There’s nothing quite like a soft, warm tortilla. Whether you prefer corn or flour, store-bought or homemade, most people will agree that all of the above are best when heated up. Curious how to warm your tortillas to perfection? This post will walk you through several options.
4 ways to heat up corn and flour tortillas
Method 1: Dry skillet
A dry skillet — meaning an ungreased skillet or griddle — is an easy option for warming up tortillas.
Heat the skillet over a medium flame and place a tortilla in the pan. Cook for about 30-60 seconds, or until browned, then flip and cook for up to 30 more seconds. Repeat with remaining tortillas.
This method works for both corn and flour tortillas. Flour tortillas will sometimes puff up as they warm up, but don’t worry if a few of yours turn into balloons, as they will deflate as they cool. Corn tortillas may become a bit dry as they cook, but you can brush them with a little water to moisten them if needed.
Method 2: In the oven
This method offers an easy way to heat up a large stack of tortillas and, because it’s hands-off, it comes in handy when you’re planning to feed a crowd. Simply wrap up your corn or flour tortillas in a paper towel and then wrap the whole stack in aluminum foil. Bake at 300 F (a little higher is OK, too) until warmed through, or about 10 minutes.
The oven can be used for both corn and flour tortillas. If your corn tortillas seem a bit dry going in, moisten the paper towel before wrapping them up. Leave the tortillas wrapped in foil when you go to serve them to keep them hot at the table.
Method 3: In the microwave
A microwave is a solid option when it comes to warming up corn tortillas quickly. Simply wrap the tortillas in a damp paper towel and microwave for 30-60 seconds, or until warm. If you are only heating 2 or 3 tortillas, the microwave time will be short, If you are heating a larger stack, you may need a little extra cooking time.
This method produces moist corn tortillas but does not work as well with flour tortillas, which can become gummy when microwaved.
Method 4: Open flame
Tortillas can be heated very quickly over an open flame, which gives them a slightly crisp exterior and a hint of char that can go extremely well with some fillings. You’ll need an open flame burner and a rack that’s wide enough to hold up the tortillas.
Not all stoves have the ideal layout for this method, but it requires no prep or cleanup at all and is worth trying if it works in your kitchen. Be sure to grab the tortillas off the heat — they’ll cook in 10 seconds or so per side — with tongs to avoid accidental burns.
Some of these methods can only be used with one tortilla at a time, while others work for a stack of them. The way you heat up your tortillas will depend, in part, on the number of tortillas that you need to heat up. If you’re preparing a large batch, the oven method might be a better option than the stovetop method, for instance.
Be sure to heat them up just before you plan to serve them so that they’ll be at their best at the dinner table.
Not sure what to put inside of your tortillas? Learn how to make everything from grilled veggies to carnitas in Mexican Street Food: Tacos & Salsa.