Tortilla press features

A tortilla press has a handle, a hinge and two plates.

A tortilla press is comprised of two round pieces (plates) which are usually made of a strong metal or wood connected by a hinge. On one plate is a handle which helps to apply force to the top side when pressed down. The pressure from the lever results in the soft tortilla dough being flattened to an uniform thickness between the upper and lower plate.

How to use a tortilla press

tortilla press being used with dough
  1. Place dough inbetween papers and place onto press.
  2. Close top press plate over the bottom plate.
  3. Use the handle to apply pressure to dough.
  4. Open the press and remove the tortilla, or to reorientate and press again.

What to look for when you buy

Tortilla presses should be made with strong and heavy materials.

Materials

Tortilla presses are mostly made of metal in the modern era, but there are many more traditional presses made of wood still available.

Wood Tortilla Presses

Wood tortilla presses can go from inexpensive rough ones, to amazingly beautiful and detailed signature pieces made of hardwood (expensive).

Metal Tortilla Presses

The most typical metal used is cast iron. Cast iron is strong and heavy, which are great attributes for a press.

Aluminum presses are becoming more common as they are much lighter easier to handle.

Tortilla presses are often used with paper or plastic between the tortilla and the metal, so the type of metal need not affect the food.

Size

Know the size of the tortilla you normally make and ensure that the press is larger. If you are used to 8 inch tortillas, get a tortilla press that is 8 inches or larger. You can always make smaller tortillas in a large press, but you can not make larger ones in a smaller press. Always go for large.

Typical sizes

It is common to see 6 inch, 7.5 inch, 8 inch, 10 inch and 12 inch presses. Some are even larger.