Paella Accessories Buying Guide
So, you've got your paella pan and you're ready to cook. But wait, something doesn't feel right...of course, you're missing one of those long metal spoons with the wooden handle and a fancy white hat.
So, you've got your paella pan and you're ready to cook. But wait, something doesn't feel right...of course, you're missing one of those long metal spoons with the wooden handle and a fancy white hat. The spoon we can help with. The hat you'll have to take care of yourself... Your first step in the world of paella is to choose a pan that fits your needs. If you haven't already done so, check out our Paella Pan Buying Guide for a thorough description of the options available. Then, you're ready to move onto some authentic paella accessories.
Paella Spoon/Skimmer (Paleta)
Essential tool for larger paellas and just plain fun for others. These traditional long-handled spoons are used for stirring and serving the paella. The flat angle of the spoon against the handle makes serving easy and the wooden handle won't heat up too much when the spoon is left resting in the paella. The best quality spoons are made from stainless steel for longevity, ease of cleaning and hygiene.
Paella Cooking Systems
For cooking paellas in larger pans or for a dedicated outdoor paella cooking solution, you'll need to look at acquiring a paella burner system, usually comprised of:
Gas paella burner
Support for paella burner
Gas Paella Burners
The most important component of the system, the gas paella burner, is unsurprisingly the costliest. Above all, be sure that the burner you are buying is:
CE certified, guaranteeing your safety
Intended for the type of gas with which you intend to use it (probably butane or propane)
Adapted for UK gas pressure
Apart from these requirements, choosing an appropriate burner is easy - look for one which is designed for use with your size paella pan, or the largest paella pan you envisage using it with in the future. It's probably best to go larger if possible as the burner is a significant investment which will probably be a one-off, whereas larger paella pans can be acquired relatively cheaply and you may want to increase your capacity in the future.
As burners get larger, the use of more 'burner rings' is necessary to ensure even distribution of heat. A dual-ring model (incorporating an inner and outer burner ring) will give more even heat distribution than a single-ring model of comparable size, and thus a more evenly cooked paella. If you've ever tried to cook a paella on a regular gas or vitroceramic hob, you'll know how annoying it is when the rice in the middle is perfectly cooked but the rice around the outside is still hard.
Some burners are designed to rest on a table top, but the most common and useful models are designed to sit atop a tripod support. The traditional support is comprised of three red steel legs which hold the burner and stand steady at a height which is comfortable for cooking. You'll also need to connect your gas bottle to the burner via a regulator and a gas hose - these are inexpensive but specialist products that are probably best purchased from the same place you acquire your gas bottle. They should be able to advise you as to the best regulator and a certified hose that will be 100% compatible and safe to use with your gas source.
As you'd expect, at The Tapas Lunch company we stock a full range of paella pans, paella burners, supports and accessories to make your paella project a great success.