Wolfgang Puck Paella Pan
I found this at a local discount store for $30. Is it worth it? I believe it's from his "Bistro" set. I will use it for paella (maybe every other week), but basically need the pan to be versatile, since I don't have any patience (or room) for unnecessary cookware. I want it to hang from my pot rack as well, and I would rather have something with short handles b/c the kitchen doesn't have very high ceilings. The pan seems nice from a design and construction standpoint, but I find it a little annoying that the regular pan looks like the exact same piece except for the use of a pan handle on one side instead of a pot handle. If not this pan, could you steer me toward a good reliable pan with a flat surface good heat retention that is in this price range? I've been using a stainless pan from Linens and Things (wedding present) for years now, and think it's about time to retire it. The pan is probably a half an inch higher in the center than it is at the edges, and the copper base seems like it's slowly working itself off of the stainless part of the pan. Basically, it's trash.
Also, from what I saw, all of the other pieces from the set are being sold at the same price at this store as well. Do any of them stand out as a great value for $30?
I can't find any information about this online, but I suggest using a traditional carbon steel paella pan, which can be had fairly cheaply.
The Puck Bistro line is very good cookware for the price, I bought an 8 inch frypan in TJ Maxx or Ross or somewhere 7 or 8 years ago and it's still in fine shape, and the tubular handles are very comfortable. I can't say anything about the paella pan in particular.
I have several Bistro pieces, picked up at HomeGoods or T.J. Maxx when I needed to quickly and inexpensively outfit a kitchen, and have been very happy with them. However, I agree with will47 that if you're actually going to make paella, the best thing to use is a carbon steel paella pan. On the other hand, if what you really want is a large skillet with two loop handles instead of one long one, in which you can make lots of things including sort-of paella, the Bistro pan should be fine. Thirty dollars seems a bit steep for this line, though.
Does the paella pan look like the one in this set?
Other brands call this an everyday pan (I think). If this is the right pan and you think the quality is good, $30 is a good price for a 12" everyday pan. I don't have any experience with the WP lines. I wouldn't use this for paella, but would for risotto, quick-cooking couscous-based dishes, as well as typical 12" fry pan uses.