Can You Really Make Hard-Shell Tacos in Your Toaster?

published Aug 20, 2018
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(Image credit: Ghazalle Badiozamani)

When we came across this hack, in which soft tortillas are transformed into hard-shell tacos using nothing but a toaster, we were slightly skeptical. How on earth could just a few minutes of toasting make a floppy flour tortilla the same consistency as a Crunchwrap Supreme?

The only way to prove the skeptics wrong was to test this trick out myself on my own turf, in my own toaster, on my own terms. Here are the potential pitfalls of this recipe (which I guess is technically not a recipe because it involves only one step). I have identified two.

1. Do not get the wrong size tortillas for your toaster.

I am deficient in the spatial skills department. I can barely determine the right-sized Tupperware container to fit all of my leftovers let alone figure out whether or not a circular tortilla folded along its diameter will fit in the rectangular confines of my toaster just by looking at it. If you’re lucky, your local grocery store will have three different-sized tortillas in stock: small, medium, and large. Get the smallest ones you can find. I bought Chi-Chi’s Taco Style Authentic Soft Tortillas and even then I had to shove them into the toaster a little bit. (Note: You cannot use a toaster oven for this project.)

(Image credit: Ghazalle Badiozamani)

2. Do not set your tortillas on fire.

As soon as I stuffed the tortillas in my toaster and pushed the little lever down, my paranoia set in. Ultimately, I was unable to relax and enjoy this experience because I was in a constant state of worry that the entire operation was going to go up in flames, both literally and figuratively.

It only took one minute before I started to smell smoke, so I panicked and unplugged my toaster. I then broke the cardinal rule of toasters when I stuck a metal fork inside to fish the taco shells out. (Let me reiterate that it is IMPERATIVE that your toaster is unplugged if you decide to stick a metal fork inside.)

(Image credit: Ghazalle Badiozamani)

So, Does This Hack Work?

My toasted tortillas did in fact hold a taco shell shape once extracted (!!!), but they started to burn in certain areas before they could fully crisp up. Instead of being perfectly crunchy like an actual hard taco, they are slightly crispy/slightly chewy — like a stale taco shell. Perhaps my toaster is a little spotty when it comes to even toasting, or maybe I didn’t leave them in long enough — but there was a fat chance I was leaving them in any longer because I do not own a fire extinguisher.

Overall, my best advice to you is to exercise extreme caution when attempting to turn mini flour tortillas into hard-shell tacos — and then let us know how yours turn out.

Would you try this toaster taco hack?