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If you haven’t tasted a freshly warmed homemade tortilla yet, you’re in for a treat. The creamy, fresh flavor and buttery soft texture of a fresh-off-the-press tortilla is everything your taco Tuesdays are missing.
What’s the secret to restaurant-quality tortillas at home? A tortilla press. It's a staple in Mexican kitchens that also belongs in yours. These machines instantly transform balls of masa or flour dough into perfectly round, pliable tortillas with the right thickness to hold any filling, from delicate tacos and sopes to hefty burritos and tostadas.
To help make sense of the many options for tortilla presses, I’ve narrowed down the best tortilla presses with the best option for every budget, including wooden and electric presses.
Best Overall: Verve Culture Tortilla Press
What We Love: Durable, heavy lid for easy pressing, includes a warming napkin
What We Don't Love: Smaller tortillas
This stunning cast-iron tortilla press is as beautiful as it is functional. Handcrafted by a family company outside of Mexico City and utilizing recycled cast iron, you can make tortillas for decades on this high-quality press.
The press is laminated in a food-safe red powder coating, which makes it stand out in any kitchen. While the coating does help keep your tortillas from sticking, you might still want to place plastic wrap or parchment paper on the press while working. The kit includes a small recipe booklet and a matching woven napkin designed to keep your tortillas warm as they come off the griddle or comal. The press is also easy to clean by hand with warm soapy water.
Material: Cast iron | Tortilla Size: 6 inches | Weight: 4 pounds
Best Budget: Imusa 8-Inch Aluminum Tortilla Press
What We Love: Lightweight, affordable, makes roti and other flatbreads
What We Don't Love: Not as durable
Being made from aluminum instead of cast iron makes this budget-friendly press from Imusa surprisingly light. Don't be fooled by the weight though since it easily presses balls of masa dough into smooth tortillas. In addition to being affordable, this is also a great option for people who plan to travel with their tortilla press or simply prefer a more portable model.
Around 11 inches tall and thin enough to stash in smaller cabinets, this press can work in smaller households or kitchens with limited storage space. The cast aluminum surface is easy to clean and won’t stick, but since it's so light, you might get arm fatigue during taco parties. Of course, you can make flaky Indian roti and other delicious flatbreads with this too.
Material: Aluminum | Tortilla Size: 8 inches | Weight: 2.3 pounds
Best Electric: Brentwood Electric 10-Inch Tortilla Maker
What We Love: Nonstick surface, cooks tortillas in addition to pressing
What We Don't Love: May not last as long as manual tortilla makers
If you’re looking for a do-it-all tortilla maker that will save you some time at the stove or grill, this electric press from Brentwood is for you. It can both press your dough into a thin round and cook it to your preferences.
With 1200 watts of power, this press cooks a range of tortillas right in your kitchen, from soft and pliable to crispy all over, all within a few minutes. And so you don’t have to guess, the indicator light conveniently flips from red to green when your tortilla, roti, or other flatbread is cooked through. This great electric option is large enough to make up to a 10-inch tortilla and is highly versatile, so you can use it for pizza night, too.
Material: Brushed stainless steel | Tortilla Size: 10 inches | Weight: 3.7 pounds
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Best Large: Victoria 10-Inch Cast Iron Tortilla Press
What We Love: Fits on a countertop, large enough for quesadillas, cool-touch exterior
What We Don't Love: Heavy and bulky to move
Victoria's cast iron tortilla presses are as versatile and durable as they come. The 10-inch version is a heavy-duty tortilla press designed for high-volume use. The smooth, shiny black cast-iron surface is ideal for churning out perfect tortillas on repeat.
The larger surface area means you can make tortillas for quesadillas, enchiladas, and other large-format dishes. And if you’re a fan of tortilla chips, this large press helps you make more chips at a time than smaller presses. You can send them straight from the press into an air fryer or deep fryer for nachos or guac.
Victoria has updated the designs of its tortilla presses through the years. They now have better leverage for less arm fatigue, and they don't awkwardly lock in the down position while you're in the middle of cooking. I really like this model for its combination of size, versatility, and good looks. The classic cast iron design fits nicely into any kitchen. In fact, you may end up leaving this press out on the counter all the time.
Material: Cast iron | Tortilla Size: 10 inches | Weight: 11 pounds
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Best Wooden: La Mexicana Tortilladora Madera Pino
What We Love: Sturdy, traditional wood press, plenty of leverage for clean pressing
What We Don't Love: The wood can be rough and may need sanding
Many home cooks prefer a wooden tortilla press for its traditional roots. Some find that pressing the dough with wood preserves the flavor of masa or flour better. Of the wooden presses available, this compact version is my favorite because it’s lightweight and small, which makes it easy to store. This press is also highly effective at pressing even, consistent flatbreads time and time again.
While the dimensions are 9 x 9 inches, this does only make 7-inch tortillas. The press might also arrive needing to be sanded and seasoned, but nothing a little sandpaper and mineral oil can't fix quickly. For cleaning, you can use warm soapy water to wash this wooden press, just like the other models. Just make sure to let the press dry fully before storing it, and don’t let it sit in water.
Material: Pinewood | Tortilla Size: 7 inches
As if being handcrafted outside Mexico City and having a sustainable recycled cast iron approach isn't enough to make Verve Culture Tortilla Press (view at Amazon) our top pick, the bright red finish is just the cherry on top. If you only make tortillas sporadically and/or need a portable tortilla press, the Imusa 8-Inch Aluminum Tortilla Press (view at Amazon) is your best bet.
What to Look for When Buying a Tortilla Press
Manual vs. Electric
The majority of tortilla presses on the market are manual. These are easy to use and clean, but they won’t cook your tortilla as an electric maker will. Manual is the more traditional way to make tortillas of course, and many cooks prefer it because it gives them greater control over the size and shape of their flatbread, as well as the cooking amount. With an electric tortilla maker, you can’t see what’s going on inside the machine. But it does mean only having to use one piece of cookware, and you can make tortillas tableside.
Some of these presses can make more than tortillas. If you like to make other homemade flatbreads like roti and chapati, look for a more versatile machine. Generally, that means a larger and stronger press, which has more space for thicker or larger doughs. Note that depending on the kind of dough you’re using, you may need to line the press with wax or parchment paper to prevent sticking.
Tortilla presses are fairly easy to clean and maintain, mainly because the dough shouldn’t be too sticky, wet, or messy. Cast iron, aluminum, and wooden presses can be washed clean in hot soapy water and dried after use.
Cast iron presses tend to last the longest because of their highly durable surface. Wooden presses, though easy to clean, may not be as durable because it's a porous material.
How do you clean a cast iron tortilla press?
Just like any cast iron cookware, make sure to clean your tortilla press immediately after use. You can rinse it clean with water or use a bit of mild dish soap if it needs some extra attention. Then immediately dry the press with towels.
To maintain the nonstick seasoning on the surface of the press, rub a thin layer of cooking oil into the surface of the press every few weeks with frequent use.
How do you make thin tortillas with a tortilla press?
If you like thin, crisp tortillas, opt for a heavier tortilla press. The leverage you get from the lid landing on your dough ball helps flatten it. And, if you don’t get the thinness you’re looking for after the first press, you can press the same tortilla a few more times to get nice and thin.
Why Trust Simply Recipes?
This article was written by Lizzy Briskin, a chef, food writer, and recipe developer who believes the only way to make your taco better is with a homemade tortilla.
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