How to Steam Flour Tortillas

by Brynne Chandler

Flour tortillas are made from a simple dough consisting of flour, water, shortening and salt, though many modern recipes also call for baking powder. Fresh flour tortillas have a silky fineness that it is impossible to mass produce, making most store-bought flour tortillas seem tough in comparison. Steaming flour tortillas returns a bit of that fresh softness, but use care to not overdo it or the tortillas can dry out or turn mushy.

Steam tortillas on your stove top by rolling a stack of six to 12 tortillas in a clean dish towel. Set the roll in a steamer tray over boiling water. Cover the pot and heat the tortillas for 1 minute. Remove the rolled tortillas from the steamer with tongs, but do not unroll the towel for 15 to 20 minutes.

Microwave-steam your flour tortillas by layering them between damp paper towels. Microwave a stack of no more than six for 45 seconds on high if you have an 1100-watt microwave and 1 minute for a less-powerful oven.

Oven-steam flour tortillas by preheating your oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit. Roll a stack of tortillas in a clean, damp dish towel and place it in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes.

Grill-steam flour tortillas by layering them between damp paper towels and rolling them in a thick sheet of aluminum foil. Completely encase the tortillas and the paper towels in the foil so that no stray edges peek out. Place the foil roll onto a hot grill and let it sit for 15 to 20 minutes, turning it occasionally with tongs to help the tortillas heat evenly.

Items you will need

  • Dish towels
  • Steamer tray
  • Pot with lid
  • Paper towels
  • Aluminum foil
  • Tongs


  • Microwave a clean, damp dish towel and place it over a platter of tortillas to keep them hot, soft and fresh during a meal.


  • Do not microwave flour tortillas without layering or rolling them in damp paper towels, or they may dry out.

About the Author

Brynne Chandler raised three children alone while travelling, remodeling old homes and enjoying a successful career writing TV Animation. Her passions include cooking, tinkering, decorating and muscle cars. Brynne has been writing fun and informative non-fiction articles for almost a decade.

Photo Credits

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