How To Wrap a Burrito (So It Doesn't Fall Apart When You Eat It!)

Cooking Lessons from The Kitchn

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My husband Mike brought many valuable qualities to our partnership: He's kind, charming, smart, and has good taste in books. He loves good food, and makes me coffee every single morning. And somewhere among the upper pantheon of his stellar attributes is also this: He can wrap a burrito so that you can eat it all the way down to the very nub, without it falling apart in your hands. Want to see how he does it? 

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Mike learned this extremely valuable skill while working in a student co-op at UCLA, where he did his graduate degree (he's a scientist). This co-op was essentially a very cheap dorm where students chipped in by working in various duties around the facility. He chose the dining hall, where he spent hours rolling breakfast burritos for his fellow residents, learning the tricks of a well-tucked roll from the head chef, who was Mexican and had distinct opinions on the topic. 

When he first made me a burrito, while we were dating, I was deeply impressed by this skill. My wraps and burritos always fell apart in the first bite or two! But this one could be held and eaten, safely, even while walking or in the car. 

I was reminded of this special skill during Reader Request Week last week, when reader danielleintheev said: "I love making wraps for lunch but I am terrible at actually wrapping the wrap! Would love to see a tutorial on this." 

It's a tricky skill to learn (I still haven't mastered it) and it comes after a lot of practice. But there are a few particular elements of his technique that I think are helpful, so I've tried to show you those here, in Mike's starring guest role! 


How To Wrap a Burrito 

What You Need

Ingredients
Large flour tortillas
Filling, such as scrambled eggs, potatoes, sautéed vegetables, or meat
Toppings, such as cilantro and chopped avocado

Equipment
Large skillet
Your hands! 

Instructions

  1. Start with a big tortilla: The bigger the tortilla, the easier making a tight wrap will be. 

  2. Warm the tortilla: A warm tortilla makes for a nicer-tasting burrito, but it also makes the tortilla more pliable and easier to wrap. Warm the tortilla for about 10 seconds on each side in a hot skillet. Don't let it get crispy. 

  3. Spread a small amount of filling slightly off-center. One of the biggest keys here is to not overfill the burrito. Put in enough filling to fill perhaps a quarter of the tortilla at most. Place it horizontally in front of you, slightly below the center of the tortilla. 

  4. Add any additional sauce or toppings. Again, don't overfill. 

  5. Fold the sides in so they nearly touch (but not quite). 

  6. With the sides folded in, use your thumbs to bring up the bottom of the tortilla. This is almost like wrapping a present; tuck in the ends while bringing up the bottom flap. 

  7. Bring up the bottom of the tortilla and pull it tightly. 

  8. Roll the bottom of the tortilla tightly. From here on out you'll be rolling up the tortilla as tightly as you can, squeezing the roll back towards you as you go. 

  9. Roll...

  10. Keep rolling...

  11. Press and crease the end of the tortilla as you finish rolling it up. Try to curve the rest of the tortilla around the wrap so it stays in place. 

  12. Ta-da! A burrito so well-wrapped you can eat it all the way to the end. Cut it in half if you want (it should stay together just fine). 


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(Images: Faith Durand)

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