Interested in Mexican food? Here is my list of 12 essential tools for a Mexican Kitchen.
Seeing comales, molcajetes, tortilleros and lime squeezers in our kitchen felt natural to me growing up. When I turned 12, and the desire to learn to cook overtook other passions of mine, my abuelita, mom and aunts started teaching me the family recipes and how to use all these wonderful tools, and I never looked back.
Many have asked over the years which tools I think are essential for cooking Mexican food. Here are my answers.
12 Essential Tools for a Mexican Kitchen
I have added links to some of the products to make it easier for you to find them (These are affiliate links. My kids need new shoes!)
No Mexican kitchen is without one. In Mexico we have several types of comales, like the flat ones to heat up tortillas or make quesadillas. Others are deeper in the center, ideal for making enchiladas, for example.
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2. Blender or Food Processor
Prepare salsas and aguas frescas fast!
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3. Pressure Cooker
For cooking beans in minutes, for a fast soup, beef barbacoa, or even for preparing green pozole with chicken, a pressure cooker is one of your best friends in the kitchen.
4. Caldero or Dutch Oven
These calderos are great for soups, beans, meats with sauces and of course arroz (rice).
5. Chocolate Pot and Molinillo
If you want to make the traditional Mexican hot chocolate, I would recommend getting one of these clay pots, and molinillos. If you have the chance to go to Mexico, stop at the market, you will find lots of designs and sizes. If you want to shop from the comfort of your own home, check out these options:
A good tortillero, along with kitchen towels, will keep your tortillas warm and soft. Get one!
7. Cast Iron Grill
A cast iron grill will help you make delicious carne asada, or chorizo tacos in the blink of an eye. It’s a great investment.
8. Lime (or lemon) Squeezer
Believe me, Mexican’s use lemons and limes on almost everything. Lime agua fresca, lime granita, blueberry-lemon flan, icebox cakes, lime atole are just a few examples.
Perfect for making refried beans, or for smashing potatoes for your tacos dorados.
10. Wooden Spoons and Spatulas
There is something very “Mexican” about using wooden spoons when you cook. The small serving wooden spoons are great for salsas.
11. Cazuelas Clay Pots
Small clay pots are ideal for salsa verde, chunky red salsa, pico de gallo or avocado salsa. Medium cazuelas can be used as bowls for red pozole, for example. Bigger cazuelas look great at parties.
Steamers are used to make and reheat tamales, but also make great big pots for soups, caldos and pozole. I use mine all the time.
I have two more suggestions. They are not essential, you can live without them, but they do come in handy a couple of times a year. If you have space and the money, get them, if not, no problem. You can use a blender instead of the molcajete, and you could use two plates to make tortillas instead of the tortilla maker.
14. Tortilla Maker
There you have it. Get ready to cook!
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