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How to Use a Tortilla Warmer: Tips from the Pros

June 29, 2020 4 min read

How to Use a Tortilla Warmer: Tips from the Pros

No one enjoys eating cold tacos or frigid burritos. Mexican food is best served hot, and we aren't just talking about the chilis! That makes heating up tortillas when it's Taco Tuesday an important part of the cooking process, and knowing how to use a tortilla warmer will make your Mexican cooking so much more authentic!

In this article, we take a look at why you need a tortilla warmer in your life!

What is a tortilla warmer?

Learning how to heat tortillas is a great way to quickly improve your Mexican cooking skills, and using a tortilla warmer is the best way to re-heat or keep tortillas warm!

Tortilla warmers are circular bowls with a removable lid that can hold a stack of tortillas. The most basic tortilla warmers are produced from plastic, while more versatile and hard-wearing tortilla warmers will be made from traditional terracotta or modern ceramic.

Tortilla warmers can be placed in the microwave, or if they are ceramic or terracotta, in the oven. They allow the tortillas inside to be gently heated, then kept warm before they are served up for dinner.

What is the best way to warm tortillas?

You can heat tortillas in a wide variety of ways, from griddling to baking, but you'll be surprised at how varied the results can be!

If your tortillas are hand-pressed and fresh, then you need to cook them for longer than you would store-bought tortillas, which only need to be warmed up. The best tortillas are soft and moist, which means gentle heating works the best.

You can heat your tortillas on a griddle or in a pan, but it's rather easy to cook them for too long, leaving you with crispy tortillas. You could also heat tortillas in a microwave or in the oven.

How do I use a tortilla warmer?

The key to warming tortillas is consistency, which is why tortilla warmers are the perfect kitchen appliance if you're cooking in the microwave or in the oven. A tortilla warmer allows you to slowly warm up the tortillas as you can spread the heat evenly over the cooking surface of the container.

With a ceramic tortilla warmer, you can heat your tortillas in the oven or the microwave. We always recommend the oven, because the microwave can quickly leave you with dry tortillas that are cracked or falling apart.

In a tortilla warmer, you can oven bake a stack of tortillas in 10 minutes if they are straight out of a package. If you've hand-pressed your tortillas at home, then you will need to cook them in the oven for 25 minutes using a tortilla warmer.

If you're cooking in the microwave, splash your tortillas with water to stop them from drying out. They will only need 30 seconds to cook through. Any longer and they will dry out completely, which is why we only advise using a microwave if you don't have an oven or are really in a rush!

Can I heat corn and flour tortillas in a tortilla warmer?

Tortilla warmers are perfect for warming flour tortillas and just as fantastic for warming up corn tortillas. These are the two main types of tortilla you'll be cooking with, and tortilla warmers will be great to use for both.

Corn tortillas tend to be thinner than flour tortillas, and they are often smaller as well. Flour tortillas are larger and thicker. Make sure your tortilla warmer has a wide enough circumference if you're planning on heating up really large flour tortillas!

Again, we don't recommend that you heat corn tortillas in microwave or flour tortillas in the microwave. Try to take a little longer, and oven bake your tortillas for the freshest, most flavorful results.

How long will my tortillas stay warm?

The key to keeping your tortillas warm once they are cooked is to keep them tightly sealed in the tortilla warmer. Ceramic tortilla warmers tend to be the best insulators, and they'll keep your tortillas warm for much longer than a basic plastic container will.

Keep the lid sealed to keep the heat in until you're ready to serve the tortillas at the table. The tortillas in the warmer should stay pleasantly warm all the way through your dinner session, as long as you keep replacing the lid every time you take out a fresh tortilla for your next taco!

If you want to keep your tortillas deliciously fresh and warm for longer, then you could also wrap the stack in tin foil, then place the tin foil stack in the tortilla warmer. This will keep even more heat in during dinner.

Can I cook crispy tortillas in a tortilla warmer?

Tortilla warmers aren't suitable for cooking crispy tortillas. For this, you need to use oil and a skillet or griddle. The oil helps to crisp up the edges of a tortilla. If you're looking for super crispy taco shells or tortilla chips, then you need to use lots of oil or a deep fryer to get the best results.

Tortilla warmers are best for heating up warm, soft tortillas. This is the most authentic style of tortilla, and the perfect taco wrap, so we're happy with our tortillas not being crispy!

What else can I use a tortilla warmer for?

We hope we've convinced you that tortilla warmers are the BEST way to warm your tortillas for Taco Tuesday. If you're still wondering if you'd get enough use out of a tortilla warmer to make it worth the money, then you'll be happy to know that tortilla warmers are wonderfully versatile!

That's right; you don't just have to use them for keeping your tortillas warm. They have countless other uses too! Modern tortilla warmers are large, ceramic bowls that are great for cooking in the oven. That means you can double your tortilla warmer up as a casserole dish when it's not Mexican evening.

And of course, you don't just have to store tortillas in them either, you can use them for any number of different flatbreads, from pancakes to Indian-style roti bread or chappatis.

With so many uses, why wouldn't you want a tortilla warmer in their kitchen?

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