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Mexican comal -- should I oil it?

comestible Mar 30, 2013 08:35 PM

I bought a gray-metal comal (with loop-like handle) for heating tortillas. I have used it a few times and oiled it lightly. Was this a bad idea? There is some oil buildup on the surface. So far, it is not a big deal; it's eminently usable as it is.

My Diana Kennedy books don't make any mention of whether they should be oiled or not.

Also, are you supposed to use these to heat corn tortillas in hot oil, preliminary to dipping in them in sauce and rolling them for enchiladas? It seems to me you would want a skillet for that task, but your comments are appreciated!

  1. paulj Mar 30, 2013 10:04 PM

    Cooking tortillas, flour and corn, is basically a dry process. If the comal is hot enough the tortilla shouldn't stick.

    In my experience, when rewarming a tortilla it is more likely to stick. In that case, I lightly oil the comal, that is, pour some on, and then wipe it off with a paper towel. I may also oil the comal after washing to prevent rust during storage. I hang mine from a rack.

    A comal use primarily for cooking tortillas does not acquire much of a seasoning, since that extended dry heat burns off any that forms. But I have a 10" with a good seasoning because I use it exclusively for baking biscuits and similar items.

    You are right about using a skillet for softening enchilada tortillas. The comal is too shallow to safely use a pool of oil.

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