How to Steam Tortillas

Written by tammie painter Google
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How to Steam Tortillas
Warm tortillas are easier to work with than cold tortillas. (Thomas Northcut/Lifesize/Getty Images)

Tortillas make a tasty accompaniment to any Mexican or Tex-Mex dish. Flour tortillas encase meats or rice and beans to form a burrito, while corn tortillas topped with your choice of vegetables or protein become delicious street tacos. You can use tortillas straight out of the bag, but the flavour and pliability of tortillas is enhanced by warming them. Steaming your tortillas will warm them and keep them pliable enough for wrapping around your other ingredients.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Pot with lid
  • Water
  • Vegetable steamer
  • Stove
  • Tortillas (flour or corn)
  • Clean kitchen towels
  • Microwave

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    Hob Steaming

  1. 1

    Pour enough water in the pot so the water level is approximately a quarter inch deep. Set the vegetable steamer in the pot. The water should not enter the vegetable steamer when you set the steamer inside the pot.

  2. 2

    Turn on the burner to high heat.

  3. 3

    Wrap up to 12 tortillas in the kitchen towel. When the water begins to boil, set the wrapped tortillas in the steamer basket and put the lid on the pot.

  4. 4

    Wait for one minute,then turn off the stove. Let the tortillas sit in the pot for 10 to 15 minutes.

  5. 5

    Remove the tortillas carefully from the pot. Unwrap the towel and serve the tortillas along with your meal.

    Microwave Steaming

  1. 1

    Dampen one kitchen towel with water. The towel just needs to be moist, not soaked.

  2. 2

    Wrap up to five tortillas in the damp towel, then wrap a dry towel around the damp towel packet.

  3. 3

    Place the towels and tortillas in the microwave. Microwave on high for 30 seconds.

  4. 4

    Remove the tortillas from the microwave and towels, and serve.

Tips and warnings

  • Each microwave is different, so experiment with yours to see how long it takes to get the tortillas the temperature you like. Thirty seconds should suffice for most microwaves.
  • Asian markets sell stackable bamboo steamers that are also convenient for steaming tortillas on the stove. Follow the same directions, but set the steamer on top of the pot, rather than inside it.
  • Take care when removing the tortillas and handling the towels. Steam will burn your skin if you aren't careful.

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