How To Warm Tortillas

Question:

How to warm tortillas? How to heat corn tortillas? How to warm flour tortillas?

Answer:

Tortillas are as versatile to warm as they are to use in recipes. A tortilla that has been warmed is so much tastier and pliable than a hard cold one that has been stored in the refrigerator. There are three basic ways to warm tortillas: you can use a pan on the stove for a crispier tortilla, a steamer pot for a fuss free option or a microwave oven for a speedy option. All three of these options for how to heat tortillas are detailed below.

Steps to Warm Tortillas in a Pan

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To warm tortillas in a pan on the stove, follow these steps:

  • Preheat a large flat pan on medium to medium-high heat and then spray it with some oil. A cast iron skillet or a non-stick pan are both good options for this method of heating tortillas.
  • Cook the tortillas for about 20-30 seconds and then flip to cook the other side for the same amount of time. Remember that the longer you cook it, the crispier it will become.
  • Wrap the tortillas in a dish towel to keep them warm as you work your way through the stack. Alternately, you can use a tortilla keeper or some tin foil to keep the tortillas warm.


  • Use this option to warm tortillas if you like your tortillas with a crispier texture and maybe even a little smoky char on the outside of the tortilla. This option will make the air pockets in your tortilla bubble up and become soft and pliable, or cook longer for a crispy tortilla. Depending on the size of your pan, you can usually heat a few tortillas at once unless you’re working with large burrito shells that require the entire pan.

    Steps to Warm Tortillas in a Steamer

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    To warm tortillas in a steamer, follow these steps:

  • Boil water in the bottom part of your pan.
  • Wrap a stack of tortillas in a clean dish towel and place in the steamer basket. Boil for 1-2 minutes. Make sure the water does not touch the towel and the towel does not touch any heat source.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and let the tortillas sit in the covered pan for about 15 minutes to allow the entire stack to be heated through.


  • Use this option to warm tortillas if you need to feed a crowd. With this way of warming tortillas you can heat an entire stack at once and let them sit and remain warm while you prepare the finishing touches to the rest of your dinner. Fix & forget – my favorite way in the kitchen!

    Steps to Warm Tortillas in the Microwave

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    To warm tortillas in the microwave, follow these steps:

    1. Wrap a small stack of tortillas (2-6) in a damp paper towel.
    2. Microwave for 30 seconds to 1 minute.


    Use this option to warm tortillas if you are in a hurry and just need enough tortillas for yourself or your family dinner. The tortillas will come out soft and pliable and great for rolling a burrito but will cool off about as fast as they warmed up.

    Additional Information for How to Warm Tortillas

    A great way how to steam tortillas, blanch vegetables and cook pasta, is to use a Stainless Steel Muti-Cookware Set pot with a strainer insert and a lid. This is really a submersion pot, like for cooking corn on the cob, but it can also double as a steamer as long as you watch the water level to be sure that it starts underneath the insert and does not boil dry during the steaming process. But since how to heat tortillas involves only a minute or two over the boiling water this is not a problem.

    Another way to both warm a stack of tortillas and then keep them warm throughout dinner is to invest in a tortilla warmer. Here’s one that is both functional and festive.



    To find out how long tortillas last, visit our tortilla page.

    To find out how long other foods are good for, please visit the Dairy, Drinks, Fruits, Grains, Proteins, Vegetables and Other sections of Eat By Date or use the search function below.

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