Cast Iron Tortilla Press

A sturdy cast iron tortilla press easily makes even inexpertly-formed balls of masa perfectly round and flat.

Until recently, whenever I made tacos at home I'd focus on making the filling and just pick up a package of store-bought tortillas, which I'd griddle briefly before loading them up with the main event. This was good enough for me, until I decided to try making San Antonio-style puffy tacos, which call for deep-frying fresh tortillas. Determined, I picked up some masa harina and unearthed my rolling pin. The resulting tortillas were lopsided with ragged edges, but the fresh masa poofed and crisped beautifully in hot oil. One bite, and I knew there would be no more off-the-shelf tortillas for me. But I also knew there was a better way to shape them than a rolling pin. For my latest batch, I picked up a cast iron IMUSA tortilla press. It's hefty and sturdy, with excellent leverage and a heavy top plate that easily made my inexpertly-formed balls of masa perfectly round and flat. Seconds later, I had supple, toasty, and fragrant tortillas fresh from the frying pan. —Karen Shimizu

IMUSA tortilla press, $23.99 at target.com