The Best Way to Warm up Corn Tortillas

Updated on December 20, 2019
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Luke is an appraiser in Texas and has been playing video games and reading comic books since childhood. He's a bearded family man in plaid.

Do you know the best way to warm up corn tortillas?
Do you know the best way to warm up corn tortillas?

Step Up Your Tortilla Game!

Are you tired of crumbly, wet corn tortillas? Don't have the plastic tortilla warmer thing that you see in your favorite Mexican restaurant? Do you have water, a nonstick pan, and a heat source? Then I have just the solution for you!

Over the past few years, my love for all things taco has grown exponentially, and I am always trying to cook new things at home. I've figured out how to prepare roasted peppers and pork for carnitas. I've also learned that I always need to have limes and onions on hand. But for what seems like forever, figuring out the best way to warm up corn tortillas eluded me. After some investigation, however, I discovered a method that I use at least once a week, if not more.

These are my favorite corn tortillas. They're delicious and come in packs of 80.
These are my favorite corn tortillas. They're delicious and come in packs of 80.

Step 1: Get It Hot

The first step is to get a nonstick pan hot. I set mine at medium heat and wait until it's hot enough for water to sizzle and steam on contact. The bigger the pan, the more corn tortillas you can prepare in less time. Any time I try to use a cast iron or enamel-coated pan, the tortillas stick and make a burned and inedible mess.

Step 2: Add Water

After your pan has been properly heated, soak your corn tortilla in water for a few seconds. You can have a bowl set to the side or if you're like me and don't want to wash another dish, just get it wet it from the sink faucet. The water serves a thin barrier between the corn tortilla and the hot pan and keeps it from wanting to stick after initial contact. That sounds pretty professional, huh?

Step 3: Toast the Tortillas

It's finally time for some action. Just drop that recently dampened tortilla on the hot pan and do not touch it. You should hear a very satisfying sizzle the moment tortilla touches metal. Let it toast for about a minute or until you start to see bubbles coming up on the side visible to you. After that, flip the tortilla using a spatula, tongs, a fork, or a pancake style flip. You can also use your hands, but only if you're a true savage doing this in the wild hinterlands.

After flipping the tortilla and toasting the other side for around a minute, get it off the pan and repeat these steps until you have enough for your meal. I always cook a couple extra and eat them with a small pat of butter—which, if you haven't tried, I highly recommend. The hot corn tortilla and melted butter combination is such a delicious and satisfying treat. Eat your tortillas with breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, or even a second breakfast!

Pan vs. Microwave

It's hard to beat the ease and convenience of the microwave oven. If done correctly, one can have hot tortillas from a microwave. I have some personal issues when it comes to using a microwave, especially if I'm somewhere that has an oven or stove-top. Microwave ovens have their time and place; they can cook a potato in five minutes and zap some heat into a cold cup of coffee. But when reheating food in a microwave, something gets lost during the "nuking" process. With pizza, the crust is turned into a sponge. There's also a lack of consistency. A frozen breakfast burrito can still be cold in the middle or hotter than the center of the sun.

As for me and my house, I use the oven. Put that leftover pizza right of the grate and let it get good and crispy. Put your nachos in there and kick on the broiler setting. In two minutes you'll have hot, cheesy, melty nacho goodness. Leftover Chinese food can go in a hot skillet and have your leftover lo mein ready in a few minutes. I can microwave 30 tortillas at once but the quality isn't the same. I've spoiled myself and my family with toasting our tortillas. Sure it takes a few extra minutes but that time is well spent after that first bite. I choose flavor and quality over speed and quantity any day.

Congratulations and you're welcome; I just changed your life. This method is the best way to prepare corn tortillas for your taco needs. Toasting tortillas takes very little time and the only drawback to this method is that you'll be buying more tortillas and possibly butter in bulk.


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