Warm flour tortillas taste light and floury. It can be as challenging to heat them. You can easily dry them out and quickly make them stale if you leave them in the oven too long. That said, the oven is usually the best way to warm your tortillas. However, there are steps we suggest you follow for the best results.
To warm flour tortillas in the oven:
- preheat the oven to medium heat
- dribble some water onto the cold tortillas
- place them into stacks of five on oven-safe dishes
- cover them in aluminum foil
- place in the oven for no more than 15 minutes
Let’s cover these steps in more detail so you can successfully warm flour tortillas in the oven without drying them out.
Warm Flour Tortillas
The oven is among the best options to warm cold flour tortillas. It allows you to warm large amounts of tortillas simultaneously, and they can be heated slowly and evenly to prevent the tortillas from drying out.
Some may recommend using an open flame to warm tortillas or a hot skillet, but the oven is the best, safest, and most effective method in our experience.
Let’s learn the steps for heating stacks of flour tortillas in the oven without letting them dry out or crack and retain their delicious flavor.
Step 1: Preheat The Oven
The first step for warming tortillas in an oven is to preheat the oven. This is an important step for even heating and can be done while you prepare for the next phase of the process.
The oven should be preheated to medium heat, between 250°F and 350°F, for the best results, and the oven should be allowed to reach that temperature before placing the tortillas in.
Heating the tortillas to a higher temperature may burn them, and placing them in the oven before it is hot will cause them to dry out as the oven reaches its target temperature.
Step 2: Moisten The Tortillas
Step two of the process should be done while the oven is preheating.
Apply moisture to the flour tortillas to ensure they do not dry out while warming. The best way to accomplish this is to brush some water onto the tortilla or use a damp paper towel to press moisture into them.
If you accidentally use too much water, simply press the tortillas between dry paper towels to remove the excess moisture.
Adding this moisture to the tortillas is essential to keep them soft and light and prevent them from becoming dry while they warm, and without it, the tortillas are sure to crack and tear when used.
Step 3: Stack The Tortillas
When the oven is preheated, and the tortillas are moistened, step three is to stack the tortillas in stacks of no more than five or six and place them into an oven-safe dish.
Heating stacks that are too large will result in only some of the tortillas being warmed well, while others remain cold, and some become dry very quickly.
Five or six tortillas per stack seem to be the optimum number, but you can warm as many stacks as will fit in your oven.
Step 4: Wrap The Tortillas
When the tortillas are stacked in their dishes, step four in the process is to wrap the tortillas or the dishes with aluminum foil.
Wrapping the tortillas in aluminum foil is a great way to keep the flatbreads from losing moisture and drying out while warming, and it will keep them moist while waiting to be served.
Simply wrap the foil around the tortillas completely, or wrap it over the top of the oven-safe dish to lock the moisture in.
Aluminum foil is the ideal option for this, as it will trap moisture when warming the tortillas, but it will not cause the flatbread to burn and will help heat the tortillas evenly.
Without the foil, the bread will likely burn, dry out, crack, or even stick together.
It is always essential to wrap flour tortillas in aluminum foil when heating them in the oven, or the entire process may fail and ruin the tortillas.
Step 5: Heat The Tortillas
The fifth and final step in the process is to heat the tortillas. Place the dishes with the aluminum-wrapped tortillas into the oven and space them as evenly as possible.
Do not adjust the temperature of the oven any higher than 350°, but try to control it to mitigate any burning or drying out.
This method works well, but it is critical not to leave the tortillas in the oven for too long, or they will steam under the foil, which will further cook the bread and cause it to go too soft or even soggy.
Be sure to never let the tortillas remain in the oven for longer than 15 minutes or until warmed through.
You can leave the tortillas in the oven dishes under the foil to keep them warm outside the oven, but removing them from the oven is crucial after no longer than 15 minutes of warming.
Remove the tortillas from the oven, keep them warm in the dishes, and serve them when ready. The tortillas will be hot, tasty, and kept as fresh as possible by warming them with this method.
Flour tortillas are delicious when warm but can be unusable if they are too cold. Using the oven to warm them is usually the best option, even if it does require a little more time than other methods.
Take your time when warming your tortillas in the oven, be careful not to burn them, and always do everything you can to keep them from drying out, or the process will ruin the tortillas entirely.