How To Steam Tortillas With And Without A Steamer

If you’re a fan of Mexican cuisine, then you know that it all starts with the perfect tortilla. If you’re looking for how to steam tortillas perfectly every time, you’re in the right place!

But did you know that you don’t need a steamer to enjoy warm, freshly steamed tortillas truly?

This article will explore two methods of steaming tortillas – with and without a food steamer. Get ready to take your Mexican cuisine game up a notch.

Let’s get cooking!

How To Steam Tortillas With A Steamer

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BELLA Two-Tier Food Steamer (See on Amazon)

This classic approach is the easiest method. All you need is your tortillas and a steamer.

If you don’t have one yet, they come in all shapes and sizes, so it should be easy to find one that fits your needs. Once you have your steamer ready, follow these steps: 

  • Fill the bottom of the steamer with water until it reaches just below the steam rack. Place the steam rack inside. 
  • Place as many tortillas as will fit into the steamer without overlapping them (you may want to do this in batches). 
  • Put the lid on top and turn on your stove top burner or electric stove top element at medium heat. Allow it to steam for about 2 minutes or until all your tortillas are hot and soft. Be careful not to oversteam them.  
  • Remove from heat and take off the lid. Carefully remove each tortilla from the steamer with tongs if necessary (they will be hot!).

Serve immediately or store in an air-tight container for later use.

How To Steam Tortillas Without A Steamer

steamed tortillas

If you don’t have a food steamer, don’t worry! Here are several methods to steam your tortillas. There’s no right or wrong. Choose whatever is available and easy for you.

Steaming In an oven

If you have an oven at home, that’s great! For this method, you need to use aluminum foil to steam the tortilla in the oven. Here’s how it works:  

  • Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, shiny side up (this is important!).
  • Place as many tortillas as will fit without overlapping onto the foil-lined baking sheet.
  • Place another aluminum foil onto the baking sheet, shiny side down (again, important!).
  • Crimp edges together tightly so there are no gaps between foil sheets where steam can escape during cooking.
  • Cook in preheated oven for 10 minutes or until all of your tortillas are hot and soft. Be careful not to overcook them!
  • Carefully remove from oven with tongs if necessary (they will be hot!).
  • Serve immediately or store in an air-tight container for later use. Enjoy!  

Steaming In A Microwave

The simplest way to steam a tortilla is in the microwave. It’s quick and easy, and you only need a plate and damp paper towels.

  • First, dampen the paper towel so that it’s slightly wet.
  • Place the wet paper towel on the plate and then top it with the tortilla.
  • Pop it into the microwave for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
  • When done, carefully remove the plate from the microwave.
  • The tortillas should be nice and soft, like they came from a steamer basket. 

Steaming In A Stovetop

If you don’t have a microwave, try using your stovetop instead. You will need two pots of different sizes with lids, aluminum foil, and some water.

  • Start by taking one pot and adding enough water to cover the bottom of it (around ¼ inch).
  • Place this pot on medium heat and bring it to a boil.
  • Then take your second pot, and place it on top of the first one so that it fits snugly over its rim (the smaller pot should fit inside the larger one).
  • Place your dry tortillas between two sheets of aluminum foil and then put this package into the smaller pot (make sure none of the foil is touching the water).
  • Cover both pots with their respective lids and allow them to steam for 3 minutes or until they are soft. Once done, carefully remove them from the heat and enjoy. 


Here are frequently asked questions about steaming tortillas.

How Do You Steam Tortillas Without Paper Towels?

Before you start, make sure to preheat your oven to 300 degrees. Then wrap the tortillas in aluminum foil and place them in the oven for 10-15 minutes until they are nice and heated.

How To Make Tortillas Stretchy?

Making tortillas stretchy is a simple and easy process that only takes a few minutes.

First, start by heating a pan on the stovetop. When it’s warm, place the tortilla in the pan and allow it to cook for a few seconds before flipping it over.

Once both sides have cooked, use a spatula or your hands to press down on the tortilla and flatten it out gently.

This will make the tortilla more pliable and easier to work with, allowing you to stretch it out without tearing it apart.

Do Tortillas Get Crispy In The Microwave?

Yes, tortillas can get crispy in the microwave if you set the timer too long. It’s best to start with 30 seconds and then increase the time in 10-second increments until your tortilla is heated.

Be careful not to overcook it, or it will become hard and brittle.

How Do You Warm Tortillas, So They Don’t Crack?

Warming tortillas so that they don’t crack is incredibly easy. All you need to do is wrap them in a damp paper towel and put them in the microwave for 30-60 seconds or until heated through.

This will make them soft and pliable, reducing the chance of cracking when folding or rolling.


No matter what method you choose to steam your tortillas, remember that it’s important to cook them sparingly.

And give them an extra few seconds of steaming time when in doubt. That way, your tortillas will come out perfectly soft and delicious every time.

So why not try both and decide which one is best for you?

Good luck and happy cooking!