Kitchen Tip Tuesdays: The best way to warm corn tortillas

(This post is later than usual... let's just say that Monday was Not My Friend this week...)

Hot corn tortillas

I love using corn tortillas for tacos! They're cheaper than flour tortillas, and have a great flavor. I had been warming them on a skillet or griddle with just a little oil, and they turn out pretty tasty that way. But, a couple weeks ago I came up with a better way of warming corn tortillas. We LOVE them this way!

See, I got to thinking about how restaurants warm corn tortillas for tacos. They have the griddles with a hot lid that presses the tortilla and it cooks quickly but stays soft. I don't have any special equipment, so I brainstormed how I could replicate this technique using what I have in my kitchen.

My solution uses a heavy skillet and a good-quality sauce pan. I've done this numerous times now and we love how the tortillas turn out! I do not like "raw" tasting corn tortillas, and this method heats them perfectly. :)

Heating corn tortillas

Here's what to do: Heat a heavy skillet (I use cast iron) over medium-high heat. Place a corn tortilla on the skillet and put the sauce pan on top. Cook for 15 seconds. Flip tortilla and place the saucepan again on top. Cook an additional 15 seconds. Tortilla is done! Find a safe place to set the *very hot* sauce pan while you throw on another tortilla and repeat the process!

Note: Keep a clean towel handy to wipe condensation off the bottom of the saucepan as needed.

The sauce pan will stay very hot, helping to cook the tortillas faster. It also prevents any bubbles from forming during cooking. (My sauce pans conduct heat really well, but I think this would work with any normal pretty-good sauce pan.)

Heating corn tortillas

What's better about corn tortillas warmed this way?

#1. It's faster.
#2. The outside is crisp but the inside is soft.
#3. They don't get bubbly when cooking.
#4. It doesn't use oil = fewer calories.

Are you a corn tortilla lover? Tell me your best tips for using them! :)

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1. How to make powdered sugar/substitute (Adrienne at Whole New Mom)
2. Stir-fry tips (Georgia at Georgia's Cookie Jar)
3. Browning ground beef (Living So Abundantly)
4. Zucchini prep & Making your own veggie wash (Anna at The Joyful Wife)
5. Covering bowls that don't have lids (Stacy at Stacy Makes Cents)
6. How to get candle wax or blueberry stains out of tablecloths (Heather at Feel Good About Dinner)
7. Use garden zucchini as lasagna noodles (SnoWhite at Finding Joy in My Kitchen)
8. Tips for using and freezing fresh basil (Robin from Happily Home After)


Good morning, Tammy!
Here is a way to avoid a last-minute trip out to the store and save money too!

Make your own powdered sugar or sugar alternative!


Using fresh or dried herbs-Mint Lemonade @ Gluten-Free Food Storage

Great idea Tammy! I am going to try this. Being GF we eat a lot of corn tortillas. I generally just heat them in a lightly oiled cast iron skillet. I never thought to "press" them. Going to try this and fish tacos...YUM.

Tammy, when we heat the corn tortillas we also run a handful of them under water before putting them in the skillet. That's how they did it in the Tex-Mex restaurant I worked for a long time ago ;)

Interesting! :) Do they stick to the griddle/grill/skillet then? Or do you use a little oil? Is the water to help them be more moist, I'm guessing? :)

I usually (used to) warm my tortillas (primarily for fish tacos) on my cast iron skillet with a little oil which we all loved but they did tend to come out a bit oily. Until tonight when we had left over chicken, no plans and some corn tortillas on the counter. My wife suggested making tacos, but commented she didn't want them to be oily like they usually are. I said I don't know how to do them any other way. I quickly found your idea of warming on the cast iron with the a sauce pan on top. I used another smaller cast iron skillet on top and my wife and i are very pleased wih the result, and can't wait to try this out with our fish tacos. Thank you so so much. Best kitchen trick I have learned in a while

Jeff Retke

Good Morning Tammy -

My post this week -



Good tip! We usually use flour tortillas, but I'll remember this for our next corn tortilla dish. :-)

Here is my tip for using shower caps in the kitchen for those bowls that don't have lids.

Thanks Tammy!

~Stacy from Stacy Makes Cents

What a timely post for me, Tammy. I have recently been researching about corn tortillas. I just discovered that they are actually healthier than whole-wheat flour tortillas and way cheaper to make using half of the masa compared to flour. I just bought my first bag of masa and am looking forward to experimenting with making my own corn tortillas. I am so excited to try your idea. I know, I get excited easily when it comes to cooking.:)

Do you like white corn, or yellow corn better? Is one healthier or tastier than the other? I bought white corn masa thinking it would be softer, but wonder if I should try the yellow corn. I have always used flour tortillas, so this is so new to me. I welcome any thoughts or advice.

The tip I would like to share today is how to get candle wax or blueberry stains our of your tablecloth.


Hi Heather! :)

I always buy white corn tortillas, but then that is the only corn option Costco carries. :) I'm not sure how this cooking method would work for homemade tortillas -- they may need to be cooked longer than ~15 seconds per side. :)

I like both white and yellow homemade corn tortillas! I don't usually make my own corn tortillas because I don't have a tortilla press and am usually pressed (pun intended ;D) for time. :) I love homemade ones though! One of these days I'll get a tortilla press and make my own... maybe Yehoshua is old enough to press and cook them! :D

Here's a tip to use that garden zucchini -- use it as lasagna noodles.

thanks for hosting, Tammy!

Hi Tammy,

This is my first time linking to Tips Tuesdays ... I enjoy reading clever ideas from creative cooks. Thanks for making this available.

Here's my link:


Do you think that you could do that with the same outcome with flour tortillas? I have always wanted a way to do that safely, and this looks like it's it!

I wrote about browning ground beef by putting a little water in the pan to keep the beef moist. The ground beef comes out perfect every time!

I'm not sure how flour tortillas would do with this method (I haven't tried it). I usually either wrap a bunch of flour tortillas in foil and heat them in the oven, or microwave them (not wrapped in foil, obviously). I think this method would work for them as long as they didn't end up too dry and crunchy-crackery... let me know if you try it! :)

what a great way to heat corn tortillas! i love using corn tortillas, much better than flour tortillas more flavor!

I don't personally like corn tortillas, but I love flour tortillas. My kids love having cheese quesadias for lunch. I buy them at Aldi 10 for .99. Then I found this recipe for homemade tortillas and I have made them every since. Yes I need to get a press the most time consuming part is rolling them out. But they are so worth the extra work and they are cheaper. Also this recipe contains no lard and only has 2 tsp of oil.

If you want to keep a whole stack warm while you continue to cook go to a grocery store that caters to hispanics and get a tortilla warmer. They are about $4 and keep them hot. With 9 big boys/ adults to feed I have to heat a lot of tortillas.

Here's a tip for serving biscuits and gravy without mess. Great for kids!


For light brown sugar: Mix 1 cup granulated sugar with 1 Tbsp. of molasses.

For dark brown sugar: Mix 1 cup granulated sugar with 2 Tbsp. molasses.

Stir and mix with a fork until well combined.

I have not purchased brown sugar from the store in quite some time, but you do want to use a good quality molasses for this mix. Hope this helps with the cost of groceries soaring ever higher each day.

I usually warm tortillas between two wet paper towels in the microwave so I will have to try this although I don't usually buy corn tortillas. But I may now!

My tip is about what to do with tomatoes:

Gretchen @ Extraordinary Ordinary Life

Here's my tip for the day!

I guess I didn't do something right the first time. Here's my post

We only use corn tortillas since we have many with celiac disease. Thanks for the suggestion. Normally I brush them with butter/oil and heat a stack in the microwave. Sometimes they are too soft. I will try this method.

For flour tortillas (which we don't use anymore) the best way to heat is on a gas range. I used to just turn the fire to low and then toss them on the burner over the flame. It was a great way to warm flour tortillas and maintain a great flavor too.

Be sure to but Masa made from organic corn in order to avoid GMO's.

Love the homemade myself! My mom makes hers with a little reg flour (like 1/4 c. to 2 cups corn flour for easier press out), and so when I got married and left home a rarely made them as I didn't have a press. Well, this past summer I was in WA on vacation a good friend of mine had two and gave me one! (Wish I had known you didn't have one or else I would have taken both and given one to you! )So now that I have a press I make my own trying to cut down on flour torts (homemade) and have discovered I love them made without the added 1/4 c flour. I've become a corn tortilla snob! I love making the leftovers into tostadas and using them layered in enchiladas! What a difference than store-bought! Don't think I will ever go back to store-bought!

Priscilla Rowan

I tried your excellent corn tortilla tip when I made dinner tonight and was thrilled with the results. The tortillas were just as tasty as the heat-with-a-little-oil method, but without the extra calories! I liked the texture of tortillas heated this way, too. What a great idea- thanks so much!

Oh no, why did you have to post a picture of fish tacos? I had fish tacos for the first time over vacation in July and I haven't stopped thinking about them since lol

How do you keep several warm without them drying out and staying soft? I have tried putting in foil with a tiny bit o water. Most fall apart.

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