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Finding the Best Tortilla Press - Where to find The Best Cast Iron and Wooden Tortilla Presses

Updated on February 12, 2012
Tortilla Press
Tortilla Press

Traditionally tortillas are made by hand. A skilled tortilla maker (like a skilled pizza maker) can creatively pat the dough back and forth and create a perfectly round, thin, corn cake (known as the tortilla).

Luckily, for those of us who have not mastered that skill however, tortilla presses do the same job in a quick, fun and easy manner.

Tortilla presses usually come in 2 different sizes (6 inches and 8 inches) and are usually made of either cast iron, aluminum or wood.

Each has their own benefits as listed below.


Cast Iron Tortilla Press

The benefits of using a Cast Iron Tortilla Press is the "leverage" and weight that makes the pressing job a little easier.

This is the perfect solution for anyone who plans on making tortillas in large quantities or plans on making them often.

The downside is that the cast iron tortilla press is a little on the heavy side (approximately 6 pounds) and can make it heavy to lift and move around.

The Cast Iron Tortilla Press can usually be found in both the 6" version and the 8" version.

Quite often typical cast iron tortilla presses have a "painted on silver coating" which can make it look like it was crudely applied, but this has no effect on its tortilla making abilities because the dough never touches the surface anyway. It also lends a touch of authenticity to the piece.

Cast Iron Tortilla Presses are most often made in Mexico and South America and can usually cost between $10 and $25.


Wood Tortilla Press

There are usually two different types of wooden Tortilla Presses that you can purchase.

There is the larger version that can make a generous sized tortilla (it is approximately an 8" x 8" platform). These types of tortilla presses are still commonly used in Mexico and make for great décor when not in use.

They are usually made of harder woods such as mezquite or oak. You can also find these larger presses made of pine, but these will not usually last as long as the harder woods.

The other common wood tortilla press comes in a smaller version. It will make tortillas approximately 6 1/2" in diameter.

The benefits of the smaller ones, (other than the cheaper price) is that they are lightweight, easy to move around and come in many designs that can match your décor if you want to keep it on display.


Aluminum Tortilla Press

Aluminum Tortilla Presses have their own benefits and pitfalls as well.

They too are cheaper to purchase, easy to use and easy to move around. However they will require a little bit more exercise to use because you will have to push down a little harder than the presses mentioned above.

They have also been known to break occasionally if too much pressure is used, but it might be the perfect item for a novice getting their feet wet in tortilla making due to their cheaper price.


Electric Tortilla Press

If convenience, efficiency or lack of time is a priority, than using an Electric Tortilla Press is definitely the way to go.

These electric presses will not only press the dough for you but will cook them as well at the same time.

The press plates are usually about 10" in diameter and are made of heavy weight die cast aluminum for even heat distribution.

While it may not make tortillas the old-fashioned way, it is definitely efficient and the perfect item for the chef on the go!



How To Use a Tortilla Press

Tortilla presses are very easy to use regardless if they are made of cast iron, aluminum or wood,

Simply break off a piece of dough (see Corn Tortilla Dough Recipe below) and roll into a 1 and 1 /2 inch ball.

Place a piece of plastic wrap (the heavier the better) onto the tortilla press. Put the ball of dough into the center of the tortilla press and then cover with another piece of plastic wrap to keep dough from sticking to the press.

Lower the top of the tortilla press and push the handle all the way down.

Gently open the press and carefully remove the plastic wrap from the dough.

Slide your hand under the tortilla and flip it over onto your other hand so it will be easier to remove the plastic wrap from the other side.

Simply repeat the process until you have made all of the tortillas that you will need.

Note: A Tortilla press is usually only used when making Corn Tortillas. Flour tortillas are normally rolled thin with a rolling pin.


Corn Tortilla Dough Recipe To Be Used With Tortilla Press

Ingedients:

2 cups Masa Harina (Corn flour) - Most recommended brand is Maseca by Azteca Mills
½ teaspoon of salt
1 cup of warm water

This will make approximately 12 six inch tortillas

Instructions:

Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and stir with a wooden spoon until the mixture forms into a dough.

Flip the dough onto a lightly floured surface on your counter top or a cutting board.

Knead the dough for approximately 3 to 4 minutes (until it becomes smooth and no longer sticky).

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow the dough to rest for about an hour at room temperature.

Then simply break off some dough (while keeping the rest of the dough covered) and with your hands roll the dough into a ball is approximately 1 ½ inches.


Tortilla Warmers

Another must-have item for tortilla makers is a Tortilla Warmer. After all, what is the sense in making all of these tortillas if they are not the perfect temperature when they are ready to be served?

Tortilla warmers are made from different materials, though the terra cotta is the most traditional and will probably look best on a kitchen counter if you decide to use as part of your authentic decor.

Which Type of Tortilla Press Is Your Personal Favorite?

See results

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    • profile image

      Carrie Cooper 

      7 years ago

      Thank you so much! I have been searching for a corn tortilla recipe for a while and wondered about what press to purchase! I watch the food network all the time!

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