20 Mexican Cooking Tools Every Home Chef Should Own

When preparing dinner, there's no substitute for the right Mexican cooking utensils. A Mexican chef shows us the tools used everywhere from restaurants to Abuela's kitchen.

Our editors and experts handpick every product we feature. We may earn a commission from your purchases.

1 / 20
Cast Iron Tortilla Press Ecomm Via Williams Sonoma.com
via williams-sonoma.com

Tortilla Press (Tortilladora)

Ask any Mexican cook and they’ll tell you that homemade tortillas are the way to go. Learn how to make corn tortillas, and you’ll never go back to the store-bought kind. While you can always use a rolling pin, this authentic cast-iron tortilla press is specifically designed for tortilla making—and it’s one of the best Mexican cooking utensils you can buy.

Dona Savitsky—chef, cookbook author and restaurant owner of Doña Tomás in Oakland, California—shares this tip to help get you started: “Make sure to cut a square from a grocery store bag and use it on the tortilla press to keep the masa from sticking to it.” A reusable zip-top bag will do the trick, too.

Why it made our list: The enamel finish protects your press from stains and corrosion.

Shop Now

2 / 20
Molcajete Ecomm Via Crateandbarrel.com
via crateandbarrel.com

Mortar and Pestle (Molcajete)

Love guacamole? That was a rhetorical question. Of course, you do. The molcajete is a classic Mexican version of a mortar and pestle, and it gives you the power to pulverize avocado for the best-ever guac. Dona says, “The molcajete should be made from lava stone, not made from cement, as it will shed into your food!”

Why it made our list: For an authentic experience, this product is made in Mexico.

Shop Now

3 / 20
Handwoven Tortillero Ecomm Via Amazon.com
via amazon.com

Tortilla Warmer (Tortillero)

Keep your homemade tortillas warm and toasty like Mexican cooks do. For this, reach for a tortillero. These handwoven tortilla warmers master the job.

Amazon reviewer Cecilia G says, “Beautiful tortillero! I have been looking for a tortillero just like the ones that I remember from my childhood. I finally found one just like the one my mom and abuelita used to have.”

Why it made our list: It’s a beautiful addition to your fiesta spread!

Shop Now

4 / 20
Wooden Spatula Ecomm Via Surlatable
via surlatable.com

Wooden Spatula (Cuchara de Madera)

Authentic Mexican cuisine is generally cooked on rough cookware, like cast-iron skillets and large frying pans. This means your favorite metal utensils won’t do the trick—we prefer a wooden spatula when cooking albondigas, fish tacos and refried beans. The wood won’t harm the pan, but it will absorb those delicious spices and flavors over time.

Why it made our list: This is one of the most budget-friendly Mexican cooking utensils you can buy.

Shop Now

5 / 20
Lodge Cast Iron Griddle Ecomm Via Target.com
via target.com

Tortilla Griddle (Comal)

“The comal makes tortillas taste so much better,” explains Dona. Its cast-iron material works wonders for griddling up homemade tortillas, as well as other dishes like baked tortilla chips and empanadas. Try out this pre-seasoned tortilla griddle in your own kitchen.

Why it made our list: You can use it for pancakes, too.

Shop Now

6 / 20

Lavohome Vitrolero Ecomm Via Homedepot
via homedepot.com

Beverage Pitcher (Vitrolero)

Aguas frescas, anyone? This 5-gallon plastic vitrolero is the perfect vessel for all of your favorite Mexican drinks. This particular model is made in Mexico and is ideal for a party or backyard fiesta.

Why it made our list: It’s BPA-free for safe sipping.

Shop Now

7 / 20
Lime Squeezer Ecomm Via Bedbathandbeyond
via bedbathandbeyond.com

Lime Squeezer (Exprimidor de Lima)

Mexican kitchens put limes to work in ways that extend far beyond the classic margarita. The acidity brightens up just about any of our favorite authentic Mexican dishes. When cooks need lime juice fast, they turn to their trusty lime squeezer to extract all the zesty-good flavor.

Why it made our list: The non-slip handles make for an easy squeeze.

Shop Now

8 / 20

Masa Hand Mill Ecomm Via Masienda.com
via masienda.com

Masa Hand Mill

For truly authentic tortilla, tamales, pupusas and more, you may want to consider grinding your own masa. This hand mill makes it easy. Plus, you have the option of adding on other essentials, like heirloom corn varietals, a guide book and tortilla press. Once you’ve mastered masa, try mixing up homemade taco seasoning, too.

Why it made our list: The brand, Victoria, is one of the most trusted names in Mexican cooking utensils.

Shop Now

9 / 20
Empanada Press Ecomm Via Amazon
via amazon.com

Empanada Press

Empanada flavors vary depending on the region. In some parts of the country, you may see a savory stuffing that combines fish and olives, while in other areas a sugary plantain filling is the norm. However, in many Mexican kitchens, cooks use a shortcut by using an empanada press to make stuffing and molding much easier.

Why it made our list: This set of three ensures the whole family can get in on the empanada-making action.

Shop Now

10 / 20

Williams Sonoma Churro Maker Ecomm Via Williams Sonoma.com
via williams-sonoma.com

Churro Maker Set (Churrera)

There’s no better ending to a Mexican meal than freshly made churros. And this 8-piece set makes shaping the deep-fried treats a breeze. Simply fill the press with dough, add a shaping disc and press. It’s that easy! Once fried and rolled in cinnamon-sugar, pair the churros with Mexican chocolate dip for an over-the-top treat.

Why it made our list: Eight disc options help you craft churros of all shapes, from classic to decorative.

Shop Now

11 / 20

Broadway Steamer Stock Pot Ecomm Via Amazon
via amazon.com

Tamale Steamer Stockpot (Vaporera para Tamales)

Tamaladas or tamale-making parties are a favorite holiday tradition for many Mexican home cooks. Entire families gather around to cook, wrap and steam dozens of delicious corn-husk-wrapped tamales. (Check out our guide on how to make tamales for more info). A tamale steamer and large stockpot are essential to the cooking process. This 16-quart cookware set does the trick.

Why it made our list: This stockpot is versatile enough to cook soups, chilis and other big-batch recipes.

Shop Now

12 / 20
R M Internaitonal Traditional Large Ceramic Bean Pot Ecomm Via Amazon.com
via amazon.com

Ceramic Bean Pot (Olla de Barro Frijolera)

Generations of Mexican cooks have been making delicious bean dishes in a ceramic clay pot. Dona says, “Olla de barro frijolera cooks beans evenly. They’ve been used for a long time and, also, they make the dish just taste better!” All you need are water, onion, garlic and seasonings, and you can make beans for a crowd, the old-fashioned way.

Why it made our list: It’s oven-, microwave- and dishwasher-safe.

Shop Now

13 / 20
Iron Fajita Set Ecomm Via Amazon
via amazon.com

Fajita Pan

You know the envy that creeps up at a Mexican restaurant when you watch someone else’s fajitas being delivered to their table? The smoke, the aroma, the smile from the patron—it’s just enough to make you think, I should have ordered the fajitas. Skip that feeling and make your own fajitas at home with a cast-iron pan. We’re partial to this flavorful chicken fajita recipe.

Why it made our list: It includes a wooden trivet for easy serving.

Shop Now

14 / 20

Mexican Terra Cotta Pot Ecomm Via 177cloudstreet.com
via 177milkstreet.com

Clay Cazuela

A high-quality clay dish is a workhorse in many Mexican kitchens. The cazuela is ideal for preparing rice, beans, Spanish paella—you name it. It can withstand high temperatures, making it perfect for stove-to-oven favorites.

Why it made our list: This cazuela’s finish is nonstick, making it easy to clean.

Shop Now

15 / 20

Escobeta Ecomm Via Walmart
via walmart.com

Brush Scrubber (Escobeta)

The days of endlessly scrubbing your pots and pans are over. This nifty little brush scrubber, known as an escobeta, is made from stiff grass roots that effectively clean cookware—veggies, too. Plus, it’s one of the most affordable Mexican cooking utensils around.

Why it made our list: Since it won’t melt, your escobeta can be used on hot pans to loosen food residue before it cools.

Shop Now

16 / 20
Verve Culture Molinillo Whisk Ecomm Via Surlatable.com
via surlatable.com

Wooden Whisk (Molinillo)

Mexican hot chocolate is truly life-changing, and you won’t get an authentic batch without a chocolate stirrer. The stunning wooden design makes it easy to whisk chocolate and froth milk.

Why it made our list: Everyone who comes into your kitchen will ask: What is that beautiful tool?

Shop Now

17 / 20

Hot Chocolate Jug Ecomm Via Verveculture
via verveculture.com

Hot Chocolate Jug

While a molinillo is essential to crafting Mexican hot chocolate, the right vessel can take your treat to another level. This handcrafted clay jug gives your drinks an earthy, authentic flavor.

Why it made our list: When not in use, display the jug as decor or use it as a vase.

Shop Now

18 / 20

Comal Frying Bowl Cookware Ecomm Via Amazon 001
via amazon.com

Mexican Wok

This Mexican wok is a mainstay when it comes to deep-frying dishes like chimichangas and homemade tortilla chips. Its stainless steel design also makes it ideal for preparing fillings for fajitas and enchiladas.

Why it made our list: When you’re craving Spanish food, this pan is big enough for paella.

Shop Now

19 / 20
Food Processor Ecomm Via Kohls.com
via kohls.com

Food Processor

The ultimate Mexican cooking tool for modern kitchens: a food processor, like this model from KitchenAid. Dona says, “There are so many sauces, salsas and moles that need to be blended or roughly chopped, and the food processor is the quickest and most efficient way to do so.” Food processors are ideal for making large batches of chunky salsa, especially if you just pulse it instead of running it continuously. Learn how to make salsa with our comprehensive guide.

Why it made our list: This brand is a Test Kitchen favorite.

Shop Now

20 / 20

Mezcal And Tequila Infusing Tasting Kit Ecomm Via Verveculture.com
via verveculture.com

Tequila Tasting Kit

Mexican cooking utensils aren’t just for food! Whether you’re just starting to dabble in tequila and mezcal or you’re a well-versed pro, this tasting kit has everything you need for a fun night of sipping. Each set includes a corked decanter that’s the perfect size for infusing your tipple with fruit, herbs and other flavors. And, the four wide-mouthed jicara cups encourage the flavor of your spirit to really shine.

Why it made our list: Each piece is crafted by glassblowers in Tonala, Mexico.

Shop Now

Kate Ellsworth
Kate has been writing about her favorite brands and products for more than 10 years. She's started a few well-intentioned yet short-lived blogs and loves to spend her time perusing the Internet for the best deals. She currently works as an executive editor for a product-testing website, where she oversees lifestyle topics including sleep, pets, health and fitness and crafts.
In her spare time, you can find Kate baking, quilting and hanging out with her husband, Matt, and newborn, Vivienne.
Nicole Doster
With nearly a decade of experience creating content for various lifestyle publishers and eCommerce brands, Nicole combines her love of at-home cooking with her expertise in product reviews and digital content creation to lead the award-winning shopping editorial team across Taste of Home, Family Handyman and Reader's Digest. As TMB's content director, affiliate, she oversees strategy, operations and planning for all product testing and shopping content, to bring readers recommendations and inspiration you can trust. Before joining the affiliate team, Nicole edited hundreds of recipe and food lifestyle articles for Taste of Home working closely with our Test Kitchen team and network of contributors. With a passion for baking, comfort food and hosting get-togethers you'll often see Nicole testing new products that make life easier. As a former barista in Chicago and Baltimore, she's slung hundreds of cappuccinos and doppio espressos in her lifetime and she will talk your ear off about the best gadgets to make cafe-quality coffee at home. When she's not hunched over her laptop, she's either fixating on her latest DIY home renovation or on a walk with her rescue pup, Huey.