tortillacooking tool

Tortilla Press

If you are into the habit, like me, of making your own home made corn tortillas, a tortilla press comes in really handy.

It’s true that tortillas can be made in many different ways such as simply flattening round corn masa or dough balls with your hands or rolling out the masa with a rolling pin. However, the tortilla press makes the process be a speedy, consistent, fun and even therapeutic one (it is!).

Moreover, look at what a pretty tool it is.

Here is what a tortilla press looks like when closed. Sitting on my chair. Mine is cast iron, but you can also find aluminum and wooden ones. I prefer cast iron, but don’t mind aluminum as long as it is heavy and sturdy. I find the wooden ones a bit tricky to use.

This is what one looks open, ready for you to use. As you see, there are some pieces of plastic cut in rounds -from produce bags is perfect.

A plastic round is placed in the bottom of the opened press, so you can place a corn dough or masa ball, top with another plastic round and then simply close the press, and press it down.

You can make many more things than tortillas on tortilla presses too, like chalupas (oval shaped corn dough patties) and sopes (thicker than tortillas round corn dough patties with a rim) just to name a few.What’s more, kids love to use tortilla presses and make shapes with the corn masa. Which can actually make some of the speediness of the process achieved with a tortilla press, slow down a bit too. Oh well, there is always a trade-off…


33comments inTortilla Press

  1. Rebecca

    Mar 04

    Is it just for making corn tortillas and not flour ones?

    1. Pati Jinich

      Mar 06

      You could also use it to make your flour tortillas, but in my experience and because of the dough consistency, flour tortillas are better rolled out with a pin 😉

  2. Maggie

    Jul 09

    Hi Pati –

    I’m excited to try making my own tortillas. Do you recommend a 6.5 or an 8 inch tortilla press?

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jul 25

      The bigger the better Maggie, that way you and not your press control the size of your tortillas, have fun!

  3. Brenda White

    Apr 26

    That’s a nice press.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Apr 27

      Oh I love it, Brenda.

  4. Mil

    Apr 26

    Hi Pati
    I made your verde salsa. My family LOVES it. Now we eat it on EVERYTHING! I have to make a couple of batches a week. Thanks for sharing your gift. Appreciate you. ❤️

    1. Pati Jinich

      Apr 27

      That’s so awesome, Mil!

  5. Ernie Gargas

    Mar 26

    Where did you find that tortilla press from Mexico? I would like to find out just like that. I will check out our local Mexican Market.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Mar 27

      Oh I found it in a local market in Mexico…but I’m sure you can find one at your local market as well, Ernie.

    2. Bobbi Webley

      Jun 15

      You can get one on Amazon! I just bought one and am waiting for it to be delivered. I am so excited to be able to make home made tortillas and some of Pati’s delicious recipes!

  6. Anonymous

    Mar 29

    I would love to see you make your own brand (PATI) of cookware dinner plates service plates of Mexican style. There are so many other styles American Italian French, but when you go into a standard store you never find Mexican-style and they’re beautiful , I would love to see your name as a contributing factor to that style of cookware.

    1. Pati

      Mar 30

      Thank you for the suggestion…hopefully soon.

      1. Stella AKA Jane Austen

        Apr 26

        I just read this post and you said on 03/30/2017 “Thank you for the suggestion…hopefully soon.” Well, it is 2019 and your fans are still waiting for your own cookware! Love you Pati!

        1. Pati Jinich

          Apr 27


  7. Jackie

    Feb 02

    I too would love to know what press you use as some seem to really squish down one side of the tortilla 🙂
    Thank you for such a super site

    1. Pati

      Feb 03

      You know? That is a funny thing that tortilla presses seem to do and it is part of their personality. All of them seem to squash one side more than the other, to fix this, I jiggle the press a little when I press down, and also, I flip the tortilla once during the pressing process, so I press them twice. Once not all the way and the second one a bit deeper.

  8. Gary Chamberlain

    Oct 18

    Hi Pati! I would like to ask you where to purchase the tortilla press you show on your web site, thanks!

  9. terri

    Sep 26

    Just had to tell you that your Chicken Tinga is a big hit in my home. My family said “put it on the list”…meaning those foods that are fantastic and want me to make again soon. Thank you for making your shows easy to follow and exciting and non-threatening to attempt to make at home. I’m even going to start making my own tortillas! You’re the best!

    1. Pati

      Sep 26

      Hola Terri, I’m sooo thrilled my tinga recipe made your families list!! It will go great with those homemade tortillas!

  10. diane

    Feb 18

    Howdy Patti, I enjoy every recipe you make Can’t wait to try them. Just wondering do you know how the enchilada sauce is made here in Central Texas. I guess it would be called maybe TEX-Mex enchilada sauce. I have tried and tried to reproduce it with no luck. Any suggestions? I know it is tomato base but not sure what kinds of spices they use and how it is made.

  11. sandhya@vegetarianirvana

    Feb 05

    Thanks Patti. I will make a trip to Panam, sounds like an interesting store! Thanks also for the invaluable tip on sopes and chalupas.

  12. sandhya@vegetarianirvana

    Jan 29

    Hi Pati
    I often make your Avocado soup, so simple and delicious, which you demonstrated at an event I attended.
    I live in MD near DC border. Where can I get an excellent tortilla press. I had one before but it did not give me uniformly thick tortillas. Is there a shop I can purchase it from or only through internet?
    Another question, how to regulate the shape and thickness as in chalupas and sopes that you mention.
    Thank so much.

    1. Pati

      Feb 05

      Have you tried a Latino store, like Panam? Or online too… The trick with tortilla presses is: you have to jiggle it a little as you are pressing down! Give that a try. As far as chalupas and sopes, they should be at least 2 times as thick as corn tortillas, sometimes even three times. Much like a thin pancake… then you pinch the edges before it cools down.

  13. lynda

    May 30

    Pati my Mom and I watch you show all the time (when it is on our PBS station). My Mom is on a very low sodium diet so I am learning to make flour tortillas (her favorite). Rolling with a rolling pin takes a lot of energy so I am considering a tortilla press. What I have read is that on the cast iron ones the handles often snap – I thought I remember you saying the cast iron ones were the best. Any guidance you can provide would be greatly appreciate. We love your recipes even if we have to leave out the salt!!!!

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jun 01

      Hola Lynda, I am so happy you and your mom love the show! About the tortilla press, in my opinion, cast iron presses are the best. I’ve had mine for years and haven’t had any issues with it. I hope this helps! If you or your mom ever have any requests, just let me know! 🙂

  14. Kevin Gately

    Jan 29

    Pati, I love your show. I love the food of Northern Mexico! You are the best! Eres muy lindo Pati y tienes corazon de claro.

  15. Richard Alvarado

    Sep 03

    I just caught your show. Fantastic! Your website, even better. Thank you for the great recipes. I have been searching for a good resource and have tried a few recipes. Needless to say they are simply wonderful. Reminiscent of my abuelas cooking. I am curious. Do you have a good flour tortilla recipe? Mole for enchiladas? I have struggled to find great recipes.
    Best of luck and thank you!

  16. Rob Kachmer

    Aug 05

    I love your show and I love you. You are hotter than any of your recipes and your smile makes me smile. My friends think I’m a mexican culinary genious. I think it’s time I share my secret with them. Your anaise cookies are a hit. Times are tough but now I can make so much for so little. Thank you so much!!! Thank you create!!! Please keep this show.
    PS. I would like to see something coastal. I love shrimp!!!
    Yours forever, Rob

    1. Pati Jinich

      Aug 12

      Hola Rob, I’m thrilled the show has helped transform you into a mexican culinary genius! I hope you and your friends continue to enjoy the recipes and I promise to post something more coastal soon. In the meantime, have you tried the Grilled Shrimp and Pineapple Salad with Vanilla and Chile de Arbol Vinaigrette from my website? Here is the link:
      I think it might hit the spot!

  17. Arrelpnik

    May 07

    I use a one gallon ziplock freezer bag with the zipped cut off with scissors and slpit down both side seam’s. Leave the bottom connected to both sides to act as a hinge. Works great in the tortilla press and I also have used a small cast iron skillet right on the table top to press the masa ball into tortillas right on the table top. My skillet has a Fire/Heat ring on bottom which gives perfect thickness. Plastic is heavy enough to be used many times and even washed and stored for later use.

  18. Debra

    Feb 22

    Dear Pati,
    Love your blog! This is my first time to leave a comment.
    I’m researching “industrial” tortilla presses for a small business opportunity. I hope to make preservative free tortillas from organic flour to be sold in a bakery. Do you have suggestions of what I should look for/stay away from in tortilla presses?
    Have you had any experience with the manually operated larger scale tortilla makers? Are there any brands that you suggest? I was looking at a DoughPro 2000 and a DoughXpress but there’s a fairly big difference in price.
    Would love to have your opinion on this!

    1. Pati Jinich

      Feb 22

      Thank you so much!! Welcome and please come by anytime!
      Debra, it is great news that you are making fresh tortillas with no preservatives. Those are so hard to find in the stores. Impossible. I am sure you will have so many people wanting to get them!
      We make fresh tortillas at the Institute but we use the manual tortilla press, like the one in the photo. If I were to get a large scale tortilla maker, I would concentrate on getting the simpler, least fussy, easier to operate. Don’t know if this helps… But let me know if I can help with any other part of the tortilla making process…
      Best of luck on your wonderful and sure to be successful venture! Pati

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