How To Use A Tortilla Press (We Show You How)

There is nothing quite like a well-made homemade tortilla. Plus, who wouldn’t want to enjoy this delicious snack in the comfort of their home whenever they like? If you are keen on making your tortillas from scratch in the most authentic way, you’ve come to the right place. 

First things first- the right way to start tortilla-making at home is by using a tortilla press. 

So, how to use a tortilla press? Essentially, a tortilla press is a quite simple tool. It has a base, lid, and handle and leverage that presses the dough ball into a tortilla. This equipment works in a way that your tortilla is flattened uniformly. By using it, you will get a fully professional tortilla in a few simple steps. The best part is, it is affordable and totally worth it.

Whether you are planning to purchase this sleek tool or you’ve already bought it, you might be wondering how to use a tortilla press the right way. We’ve got you covered. Let’s take you through the step-by-step procedure of making the perfect homemade tortilla using a tortilla press.

Table of Contents

Using the right tortilla press

Before we move on to the actual procedure, you must know that there are two types of tortilla presses to begin with. You can either use a manual or an electric one.

Using a manual tortilla does not not require much upkeep or maintenance. It is extremely easy to use and come in build variants of cast iron or wood. If you opt for a wood one, the main benefit is you do not have to season it. With a cast-iron press, you will lightly oil it before use and then wipe away the oil to clean it.

The main benefit of an electric tortilla press is that it flattens as well as cooks the dough. So in one step, you get a fully ready tortilla. However, these can be bulkier and need some taking care of.

You can choose either of these types based on your preference and you will be able to make excellent tortillas.

What about Tortilla size?

You can find tortillas makers in a few different sizes.  Corn tortillas range in size from 6 inches to 12 inches.  The most common size you should look for if you only are going to get one size tortilla press would be an 8-inch maker. 

This size is great for enchiladas, quesadillas, and burritos.  With that said if you are only interested in making tacos, then a 6-inch maker would be your best fit.

It is important to know that larger tortilla-like 10 or even 12 inch makes most likely would need to be electric tortilla makers.  Manual makers of this size are typically very heavy for the home user. 

How to use a tortilla press

It is best to prep up the press before using it to avoid any sticking. You can use wax paper or parchment paper. This also helps to protect the press from inside. 

  • For the right size paper, you should fold a large piece in half rather than using two separate pieces in the press.
  • You should also specifically use tortilla dough. This is known as ‘masa’ and is characterized by a special mixture of ground corn and maize flour. You can even get bags of corn flour known as Masa Harina.
  • Now take a piece of dough, which should ideally be the size of a golf-ball. Place it into the center of the tortilla press. Using your thumb, you will now form an indent right in the middle of the tortilla dough. Why do you need to do this? You are simply making sure that the center is not too thick compared to the edges. 
  • It is often recommended to cover the top half of this flattened dough with a layer of parchment paper so it stays protected and non-sticky.
  • Once it looks nice and uniform, you will now take the top side of the press and bring it down. Using the lever, flatten out the dough.
  • Now bring back the lever to its’ original position. Lift the top and open the press. Remove the layer of parchment and then your tortilla. And now your tortilla is ready to be cooked!

Should you get a tortilla press or use an alternative?

The alternative to using a tortilla press is making them completely manually instead.  You simply have to use your hands and a rolling pin to flatten and shape the dough. However, this is much more difficult and time-consuming as you need to achieve the perfect balance of thinness.

It is definitely worth it if you get a tortilla press instead. It makes the process much easier and the results are more reliable. Plus, you can even use a tortilla press for making more foods like dumplings, pita bread, or tortilla chips.

We hope this guide gave you all the information and knowledge you needed on making homemade tortillas and on how to use a tortilla press. Enjoy your homemade tortillas!

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About ASmith

Adam loves cooking and cooking products like cookware, tools, gadgets, and more to help make cooking easier in the kitchen. When Adam is not trying out new kitchen tools in the kitchen you find him researching the next best kitchen gadgets.