How to Use a Comal to Heat Tortillas
Instructions for Heating Tortillas
Nothing is worse than raw tortillas. In this house, we like ours browned on the comal. This pan is simple and can be used on an induction burner, an electric stovetop, or a flame burner. It's lightweight, which makes it easy to take in and out of storage.
We own three of these: one for the barbecue, one for the house, and one for the travel trailer. Our old pan is on the right in the picture above. The pan is seasoned and has been used for 35 years. The small one is almost new and has been used only a few times. It was bought to be handy at the outdoor kitchen.
How to Cook a Tortilla on a Comal
Use this technique for corn or flour tortillas.
- The secret to using this pan is to let it heat up before you put the tortilla on. The handle is not for using once it is heated. It is used for putting it away.
- Once you have a medium-hot comal, put a tortilla on, and let it brown till you see air begin to bubble between the tortilla layers. Use the tip of your fingers to flip it and wait till the opposite side is also browned.
- Now put the tortilla in your covered tortilla warmer or between the folds of a freshly washed kitchen towel.
See how-to cooking pictures for a quick quesadilla sandwich below!
Add the Tortilla to Your Mexican Dinner
What does the Mexican recipe menu include in our Mexican-American household? Basically, a main dish, rice, and beans.
Spiced hamburger, rice, and beans was a regular menu when I was working full-time. Authentic like at Taco Bell! Spiced hamburger for burritos or tacos is sometimes called picadillo in Mexican families. We would usually have it in flour tortillas prepared burrito-style.
Because I married into a Mexican family, I learned how to prepare basic tortillas purchased from the market. Tortillas in the mass market are only half done, because the tortilla needs to be browned. Think of tortillas like toast. A few months after knowing my husband, the comal was introduced into the house.
A Family Heirloom Made of Carbon Steel
The tortilla warmers pictured are made of carbon steel and are lightweight. Mine is kept in a vertical slot over the oven for easy access and storage. It worked well on an electric ceramic cook top, and now we use it on the induction cook top. This pan also works fine on the flame in the RV trailer.
If your family eats tortillas more than once a week, you will enjoy using this Mexican-style comal. The beauty of owning it is having the seasoned pan to give to your children when cooking is no longer your duty.
Best prices are at Latino markets, but this one below is a fair price.
How to Season the Carbon Steel Tortilla Pan
This is truly a no-hassle pan. The surface will season with use. It is not porous like the iron skillet that needs seasoning to protect it from rust and food interaction. Food, heat, and oils will eventually give the top and bottom a seasoning: a testament to the well-used comal.
Cook Time for Heating Tortillas
Watch the Heating Time!
Do not get distracted. If you get called to another room, just yell, "Heating tortillas," because leaving will likely result in burning.
Photo Tutorial: How to Make a Quick Quesadilla Sandwich
Questions & Answers
No matter how I heat or season my griddle, pan, or comal, it burns my tortillas. I've tried everything. Why is this happening?
It is best to medium heat the comal before placing the tortilla. Then watch it carefully. No leaving to do something else is allowed! Peek under. When you see puffed bubbles form on the top, it is time to turn it over. Watch under the tortilla until it is browned to your liking. Then promptly remove it.Helpful 12
© 2014 Sherry Venegas