How to Heat Corn Tortillas

Corn tortillas can make or break your quesadillas, tacos, or enchiladas. Discover how to heat your corn tortillas perfectly every time.

reheating corn tortillas

We’ve all been there before: You want a tasty taco or burrito, so you buy the premade corn tortillas from your local grocery store. You get home and try to heat them up in the microwave as it says on the package. Disaster strikes! The tortilla is rubbery and tough instead of soft and pliable. It’s not edible anymore.

Thankfully, heating these for your next burrito, quesadilla or taco is easier than you might think. Here are five quick and easy ways to heating corn tortillas perfectly every time.

Griddle

One way you can heat tortillas is to use the griddle. A griddle is a flat surface on which you can cook. It’s the flatness that makes it a great way to reheat tortillas and make sure they retain their shape. A griddle can be powered by gas, electricity, wood, or even coal. The method that you choose depends on your lifestyle. 

When reheating any food, tortillas included, you want to make sure that you regain the same texture and taste. Tortillas need to be reheated so that they can still be folded and torn just as when they were first made. To bring them back to life, reheat the tortillas over low to medium heat. 

Make sure the tortillas are separated from each other before you start heating them. Then place them individually on the griddle. Once the griddle is hot, place the tortillas on the surface. 

Let it heat up for about 30 seconds. Allow it to heat up evenly on each side. This method should help you get soft tortillas once again.

reheating corn tortillas

Oven

The oven is often the go-to for when you want something heated up quickly and properly. When you don’t know what temperatures to play with and how to keep the food from becoming crispy or drying out completely, the issue comes in. You can reheat tortillas in the oven. 

With this method, the secret is keeping the tortillas in foil so that the heat is evenly distributed. You will need aluminum foil to wrap the tortillas in. Stack about five tortillas or so together and wrap them up in the foil. However, if you have the time and energy, you can reheat them individually—Preheat the oven to 350˚F.

Then place the foil with the tortillas in it for about 15 to 20 minutes. This should be enough time to heat them through and through. You can open the foil up and check on them after this time. If they are not as hot as you want them to be, then you can put them back in the oven. The foil also helps keep them from drying out.

Stovetop

The stovetop is another common method for reheating tortillas. For this method, you will need a stove and a cast iron or stainless steel skillet. You will not be using any oil, so you have to make sure that you don’t run the risk of the tortillas sticking to the bottom of the pan as it heats up. 

Switch the stove on medium to low heat. Slap the tortillas in the pan without using any oil. Heat them individually, making sure to turn them after every 30 seconds. This should be about enough time on each side. Turn the tortillas over and make sure that they get heated on both sides. 

It’s important to watch over them and make sure they don’t become dry and crispy. If they are heated on high heat and also for too long, this can be a possibility. If you have the guts and aren’t afraid of a bit of flame, you can heat them over an open flame and not use the skillet or pan at all. But this is not for the inexperienced. Also, the stovetop method works better with fresher tortillas. 

For tortillas that are more than a day old, you can use the trick of brushing them lightly with water to rejuvenate them and reintroduce moisture.

Reheating on the stovetop directly only works over a gas stove and not over an electric plate. You will need to know when it is warm enough and watch that you do not burn the tortillas in the process. A pair of tongs will also make sure that you don’t get burnt in the process. 

Microwave

This is often a favorite method for many because it does not necessarily need a high skill level. It is also a fast and convenient method. For this, you will need your microwave and a microwave-safe plate as well as a damp paper towel. You can heat one or more tortillas at a time. 

Put the tortillas in the microwave, and reheat for 30 seconds at a time. This will allow you to check on them during these intervals. If they are not yet warm enough, you can heat them for longer. Covering them with a damp paper towel will help you avoid dried-out tortillas. If you will be reheating more than one tortilla, place a paper towel over each tortilla so that it’s almost as if they are all individually wrapped. 

Skillet

The skillet that you use to reheat tortillas needs to be non-stick. Heat the skillet on the stove and make sure that it is hot before you start putting the tortillas in. you will not be using any oil, and as such, you need to make sure that the skillet is non-stick. You will not need to add any cooking spray or oils to it. Just get the pan hot enough to transfer heat to the tortillas when placed in the skillet. 

Place the tortilla in the skillet and heat on both sides for about 45 seconds. Some may prefer to use their hands to turn the tortillas over, but it will be essential to get a pair of tongs for some. As the tortilla heats up, you will begin to see small brown spots forming. This is usually a sign that it’s time to turn it over.


FAQs

Why are my corn tortillas breaking?

This happens when they are not heated properly and are too cold. 

Can you warm corn tortillas in an air fryer?

Yes, you can, whether you decide to eat them whole (this depends on dimensions), or you can cut them up into triangles to toss them in the air fryer. 

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