The difference between burritos at restaurants and home is usually drastic, but no one seems to know why. I am asked this question constantly, so I decided to explain this once and for all.
In this article, I’ll teach how to make a restaurant-worthy burrito at home, do and don’ts on the process, and additional tips on making things more easy, enjoyable, and tasty! Before I get ahead of myself, why are restaurant burritos better than homemade?
Restaurant burritos are better than homemade because of the tortilla, stuffing, spices, and technique. Restaurants use thin, large, and fatty tortillas made from flour. Proper ingredients are protein, fat, extras, and sauce but not rice. Finally, tortilla bread is heated before wrapping and seasoned well.
That’s the short and simple answer to the fact but true nonetheless. Now, if you truly want to understand why restaurant burritos are so good compared to homemade, you need to stick with me when I explain how restaurants prepare them so you can compare the process to your own. Let’s get started with the tortilla bread!
Read also: Why Is Restaurant Food So High In Calories?
Everything starts from the tortilla bread, and it’s the most crucial part of the burrito. In most cases, restaurant tortilla bread is made from flour because they are stretchy, and it won’t break at the slightest turn and pull.
Also, a proper tortilla bread is quite fatty; this is because it won’t crack easily when heated, and as a bonus, they taste better!
The final crucial part of getting right is that they need to be large and thin. Usually, the larger and thinner, the better. You don’t need to be concerned about buying too thin bread because, after all, they are meant to be prepared!
Another big part of getting a tasty and well-built burrito is to warm the bread before assembling and rolling it to the burrito. You need to be careful here because if you underdo it, it can tear when you assemble the burrito; however, if you underdo it, it can crack because it has become too crispy. Pro-tip; you can use cheese to monitor the bread’s warmth, and if it starts to melt slowly, it is usually good to go!
Recommended tortilla bread for burritos: Maria & Ricardo’s White Flour TortillasThey check all the boxes for a good burrito!
The next step to the tortilla building is ingredients! Basically, you can fill your tortilla with whatever you want. If you have the right tortilla bread, you can’t get wrong in terms of the texture. However, I wouldn’t recommend using rice in any circumstances, which is already known to most chefs. Nonetheless, it might not be known all and certainly not for many home cooks out there.
Rice is a bad ingredient for a burrito for many reasons, and you can guess this by thinking about why many schools and similar places have their tortillas filled with rice. Just because of that, it’s a filler! Also, rice will dull the taste like you wouldn’t believe; it adds unnecessary calories, and the texture will be mushy and a mess. Let’s see what you should fill your tortilla with!
On the other hand, if you enjoy rice in a burrito and want some extra calories and fillings, there is no harm in using some, but it lowers the quality in most cases when it comes to restaurants.
Protein should be part of most meals, and it is probably the one that is monitored the closest when a customer or yourself are ordering a dish. Great meats for a burrito are beef, chicken, and pulled pork. There are even shrimp burritos out there that I haven’t tasted, but I can imagine they can be tasty.
For the vegans and vegetarians out there, you haven’t certainly been forgotten! Proteins such as oumph, tempeh, black beans, soy, chickpeas, lentils, and even tofu in some cases.
Now, let’s move on to acids which usually comes in the form of sauces!
A proper burrito can’t go without some acidity in it. Therefore, you need to add some in the form of salsa, Pico De Gallo, pickled fruits, or something special and spicy from their Mexican kitchens!
These will really give the taste which will enhance the already added ingredients and give some of their own.
Next up, fats! Every burrito needs some healthy or not so healthy fasts, whatever the burrito chef desires. Some great examples of fats to use in a burrito are Cheese, Guacamole or Avocados, Crème Fraiche, Sour Creme, or anything you can come up with. For vegan burrito lovers, there are substitutes for all of these, and you are probably familiar with avocados and guacamole already!
This is where things get interesting and unique. When the protein, sauce, and fats are added, the only thing left to do is to customize the rest of the ingredients as you see fit! Below you can find a great list that includes some of my personal favorites and some that I have yet to try but are popular among other burrito lovers.
- Bell pepper
- Sweet potato
- Feta cheese
I’m certain that there are more, but I bet these will get you started and perhaps beyond. Now, let’s move on to seasoning, which is crucial to making the burrito tasty!
When it comes to the seasoning of a burrito, it’s essential to get it right; however, seasoning a burrito doesn’t need to be complicated. Great spices for a burrito are obviously salt and pepper, taco mix, fajita seasoning, chili powder, cajun seasoning, and Mexican seasoning.
There is a wide variety of these out there, but as a general rule of thumb, the mentioned are just great for burritos!
When it comes to fresh spices, there are three clearly above the rest. Chili, Garlic, and sometimes Ginger will do wonders to the tastebuds. Also, some acidic lime juice won’t hurt either!
Read also: Can You Become a Self-Taught Chef?
Now, when you have a warm tortilla bread where you have assembled all your favorite ingredients and spices, it’s time to wrap it up and check out some other tips that will be cherry on top of the cake.
First things first, when you wrap a burrito, it’s essential that it is tight! Don’t be afraid of wrapping it, and yes, the first times may be hard, but it will become effortless in no time, but you need to learn to do it tight.
This is how you wrap a burrito:
- Add ingredients in the middle of the tortilla bread
- Start by folding the two sides over the fillings
- Next, fold in the bottom and roll it tightly until it’s a burrito
- Wrap into the tin foil to tighten the burrito
After it looks like the traditional burrito, you can fry both sides on a pan making the tortilla bread nice and toasted! You should do 1-2 minutes per side, so the bread’s color is beautifully golden.
After these steps, it’s time to bring in the foil! Place the burrito o top of a thin foil piece (no worries if it is too big) and wrap it tightly. Afterwards, you can tear the excess foil so it can be actually eaten. There are many benefits of wrapping the burrito in a foil, such as it prevents drips and spillage, keeps the burrito warm, and steams the bread, which makes it enjoyable chewy and the way it needs to be!
That’s really it, and in most cases, there isn’t much more to it. Now compare these steps into your burrito cookouts at home and see whether you see a difference? If so, try these steps and see your burrito skills rising to another level!
What tortillas do restaurants use for burritos
Generally, flour tortillas that are fatty, large, and thin are found in most restaurants. Flour tortillas are stretchy, making them easy to fold without tears, fat protects the tortilla from cracking in high temperatures, large tortillas are easy to fold, and thin ones leave room for the ingredients.
How much should I fill a burrito
As a general rule, you should fill the tortilla around half its surface area to wrap it quite easily, yet enough that it will make a tight package. Use an eye for this as well because if the ingredient pile is high but not spread out, it can be the same amount as widely spread but thin layer.
As we can see, the difference between a restaurant and home tortillas can be vast. In the end, it all comes down to the tortilla bread, ingredients, seasoning, and technique, so hone those skills at home, and soon you can create restaurant-worthy burritos at home!
I hope that this article was helpful to you and you got some pointers that you can implement into your life where you can get pleasure for your tastebuds! Keep cooking!