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Mar 7, 2008 05:17 PM

Where to buy a cast-iron tortilla press in Manhattan or Queens

Want to start making my own corn tortillas, and want to find a cast-iron hand tortilla press. Also looking for ideas on making masa dough for tamales without lard or shortening. thanks, everyone.

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  1. Why don't you call Bridge Kitchenware at 45th and 3rd 212-688-4220( or Sur La Table in SoHo 212-966-3375 -- both have presses on their websites. You could also try Broadway Panhandler and Zabars.

    1. check the bowery kitchen supply shop in the chelsea market too.

      1. Oddly enough I found one for $15 in Chinatown in one of the restaurant ware liquidators places. it's fantastic.

        1 Reply
        1. re: progressivenewamerican

          Great news--do you happen to remember the location of the place in Chinatown? I will try the Bowery places. Are you making your own tortillas? If so, what masa are you using? Thanks!

        2. I'm curious why you want cast iron. Our cheap aluminum one does the job, but if there's something superior about cast iron I'd love to know. I've seen heavier (stainless steel?) presses at the place on Bowery and Delancey.

          I'd give up hope on finding fresh masa. Masa harina is not nearly as good, but it still makes tortillas that beat the pants off those preservatives patties sold in plastic bags.

          Finally, why not lard? Shortening, I get, but lard's got less bad health effects than butter, and even butter's harmfulness has been called into question. And it is SO good. I know some people don't like the rich flavor of some lard, but leaf lard takes care of that problem.

          If you DO find Masa, please report back. Dozens of chowhounds will bless your name!

          3 Replies
          1. re: jasmurph

            Hot Bread Kitchen (, will make you fresh masa as a special order. They grind once or twice a week, so you have to plan ahead. They have yellow and blue corn that they buy from Cayuga Pure Organics and an Organic White that is a bit pricier from Texas (right now-they are looking for a closer source for that).

            1. re: jasmurph

              Has anyone tried buying masa from Nixtamal in Queens? I'm assuming it's better since it actually incorporates the Nixtamal. But I'm guessing the poster wants masa trigo for wheat tortillas if the question of lard/shortening came up.

              I bought a big wooden square tortilla press several years ago at a Mexican market in Oakland, CA, and prefer it to the smaller metal presses I had bought previously. It's got a lot of heft so pressure doesn't just come from the handle (which so often breaks).

              1. re: hungrycomposer

                I haven't tried Nixtamal in Queens, but I guarantee you that the quality of the Masa (made from nixtamal process and fresh ground corn on site) is higher quality than what you will get there. Check it out.