Top 7 Essential Mexican Cooking Tools

I have compiled a list of my top 7 kitchen tool recommendations for cooking great traditional Mexican recipes.

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Although special cooking equipment is not absolutely necessary when cooking Mexican food, having some of the right tools makes replicating the traditional dishes more authentic, easier and much more fun.

Many of the tools needed to prepare a delectable Mexican dish are things you probably already have in your kitchen. These include things like pots and pans, skillets, wooden spoons and so forth.

The following 7 items are my top kitchen tool recommendations for cooking great traditional Mexican recipes. I have included links where you can find any of the items you may not already own.

1. Comal

A comal is a flat griddle that is used to warm up tortillas. Most comales are made of cast iron. We use ours so much that it has a permanent place on top of our stove.

We not only use our comal to warm up corn and flour tortillas, but also to make quesadillas and to roast green chiles, jalapeños, tomatoes and other ingredients used to make various salsas. Find ours here.

2. Tortilla Warmer (Tortillero) 

A tortilla warmer is great for keeping tortillas warm longer. This is especially useful when you have people over for dinner and you want a big batch of warm tortillas ready to enjoy.

We have a styrofoam one (find it here) and even use it to warm up corn tortillas in the microwave. A bunch of tortillas can be warmed up at once. They get so nice and soft, the perfect consistency for soft corn tacos.

3. Blender or Food Processor 
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A blender or food processor is essential for making all those great salsas and sauces that are staples in Mexican cooking. A blender is great for making pureed sauces, while the food processor is great to use for chunky salsas.

However, you can get by with just a blender. Some blenders like the Ninja that we own, have a great pulse option suitable for making chunky salsas. You can also now buy blender systems that work are both a blender and a food processor, my sister has one and she loves it. Find it here.

4. Mesh Strainer
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Many of those great salsas and sauces you make in the blender or food processor will need to be strained to get rid of any seeds or ribs from the chiles.  The last thing you want is to be enjoying a big plate of smooth chile colorado and bite into a piece of hard chile that the blender was unable to break down.

 5. Masher

Mexican cooking is nothing without a plate of creamy refried beans, at least in my opinion. A masher will give you control of the texture of the beans. It is also a versatile tool that can be used to mash potatoes or other vegetables.

Find it here on Amazon, or you can also find great deals for mesh strainers and bean mashers at stores like Marshalls or TJ Maxx Home Goods.

 6. Pressure Cooker
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Using a pressure cooker is definitely a skill you have to master and one that takes time. I was brought up using a pressure cooker and always loved the perfectly cooked meats, stews, soups and beans that came out of that silver pot.

A pressure cooker cuts down cooking time for dishes that would otherwise take an eternity, and when done right delivers extremely flavorful Mexican meals. I know many people are into the electric pressure cookers right now and perhaps someday I will be too. For now, my choice is a good old-fashioned, stove-top pressure cooker.

7. “Spicy” Saucepan

This item is more of a tip for moms of young kids. When I had kids my mom told me to designate a saucepan for spicy salsas and sauces. When my kids were babies, I made sure that whenever I boiled any vegetables or fruits for baby purees, the spicy saucepan was not used.

Find it here

So I have a saucepan dedicated to baby purees and another for spicy salsas and sauces. It is just a way to ensure my babies’ stomachs are free and clear of anything that could upset them.

Any saucepan will do, but I especially like the ease and cleanliness of a stainless steel pan.

8. Molcajete

I know I said I would be listing only 7 items, but here is an eighth bonus item. If you have room in your kitchen this is definitely an added plus to your Mexican cooking tools.

A molcajete is a traditional mortar and pestle made out of volcanic rock. This is a handy tool for making amazing salsas. By grinding the ingredients, a different flavor profile is achieved that can be much tastier than using a blender or food processor. Also using a molcajete gives you the ultimate control over the texture of your salsa.

I bought mine last time we visited family in Mexico. However, you can find them in the U.S. at different Mexican grocery stores. You can also find one on Amazon, click here.

What kitchen items do you have that are essential in your Mexican cooking? Share your comments with me below.

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