Who doesn’t like a crunchy, tasty, innocent tortilla? The tortilla is food that goes perfectly with any spicy food. Mexicans have gifted the world with these heavenly foods. But there is a twist. Whenever you buy tortilla from a supermarket and try them out at home, they don’t feel the same. Homemade tortillas have something special about them. They have a more original taste than the factory made ones. So, what’s the solution here? You need have the best tortilla press!
But how could you get your hands on the perfect tortilla press? Don’t worry, we are here to help! We will discuss everything you need to know before buying a tortilla press. Just follow along!
What is a Tortilla Press?
Okay, this section is for the dummies. The experienced cooks can skip it ahead. A tortilla press is a simple tool used to press the tortilla dough and give it a proper sheet-like shape. People all over the world praise the Mexicans for this amazing yet simple hand tool. Generally, corn grains and flours are the main ingredients of tortillas.
The tortilla press will help the cooks to crush the corn grains. These grains are later used to make the dough. But remember you cannot use the press if your tortilla has a flour base.
The press has three main parts – a fixed plain surface, a hinged flat surface and a handle. They are made of either wood or metal. Metals like iron, steel, aluminum are the common ones that are used.
Yes, even veteran Mexican chefs have admitted that – a better tortilla press makes the difference. A tortilla gets the amazing crunch mainly because of the proper thickness and the ingredients of the dough. You could find lots of recipes out there on how you could make the best tortilla dough. But giving them the perfect thickness is a real challenge.
Moreover, a perfect tortilla takes quite a long time to be ready. Who has such kind of time these days? We are all busy with our lives and the hassles in it. The good news is that you can leave the tension of making the perfect tortilla to the tortilla presses. These presses are useful and save a lot of time.
Why Do You Need a Tortilla Press?
Yes, we are on the same page and support homemade tortillas now, right? But why do we need tortilla presses? Can’t we make home-made tortillas without the press? Well, using a press helps in many ways.
Let’s assume your tummy is curving for a tasty bite of burrito or taco and you don’t have enough time to go through all the time-consuming processes. A press will save up lots of time, first of all. But that is not the sole purpose for buying a tortilla press. There are quite some reasons behind the decision.
We will discuss some of the few reasons for you to buy a tortilla press. Here they are –
- Fresh Means Healthy
The frozen tortillas you find at the stores are usually from factories and produced in a mass quantity. To make the business profitable, they might add substances to keep fresh for a long time. These agents are quite harmful to your health.
On the other hand, while baking the homemade tortillas, you know all the ingredients you are using, and the quality is in your own hand.
- As Simple as It Gets
We have already told you the construction of a tortilla press. It is just two flat surfaces with a handle. All you need to do is to put the dough inside it and press. Voila! That’s it, that’s all you need to do. It doesn’t even need any special kitchen techniques like chopping, cutting or slicing. A just a bit of pressure is all it needs.
- Saves You Time and Money
A tortilla press saves a lot of time. Otherwise making a tortilla will take a lot of time. Whereas, you can press a lot of tortillas in almost no time. Again, if you consider buying them from the store, it would cost you quite some money. This amazing tools thus save both money and time.
Types of Tortilla Presses
What are you thinking about? How could there be types when the sole purpose of a tortilla press is to press? The tool is as simple as the name. But you could find various types of tortilla presses out on the market. The basic difference is in the build material. Some have a wooden structure, some have cast iron, while some have aluminum construction. You could even find plastic tortilla presses.
So, let’s discuss the types and their features.
- Cast Iron Tortilla Press
Cast iron is a popular choice when it comes down to tortilla presses. The reason is pretty simple and logical. These presses are really heavy. So it helps to press down the tortilla dough better than any other type. Moreover, these have a finishing that is near perfection. It maintains the perfectly round shape of the tortillas. It leaves no chance for the tortilla to be uneven. All in all, the cast iron version is really sturdy and easy to press.
But there is a bit flaw in the tool too. It is extremely heavy. So, you cannot move it freely. The tortilla presses made of wood and aluminum are light and portable.
- Handmade Wooden Tortilla Press
Wooden ones are the original ones. We have already mentioned that Mexico is the hometown of tortilla. In Mexico, the cooks typically use the wooden presses. They generally have a Pinewood construction. Pinewood is soft and light yet strong. The cooks chose this particular wood because of availability and as they are cheap.
There are also other woods that works just fine, like – oak or maple. Although these woods are pricey, so it will make the press a bit expensive. But you don’t need such expensive wood. A pine made tortilla press works better than fine.
A wooded press is bigger than metal made ones as it needs a lot of pressure. So, it will take a lot of space in your kitchen. But if you are looking for something authentic and traditional, wood is the option you are looking for.
- Aluminum Tortilla press
Aluminum presses are rather modern. They are cheap, light and portable. Aluminum looks much better than the other ones. The design is also better. But there are some simple problems too. As they are light, you got to use more pressure. This could cause the tortillas to have an uneven thickness and distorted shape.
We don’t mind these flaws as they are the cheapest type you can find in the market. If you are a casual user, you should look for the aluminum presses.
- Plastic Tortilla Press
Yes, you can even find the plastic made presses in the local market and on the online shops. But we wouldn’t suggest you go for this type. Well, the reasons are pretty simple. First comes the build quality. As they have a plastic construction, the structure is generally not sturdy enough, and they are too light.
As a result, the tortillas become badly-shaped and uneven. They cannot pressurize the dough to become slim like in the cast iron or the wooden presses. Moreover, plastics are not that much healthy as they might contain various harmful materials. These contents might make you sick.
The Tortilla Press Buying Guide: Things to Look for
How can you tell if a tortilla press is good? Some factors make a tortilla press good or bad. We have concluded five important features that play as the determiners. These parameters are –
- Inner Coating Layer
- Additional Options
We have already discussed the types of the tortilla presses. Make up your mind which type you are planning to go for. If you are a professional chef, we would like to suggest you to for the cast iron or the wooden press. These are the most efficient ones and the most traditional one. They bring about the true shape and size of the tortillas.
You could be a casual food enthusiast who just wants to taste homemade tortillas. Or maybe you cook just out of passion. If so, then you should go for the aluminum-made tortilla presses.
You could even go for the electric ones; they are quick, clean and smart. Actually, all the newbies should go for the electric presses. In an electric press, all you need to do is to lightly press the flat surfaces and press the tortilla as well as bake them for you.
The presses come in various shapes and sizes. The sizes determine what will be their shapes and how much big you want the tortillas to be. If your kitchen has adequate space, you should go for the wooden or the cast iron version. The only problem with these two is the space related issue. They take a lot of space, so if your kitchen is a bit small, it would be a problem.
The simpler the design of the press is, the easier it is to clean them. If you have a complexly shaped press, it is only natural for it to clean. What you cannot even clean them are the dishwashers. So, you should keep this fact in mind when you are planning to buy a tortilla press.
Moreover, the material quality also decides the ease of cleaning. For example, wood gets dirty quickly and is very hard to polish it up fully. On the other hand, cast iron is really easy to clean. Check for the surface. The smoother the surface is, the easier it is to clean them.
- Inner Coating Layer
Cast iron tortilla presses have a coating in the inner surface. The coating serves to smoothen out the finishing. Moreover, it makes the surfaces less or non-sticky. The coating should have smaller grains to achieve the optimum smoothness. Some suggest going for the presses with silver or powder coating inside.
- Additional Options
Today, you can find various types of electric tortilla presses in the market. They are really handy and automatically cooks the tortillas. So, if you want to go for these, you better check the indicator quality and the wiring quality. The electric tortillas can malfunction.
But the chefs and famous cooks think it doesn’t give the kind of taste and flavor like the traditional presses.
How to Properly Use a Tortilla Press?
Are you a newbie in the kitchen? Yes, cooking might seem too hard at first. But once you get the rhythm, there’s no stopping you. Don’t be shy if you don’t know how to press a tortilla in a tortilla press. It’s a simple step by step process. Check them out –
Step 1: Dough Preparation
At first, you need a quality dough. The taste and texture depend on the dough. You could buy the dough from a Mexican food store, or you could make it at your home. When the dough is ready, make small balls of it. The balls will have a size and shape like a golf ball.
Step 2: Placing the Dough inside the Press
Clean the press and wipe out the water from the surface. After cleaning, place a wax paper on the base surface of the press. Now put the dough ball in the base surface. Put another wax paper on top of it.
Step 3: Press!
Now, grab the handle and press the pivoting surface. You need to press it with pressure. The more pressure you use, the thinner and sleek the tortilla will be. Repeat the process as many times as you want.
Step 4: Remove the Wax Paper Layers
Once you feel that the tortilla is firmly pressed, you can take it out from the press. Gently remove the two wax papers. That’s it; your tortilla is ready for baking.
Step 5: Bake Properly
Your tortilla is ready. Softly put them on the oven tray and bake them. You need to give it about five minutes to completely bake the tortillas. If you have an electric tortilla press, you will not need to bake it separately. The press will bake it after the pressing process.
Thus you can make yourself some tasty tortilla in your home with a proper tortilla press.
5 Best Tortilla Press Review for 2021
The tortilla is one of the best recipes coming from the land of Mexico. The world has always bowed down before the delicious spicy foods from Mexico. The tortilla is one of the best ones from the Mexican cuisine.
Tortilla press will help you to make this amazing food in your own kitchen. You will not have to hunt restaurant after restaurant for the perfect tortillas. Even you don’t have console yourself by telling the ready-made tortillas from the store isn’t that bad.
Now, we are going to give our opinion on the five best in the market tortilla presses. Take a look at them –
1. Victoria 8” Cast Iron Tortilla Press
Victoria has quite the fame in the market for being the ultimate tough guy. You can always rely on this product, and it satisfies 100% every time. As you already know that cast iron tortilla press is best in the quality and gives perfect shapes and sizes.
There are some reasons for Victoria cast iron press to be on the top of our list. They are affordable, sturdy and very easy to clean. Yes, the press is a bit bulky but will easily fit in your kitchen closet for their compact design.
The only problem you can notice is that they might rust over time. But as long as you are cleaning it regularly and properly, it will not be a big problem. In some cases, people have reported that the coating falls off.
2. HIC Tortilla Press
Some people choose the aluminum presses over the cast iron ones. The only problem with the aluminum made ones is their light weight. But HIC has made a heavyweight press that that is heavy and doesn’t have the flaws that a cast iron press has.
The first thing you will notice their weight. Despite being made of aluminum, they are quite heavy. In the same time, these are sturdier than cast iron and have better polish.
You can use this product to make a lot of other foods. The Moo Shoo Pancakes, Pita, and Focaccia can also be made with this versatile tortilla press.
Being made of aluminum, they are polished and very easy to clean. You can even use a wet towel to wipe out the dirt. Although some say that, these tortillas are a bit thicker compared to the cast iron presses.
3. Hardwood Tortilla Press Made with Red Oak and Walnut
If you want to have a bite on the tortillas that have the original flavor and taste? Then you must try the tortilla made with wooden tortilla presses. This press has a red oak and walnut construction which are really hard and expensive wood. The feel and look are royal and polished to perfection.
The hardwood tortilla press is very strong and sturdy. These wood is extremely durable and will serve you for the years to come. You will always get the perfect lean shape even after years. The design is just a pure work of art.
You will find it very easy to clean. You can make tortillas of various sizes from 8” to 12 “.
As the press is exquisite both in functionality and look, it is only natural to have a high price quote. It might help be the only downside of this product.
4. Cuisinart CPP-200 Made of Stainless Steel
Cuisinart CPP-200 is one of the top tortilla presses in the world. It has all the features you are looking from a tortilla press. It has a stainless steel construction. So, there is no question about the quality. The quality is as good as it gets.
The clean and smooth finish of the stainless steel makes the tortillas to be perfect. Moreover, the tortilla is an electric one. So, this product will not only press your tortilla but also will bake it. So, you don’t have to worry about things be completely free.
The best part is despite being an electric press, it completely dishwasher safe. So, will not have to go through the hassle of cleaning sticky tortilla after having a good meal. The surfaces are also nonsticky and will not have to worry about getting rust like with a cast iron one. Undoubtedly, it is one of the best product on the market right now.
5. Iron World Tortilla Press Pre-seasoned
Iron World boasts of their fine quality tortilla presses. Maybe that’s why they give a lifetime guarantee to this product. They say that this product will never give you a chance to complain. The product is very hard and strong. The robustness can be felt just with a single glance.
The heavyweight helps you make the tortillas quite effortlessly. It has all the good features that you will seek to have in a cast iron tortilla press. Moreover, you will get additional goodies with the product for free – a 28-page cookbook full of delicious Bar-B-Q recipes.
The tortilla press is light compared to the other cast iron made ones. So, you can use this one both in indoor and outdoor. The smooth finish helps the users to clean it off quite effortlessly.
Now you could become the tortilla chef and treat your family friends with fresh homemade tortillas and be the hero. Just remember the buying guide we shared with you and buy yourself the best tortilla press.
You will not even have to spend a lot of money to get a good one. So, what are you waiting for? Get yourself a tortilla press and impress your friends and family today.