Can You Cook Paella in a Wok?

Close Up of Paella

If you already own a wok, then adding a paella pan to your cookware arsenal may seem a bit extreme. They are both massive pans that take up a lot of space.

So, if you could use a wok to cook paella, that would be great, right? That way, you can have one pan that cooks all of your tasty treats.

But can a wok be used to cook paella? Is a wok the right substitute for a paella pan? Let’s find out!

Flat bottomed wok

Can You Cook Paella in a Wok?

You could cook paella in a wok, but a wok isn’t a great substitute for a paella pan for various reasons.

The fantastic thing about the cooking world is that we are mixing cultures, tastes and meals from around the world. The bad thing is, traditional cookware from around the world can get treated badly in the process.

As you know, a paella pan is a wide and shallow pan, while a wok has tall, sloping sides and a smaller base.

A wok is amazing at cooking dishes quickly. It holds heat in the pan amazingly well. Still, the sides are intended to hold some moisture in rather than allow it to evaporate. This is what makes a wok a bad substitute for a paella pan.

You see, a paella pan is designed to heat up quickly, just like a wok. But the shallow sides allow moisture to escape, this is what gives a paella that beautiful, crusty, golden bottom.

So, a paella pan is actually similar to a frying pan in this regard and can be used as a frying pan or a skillet very well.

After all, the word ‘paella’ originally meant ‘pan’. So, you can use a large frying pan to create paella if you don’t have a paella pan, but not a wok. Still, it would have to be quite a large frying pan, as for the best paella possible, you want a thin layer (about 50cm) of rice. So, if you want to make a lot of paella, the pan the dish is named after is ideal.

We hope this look at making paella in a wok has been helpful. If you want to grab a paella pan after reading this, please check out our list of the best paella pans in the UK.

We also have lists of other amazing cookware too. So, we have everything a chef needs to kit their kitchen out and make the tastiest dishes in town!