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Old 03-24-2012, 10:12 AM
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Default Question about a tortilla press

I have a ton of masa harina (about 4 pounds, actually) left from making tamales, so I thought I'd use some to make corn tortillas. Does anyone have a tortilla press? Any tips for getting a good one? I've seen cast iron, steel, plastic and wooden presses. I'm leaning toward the cast iron. Comments and tips welcome
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Old 03-24-2012, 10:38 AM
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Default Re: Question about a tortilla press

I have a cast iron one and i am well pleased.

I take a gallon zip lock bag and. Cut the top and two sides off. I put the dough in between the plastic and press it that way. It is easier to peel the tortilla off that way. Alao you do not need to clean the press. My press is tinned all over.

I know you are talking about corn tortillas. If you ever make flour tortillas use a rolling pin or empty wine bottle while still in the plastic and roll them paper thin.

Hope this helps

Andy
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Old 03-24-2012, 10:54 AM
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Default Re: Question about a tortilla press

Iron or steel. Use Adillo's method or wax paper, otherwise you're gonna have a mess to clean up.
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Old 03-24-2012, 11:43 AM
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Default Re: Question about a tortilla press

Cool, thanks for the tips
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Old 03-24-2012, 12:20 PM
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Default Re: Question about a tortilla press

I have a cast iron one that I bought at a Mexican market. Works great. I can't see buying a plastic one.
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Old 03-24-2012, 01:47 PM
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Default Re: Question about a tortilla press

I have this one that I bought at a Mexican grocery store the next town over for $8.95 last Summer. Works just fine, and I use it as Andy does.



I've been toying with buying one of these presses, but it costs about $20. Might be worth it if it does a better job than the cast iron one. I could build it a lot cheaper, but not sure if I want to.

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Old 03-25-2012, 12:53 AM
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Hey Joe save your money. All the little old Mexican ladies who make my tortillas use the cheap metal one like the one you have. They use the same technique with the wax paper or plastic wrap.

They tell me the secret is.not the press but rather the fat you use in them. Lard

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Old 03-25-2012, 02:27 PM
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Default Re: Question about a tortilla press

You have to use good lard not that over processed stuff you see in the supermarket.
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Old 03-25-2012, 04:37 PM
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Default Re: Question about a tortilla press

I actually have my own lard Whenever I have a pork roast, I simmer the fat trimmings in water and then put the pot in the fridge so the rendered fat hardens on top. Then I scrape it off and put it in a jar in the fridge. Now that I think about it, I have chicken, pork, bacon and duck fat in the fridge right now Jeez, it's getting to be like my vinegar collection.

Bams, good to know that's how the Mexicans do it, too. Thanks!
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Old 03-26-2012, 02:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GotGarlic View Post
I actually have my own lard Whenever I have a pork roast, I simmer the fat trimmings in water and then put the pot in the fridge so the rendered fat hardens on top. Then I scrape it off and put it in a jar in the fridge. Now that I think about it, I have chicken, pork, bacon and duck fat in the fridge right now Jeez, it's getting to be like my vinegar collection.

Bams, good to know that's how the Mexicans do it, too. Thanks!
I am working right by my favorite Mexican restaurant so I eat there daily and watch them make fresh tortillas

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Old 03-26-2012, 06:54 AM
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Default Re: Question about a tortilla press

Quote:
Originally Posted by GotGarlic View Post
I actually have my own lard Whenever I have a pork roast, I simmer the fat trimmings in water and then put the pot in the fridge so the rendered fat hardens on top. Then I scrape it off and put it in a jar in the fridge. Now that I think about it, I have chicken, pork, bacon and duck fat in the fridge right now Jeez, it's getting to be like my vinegar collection.

Bams, good to know that's how the Mexicans do it, too. Thanks!
I have bacon fat and chicken fat (schmaltz) right now that were pan rendered. I never thought of rendering the pork fat in water, what a great idea. I'll give that a try when I smoke my next fresh picnic ham.
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Old 07-26-2012, 08:52 AM
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Default Re: Question about a tortilla press

I love homemade tortillas. I had a press, but found I was using a small rolling pin because I like mine thinner. So I just started rolling them by hand. They are not perfectly round though. I agree that homemade lard is the way to go. I buy 20 lbs. of unsalted fatback from a local place and spend a day OUTSIDE rendering it down, bottling it up. Makes really good pie crusts and homemade biscuits too.
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Old 07-26-2012, 09:28 AM
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Default Re: Question about a tortilla press

I do about like you Squirrel. The only difference is that I cut a 1 gallon ziplock off on three sides and use it as a folder. I can roll them very thin and peel the plastic.
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