Interesting cookware you got there, lady
August 27, 2015 10:06 AM   Subscribe

So I've invited 30 people for paella, and I don't have a pan. I know this sounds crazy but ... is there a reason I can't cook it on a grill in a brand-new metal garbage can lid? My plan was to completely line the interior of the lid with foil and then oil it. What does the hivemind think? (Also paella tips are most welcome.) Thanks!
posted by 2soxy4mypuppet to Food & Drink (17 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I think the foil will tear even if it's heavy duty stuff and you'll be cooking in a non-food safe container over high heat releasing who knows what into your food.
posted by cecic at 10:10 AM on August 27, 2015 [20 favorites]

Metal garbage can lids will most likely be galvanized. Lots of heavy metal goodness for your paella guests.
posted by humboldt32 at 10:12 AM on August 27, 2015 [8 favorites]

This seems crazy to me. Can't you just get one of those big disposable foil roasting pans?! Or ask around to borrow an appropriate cooking dish?

Also, as a guest, I'd be pretty unimpressed to find the meal was made in a garbage can lid. So unimpressed I'd likely choose not to eat it.
posted by PuppetMcSockerson at 10:14 AM on August 27, 2015 [8 favorites]

why not use oven pans? They are large and food-safe
posted by mumimor at 10:15 AM on August 27, 2015 [1 favorite]

Even a giant paella pan isn't that expensive, especially considering the cost of the ingredients you'll be putting into it: link
posted by rachelpapers at 10:15 AM on August 27, 2015 [2 favorites]

No no no no no do not do this, even if you think you can seal it off with foil. Please don't. I would be horrified to find out a host had done this.

Buy yourself a nice paella pan and make it a tradition.
posted by fiercecupcake at 10:19 AM on August 27, 2015 [4 favorites]

Response by poster: OK! I did not know that foil-covered galvanized metal was poison. Thanks for the information.
posted by 2soxy4mypuppet at 10:22 AM on August 27, 2015 [3 favorites]

Do you have a local restaurant supply shop? Paella pans might not be that much
posted by oneear at 10:31 AM on August 27, 2015

I'd buy 2 aluminum-foil type roasting pans and use one inside the other to add sturdiness. You'll find them at most large supermarkets. Last ones I got were Hefty, in a 3-pack, for under 10 dollars.
posted by wryly at 10:45 AM on August 27, 2015 [3 favorites]

Mod note: Couple of comments deleted. Please just stick to answering the question; metacommentary about "Mefites are like this" and about moderation don't belong in here, they don't help the OP get answers.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 10:56 AM on August 27, 2015

Enough people have chimed in on why not to use a garbage can lid. Bad idea for days. That's probably going to run you what, $15-20 bucks?

A 'true' paella pan is typically made of really thin, high-carbon steel, that doesn't have a finish. Just an oil rubbed finish akin to cast-iron. This is actually a good thing for your budget; they're cheap as shit! Hit up a restaurant supply store like some other folks have suggested. You want something that's high-carbon steel, and…well..feels kind of flimsy compared to most cookware. This should only cost you around the $30 mark, towards the high end. The larger ones get exponentially expensive, so you might be best off just picking up two medium sized buddies. This has the added benefit of actually allowing a single human to haul it around (all that rice and liquid get heaaavy).

The enamel buddy linked by oneear might not get you the exact kind of crust on the bottom that is desirable. Something like this is kind of what you're gunning for.
posted by furnace.heart at 12:07 PM on August 27, 2015

Something like this is kind of what you're gunning for.

I know furnace.heart was just linking to show the general type of pan, but that particular pan is nonstick and I'd be wary of using a pan with nonstick coating on a grill.
posted by jaguar at 12:38 PM on August 27, 2015

I missed that in the description! Thanks for the correction; uncoated high carbon steel is ideal.
posted by furnace.heart at 5:38 PM on August 27, 2015

Check your local fancy kitchen stores; often they rent these for parties.
posted by padraigin at 7:40 PM on August 27, 2015

Yeah I guess all the fuss about the can lid is legit but I wanted to weigh in and let you know that my specialty is grilled paella. I call it dirty rice when I make it but call it how u will. If u need any reassurance regarding method hit me up.
posted by eedele at 2:42 PM on August 28, 2015

Check out the "traditional steel" line at this site. This is what paella pans should look like and about what they should cost. If you are not accustomed to carbon steel cookware, it's pretty easy to care for as long as you dry it immediately after washing (use a towel, which it may stain a bit) and wipe it with a very thin layer of oil for storage to prevent oxidation. Paella turns out better on a grill than in the oven in my experience; just make sure your pan will fit on your grill. Do not rely on the thin bottom of the pan to spread heat. This Spanish cookbook is worth its weight in saffron and has great advice about paella. Remember, it's first and foremost about the rice, so don't overdo it with toppings. Do make some really garlicky aioli to go with it, though. The biggest secret about paella? It seems really intimidating at first, but once you get the hang of it it's quick to make and easy to experiment with. It is not hard to develop a paella habit.
posted by musicinmybrain at 7:52 PM on August 28, 2015

« Older Help me font my name   |   What do I do with this mascarpone? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.