Kitchen & Cooking

Here's how to make the perfect tortillas at home

They're so much better than store-bought.

Here's how to make the perfect tortillas at home Credit: Getty / bhofack2

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It shouldn’t surprise you that a good taco requires a great tortilla. After all, it has so few ingredients you have to make each one count!

While it’s usually easy enough to find decent corn tortillas at the grocery store—or much better tortillas at your local Mexican restaurants and supermarkets—social distancing measures have made them harder to come by. But if you’re able to get your hands on some masa harina (a specialty corn flour) and a decent tortilla press, you can make your own delicious corn tortillas right at home.

When it comes to choosing a tortilla press, there are more than a few options, from lightweight aluminum and heavy-duty cast-iron to beautifully hand-crafted wood presses. Does the press material make a difference in the end result of the tortilla? After testing six top-rated tortilla presses, we can confirm that opting for a good quality press, like the Victoria 8-Inch Cast Iron Tortilla Press, absolutely makes a difference.

Tortilla press
Credit: Reviewed / Lindsay D. Mattison

The best tortilla maker we tested is the Victoria 8-inch Cast Iron Tortilla Press.

It’s important to note that tortilla presses are for corn tortillas only. Flour tortillas are best rolled with a rolling pin, as the gluten network starts to shrink up as soon as it leaves the press.

Ready to get pressing? Here’s our simple, step-by-step guide to making corn tortillas right at home.

Recipe: Corn Tortillas (about 16)

Corn tortillas in a table
Credit: Getty / 4kodiak

This recipe makes anywhere from 16 to 20 tortillas.

What You Need:

Time Needed

30 minutes

Difficulty

Easy


Step-by-Step

1. Make the dough

Combine the masa harina and salt in a mixing bowl. Gradually add the warm water to the dry ingredients with a spoon, mixing in between spoonfuls, until it forms a dough. Then, knead the dough with your hands and form a ball.

2. Divide and press

Tortillas after being pressed
Credit: Reviewed / Lindsay D. Mattison

The tortillas should be even in thickness once pressed.

Divide the dough into one-ounce balls (a food scale is useful, but not essential), or about 16 balls total. To prevent the dough from sticking to the press, line each side of the press with plastic wrap or a plastic bag. Then, place the dough balls one by one into the press and flatten them.

3. Fry and serve

Preheat a cast iron skillet on medium-high heat. Once hot, add as many tortillas as fit in the pan (this may be just one) and fry one to two minutes per side, or until brown spots start to form. Continue with the rest of the tortillas.

4. Enjoy fresh tortillas!

Once cool enough to handle, use your fresh tortillas to make tacos, or eat however you’d like. If you’re not serving them all at once, you can store leftover tortillas in an airtight container in the fridge—but be warned they won’t maintain their springy texture for long. You can heat them up again in the cast iron pan, and keep them warm in a tortilla warmer.

Looking for all the right tortillas tools? Check out our roundups of the best tortillas presses and best tortilla warmers.

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Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.

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