Unstick my tortillas
August 18, 2005 5:18 PM   Subscribe

How do I stop my tortillas from sticking together? I keep them in the freezer since I only use them occasionally. When I thaw them out, they are sometimes glued together and impossible to separate without making holes in them. Is this preventable? Is there a way to unstick them? If I can't freeze them, how long will tortillas keep in the fridge?
posted by Could it be, El Guapo ... to Food & Drink (13 answers total)
put plastic wrap between the tortillas before you freeze them.
posted by signal at 5:19 PM on August 18, 2005

Plastic wrap sounds like a lot of buggering around, IMO.

The tortillas we purchase come in a heavy-duty ziploc pouch. We toss them immediately into the freezer when we get home from shopping, and they are placed as flat as possible. When we use them, we have them out of the freezer for however long it takes to peel them carefully apart and warm them in the frypan. Then we fire them back into the fridge.

They seldom stick so badly as to tear. They do sometimes stick enough that they need a minute in the pan to warm them up to the point where they'll peel apart.

The trick, IMO, is that they need to be kept from becoming moist. That means freezing them quick, and not leaving them out when you're using them.

posted by five fresh fish at 5:35 PM on August 18, 2005

Best answer: How long does it take you to use them? I find the only thing that keeps them from doing this is to keep them at room temperature. They last much longer than you'd think. And I've tried a wide variety of brands. I keep them around for two or three weeks and have never seen a speck of mold and have never noticed any changes in taste.
posted by miniape at 5:50 PM on August 18, 2005

Use waxed paper between each one - take them out of the bag, tear several pieces of waxed paper, re-stack, rebag in a freezer bag, and don't set anything on top of them. Also if you use a microwave to unthaw them, they are much more likely to stick - use a pan or just sit them out for a while.

But I keep flour tortilla in the baggie, in the veggie/fruit compartment of my fridge and they last at least a weeks.
posted by LadyBonita at 6:04 PM on August 18, 2005

I have exactly the same problem, and I put some greaseproof paper between them once I've opened the packet.

We'd use two from a pack of 6 or 10 a week, so they've got to go in the freezer.

I don't have enough time to let them defrost when I get home from work, and I cant microwave them all together, that doesn't work, so I have to use paper.

There's one brand in my supermarket that puts bits of paper between the tortillas, but unfortunately they're only an intermittent supplier.
posted by wilful at 6:07 PM on August 18, 2005

I keep mine in the freezer as well, I like to have them around, but only go through a package a month.

I put a piece of parchment paper between every two tortillas, because I almost always eat them in pairs, and putting the two stuck together ones on the frying pan causes them to unstick.

I avoid wax paper, I find it tends to leave bits of wax on frozen stuff. I'm not big on eating candles.
posted by Marky at 6:25 PM on August 18, 2005

Unless you either a) put some kind of paper between them (I dunno what you'd call it...when I worked at a pizza joint, all our dough had paper between each piece of dough and there was no problem after being frozen. I know it wasn't wax paper) or b) warm up the entire stack (microwave works) and then refreeze them (once again, the place I worked at had a tortilla station...if they were frozen, we ran into your problem so we just nuked em' till they were a little bit warm and problem solved).
posted by jmd82 at 6:38 PM on August 18, 2005

Thirding (fourthing? I lost track) the wax paper. This is what wax paper is for!
posted by mendel at 6:42 PM on August 18, 2005

Wax Paper.
posted by dobbs at 6:48 PM on August 18, 2005

I keep corn tortillas in the freezer. The trick to not having these stick is to separate them with a knife blade immediately after removing them from the freezer. Just slide the blade into a crevice between the top and the second tortilla, give a slight twist, and pop! Off they come one by one. This must be done before they start to thaw, or they do stick. So separate first, thaw after.

I've never tried it with flour tortillas. They're gummier in general, so I'm not sure my strategy will work. WOrth a try, though.
posted by Miko at 7:15 PM on August 18, 2005

Best answer: I think sometimes the tortillas are stuck together when you buy them. Freezing doesn't seem to have an effect on that. I pick through the packages at the store to find ones that don't seem to be stuck together. You can tell by bending the package around whether they're sticky. Also, drier, thinner brands of tortillas stick less than the fluffy, thicker ones.
posted by donnagirl at 7:25 PM on August 18, 2005

It may also help to store them vertically when they're frozen, rather than horizontally. I don't generally have any problem with them sticking, and I don't stick anything between them.
posted by NYCnosh at 8:57 PM on August 18, 2005

Best answer: Just leave 'em at room temperature. Unless a stray mold spore gets in, they'll keep for weeks.
posted by ikkyu2 at 11:16 PM on August 18, 2005

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