Mexican food has seen something of a boom in recent years thanks to its delicious blend of spice, cheese, and tomatoes all usually wrapped up in some form of tortilla which only adds to the exuberance of the dish. Be it in a softly wrapped chunky burrito smothered in guacamole, as a crispy base for a cheese coated quesadilla, however for a perfect coating, you will need a rotary cheese grater device for quesadilla. Or used as a shell to a crunchy taco, the tortilla is easily as versatile as it is delicious.
Whilst this boom in popularity has brought a whole range of tortillas to the store, as with most foods, you will not beat the flavor of a home-cooked tortilla, freshly hand-made and immediately wrapped. But where do you start with making a tortilla? Well, in this post we will take you through everything you need to know to make the perfect tortilla at home and introduce you to the best tortilla presses we have found on the market.
You may want to see: Best keep tortillas fresh – How long do tortillas last?
Table of Contents
- What is a tortilla press?
- What material is best for a tortilla press?
- Wooden Tortilla Presses
- Aluminum Tortilla Presses
- Cast-iron Tortilla Presses
- 5 Reasons to Buy a Tortilla Press
- How to make your own corn tortilla dough
- Tortilla Press Reviews 2019
- #1 Best Cast-iron Tortilla Press: Victoria TOR-003 8 Inch
- #2 Best Heavy-Duty Cast-iron Tortilla Press: Uno Casa 8 Inch
- #3 Best Value Cast-iron Tortilla Press: : Smart Cook 7.5 Inch
- #4 Best Large Cast-iron Tortilla Press: Star Blue 10 Inch
- #5 Best Cast-Iron Electric Tortilla Press: Always-Quality’s Tortilla Maker
- #6 Best Aluminum Tortilla Press for Portability: Norpro’s 6-Inch
- #7 Best Value Aluminum Tortilla Press: Imusa’s USA Mexi-86008 8-Inch
- #8 Best Aluminum Electric Tortilla Press: CucinaPro’s 10 Inch
- #9 Best Hardwood Tortilla Press: Central Coast Woodworks 8 Inch
- #10 Best Pine Tortilla Press: Ematik’s 11-Inch
What is a tortilla press?
Tortilla presses are used to make corn tortillas and are typically formed of two flat and round surfaces with a handle. The handle is used, unsurprisingly, to press corn dough into the round and flattened shape of a tortilla, which will typically be at least 8 inches in diameter. More expensive models come complete with an electric component which also enables you to cook the tortilla as well as press it into shape.
It is important to note that a tortilla press should only be used when making tortillas out of corn-based flour rather than typical flour used to make bread or plain flour. If you are making flour tortillas, you are better off using a rolling pin since the gluten content of normal flour will shrink the moment it leaves your tortilla press. Tortilla presses can come in all shapes and sizes and be made from all sorts of materials which we will take a look at below to help you pick the right press for your needs.
What material is best for a tortilla press?
When it comes to buying a tortilla press, a key consideration you are going to have to make is what sort of material you want your press to be made of as some people swear by different materials for the best outcomes in flavor, shape, and texture. Here we will outline the major materials used for tortilla presses and the benefits and downsides of each. Although it is possible to get plastic tortilla presses, we have left them off this list as they should really be avoided at all costs and are no cheaper than their aluminum counterparts.
Wooden Tortilla Presses
If you’re after a truly authentic tortilla press that will make you feel like you are down in Oaxaca, then you really need to be looking at wooden tortilla presses. The classic material used for wooden presses is pine as this is both incredibly cheap and soft, also keeping its cost down. Pine is also nice and lightweight which means a wooden tortilla press can actually be surprisingly portable so if you hope to take your press on camping trips or family holidays a wooden press might not be a bad choice. Some people also say tortillas taste best when made with wooden presses.
Wooden presses fall down on the fact that they do not have an electrical component, although this does mean they are suitable for outdoor use and wraps are a great camping trip meal. Some wooden presses are also made from heavier woods (such as oak or maple) which means they won’t be as cheap or as portable. These more expensive wooden options look great but if you are after portability you are better off taking the cheaper option as they tend to be much bigger and a hard to maneuver.
Aluminum Tortilla Presses
The major benefit of this press is that they are super lightweight, much lighter than both wooden and cast-iron presses in fact. Moreover, these devices are typically much smaller too making them a good option for those seeking a more portable press, or simply one that is easier to move between the cupboard and shelf to the work surface. Aluminum is also a cheap material that means these presses are suitable for people with smaller budgets and want to give making their own tortillas a whirl.
The downside of the lightweight nature of aluminum presses is that you need to have quite a lot of strength to actually carry out the press since you need to add the force that is usually naturally applied with heavier materials. You are also likely to put a strain on the material as you do this which means that over time the press will weaken and eventually break. The lack of weight also tends to lead to uneven distribution of your dough across the press so tortillas made in an aluminum press can often be uneven. Nevertheless, a good choice for those on a budget and if you’re looking for portability.
Cast-iron Tortilla Presses
Probably the most sought after material when it comes to tortilla presses, the cast-iron press is heavy and bulky but highly effective as a result of this in creating a perfectly even tortilla. Since iron conducts electricity and heat you can also find cast-iron tortilla presses with electric units that will cook your tortilla as you press it. The heavy top plate of the press also means you don’t have to strain yourself or the device to generate the necessary force to make the perfect tortilla, gravity does this for you.
Unfortunately, when it comes to the cast-iron press, its greatest strength is also its greatest weakness as its weight means it is very difficult to move. The weight can also cause damage to your work surface because of its weight if you are not careful and should never be placed on top of a glass-topped stove unless you want to ruin its stylish finish. If you don’t have a lot of surface space in your kitchen then this is definitely not the press for you.
5 Reasons to Buy a Tortilla Press
So now you know what are tortilla press is, what it does, and what the best materials are for different purposes but maybe you still need convincing as to why investing in a tortilla practice is actually a good idea. Well, in this section we will outline 5 reasons why taking the plunge at getting a tortilla press in your home is well worth the investment.
As anyone who has ever bought store-bought tortillas knows, the hardest thing to do once you’ve opened a pack is to actually use them all up before they go stale. By making your own dough and cooking up batches as and when you need them you can ensure you always have enough tortillas and never have to throw any away.
The issue with store-bought tortillas is that in order to keep them fresher for longer they have to make them with lots of preservatives and additives that are not the healthiest things to be consuming, such as cellulose gum, Benzoic acid, and other nasty hydrogenated and Trans fats. You may also find sweeteners and lots of sugar in store-bought tortillas whereas in your home-made good you have total control and have no need to add preservatives as you are going to serve these right up!
When someone first thinks about making a tortilla no doubt one of the first things that springs to mind is the thought that ‘this is going to be crazy difficult!’ However, tortilla presses actually make it super simple to make your own tortillas, all you need to do is make the dough, pop it in, apply some pressure, and bobs your uncle (especially with an electric unit attached).
Although investing in a device many might consider unnecessary in their own home might seem an expensive decision, in reality, a tortilla press will likely save you money in the long run if you often cook using tortillas. Store-bought tortillas are pricey and go off quickly once opened. Using your own dough and storing it the fridge you can whip up tortillas in minutes and never run out or have to throw them away.
If all the above are not reason enough to go right out and buy a tortilla press, then this final reason must be! Homemade tortillas are delicious and can be made to any size you wish (within the limits of the press itself of course). Once you have tried the homemade variant you will certainly never want to look back at the store-bought tortilla.
How to make your own corn tortilla dough
Remember that if you are going to use a tortilla press, you are going to need to use a corn dough rather than a flour dough. To make corn tortillas you have to use something called masa harina. Harina is just the Spanish word for flour whilst masa refers to a type of corn that is rich in starch and is a particularly unsweet type of corn. The Maseca brand is probably one of the most widespread brands offering masa harina. All you need to do is mix this with a little bit of warm water and Bob’s your uncle!
– 10-oz Masa Harina
– 5-oz warm to hot tap water
– Room temperature tap water to be added one tablespoon at a time as required
#1 Mix the hot tap water into your masa harina with a wooden spoon until it has all been mixed together.
#2 Cover the bowl with a wet tea towel and leave it to stand at room temperature for at least 30 minutes.
#3 After 30 minutes your dough should be ready to be kneaded with your hands. Add one tablespoon of water at room temperature and knead the dough. Repeat this step with one tablespoon at a time kneaded into the dough until the dough becomes soft but has not become sticky.
#4 If you find you have added too much water, simply add more masa harina.
#5 For an 8-inch tortilla, you will need to separate the dough into balls of 1.8-ounces so you can make around 12 with this recipe.
#6 Once your dough is separated into 12 1.8-oz balls cover them with a clean kitchen towel. They are now ready to press.
#7 Press your balls in your tortilla press, if you have an electric unit you can cook them as you press. Otherwise, heat up an iron skillet over a medium heat and after around 10 minutes it will be ready to cook your tortillas. Give them just 15 seconds before flipping them and a further 30-45 seconds more, flipping once so that they are slightly browned.
#8 Once the tortillas are cooked transfer them to a basket lined with a kitchen cloth so they can be covered. This helps them to continue being steamed as you fry off the rest and keeps them nice and soft.
Tortilla Press Reviews 2019
Now you’ve picked your material, size, and type of tortilla press it’s time to dive in and pick your device of choice but how do can you see the wood for the trees? Well, in this next section we will outline exactly the right type of tortilla press for every need and budget.
#1 Best Cast-iron Tortilla Press: Victoria TOR-003 8 Inch
Cast-iron is a super strong and durable material which makes for an excellent material to make a tortilla press out of. This traditional style tortilla press from Victoria is made out of heavy-duty cast-iron and the producers are so confident in the quality of their product that it comes with a limited lifetime warranty – so you will be making tortillas for years to come. For ease of use, cast-iron presses cannot be beaten.
This authentic tortilla press is cast in Colombia so you know you are getting a really traditional press that has been made by the masters of tortillas themselves. It comes pre-seasoned with 100% Non-GMO Flaxseed Oil so you don’t have to worry about seasoning yourself before use. Making your own tortillas is incredibly easy with this tortilla press – simply make the dough, roll it into balls and then individually press them into the perfect tortilla shape using the press. As well as tortillas you can also make flatbreads, arepas, tostones and empanadas with this multi-purpose cast-iron tortilla press!
#Cast_iron #Tortillas #Tortilla_press #Colombian #Traditional #Victoria #Easy #Durable
#2 Best Heavy-Duty Cast-iron Tortilla Press: Uno Casa 8 Inch
If you’re looking for a tortilla press to last a lifetime then look no further than this heavy-duty cast-iron tortilla press from Uno Casa. Made out of the finest quality cast-iron this tortilla press comes pre-seasoned so is ready to use as soon as it arrives at your door. This press works best with parchment paper inside and, thankfully, this purchase comes with a generous 100 parchment papers included in the price.
Use this tortilla press to impress your friends with perfectly shaped tortillas every time. All you need to do is make your dough, put the dough inside the press (between the parchment papers) and press! You will then have a tortilla ready to cook in your pan. This product also comes with an extra screw set should yours wear out from so much pressing. Get yours today and you will soon be enjoying a range of Mexican dishes from tortillas to empanadas, tostones to arepas!
#Tortillas #Tortilla_press #Homemade_tortillas #Mexican_cooking #Kitchen_equipment #Tasty
#3 Best Value Cast-iron Tortilla Press: : Smart Cook 7.5 Inch
If you are wanting a cast-iron tortilla press but are on a budget then you might like the look of this cast-iron tortilla press from Smart Cook. Costing under $20 this great value tortilla press is not only great value it is also excellent quality thanks to the heavy-gauge cast-iron construction. It measures 7.5 inches in diameter so creates average-sized tortillas that will be plenty big enough for a densely filled burrito smothered in cheese.
Tortillas are incredibly easy to make with this press as the heavy cast-iron does a lot of the work for you – all you need to do is put the dough inside and press down gently to create the perfect tortilla shape. The even motion created by the bolted hinge handle also ensures that you achieve tortillas that are the same size and shape every time – helping your meals to look very professional! For the price, it’s hard to find a better cast-iron tortilla press.
#Heavy_duty #Tortilla_press #Cast_iron #Home-made #Easy #Professoinal #Delicious
#4 Best Large Cast-iron Tortilla Press: Star Blue 10 Inch
For those of you that have hungry families to feed you might be after a cast-iron tortilla press that is a little larger than normal. This cast-iron press from Star Blue measures 10 inches in diameter (2 inches bigger than the normal 8 inch tortilla press) so will make tortillas that are a little bigger in size. You can also use this press to make rotis, mini pie shells, dumplings, and tacos – so you’re sure to keep your family satisfied.
Making your own tortillas is easy with this press and thanks to the heavy cast-iron you will need to exert minimal pressure on the press to achieve even and perfectly round tortillas. This press also comes with 100 free pieces of parchment paper so you really are getting everything you need to get started. Enhance weekday meals or create an exciting dinner party menu with this piece of equipment in your repertoire – you’re sure to impress both your friends and your family.
#Cast_iron #Large_tortilla_press #Heavy_duty #Home-made #Mexican_food #Delicious
#5 Best Cast-Iron Electric Tortilla Press: Always-Quality’s Tortilla Maker
If the cast-iron method sounds to you like the right way to go but you want an electrical component built-in so that you can press and cook at the same time, then you should look no further than this impressive tortilla press. Made in Mexico, no one can say this isn’t authentic and thanks to the heavy-duty iron components you will be able to press a tortilla in just two or three squeezes of the press and be presented with the finished product for your troubles.
Other things to like about this tortilla press are that: it is suitable for both, that’s right BOTH!(), corn and flour tortillas, something most tortilla presses cannot offer; it includes a useful set of instructions for both the pressing and the filling, and; it is nice and heavy which makes it easy to evenly press your homemade tortillas. The downsides of this device are that it is pricey and it takes a while to heat up.
#Tortilla_press #Tortilla_Presses #Dual_Press #Corn #Flour
#6 Best Aluminum Tortilla Press for Portability: Norpro’s 6-Inch
If you are keen on getting a tortilla press but don’t want it clogging up space on your worktop or fancy taking it with you on a camping trip, then this lightweight aluminum press will be right up your street. At just 1.5 pounds in weight and no dimension being bigger than 8-inches this is the antithesis of many tortilla presses in that it is actually incredibly un-bulky and easily mobile. The aluminum also means the cost stays exceptionally low.
The other good things about this press are that: it makes it easy to whip up a batch of homemade tortillas which will wow dinner guests; it is nice and easy to clean with a simple wipe of a piece of kitchen towel; it is cheap to buy; it is available in an 8-inch option, and; it comes with helpful recipes to help you make the most of this tortilla press. The downside of this press is that it won’t work with flour tortillas and it is lightweight so requires lots of force to press even tortillas.
#Lightweight_Tortilla_Press #Aluminum #Aluminum_Tortilla_Press #Aluminum #Tortillas
#7 Best Value Aluminum Tortilla Press: Imusa’s USA Mexi-86008 8-Inch
If you are on a budget but love burritos, fajitas or tacos, then this 8-inch aluminum tortilla press could be just what you are after. Surprisingly, this cheap bit of kit can work with both corn-flour and normal flour, although it will rely on you entirely for the necessary force to flatten your dough into the right shape and thickness. If you’re after a portable tortilla press that still makes decent sized tortillas, then you won’t be disappointed with this number.
Other pluses about this tortilla press are that: it is suitable for every type of bread you can imagine from chapattis through to naan in the flour world and tacos and tortillas in the corn world, and; it has a useful mechanism to enable additional force to be applied, creating more uniform and flat tortillas to be applied, creating more uniform and flat tortillas. The downside of this press is that it does still require plenty of strength for an effective press.
#Chapattis #Tortilla #Tortilla_Press #Aluminum_Tortilla_Press #Corn__Tortillas
#8 Best Aluminum Electric Tortilla Press: CucinaPro’s 10 Inch
For a tortilla press capable of cooking your tortilla as you press it you are going to need to shell out a bit more cash but it’s worth it with this bit of kit. Unlike most aluminum presses this set is actually heavy! For portability that’s not good, but for most people’s tortilla pressing needs that is exactly what you want as it makes it easier to generate the force needed to make a perfectly even tortilla. Suitable for 10-inch tortillas this press is great for those who like to eat!
Other things to like about this tortilla press are that: it is coated with an exceptionally effective non-stick layer that makes cleaning a pretty much non-existent task; unlike most tortilla presses, it is also suitable for flour-based breads such as flatbread, chapattis, or roti; it is bigger than most tortilla presses, and; it cooks tortillas perfectly. The major downside of this device is that it is not suitable for corn tortillas, hence its suitability for other types of bread – sorry!
#Flour_Tortillas #Flatbreads #Chapattis #Tortilla_Press #Flour_Tortilla_Press
#9 Best Hardwood Tortilla Press: Central Coast Woodworks 8 Inch
For those that believe only wood can offer a truly authentic tortilla and hope to enrich their Mexican style bread with the flavor of the wood they press with, this is the perfect press to choose. Made with hardwood it offers the weight of cast-iron but comes in at a cheaper price. For a wooden press, this is also not the bulkiest of devices so can be moved around if needed. If you want authenticity personified in your cooking, then you need look no further than this press.
Other benefits of this press are that: it is suitable for at least 8-inches of tortilla (and can even make squares); it is easy to use and includes no tech other than place, press, release; it looks stylish and won’t look out of place if you have to leave it on the worktop, and; it is built with sturdiness in mind. The downside of this tortilla press is that it is pricey because of the hardwood structure and some people find it difficult to create the circular tortilla shape with this device.
#Wooden_Tortilla_Press #Wooden_Press #Tortilla #Corn_Tortillas #Hardwood
#10 Best Pine Tortilla Press: Ematik’s 11-Inch
Here we have a beautiful tortilla press made out of hard pine wood from Ematik. It measures 11 inches x 11 inches so you can make tortillas that are on the larger side so this is a great choice if you have quite a few mouths to feed. As it is made out of quality pine wood this tortilla press will be incredibly hardwearing also, because of the nature of the wood, it is very easy to clean and doesn’t absorb stains in the same way other woods do.
This well-designed tortilla press will not only mean making tortillas is a lot easier it also means that you have a beautiful display piece for your kitchen. In terms of ease of use you can’t get much better than this, simply make your dough and then roll each portion in your hand until you have a ball. Next, all you need to do is place the dough in the press and push down the wooden handle which will turn the dough into a perfectly formed tortilla. Purchase this wooden tortilla press and you’re sure to be enjoying tortillas for years to come.
Tortilla presses are not often the first piece of kit someone thinks about when they move into a new house. However, if you have experienced the flavor of homemade tortillas and have seen how easy it is to make your own, you will be aware that a tortilla press is actually a piece of equipment that can enrich your life no end. We hope this post has given you a nudge in the right direction at least!
The important thing to remember when making the decision to buy a tortilla press is that understanding the material is key. Wood sometimes offers more portability but not always, cast-iron makes an even press easy, whilst aluminum is always portable and cheap. In this list, you will also find a press for every need and budget. Finally, remember, tortilla presses are for life, not just for Christmas!