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Tortilla Presses

Looking for recommendations for tortilla presses: wooden? cast aluminum? cast iron? Size:6.5 or 8 inches? Reasonably priced (but durable) brands?
Ready to take the plunge into tortilla making ---- thanks for any advice.

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  1. I'm in the same boat as you. I however am seriously considering making my own. It seems pretty easy to just look at one and copy it. Wooden one that is.

    DT

    1. We have a metal tortilla press and it works well. Got it at the mercado in Patzcuaro. Don't see a manufacturer's mark. We put the masa dough between 2 pieces of flexible plastic to keep the dough from sticking. I think that I cut the plastic from a plastic report cover.

      Most of the Mexican and Purepechan home cooks that I have watched cook pat out their tortilla with their hands. They just slap the dough back and forth between their hands. These turn out thicker than commercial tortillas and are really good. I haven't been very successful with this method. Not enough practice.

      6 Replies
      1. re: Pampatz

        They've had a lifetime to learn! Someone on the New England Board (I was searching for a source for fresh tortillas in the Berkshires) said (s)he simply rolls them out between heavy plastic using a rolling pin, and it's a cinch. Dunno about the cinch part --- but I could give it a try.

        1. re: BerkshireTsarina

          My husband sometimes makes flour tortillas and that's how we does it. I agree that it does take a little more work than a press. His flour tortillas are always good.

          1. re: Pampatz

            I'm going to have to try this. I've been wanting to try making home made tortillas but didn't want to buy yet another kitchen gadget. And all the books I read always say that a press is a must. Thanks for giving me the confidence to go ahead and try it this way

            1. re: Pampatz

              I'm the person from the New England board that rolls her own. Flour tortillas are a lot harder to roll out than corn ones. The masa/water mixture in corn tortillas shows absolutely no resistance to the rolling pin. It rolls out flat in a couple of passes. Flour ones have stretch, and also density that resists to rolling pin, making rolling out a lot more difficult. Give it a try with corn tortillas. If you have the masa on hand, what do you have to lose?

              1. re: hilltowner

                I agree, Hilltowner. The key to flour tortillas is to let the dough rest for at least 20 minutes before trying to roll it out. It still pulls back, but not as bad. Corn tortillas are much easier.

                1. re: Pampatz

                  It's like rolling out a pizza crust. I find I have to let my pizza crust dough rest for about 10-20 minutes after the initial roll to get them thin the way I like them.

        2. Depending on mood, I'll use rolling pin and plastic wrap (my usual method) or what I'm pretty sure is a cast aluminum manual press. I've been considering a wooden press for style points, but have thus far resisted the temptation somehow.

          1. To report what's happened: After a long time and a lot of failed corn tortillas, the last couple of batches have been edible. Better than supermarket, at any rate. I finally got a cast iron tortilla press, ordered from Target online, and am thrilled with it. I had tried the two-plates-rolling-pin method, but I'm not so dexterous, and it took a really long time, and the tortillas were ragged. Now they look terrific and I can turn them out fast. So the remaining obstacles are: how moist to make the masa, and what kind of heat (med, med high, high?) works best to cook them. (I've got a comal coming by mail, I think I've been ruining a new All-Clad skillet.)

            7 Replies
            1. re: BerkshireTsarina

              Good for you for sticking with it. I haven't given this a try yet, but you are motivating me to give it a crack.

              1. re: BerkshireTsarina

                Hey Berk.

                I opted for a cast aluminum press and have been making corn tortillas. They're fantastic. The first thing I did was make chicken enchiladas and Mrs. Sippi said they were incredible. I even made my own enchilada sauce. Just winged it in a crock pot. Worked perfectly.

                DT

                1. re: Davwud

                  I find cast iron to be a bit better. I have had the cast aluminum type break. I found a new use for the tortilla press this past summer. It makes quick work out of making dumpling skins for Asian dumplings. I showed it to a Vietnamese friend and she had to have one and also her sister and mother. They were amazed at how fast the job went. My DH commented that he'd never seen the tortilla press get so much use.

                  1. re: Candy

                    I bought mine over Christmas at of all places, the Lodge Cast iron Factory store in S. Pittsburg, Tn. It's definitely aluminum though. If it breaks I'll get a better one but it wasn't that expensive and I'd never used one before.

                    What recipe do you use for the dumpling skins??

                    DT

                    1. re: Davwud

                      It varies. Some are made with wheat and some with wheat starch. It sure beats rolling those things out by hand.

                      1. re: Candy

                        I keep thinking I need to make dumplings but never seem to get around to doing it.

                        DT

                        1. re: Davwud

                          i was testing recipes for a book coming out this fall about Asian dumplings. It was fun and I learned a lot. Once you get into it it almost becomes a have to do more of that sort of thing. Buying frozen ones from an Asian grocery store just doesn't do it for me any more. Ellen Blonder's book is a good start. Andrea Nguyen's new book will be out in Sept.

              2. When rolling out flour tortillas, try putting a little flour on rolling pin.

                2 Replies
                1. re: cook52

                  So with all this talk about rolling out flour tortillas, let me ask... Do you guys do flour tortillas in a press? I've always rolled mine - I thought presses were only for corn tortillas. If it works better, I'd love to know. I've gotten to where I can roll a good tortillas pretty quick but it takes some energy, which I seem to be running short on these days...

                  1. re: paraque

                    I tried my flour tortillas on the press but the dough needed to rest more. It gave a great round tortilla that shrank by almost half when I released the pressure. So I think I'll have to make the dough one day and press them the next and see how it goes.

                    DT