HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
What are you cooking today? Share your food adventure

Found a way to refresh stale tortilla chips

elmomonster Oct 11, 2006 08:39 PM

I'm sure this is not going to be revelatory for most of you expert cooks. Also, I'm sure someone's figured this out already, but:

...if you want to refresh stale tortilla chips to its formerly crunchy, brittle state; use the microwave!

Lay out a few chips on a paper towel, microwave on high for 30 seconds (watch out for scorching).**

During this time, marvel at how the moisture (which makes chips stale) is evaporated as if by magic by your oven.

When it's done, you'll get warm chips ready for dipping in a cool bowl of salsa.

BTW, I don't recommend you try this on a Dorito.


** NOTE: You need the kind of microwave that has a rotating turntable, or else you will be very sorry in a my-science-project-burned-the-school-down kind of way.

  1. DanaB Oct 11, 2006 08:49 PM

    I've never tried the microwave for this purpose, but thanks for the tip!

    You can also do this in a toaster oven. Spread chips in a single layer and heat at around 350 for 3-4 minutes, being careful not to let them brown. Brings them back to being perfectly crispy.

    1. pescatarian Oct 11, 2006 08:51 PM

      Makes sense because that's what microwave ovens do, remove moisture from foods.

      1. i
        interference Oct 11, 2006 08:56 PM

        I would think it would depend on the thickness of the chip. The microwave would probably make the chip tough and leathery, right? A toaster oven on low should remove moisture just as well without affecting the texture.

        1 Reply
        1. re: interference
          elmomonster Oct 11, 2006 09:07 PM

          You'd think! But my results, on a moderately thick chip, has been consistently crunchy and brittle and crisp. I dare say crunchier than it was originally!


        2. Funwithfood Oct 11, 2006 09:10 PM

          I use the oven for this (I'm "microwave adverse"). But, I might just try it for "experiment-sake" :).

          1. p
            Procrastibaker Oct 11, 2006 10:32 PM

            One of my favorite things, which incidentally prevents staling, is to keep all snack foods in the freezer. Pretzels, chips, tortilla chips, you name it, I keep it in the freezer. It just seems crispier somehow. Anyone else do this?

            1. w
              wayne keyser Oct 12, 2006 01:15 AM

              I prefer baking them for just a few minutes.

              1. krissywats Oct 12, 2006 04:10 AM

                You're right! Did this a lot in college and they do come out beautifully crispy.....

                1. Covert Ops Oct 13, 2006 03:22 PM

                  This comes right off the box of the Taco Bell Home Taco Kit -- 30 secs in the microwave, or 3-5 minutes in the oven (I think either 400 or 450). I don't think they recommend toaster ovens.

                  1. a
                    angelus353 Apr 14, 2010 03:10 PM

                    Why wouldn't this work on Doritos?

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: angelus353
                      dmd_kc Apr 14, 2010 09:55 PM

                      It would work wonderfully on Doritos, which are among the best packaged corn tortilla chips available. Anyone who claims otherwise is just being snobby. Like 'em or hate 'em, Frito-Lay knows how to make amazingly good snacks. I'm not a fan of most of the flavored ones (though I have to admit the ridonculous "cheesburger" ones are stupidly tasty), but the plain variety is hard to better.

                      1. re: dmd_kc
                        coll Apr 15, 2010 10:25 AM

                        Their fire-y hot ones, I can't believe they sell them commercially. So NOT middle of the road. Love Doritos!

                    2. scuzzo Apr 14, 2010 09:18 PM

                      I agree, this works. So does a low oven for a bit. Wait for them to cool for the crisp to return.

                      1. t
                        Trine Dec 30, 2010 09:11 PM

                        Found out that it works on the poofy cheetos... though, 25 seconds seems to be best.

                        1. c
                          Clarkafella Dec 30, 2010 09:28 PM

                          For safety reasons, it should be noted that tortilla chips will catch on fire- and once they do, it is like napalm! You can't put 'em out. Dangerous, but they do make great fire-starters for your charcoal...

                          Show Hidden Posts