How to Thaw Frozen Tortillas

Ever had a warm, fluffy tortilla for a taco or burrito? Nothing quite beats a good tortilla, especially when it’s supportive enough to hold food without falling apart. Tortillas are the basis for a great meal.

Tortillas can also be a bit sensitive to temperature changes. Tortillas are ready frozen and also fairly easy to thaw, so long as you are giving the round discs a bit of attention to keep them from drying.

Frozen tortillas can be thawed back from frozen discs in your freezer to a soft circle. You just need some time to get them just the way you like. Thawing involves using the refrigerator and potentially microwave. Another option, and possibly the best one, is a toaster.

The best way to freezer – preparation

Freeze tortillas in the original packaging or a freezer safe bag. Removing stale air from the bag or original packaging will also help in keeping the tortilla in good shape.

Thawing frozen tortillas by leaving them out

Since tortillas do not have meat in them, the simplest way to let them thaw to their original state is simply leaving them out. Leaving tortillas out is not harmful to the ingredients inside 

  1. Remove the frozen tortillas from the freezer
  2. You don’t need to take them out of the container or bag. You have the option of removing them from the container or bag, but they could also dry out faster if left out.
  3. Let them sit. This could take a few hours to get tortillas down to room temperature, but it also 
  4. When the tortillas start feeling more flexible and become room temperature, you can take them out of the bag or container.

Thawing in the toaster

Got a toaster? Many of us do for pop tarts and bread.Thawing in the toaster is the best way to thaw your tortillas if they are frozen and you need them more quickly. Note that this works more for smaller tortillas and not the large, round tortillas more commonly used in burritos.

  1. Get two tortillas and place them in the toaster slot like bread. Having two together will help them keep each other moist
  2. Put the toaster on the lowest setting at first.
  3. Start the toaster. 
  4. Observe the tortillas. The toaster is unlikely to product the heat to burn a frozen tortilla, but keep an eye to ensure they aren’t crumbling.
  5. Once the toaster tops, check to see if they are warm and moist enough
  6. You can repeat the process if they aren’t quite to your liking.

Thawing frozen tortillas in the microwave

Don’t have a toaster? It’s entirely possible to leave your tortillas out for a while and throw them in the microwave. You could also start with the microwave instead. It’s up to how fast you need them.

Microwaves are well known for being able to heat up food faster. One trade off of heating up food quickly is the potential to dry it out.

  1. Place some frozen tortillas on a microwave safe plate
  2. Put a damp paper towel over the tortillas to ensure they don’t lose too much moisture. This step is also entirely optional.
  3. Put the microwave safe plate and fortillas in the microwave
  4. We would suggest starting at 30 seconds or less on half power. The purpose of this is to slow the microwave down because it can heat up quickly.
  5. Run the microwave, then check to see if the tortillas are thawed the way you’d like.
  6. Repeat the process, probably using less time than before.

Thawing frozen tortillas in the fridge

Like thawing meat, frozen tortillas can readily be thawed in the fridge. The process isn’t all that different from freezing and just takes time.

  1. Place the bag or container of frozen tortillas in the refrigerator. Ensure that air can’t get into the container or bag.
  2. Thawing to your liking might take a day. The freezer is likely only a few degrees cooler than your freezer.
  3. Since thawing will be slower, consider trying to bend or fold the tortillas to see if they are thawed enough. If not, put them back in.

The fridge does have certain advantages. So long as you remember to check your tortillas again, this is about the slowest and most controlled method available. The fridge should also keep your tortillas moist so long as you keep the bag sealed.

Do I need to thaw tortillas?

Thawing tortillas does help keep them from drying out. If you are planning to make a meal involving baking tortillas, you might not need to thaw them though adding cook time could help.

If you are making tacos or other dishes that involve flexible tortillas, then thawing them is essential to avoid biting into a frozen disc.

Corn or Flour – does it matter?

Corn and flour tortillas look a bit different. Flour tortillas tend to be white or close to it. Corn tortillas are made from various kinds of corn and can be a large variety of colors though they are most often yellow.

They don’t tend to have different requirements for thawing. Any of the above methods done correctly will maintain their original flavor and texture.

Conclusion

Tortillas make for amazingly flexible pieces of any dish. Upon thawing, you can use them to hold meat and veggies for a taco or burrito. Thawing is easy and simple involves removing the tortillas from a source of cold.

The next best thing you can do for a tortilla to thaw is use the toaster. The toaster works relatively quickly without much of the risk of burning or drying tortillas out. Most households also already have one.

Other alternatives including simply using the microwave with a little extra care, or leaving them on the countertop for a while – or even the fridge.

Once thawed, use them to make a great taco or burrito. The original texture and taste should be maintained, too.