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August/September 2014

Tortilla Warmers

Could these products keep tortillas warm longer than simply wrapping tortillas in aluminum foil and heating them in the oven?

How We Tested

Tortilla warmers promise to keep tortillas warm longer than wrapping them in a dish towel or aluminum foil. We already have a handy method for warming tortillas that keeps them hot for about 30 minutes: Wrap stacks of six tortillas in foil and heat them in a 350-degree oven for 5 minutes—is a warmer worth buying to do the same task?

To find out, we gathered five models, priced from around $6 to $45, made from a variety of materials, including plastic, fabric, terra-cotta, and ceramic. Some go in just the microwave and some work in both the microwave and oven; all can be loaded with preheated tortillas (if you make homemade or want to toast them first). We tested the warmers with a range of tortillas, from 6-inch corn to 10-inch flour burrito wraps, to see how many different kinds and sizes of tortillas fit in them. Then we heated each warmer loaded with six tortillas, plopped the warmers on the counter, and waited for the tortillas to cool, checking every 20 minutes for flavor, texture, and temperature.

None of the warmers affected tortilla flavor, but cooling times were a different story. The two plastic warmers were the first to chill, in about 20 minutes; their thin sides did little to retain heat. Next, the foil packet cooled at 45 minutes. Both the terra-cotta and ceramic warmers beat the foil packet, lasting 50 minutes and 1 hour, respectively, but any longer and the tortillas turned dry or soggy.

One model remained: the fabric warmer, which resembles a Technicolor pita pocket. After the fabric warmer spent 30 seconds in the microwave, impressed testers watched the clock until its tortillas finally chilled to lukewarm, an hour and a half later. The secret is its layered sides: Two layers of fabric sandwich a sheet of plastic; the plastic and outer layer of fabric insulate, and the internal layer of fabric wicks away moisture from the tortillas but holds it nearby, creating a warm, moist environment that kept them hot, soft, and pliable.

To top it off, this warmer was the only one with clear cooking instructions (printed directly on its side). At 12 inches it fit 30 tortillas, enough for a fiesta, and was the only warmer large enough to fit 10-inch burrito-size wraps. Our winner is inexpensive; it works in the microwave and can be tossed right in the washing machine with your oven mitts. Aluminum foil works fine for less than 30 minutes, but our winning warmer keeps tortillas hot and pliable three times longer, so you can prep the rest of dinner, or better yet, mix a margarita.

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The Results

Note: Cook's Country continuously updates our equipment reviews and taste tests. The written content below is the most up-to-date information available and may not match what appears in the video segment.

Key:
Good
Fair
Poor
Winner
Highly Recommended

Imusa 12" Cloth Tortilla Warmer

$19.99*

Imusa 12" Cloth Tortilla Warmer

After a 30-second stint in the microwave, this brightly colored fabric warmer kept tortillas hot for just shy of an hour and a half and fit even the largest wraps. It looks like a circular pocket and has triple layered sides with two layers of fabric sandwiching a sheet of insulating plastic; the fabric wicks moisture from the tortillas but holds it close, so they stay soft and pliable, not soggy.

More Details
Heat Retention
Tortilla Compatibility
$19.99*
Recommended

RSVP International Stoneware Tortilla Warmer, 10 Inch

$44.95*

RSVP International Stoneware Tortilla Warmer, 10 Inch

This attractive ceramic warmer would dress up any table and kept tortillas warm for an hour, surpassing the foil packet. longer and testers noted dry tortillas at the top of the stack and soggy ones on the bottom. It fit tortillas 9 1/2 inches wide and smaller and is large enough to be used for pancakes and other flatbreads, too.

More Details
Heat Retention
Tortilla Compatibility
$44.95*
Recommended with Reservations

Fox Run Tortilla Warmer

$21.58*

Fox Run Tortilla Warmer

This warmer beat our aluminum foil method, keeping tortillas warm for 50 minutes, and we like that it’s an attractive serving dish. At an hour, however, its lukewarm tortillas began to harden at the top and become mushy on the bottom; it fits tortillas 8 inches or less across.

More Details
Heat Retention
Tortilla Compatibility
$21.58*
Not Recommended

Nordic Ware Microwave Safe Tortilla Warmer

$7.97*

Nordic Ware Microwave Safe Tortilla Warmer

Tortillas zapped in this warmer for 30 seconds were lukewarm at 20 minutes; when we upped the time to the recommended maximum—45 seconds—they were lukewarm at 40 minutes, but soggy on the bottom. And even though the warmer is 10 inches across, its thicker sides meant anything bigger than 9 1/2 inches didn’t fit.

More Details
Heat Retention
Tortilla Compatibility
$7.97*

Imusa 8" Tortilla Warmer

$5.99*

Imusa 8" Tortilla Warmer

Tortillas microwaved in this warmer for 30 seconds were lukewarm in 20 minutes; when we upped the time to the recommended maximum—60 seconds—they were lukewarm at 40 minutes, but unevenly cooked: dry on the top and soggy on the bottom—not worth the trouble. Also, tortillas wider than 8 inches didn’t fit.

More Details
Heat Retention
Tortilla Compatibility
$5.99*

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