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The Best Tortilla Presses

We made more than a hundred corn tortillas to answer a pressing question: Which press is best?


Published Aug. 19, 2021. Appears in Cook's Country TV Season 15: Old New Mexico

See Everything We Tested

What You Need To Know

A good tortilla press should do most of the work for you, cranking out consistently sized corn tortillas every time—without requiring too much elbow grease. Our winning model, the Doña Rosa x Masienda Tortilla Press, combines heft with a thoughtful design that makes it easy to apply steady, even pressure and form perfect tortillas. We also loved the less expensive Victoria 8" Tortilla Press, which offers wide plates that prevent dough from squeezing out the sides and a compact size that makes for easy storage. 

What You Need to Know 

People have been making corn tortillas by hand for millennia, but tortilla presses, or tortilladoras, were patented in the early 20th century to standardize and streamline tortilla making. These simple devices generally consist of two flat plates that are joined by a hinge and a handle. The plates can be made from metal, wood, or even plastic. The top plates of most presses feature a raised ridge that acts as a fulcrum when the handle is pressed down, helping distribute the weight evenly across the entire top plate. To press a tortilla, you place a ball of masa on the bottom plate and then push down on the top plate, using the handle to apply even pressure. 

What makes a good tortilla press? We spoke to Lesley Téllez, a Mexican American recipe developer, journalist, and cookbook author, about what qualities she looks for in a press, and we kept an eye out for them in our testing. The most important factor she identified was weight; she recommended a press with enough weight to produce an evenly thin tortilla. She also recommended paying attention to the size of the press: Larger presses provide more sizing options when making tortillas. Bearing these tips in mind as we started testing, we soon learned that not all presses are created equal. 

What to Look For

  • Heavy Metal or Wood: We got the best results from the heavier presses in our lineup, which were made from cast iron, steel, or wood. You don’t need to use as much force when working with a heavier press because the weight of the top plate does the work for you. 
  • Wide Plates: We preferred models with plates that were at least 8 inches wide, but the wider, the better. Wider plates allowed the tortillas to spread evenly without threatening to ooze out the sides. We used the presses to make 5.5-inch corn tortillas, but we appreciated having the option to make larger tortillas. Models with wider plates also kept the dough balls in place as we pressed; on these models, the distances from the hinges to the centers of the bottom plates are longer, so the top plates approach the dough balls from the top as the pressing starts, ...

Everything We Tested

Good : 3 stars out of 3.Fair : 2 stars out of 3.Poor : 1 stars out of 3.
*All products reviewed by America’s Test Kitchen are independently chosen, researched, and reviewed by our editors. We buy products for testing at retail locations and do not accept unsolicited samples for testing. We list suggested sources for recommended products as a convenience to our readers but do not endorse specific retailers. When you choose to purchase our editorial recommendations from the links we provide, we may earn an affiliate commission. Prices are subject to change.
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Reviews you can trust

Reviews you can trust

The mission of America’s Test Kitchen Reviews is to find the best equipment and ingredients for the home cook through rigorous, hands-on testing. We stand behind our winners so much that we even put our seal of approval on them.

Chase Brightwell

Chase is an associate editor for ATK Reviews. He's an epidemiologist-turned-equipment tester and biscuit enthusiast.