But don’t panic. Just use a steel wool pad or light sandpaper to clean the rust and oil the body of the pan. And you are good to go.
  • Completely avoid putting an empty carbon steel paella pan on heat. It will cause serious harm to the pan within a few seconds. Also, avoid overheating carbon steel pans as overheating causes rust to carbon heat pans.

If you follow the above instructions carefully, you will be able to save any of your paella pans from rusting.

Why Are Carbon Steel Paella Pans Still the Best Choice? 

By now, Carbon Paella pans might not seem a good option to you, but still, these are best for cooking paella at home or at any big restaurant because these are perfect for any heating source. If your heating source is an oven, a glass, an open fire, or even an electric place, you do not have to bother as carbon steel pans are perfect for any of them.

If you want some intense flavors in your paella, Carbon steel pans are the ones to go for. Not only that, you do not have to wait to heat your pan because these pans respond to heat pretty quickly and you can also save your Paella from overcooking. 

Old Carbon steeled paella pan

These are also not very expensive. With carbon pans, you can serve warm food right out of the kitchen with metal utensils. But you can’t do it with the enameled or stainless-steel pans as they are sensitive to metal.

If you have a big burner, or ceramic or glass cooktops, then you must choose carbon steel paella pans. These are not only cheap but easily available in the market and compatible with different varieties of cooktops.

The only problem is that you have to clean Carbon steel paella pans pretty extensively with your own hands before and after every use. The Best way to do that is discussed in the above paragraphs.


So, now you know whether or not paella pans rust. All paella pans rust to some extent. But with proper care and maintenance preventing rust is not much hard work. Just follow the instructions I’ve provided in this article, and your paella pans will never catch rust. 

I hope this article was able to quench your curiosity. Thanks for reading and until next time, farewell. 

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