Yea or Nay: Making Homemade Tortillas Without a Press

Yea or Nay: Making Homemade Tortillas Without a Press

Emily Han
Sep 16, 2010

There are many who claim that it's absolutely essential to use a press when making homemade corn tortillas (and sometimes flour tortillas, although those are usually made with a rolling pin). In fact, when we moved to college, we lugged our cast iron tortilla press 2,000 miles across the country with us!

However, we know that another kitchen gadget doesn't make sense for everyone, and plenty of cooks get by without one…

The advantage of using a tortilla press, whether cast iron, aluminum, or wood, is the ability to quickly and uniformly create round, flat, and thin, but not too thin, disks. It's definitely worth the investment if you make tortillas in large quantities or on a regular basis. However, there are some alternatives:

• A rolling pin (or any other suitable object, such as a glass or wine bottle) may be used along with sheets of waxed paper to prevent the dough from sticking. Give the dough a quarter turn after each roll in order to form a round circle.

• For tortillas that are thicker and more "rustic" than those made with a press, you can pat the dough flat by hand. Some are more skilled at this than others!

• We have also heard of people pressing the dough between two plates or under a cast iron skillet. Although we haven't tried it ourselves, this seems like a consistent and not too time-consuming method.

• And finally, Frugal Village has a tip that involves pressing the dough down on a spinning round (pizza) pan.

Any thoughts or experiences to share?

Related: How To Make Your Own Corn Tortillas

(Image: Sur La Table)

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