Taco night is always my favorite dinner of the week. There’s nothing like filling the table with bowls of meat, cheese, and toppings and making your taco to order! If there’s one thing I learned, it’s that the tortillas have to be warm or they won’t be soft and pliable. Unfortunately, they don’t stay that way for long after they leave the stovetop. Covering the warm tortillas with a clean dish towel works in a pinch, but it’ll only hold the temperature for a few minutes. You need a tortilla warmer—like our favorite ENdeas Two-Sided Reversible Tortilla Warmer(available at Amazon)—to keep them warm for longer than five minutes.
There are a few different styles available, from fabric pouches to containers made from ceramic, plastic, terra-cotta, or hand-woven materials. We wondered if any of them were better than our go-to hot-holding method of wrapping tortillas in aluminum foil. So, we picked up nine of the top-rated tortilla warmers and put them to the test. Only three of them lasted longer than the foil, but most of them created a better tasting tortilla.
Here are the best tortilla warmers we tested ranked, in order:
ENdeas Two-Sided Reversible Tortilla Warmer
Imusa 12-Inch Cloth Tortilla Warmer
Uno Casa Ceramic Tortilla Warmer and Server
Nordic Ware Tortilla & Pancake Warmer
Norpro Tortilla/Pancake Keeper
RSVP International 10-Inch Stoneware Tortillas Warmer
KooK Ceramic Tortilla Warmer
Jacq and Jürgen Tortillero and Pancake Handwoven Basket & Handloomed Tortilla Cloth
Fox Run Tortilla Warmer
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If I’m being honest, I did not expect the ENdeas Two-Sided Reversible Tortilla Warmer to become the winner! I’ve always used a crock-style tortilla warmer with a lid, and I doubted the pouch’s ability to compete. Not only did it keep the tortillas hot for over an hour, but it also kept them from becoming dry or soggy along the way.
The 12-inch pouch was capable of holding more than a dozen burrito-sized tortillas, and it fit enough 6-inch taco-sized tortillas to feed a crowd. The pouch itself is soft on the outside and crinkles slightly as you move it, thanks to the polyester lining that regulates the heat (which, is machine-washable but shouldn’t be put into the dryer). It’s super lightweight and easy to store, and the vibrantly colorful decorations look festive when you bring it to the table.
All in all, there wasn’t a single thing we disliked about this tortilla warmer. Considering it’s available for a value price, it was an obvious choice for our best tortilla warmer pick.
Hi, I’m Lindsay Mattison, a trained professional chef and total taco fanatic. I love making tortillas from scratch, and I used to keep them warm in an aluminum foil packet as they came off the range. A few years ago, I got a cheap plastic tortilla warmer that I thought was a huge upgrade, but after running these tests, I think I’m a tortilla pouch convert!
We knew that a tortilla warmer would work better than wrapping tortillas in a clean kitchen towel–that only holds the temperature for about five minutes–but we wondered if it could rival our go-to method of holding tortillas in aluminum foil. We pre-heated five tortillas and placed them in each warmer, timing how long it took them to reach room temperature. Most of the warmers lost their holding ability at around 25 minutes, while the aluminum foil packet lasted 30 minutes. Two of the warmers lasted as long as an hour!
But it’s not all about time: The quality of the tortilla is equally as important. We monitored the tortillas as they sat in the warmers to see if they became excessively dry or grew soggy over time. The steam from the hot tortillas created condensation in many of the warmers, but the open-air environment kept the tortillas from becoming as water-logged as the ones in the aluminum foil.
Finally, we wanted to know if the warmers could fit 10-inch burrito-sized tortillas, and how many tortillas we could stack in there at once. All of them could fit enough 6-inch tortillas to feed a family of four, and a few of them were large enough to supply a party.
How to Keep Your Tortillas Warm
There are a variety of materials used for tortilla warmers. Ceramic and terra cotta models are usually oven- and microwave-safe, while the plastic and fabric pouches can only be used in the microwave. We awarded bonus points for oven-safe warmers, but we don’t actually recommend heating up your tortillas in the oven. The very best way to heat tortillas is in stacks of five, meaning you’ll have to heat multiple batches if you’re feeding a crowd. Heating tortillas five at a time is no problem in the microwave, but using the oven would be a huge a waste of time!
Our preferred method of heating tortillas is using a cast-iron skillet. Place them on the preheated pan (dry, with no oil) and cook them for 30 seconds on each side. Remove them to your tortilla warmer with tongs and they’ll turn out perfect every time! Alternatively, you can place them in the tortilla warmer (or, wrap them in a damp paper towel) and microwave five at a time in 30-second bursts until they’re warmed through. The least efficient way is using the oven, where you’ll have to wrap stacks of five tortillas in aluminum foil and cook them at 350° F for about 15 minutes.
No matter how you warm them, the tortilla warmer comes in handy to keep them soft and pliable until you’re ready to wrap. You can also use a tortilla warmer to keep flatbreads like pita warm, or you can use them to hold pancakes and waffles after they come off the griddle while you’re cooking brunch. They’re great for camping, so pick up an extra one and toss it in your camping box!
Other Tortilla Warmers We Tested
Imusa 12" Cloth Tortilla Warmer
The Imusa 12-Inch Cloth Tortilla Warmer came in a close second. This vibrantly-colored pouch kept the tortillas warm for just under an hour while maintaining their quality along the way. The larger opening made it slightly easier to load burrito-sized tortillas as compared to the ENdeas, but that also shaved about 10 minutes off of the hot-holding time. Other than that, its performance was identical to our winning tortilla warmer.
If our top pick is out of stock, you would be perfectly happy with this one instead—it’s usually available for the same value price as our winner.
If you prefer a crock-style tortilla warmer, you’ll love the Uno Casa Ceramic Tortilla Warmer. It is smaller than most of the warmers we tested, and it’s not large enough to fit burrito-sized tortillas without folding them, but it can still fit about 25 taco-sized tortillas. As compared to the other ceramic models, the Uno Casa kept the tortillas warmer for longer and while maintaining a great texture. The lid is easy to remove and sits firmly in place, and the color scheme looks great when you bring it to the table. Since this crock is oven-safe, you could also use it for baking casseroles or hot-holding flatbreads or pancakes in the oven.
It’s worth noting that the steam from the tortillas created condensation in all of the lidded crock-style tortilla warmers. It didn’t affect the texture of the tortillas in this warmer, but you could always line the bottom of the crock with a clean towel to prevent moisture buildup if it bothers you.
The Nordic Ware Tortilla and Pancake Warmer was one of the largest warmers we tested. It could fit at least two dozen burrito-sized tortillas, and almost twice that number of taco-sized tortillas. Like the other plastic model we tested, it only kept the tortillas warm for about 25 minutes. They were a touch on the soggy side toward the end of the holding time, but not as bad off as the ones we tested wrapped in aluminum foil. We’d recommend placing a clean towel inside to prevent the tortillas from getting wet. That being said, this model is a great option if you need to keep enough tortillas warm to feed a crowd.
The Norpro Tortilla/Pancake Keeper kept the tortillas warm for slightly longer than the other plastic model—just shy of 30 minutes—but the tortillas turned out soggier thanks to the domed shape lid, which locked in the moisture. It was the tallest tortilla warmer we tested, and it could hold more 6-inch tortillas than any other model, but it seemed impractically large for home use. If you’re specifically looking for a plastic tortilla keeper, we’d recommend the Nordic Ware over this one.
The RSVP International 10-Inch Stoneware Tortillas Warmer was fairly unremarkable. It’s both oven and microwave safe, and it can fit burrito-sized tortillas, but it’s not tall enough to hold more than 15 at a time. It was one of the first warmers to reach room temperature, and the crock created a lot of condensation that made the tortillas soggier than we'd like in such a short period of time. It wasn’t our least favorite, but it certainly wasn’t a contender, either.
Like the RSVP, the KooK Ceramic Tortilla Warmer wasn’t a top performer. It lost its heat very quickly, and the burrito-sized tortillas barely fit inside the container. It lost even more points because, although it’s a ceramic crock, it’s not safe for use in the oven. For the price, we’d rather go with a more functional model.
I really wanted to like the Jacq & Jürgen Tortillero. The baskets are handwoven by Mexican artisans in Chilapa, Mexico, and each basket comes with a beautiful, hand loomed cloth to wrap the tortillas. Beyond aesthetics, though, this model didn’t perform as well. It’s the only warmer that wasn’t microwave safe, and the lids were cumbersome to remove. It did hold the tortillas warm for three minutes longer than our foil pouch, but they turned out dry. Sadly, we’ll have to pass on this one.
There wasn’t a lot to like about the Fox Run Tortilla Warmer. It was the smallest warmer we tested, and it wasn’t very functional, either. It was among the first models to reach room temperature, and the domed lid created way too much condensation. To add insult to injury, the lid was hard to put into place and the unglazed terra cotta was difficult to clean. No, thank you.
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