How To Keep Corn Tortillas From Falling Apart? (Useful Tips)


Fresh home-made corn tortillas stacked against eachother.

There aren’t many things better than good old corn tortillas when it comes to delicious food! The soft tortilla, endless stuffing possibilities, and delicious sauce ideas make me want to do some right now. However, sometimes, there is an annoying side to them when the tortillas break. How to prevent corn tortillas from falling apart?

Keep corn tortillas from falling apart by heating them in a microwave before assembling as it loosens up the tortilla so it won’t break so easily. If your tortillas are dry, you can steam them by boiling water and holding them above the hot steam. This adds water molecules and fixes the dry tortilla.

So, when your corn tortillas are warm and steamy, which are the opposites of cold and dry, they will hold through the assembling and eating process far easier!

Microwave isn’t the only method to heat the corn tortillas either. You can use a grill, stovetop flame, pan, or oven to heat the tortillas. Just be sure not to overheat them, as this can make them too crispy and fall apart even more than before.

In addition to heating and steaming, there’s another way too.

Even though corn tortillas are made from whole grains and have fewer calories, sodium, and carbs than flour tortillas, they break far easier. To ensure a break-free tortilla, you need to get fatty flour tortillas like Maria & Ricardo’s Flour Tortillas. These tortillas are the best ones I have tried in terms of durability, and they are extremely tasty too!

Read also: Why Do People Eat Cornstarch? (Practical, Culture & Medical)

Why Does Your Corn Tortilla Fall Apart?

Now that you know the best methods of keeping your corn tortillas intact and whole, it’s equally important to know why they fall apart in the first place. This way, you can reduce the amount they fall apart!

Corn tortillas fall apart if they are dry or cold. Dry tortillas have low amounts of moisture which makes the tortillas delicate, whereas cold tortillas won’t stretch out as needed, breaking sooner or later. Fix this by heating and moisturizing your corn tortillas in the microwave.

Depending on the corn tortilla, it may have lard or not. If it does and the tortilla isn’t warm, the lard can’t bind the tortilla, promoting its fragile mass.

In addition, the microwave is a good way to heat the tortillas, yet not the best. The fact that microwave oven uses microwaves, they first heat the water molecules on food. This makes some of the water evaporate from the tortillas, potentially making them dry. And as we have learned so far, dry tortillas fall apart easily.

How Long to Microwave Corn Tortillas?

I don’t know about you, but I always store my tortillas in the fridge if the package is already opened. Heck, I want them to be warm and toasty if they come from room temperature. That being said, how long should you microwave corn tortillas?

You should microwave corn tortillas for 30 seconds, the perfect time to heat and steam the tortilla. Too short microwaving won’t make the tortilla warm enough, limiting its stretchiness which causes it to break easier. Microwaving too long evaporates the water molecules, drying out the tortilla.

Note that the 30-second rule is for tortillas alone on the plate. You can generally microwave three tortillas at once without stacking them over each other. If you want to warm corn tortillas stacked, I’d microwave them for 1 minute as it takes more energy to warm them up.

Related: Why Are Restaurant Burritos Better Than Home Made?

How To Separate Tortillas From Eachother?

If you want to avoid grievances about ruined tortillas that have stuck together, you can. However, you need to know the ins and outs of keeping your corn tortillas from sticking together. Let’s take a closer look.

You can separate tortillas from each other by sprinkling drops of water on them and heating them in a microwave or wrapping them on foil and heating them in an oven. Alternatively, you can freeze the tortillas and try to separate them then, or wave the stack up and down to loosen them up.

As you can see, there are many methods to unstuck your tortillas. Let’s look at each method and how to do them!

  1. Microwave: Sprinkle drops of water on top of the tortilla stack and heat the tortillas in 10-second increments. After every 10 seconds, try to separate them. If they’re still stuck, repeat the process.
  2. Oven: Heat the over, wrap the tortillas in foil, and bake the tortillas until warm. Remove the foil and see whether the tortillas have loosened up from each other.
  3. Wave: My favorite method is to grab the stack of tortillas lightly from each side and wave them up and down. This should gently loosen up the tortillas from each other. You can do this method after using the microwave, for example.
  4. Freeze: By freezing the tortillas, you will freeze the water molecules. This should make removing them from each other easier when they have melted from the maximum frost. However, be careful as you can easily break tortillas that are frozen hard.

A stack of tortillas stuck to each other is a pain in the day, but it can be solved by any methods above. Note that if the tortillas are too stuck, you should return them to the store as that’s a damaged product.

Read Also: How To Keep Restaurant Tortilla Chips Fresh? Amazing Life Hacks

Here You’ll Find My Favorite Kitchen Equipment.

Thanks for reading this article! I hope that it brought you real value that you can benefit from in your personal life! Here is my top kitchen equipment that I seriously couldn’t live without, and I think they could ease your life as well as they do mine.

  • Knife set: As a chef, I can’t stand dull, poor-quality knives without any design. My absolute favorite kitchen knife set is the Gangshan 3-Piece Knife Set. It comes with a handcrafted 8″ chef’s knife and a 3.5″ paring knife. What I love even more than these flawless knives is the walnut knife block which is incredible and unique.
  • Skillet: In addition to knives and my unwillingness to bargain with its quality is the cookware. My favorite skillet is Le Creuset Enameled Cast Iron Skillet. This particular skillet is 9″ in size, it is heavy, it gets very hot, which is what is required to get a good sear, and it is just beautiful, as are all Le Creuset products. Le Creuset doesn’t need an introduction as a brand, as it is one of the world’s rated brands.
  • Food processor: I remember when I hadn’t a food processor at home. It wasn’t easy! But now, when I use my Ninja BN601 Food Processor, I can make anything super fast, which saves me many hours per week. This food processor has 1000 watts of power and four options, including chopping, slicing, dough, and purees. I also like the middle-sized 9cup (2.1l) bowl as it is big enough yet not too big to look unfitting in my kitchen.
  • Tweezers: Dalstrong Professional Cooking Tweezers are like tongs but much more elegant, thin, and easy to use. They are great for virtually anything, but flipping, turning, and grabbing with them is easy and makes cooking much more fun! These Dalstrgon tongs are titanium coated and very durable. Also, I like the black color instead of the everyday steel.

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Omar Abdalla

I’m the owner of JRS. While I love writing about food, I also enjoy peaceful and relaxed cookouts at home.

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