Updated December 12, 2018 – To anyone who has lived in a country where tortillas are a ubiquitous and delicious staple of the local cuisine, the sound of tortillas being patted and molded by hand is a welcome and enticing one. You walk by one little tienda (or “store”) after another, smelling the dough as it fries on the hot tortilla plate and listening to the music of that pit-a-pat as women both young and old expertly shape the flour dough, flattening it and preparing it to be toasted on the open-air griddle.
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Ready for the best? I like the Victoria 8 Inch Cast Iron Tortilla Press.
Why make your own tortillas?
Store-bought, mass-produced tortillas certainly get the job done – I’m not one to turn my nose up at a Chipotle burrito! (Want to know how long cooked pinto beans last? Find out here.)
But anyone who has eaten a hand-pressed tortilla hot off the press can tell you that there is no comparison. The artisanal quality of a tortilla made from the more traditional tortilla making method is unequaled compared to the limp, flat, somewhat flavorless tortillas pressed and churned out by the millions in a factory.
At the same time, most of us are busy, and unless you grew up knowing and understanding the art of tortilla making, the thought of making your own tortillas at home might be a little overwhelming. Here’s where a commercial tortilla press comes in.
A tortilla press is efficient, and still saves you more time than if you were to have to pat and slap all the tortillas you were going to eat by hand. But it also allows you to make and press tortillas that come out crisp and steaming hot, tasting just like the freshest tortillas you could ask for at any tiendacita on any street corner in Latin America.
When considering what tortilla press to invest in, it’s important to know whether you’re planning on making flour or corn tortillas – or both! The consistency of the dough is different and will affect the style and model of tortilla press that will work best for you.
When making flour tortillas, you have to be extra conscious of ensuring that the dough, which is less thick than corn tortilla dough, doesn’t stick or come apart in the tortilla press. In addition to finding an appropriate model of tortilla press, another tip is to wrap the tortilla dough in plastic or wax paper when you press it, and oil both sides of the press.
So you’re ready to invest in your own tortilla press to churn out authentic tacos and burritos galore! No matter what your planned use is, here are a few of the leading tortilla presses for flour tortilla-making.
Victoria 8 inch Cast Iron Tortilla Press and Pataconera
The Victoria 8 inch Cast Iron Tortilla Press and Pataconera, Original Made in Colombia, Seasoned, is a great option for a classic tortilla press equipped to handle flour tortilla dough. This standard-size, a cast iron press is as authentic as it gets, originally cast in Colombia in 1986. The seasoning, with organic flaxseed oil, means your flour tortilla will come out even and flat, without sticking to the base.
Chef Pro 10 Inch Tortilla Maker
Another surefire, though pricier, an option is the Chef Pro 10 Inch Tortilla Maker/Flat Bread Maker. This 10-inch, the heavy-duty press comes with non-stick plates which are perfect for flour tortillas and an easy clean-up afterward. The temperature control feature ensures that you wind up with crisp but not burnt to a crisp tortilla.
Powered by 1200 watts for fast cooking, the Chef Pro 10 Inch Tortilla Maker/Flat Bread Maker churns out tortillas and other flatbread quickly and efficiently, making it perfect for serving tortillas at parties or in group gatherings.
Brentwood TS126 Tortilla Maker
If you’re looking for a more economical option, the Brentwood TS126 Non-Stick in Stainless Steel Tortilla Maker is a great deal for a lower price. With non-stick plates and a compact design, the Brentwood TS126 Non-Stick in Stainless Steel Tortilla Maker simply gets the tortillas pressed so you’re not pressed about how to use or operate it.
D-ICE Electric Tortilla Maker
Last but not least, the D-ICE Electric Tortilla Maker- Homemade Flatbread, Pitas, Tortillas- Heavy Duty, Non-stick Cooker is a versatile and reliable option for making 8-inch tortillas or flatbread, pitas, and other toasted bread. The compact size makes for easy storage, and the heavy, non-stick aluminum plates bake evenly and are easy to wipe clean after you’re done cooking.
By investing in your own tortilla press, you’re on your way to being able to partake in and share with others some steaming hot, original tortillas!