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Bring the heat, flair, and irresistible flavor of some classic Mexican dishes into your own home with the help of these Mexican cooking tools and gadgets, empowering you to bring to life an array of foods in the same or similar ways Mexicans have done for generations.
Whether it’s pressing tortillas with a soft and toothsome texture or grinding herbs and spices for salsas with a gloriously smooth texture that packs plenty of heat, these gadgets and equipment can aid in making your Mexican food more authentic and even more flavorful.
Kitchen Essentials for Popular Mexican Dishes
Tortilla Press (Tortilladora / Prensa Para Tortillas)
When it comes to authentic Mexican cooking, one of the best places to start is with homemade tortillas.
As is the case with many other foods, there is nothing wrong with buying store-bought, especially if you are pushed for time. But if you truly want to deliver delicately sweet tortillas with melt-in-mouth softness, get yourself a tortilla press like this one to make your own from handmade dough.
A cast iron press, like this one, gives you durability and a strong, firm press with its curved handle that won’t pinch the tortillas. Make tortillas with ease and precision with a piece of cookware that is built to last.
Tortilla Basket (Tortillero)
Once your tortillas have been pressed, serve them to the table in a gorgeous straw basket, like this one, to keep the tortillas warm and bring some authentic artisanal Mexico to the dinner table.
Tortilla Warmer Pouch
If you find that the tortillas you serve are often cold by the time everyone is plating up, you could consider a microwaveable, colorful fabric warmer pouch, like this one, to bring the tortillas in.
Complete with some stunningly vibrant Day of the Dead fabric art, this pouch can keep not only tortillas, but wraps, flatbreads, and plenty of other corn and flour-based bread products warm for longer. Everyone can plate up at a more leisurely pace and have more time for talking and enjoying their food hot.
Masa Hand Mill (Molinito)
If time isn’t an issue, and you really want to wow family, friends, and guests with Mexican food that delivers irresistible flavor, grinding corn in a cast iron hand mill to make masa, or maize dough, for your tortillas is as authentic as it gets.
Easy to adjust for fineness and durable with its cast iron construction, you can also use such a mill to grind anything, from seeds and spices for sauces, to coffee beans for your homemade brews.
An essential piece of cookware for so many Mexicans, a stainless steel comal like this one can be a true kitchen ally when making food for large numbers of people.
This convex comal allows you to warm up your tortillas or tacos in the middle while cooking your meats and vegetables around the sides, all at once.
Concave comals, where the cooking oil pools in the center, and flat comals are also common, and if you delve into the world of Mexican street food on your travels, you’ll likely come across vendors making cooking large numbers of tortillas, wraps, and tacos in one of these authentic pans.
Intriguing to watch, while allowing you to cook a large amount of food quickly and effectively, a comal should be on your shopping list if you’re entertaining a big group of people.
Cast Iron Fajita Set
A rustic cast iron fajita set, like this one, deals with both the cooking and serving of your fajita fillings in an effective, simple, and stylish way.
Cooking your meats, peppers, and vegetables in the oval cast iron skillet gives you both the appropriate heat distribution for evenly cooked ingredients, with an irresistible char and the space to accommodate a range of different fillings to feed a larger group of people.
The handle mitt means you can both cook and serve with the cast iron pan without burning your hand, and you can bring the pan to the dinner table using the red-stained wood base to protect your table.
With tongs or a serving spoon, your dinner guests can then serve themselves as much filling as they want, fresh from the searing heat of the pan.
Taco Molds (Moldes Para Tacos)
This is such an ingenious little gadget that can save you plenty of time and frustration in the kitchen.
By wrapping your corn or flour tortillas around this mold before you bake or fry them, you can achieve tacos with the perfect flat-bottom shell so that you and your guests can not only hold them with ease but absolutely load them with toppings!
Tamales Steamer (Vaporera)
Steaming food can become very challenging in the kitchen, especially if you don’t have the right equipment. However, the steaming process is integral when it comes to making one of Mexico’s most beloved traditional dishes, tamales, that date back to the Mesoamerican era.
A vaporera or steamer, such as this aluminum one, makes steaming food not only easier but also simple to monitor progress with its coordinating lid.
Tamales are just the tip of the iceberg. You can use this pot to steam so many foods, from seafood to chili, meaning it can quickly become an essential part of your cookware to steam large batches of food in both a healthy and truly delicious way.
Steaming food is a slow process, so if you have the patience, the ability to simply let the food be in a pot such as this one makes it far more manageable.
Masa Spreader for Tamales (Esparcidor de Masa Para Tamales)
Spreading your masa (dough) for tamales and plenty of other Mexican favorites can be really difficult with a spoon. It’s so difficult to achieve an even spread of masa for a tamale with a smooth and perfect consistency.
A masa spreader, like this one, is so simple to use and allows you to spread your dough evenly with minimal effort. Once done, you can rinse it and go again.
Empanada Press (Maquina / Prensa Para Hacer Empanadas)
Empanadas are perfect for serving at large gatherings or celebrations, and a stainless steel press, like this one, saves precious time and effort at each stage of the assembly.
Once you’ve rolled your dough, use the press to cut your empanada base, turn it, and let the base set. From there, you can add your filling, then quickly use the double-handed press to seal the empanada together.
Once released, you’ll have a tightly sealed empanada, with an iconic dome body, stuffed with filling, and a beautifully crimped edge. From there, your empanada is ready to be fried or baked.
This press can save you potentially hours of time, especially when preparing a large batch of empanadas. You can also use it for ravioli, dumplings, pies, and plenty of other sealed pastries.
Olla de Barro
Clay cookware has been used by used not only in Mexican cooking, but also in regions and empires all over the world for thousands of years.
There are no manmade toxins, and the porous texture of clay allows an even circulation of both heat and moisture through the food it surrounds. This makes for even-cooked, aromatic food that retains its nutrients and delivers superior flavor that other cookware simply cannot match up to.
An artisanal red clay olla de barro, like this one, with its gorgeous hand-painted design, can be a glorious centerpiece of your Mexican-themed evening.
Not only will it delight guests and bring some vibrant Mexican authenticity to your dinner table, but you can use it to cook not only beans, which is what it is traditionally used for, but also chili, casserole-style dishes, and so much more.
If you want a piece of Mexican cookware that can easily transcend into your everyday cooking in the kitchen, get yourself a beautifully hand-painted artisanal cazuela, like this one to deliver incredibly sumptuous flavor.
Made from natural clay, as with the olla de barro, you get the benefit of earthy, aromatic, and evenly slow-cooked dishes, which can be cooked over gas or electric stovetops, or in the oven.
With its double-handle design, allowing you to bring the dish straight to the table, an authentic cazuela will bring a fascinating and incredibly effective piece of ancient Mesoamerica to your humble abode.
Churro Maker (Churrera)
Once you have mixed your batter, simply choose your disc design, slot it into the gun, load your batter, and squeeze your churros out in a variety of different shapes.
Your gorgeous, authentic-looking churros can then be deep-fried, covered in plenty of sugar, and served with some gooey melted chocolate or sweet dipping sauce to the delight of everyone at the table.
Flan Mold (Flanera)
Maybe an indulgent, gooey-sweet flan, one of Latin America’s most beloved desserts, is the dessert you feel will light up everyone’s eyes at the dinner table?
If so, consider a robust flan mold, like this one, complete with a lid, to bake a sumptuously soft and irresistibly rich flan, coated with a glistening top layer of melted caramel, with ease and precision.
Wooden Chocolate Stirrer (Molinillo)
Another delicious dessert idea for your Mexican dinner party is a batch of authentic Mexican hot chocolate.
Order in traditional Mexican chocolate, and use a traditional molinillo, like this one, to stir and froth some dark, utterly indulgent Mexican hot chocolate, perfect for dipping churros, pastries, or treats in, or just sipping from an authentic glass.
Food Prep Tools and Gadgets
Mortar and Pestle (Molcajete)
At Nomad Paradise, we are huge advocates of at least trying traditional techniques in your cooking, and you’ll have noticed our trusted mortar and pestle crop up in plenty of our recipes.
As olive wood is to Mediterranean cooking, a volcanic rock mortar and pestle, or molcajete (like this one), is how natives of the region, dating back to the Mesoamerican era, have been griding up seeds, herbs, and spices for guacamole, salsa, and condiments for thousands of years.
The volcanic rock not only provides the solid base on which everything can be ground down to silky smoothness, but it also laces the food with an earthiness synonymous with Mexican cooking, producing a flavor unlike anywhere else on Earth.
Lemon / Lime / Citrus Squeezer (Exprimidor de Limón / Lima / Cítricos)
The zest of lemons, limes, and other citrus fruits is prolific in Mexican cuisine, and you’ll want to use fresh citrus fruits in your cooking to really maximize the flavor of your dishes.
A simple, durable citrus press, like this one, solves all the pain points of adding the juice of citrus fruits to foods. No seeds and pulp in the food, no juice stains squirting all over the kitchen, and no stings and burns from the juice in any small cuts you may have on your hands. Plus, it’s slim and compact enough to slot nicely into your utensil cabinet.
Jalapeno / Pepper Correr (Descorazonador de Pimienta / Jalapeño)
Another common ingredient you’ll no doubt be using in your Mexican cooking are peppers, particularly hot peppers.
A nifty multi-purpose corer, like this one, can make deseeding and coring all types of peppers so much simpler with its innovative ribbed scoop head. In addition, you can use the sharp, serrated edge to cut the peppers and chilis once deseeded.
Not only does this tool make the painstaking task of deseeding chilis and peppers much easier, it also minimizes skin contact with the chili or pepper. Especially if you have sensitive skin, working with particularly hot peppers can cause irritation and burns if you’re not careful.
To clean mortars, pans, and other cookware after preparing a hearty feast of Mexican food, you’re going to need something with far more grunt and durability than your typical scrubbers.
A handmade escobeta, like this one, is how Mexicans have been cleaning their cookware for centuries. It’s made from zacaton grass, and its stiff roots act as the perfect scouring brush to get those stubborn stains off your utensils.
Hand-Painted Ceramic Serving Dish (Plato de Cerámica Pintado a Mano)
Ideal for bringing a truly vibrant and authentic Mexican feel to the dinner table, a set of hand-painted ceramic serving dishes, like these, are perfect for serving your sides, appetizers, or sauces and condiments.
Especially for a large group of people, presenting the choice of different dips, sauces, or appetizers in a beautifully neat and organized way is one of the best ways to make sure everyone has something to their tastes.
Talavera pottery has been a huge part of Mexican cuisine for centuries, so in addition to its versatility, you’ll also be bringing a truly traditional Mexican feel to your dinner party or celebration.
A vitrolero like this one is a common sight at Mexican fiestas and celebrations, and if you are planning to host a large number of guests, this is the traditional way to serve a large quantity of juice or chosen beverage to everyone at the party.
Complete with a large stainless steel ladle, treat your guests to any type of cold drink, from homemade fruit juice to fruit-filled punch, Mexican-style!
Hand-Blown Margarita Glasses
Whether it’s with food, or to sip throughout the evening, margaritas should very much be in order for your Mexican evening of food, fun, and togetherness.
These beautiful blue-rimmed margarita glasses, hand-blown by artisans, are both a stylish and authentic way to serve up ice-cold cocktails to your guests.
Hand Blown Tequila Shot Glasses (Vasos Mexicanos Soplados a Mano)
Lastly, is there a better way to finish your Mexican-inspired evening than with a shot of Mexico’s most beloved liquor, served in some beautiful hand-blown shot glasses like these ones?
Bring the bottle, lemon wedges, and salt, along with these traditional glasses, to the table and prepare for plenty of fireworks!
Mexican food, from the preparation to the sharing with friends and family, is a truly magical experience. It is a cuisine that has transcended so many borders, bringing loved ones together for generations.
These innovative tools and gadgets can bring both authentic elements of this cuisine into your home kitchen and make your life easier when preparing some of the more challenging dishes.
Especially if you want to broaden your knowledge and cooking experience of this vast and creative cuisine, all of these gadgets and equipment will help you in some way, shape, or form.
Elevate your Mexican cooking, and sit back and watch the sheer joy and togetherness it brings to the dinner table, no matter who you are hosting.
You Might Also Like to Read
- 18 Popular Mexican Foods You Need to Try
- 17 Best Mexican Street Foods for a Sumptuous Taste of Authentic Mexico
- 20 Mexican Desserts You Need to Try in Mexico
- 18 Spanish Cooking Tools and Gadgets You Need in Your Life
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