I bought a carbon steel paella pan. I've looked up if people season it (link) but on Wikipedia I've read:

As with other cast iron vessels, a seasoned pan or dutch oven should not regularly be used to cook foods containing tomatoes, vinegar or other acidic ingredients, as these foods will eventually remove the protective layer created during the seasoning process.

I think paella is pretty acidic food, so is it a good idea to season the pan?

  • Carbon steel is not cast iron .... Nov 13, 2015 at 14:02
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    FYI a paellera is a woman who cooks paella. The pan is just a paella. Nov 13, 2015 at 18:12
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    @PeterTaylor in English it is the pan according to wiktionairy Nov 16, 2015 at 14:58
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    @belisariushassettled The cited part from wikipedia states acidic foods affect the protective layer created in the seasoning process. It think this is independent of the material (cast iron or carbon steel) which is beneath it. Nov 16, 2015 at 15:02
  • @PeterTaylor Also wrong in Spanish Nov 16, 2015 at 15:33

2 Answers 2


It's not a matter of "should". It's just not really possible to keep a paella pan seasoned the way one imagines seasoning on a carbon steel or cast iron pan.

Two properties of cooking kills seasoning:

  1. Long braising.
  2. Acidic liquid.

Paella is long braising in acidic liquid. :( Additionally the logistical inconvenience of getting out the large paella pan to cook other greasy things means it doesn't build up seasoning that could be sacrificed during paella cooking.

All the paella (i.e. the pan) manufacturer's videos on youtube don't show a seasoning process, they just clean the pan, dry the pan, and apply a little oil after use.

EDIT: I guess you could season the pan after every cooking session. That sounds quite inconvenient to me.

  • I'd guess that it would also not have much purpose, other than the pan being seasoned between uses, but not remaining seasoned during actual use once the braising has begun. Apr 5, 2017 at 15:10

You certainly should season it, else cooking in it will make it rust. Also, your iron intake will rise rapidly if it's not seasoned, which can become a problem if you're eating too frequently from it.

What Wikipedia is telling you is to not use reactive metal vessels (cast iron or carbon steel) for acidic dishes at all. Not to use them unseasoned.

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