The Best Mexican Cooking Tools & Utensils for Home
Mexican cuisine is celebrated globally for its bold and mouth-watering flavors, but the secret to authentic Mexican cooking extends beyond top-notch ingredients; it’s also about having the proper tools.
This blog explores essential Mexican cooking utensils and equipment to help eager home cooks elevate their culinary creations.
Here are the top 6 cooking utensils for mexican food at home:
Making tortillas from scratch is an art, often requiring essential Mexican cooking utensils like the comal or tortilladora to streamline the process. The tortilladora (tortilla press) consists of two flat, round plates, often made of wood or metal, hinged together.
To use a tortilladora, a small ball of masa (corn dough) or wheat dough is placed between the plates and pressed quickly. This flattens the dough into a thin, round shape, ready for cooking on a griddle.
The tortilla press is designed to be sturdy and weighty. It makes creating thin tortillas, flatbreads, quesadillas, plantain tombstones, and empanadas easier while keeping the results delicious and consistent.
A comal is characterized by its thin, flat griddle design, featuring a small rim around the edge. Traditionally, comales were crafted from materials like cast iron or clay, but contemporary versions come in steel with nonstick finishes.
The classic comal is typically round, but square and rectangular versions are now available. They’re designed to conveniently span over two stove burners simultaneously and adapt to various cooking needs.
A comal is ideal for preparing and reheating tortillas, empanadas and baked tortilla chips. It’s also used to dry-roast salsa ingredients like onions, garlic, tomatoes and chilies.
3. Vaporera Para Tamales
A vaporera para tamales is one of the Mexican cooking tools necessary for preparing tamales. It’s a stockpot with a fitted lid and a dedicated steam rack specifically crafted for batch recipes.
Tamales are an iconic part of Mexican cuisine, frequently taking center stage during family gatherings and holiday celebrations. Friends and family members eagerly prepare multiple batches of tamales, which involves spreading, filling, wrapping and steaming these scrumptious treats.
Tamales consist of masa, a dough made from corn, lard, or shortening and a flavorful filling often made from seasoned meat (such as pork or chicken), cheese, vegetables, or chiles. These ingredients are enclosed in a corn husk or banana leaf, creating a convenient, natural wrapper that adds a distinct flavor to the dish during the steaming process.
Beyond its role in tamale-making, it’s used to cook soups and stews and steam and boil vegetables and seafood.
- A molcajete is the secret to perfectly flavored salsas, dips and pastes. This three-legged bowl, paired with a pestle, the texolotl, is used to grind and pulverize spices.
The term “Molcajete” originates from the Nahuatl words “Molli” (seasoning or sauce) and “Caxitl” (bowl). It’s one of the most important Mexican cooking tools and is fashioned from porous stone or glazed earthenware. A traditional molcajete is made from volcanic rock and needs to be cured by grinding garlic with salt and water to enhance its durability and remove sand or dirt.
The molcajete is the go-to for guacamole and hummus preparation. It can crush various ingredients, including seeds, nuts, garlic and basil leaves. It’s also a popular choice for salsa-making because it imparts a distinctive texture and flavor to the final product.
5. Clay Pots and Pans
No traditional Mexican kitchen is complete without clay pots and pans. These versatile Mexican cooking tools are used to simmer beans and prepare rice, moles and guisados.
Clay pots and pans are perfect for cooking large batches. They seamlessly transition from stovetop to oven, withstanding high temperatures, making them ideal for baking bread and all-day cooking over an open flame. The even heat distribution of clay ensures a slow and gentle cooking process, elevating the vibrant flavors of various dishes.
6. Wooden Spoons and Spatulas
Mexican cooking utensils crafted from wood offer excellent grip. They’re suitable for stirring complex and thick sauces of dishes like mole, ensuring a smooth and consistent texture. Wooden spatulas are also perfect for stir-frying vegetables and stirring soups and stews. They’re sturdy and gentle on cookware, ensuring they won’t melt or cause damage.
Wooden Mexican cooking utensils are available in various shapes and sizes. They’re effective for scraping pan bottoms gently when sautéing and browning ingredients.
Savor Authentic Mexican Cuisine at Benito’s Restaurant
Craving authentic Mexican cuisine and don’t want to travel too far? Head to Benito’s Restaurant in Fort Worth. Since 1981, Benito’s has served customers with delectable, made-from-scratch dishes such as tacos, tamales, enchiladas, beef and chicken fajitas, pico de gallo, fresh guacamole and margaritas.
Best-sellers at Benito’s include chile rellenos, milanesa and the tamale oaxaqueño (a tamale wrapped in a banana leaf). Enjoy delicious main entrees with homemade tortilla soup. Benito’s takes pride in offering generous servings that leave customers satisfied.
Benito’s Restaurant is open seven days a week on Magnolia Street. Browse the menu here or reach out at (817) 332-8633 for bookings and inquiries.