How to Defrost Tortillas (Step by step)


Tortillas on the table

Who doesn’t like some delicious tacos dipped in hot consommé? The hotter the better. But what if you end up with too many tortillas for your tacos? Now this is a first-world problem that needs an immediate solution. And the solution is simple; just freeze them. And now we come to the actual issue, which is: How to defrost tortillas.

Tortillas can be defrosted in a variety of ways, including allowing them to sit and defrost in the fridge for about 12 hours or overnight, microwaving, baking them in the oven, or warming and heating them on the stovetop or burner.

You can choose the one most convenient for you. But, you have to make sure you’re following the rules properly. I’ve also attached videos along with the description to make things a lot easier for you. So, let’s get on with it.

Different Ways to Defrost Your Tortilla

Depending on how much time you have and whatever manner you like, you can defrost many varieties of tortillas such as corn, flour, and wheat in numerous ways. I’ve included a few different methods for you to try out.

Thus, some of the best ways to thaw frozen tortillas without losing their taste, touch, or appearance are as follows:

Defrost tortilla using refrigerator

Here I’ve included step-by-step directions for the safest and easiest, albeit tedious, methods of defrosting tortillas. All you need here is your refrigerator.

Step 1: Place the tortilla that needs to be thawed on the fridge shelf in such a way that they do not touch.

Step 2: Allow for half a day of rest time, ideally overnight.

Step 3: Because they will still be chilly after defrosting, reheat or cook them again on the stove, in the oven, or the microwave.

Defrost tortillas using microwave

Microwaving tortillas to defrost them is the quickest way and takes only a minute. For your convenience, I’ve instructed the necessary steps as follows:

Step 1: Microwave 1 frozen or chilled tortilla by wrapping it in a damp towel to keep the moisture in. Repeat the same process for all of them. But make sure you’re handling them one by one.

Step 2: They will become mushy and sticky if defrosted in a stack, and the tortillas in the mid portion and below may retain moisture from those at the top. So don’t do that.

Step 3: Allow 30 seconds for the tortilla to thaw in the microwave on the “defrost” mode.

Step 4: To ensure that it is nice and warm on all sides, flip it halfway through.

Step 5: Check to verify if it has been completed. If not, give it another half minute in the microwave. 

And remember! The tortillas should not be microwaved for more than a minute. If you do, you’ll just find yourself with chewy tortillas. 

Defrost tortilla using an oven

Even though it is a method not commonly followed, defrosting tortillas in your oven is simple. After all, we already use the oven to cook frozen meals, so why not make proper use of it to defrost some delicious tortillas? For your convenience, I’ve included all the steps that you need to follow below:

Step 1: Get the oven preheated to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 2: Arrange the tortillas on an aluminum foil-lined baking pan, making sure they don’t pile or overlap.

Step 3: Allow them to cook for 15-20 minutes. Or you can make sure that they’re cooked until they soften.

But if you want them to be crispy so that you can break them up into little tortilla chips, leave them in a little longer.

Defrost tortilla using a stovetop

When you prepare tortillas at your humble abode, you almost certainly do so on the stovetop or burner. It may take much longer to thaw them from their frozen state than it does to cook new ones, but it gets the job done and is a terrific option. For your convenience, I’ve included a few steps for you to follow:

Step 1: Over medium heat, place a skillet to preheat. There is no need for oil.

Step 2: Heat the tortilla in the skillet for 20 to 30 seconds on two sides each.

Step 3: For a more realistic experience, heat the corn tortillas on the flame with tongs if they are stiffer and require drier heat.

Step 4: When they’re done, lay them on the side to cool down for a few minutes before serving.

Bonus Tip: If you’re freezing the tortillas yourself and don’t mind adding a little extra work upfront for subsequent convenience, I’d use waxed paper to separate the tortillas. I normally use the paper sheets that are already pre-waxed on one side. Those are generally intended for baking purposes. This gives me the option of pulling out one or two tortillas as needed.

What Is the Most Crucial Method for Defrosting Tortillas?

There will never be an ideal answer for these, as specific methods align with different users. So, what works for you might not work for someone else. Or it might not be as convenient. But if I had to pick one for myself, I’d choose to defrost my tortillas overnight in the refrigerator before I move on to reheat them in the oven or on the stovetop.

But if you’re pressed for time and can’t stand even a minute longer for the tortillas to defrost in the refrigerator, then you can also microwave them frozen. While it may not be the finest solution, it will be the quickest fix. But you need to understand that the result may not be of your standard. I, personally, avoid using the microwave to defrost my tortilla. It’s just not worth the effort.

If again, time is of the essence, use the cooktop or oven; however, you may use the microwave in that case as well. The microwave will always be my last resort because it is quite unappeasable, and that additional time spent may convert your tortillas from soft to chewy, hard, and rubbery.

So just use a stove instead. I’ve attached a video on how you can defrost and heat the tortilla on a stove which will be helpful when you try to do it yourself.

Can You Defrost Your Tortillas in Water?

No, this isn’t an effective way to defrost tortillas. Because they’re made of flour. Thus, they’ll just cling together if they come into contact with water. You may wonder whether the temperature of the waters plays a role here but no. This cannot be done with either warm or cold water. 

To defrost the tortillas, microwaves and freezers work well so do that using the instructions I’ve listed. 

Can You Use Your Toaster to Defrost Your Tortilla?

If you run out of all the other options then yes of course! You can also use a toaster to defrost the tortillas. That’s something many don’t think of. But I’ve tried it and the results seem great honestly. 

Now, when you’re using your toaster, you may defrost the tortillas in the same way that you toast the bread if you have the best kitchen aid toasters. This procedure takes a few seconds as well, when I tried it for myself.

So, if you’re short on time, you can use this method to defrost your tortillas. The tortillas come out soft and delicious thus you don’t have to worry about it being rubbery once you take it out of the toaster. I’ve attached the video below so that you can take a better look.

Chef Rooney

I like to cook. It makes me happy, and I know it does the same for others. If you ever want to learn how to make a great dish, just ask!

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