How to reheat corn tortillas, once and for all

Impossible not to love taco night (especially if it falls on a Tuesday). It’s satisfying, serves plenty, and adapts to your whims – carnitas one week, fried avocados or grilled fish the next. With a spread of salsa, guacamole, beans, and warm tortillas in front of you, it’s DIY dinner and a sanctioned chance to play with your food — something kids and kids at heart will love.

Oh and yes, we said warm tortillas. And no, we won’t ask you to do yours, unless that’s what your heart tells you to do. The truth is, store-bought tortillas work great for getting maximum plate-to-mouth taco toppings, but try saying that to the cold, chewy tortillas that get left unkempt while you eat your carnitas with a fork. . Look beyond the microwave – with a little know-how, you can reheat tortillas so they’ll be worthy of what’s inside. Food52 community user MarionRose asked you for advice and you replied:

In the oven

Engage your oven, as Food52 community member Lisina does: “Wrap a stack of tortillas in foil and pop them in a 350°F oven for about 10 minutes. inside the package and will stay soft and nice. Keep them wrapped until you’re ready to use them.” Former Food52-er Sarah Jampel heats them for 15-20 minutes and will heat multiple stacks of tortillas (five or less) at the same time. This is the slowest, but best method of entertaining a crowd.


Chef’s Hat prefers to stick to stovetop: “I always put them in a non-stick skillet, heating both sides until they start to color. It takes time, but I like it much better than put them in the oven.” You can also use a comal, griddle, cast iron skillet, or wok; heat skillet until very hot and cook on both sides until browned. Food52er Sarah Larter wrote that her mother would “place a wire rack over the pot of simmering meat/toppings and place the tortillas on it to warm up.” Cover with a wide lid until the heat from the toppings steams the tacos.

Safer serious eating, J. Kenji López-Alt argues that the correct way to reheat tortillas is on a very hot flat surface. But the important caveat: Dip each tortilla in water before transferring it directly to the griddle so it will smoke when it meets the hot pan. And wrapping the stack of warm tortillas in a towel is an essential step to ensure they’re completely tender.

In “Super Natural Every Day,” Heidi Swanson says to wrap a stack of tortillas in a barely damp kitchen towel before placing the package in a large saucepan over very low heat. Cover the pan and warm the tortillas until ready to serve.

Without saucepan

Our favorite way to warm them up is also the fastest, with no equipment needed. Cut out the middleman and get rid of the pan, but keep the cooker. Place a tortilla on a gas burner over medium-low heat. (Don’t stray far from your kitchen!) When the tortilla is charred, use a pair of tongs to flip it over and expose the other side to direct heat. Stack the tortillas in a warm kitchen towel while you toast the rest. You can do it on two, three or four burners if you are very coordinated. (Even so, this probably isn’t the method you’ll rely on if you want to heat dozens of tortillas at once.) You can also use the same technique on a grill or griddle pan.

And here’s another tip: commentator Becka Hurst Schact wrote that she dips each tortilla in the dregs of a can of beans before tossing it on the grill. Lisabu turns on her gas stove and says, “I take tongs and hold the tortillas directly over the flame for 10-15 seconds on each side.” Pierino likes the same “radical approach,” as it gives his tortillas “a light shade and slightly smoky flavor,” whether he uses them for tacos or huevos rancheros.

In the microwave

Diana Kennedy, in “The Cuisines of Mexico”, advises the use of a microwave and plastic wrap (though she seems a little scared to make the suggestion): “I haven’t Never thought I would recommend a microwave, but it comes in handy when you have a lot of tortillas to heat up in a hurry.” Wrap about ten tortillas (no more!) in cling film and heat for about 1 minute. Then turn the package over and heat for another 30 seconds. Fact.

Rick Bayless also votes for the microwave (but omits the plastic wrap): Douse a clean towel with 3 tablespoons of water and wring it out so it’s evenly damp. Use the towel to line an 8- or 9-inch casserole dish with a lid, then stack a dozen (no more!) tortillas, lay the towel on top, cover with the lid, and microwave on 50% power for 4 minutes. . Let stand 2 to 3 minutes before enjoying.

In a steamboat

Bayless also offers instructions for steaming tortillas, which is the best method for reheating large quantities (although you will need a steamer): pour 1/2 inch of water into the bottom of a steamer steam, line the basket with a kitchen towel, then lay the tortillas in the basket in a stack of 12. Cover the stacks of tortillas with the towel, then put the lid on and bring the water to a boil. Let the water boil for 1 minute, then turn off the heat and let stand, covered, for 15 minutes. To keep the tortillas warm, place the basket in a low oven or warm water.

But many of us can’t have fresh tortillas every time we want a taco – which makes welcoming the heat even more important, the key to getting the most out of a corn tortilla. ‘grocery store. Heating the tortilla releases their aroma and makes them soft, so they won’t crack under the weight of your carnitas.