Your Toaster Is The Key To Making Hard Shell Tacos At Home

Even though Taco Tuesday comes one day a week, who's not partial to celebrating Taco Monday, Taco Wednesday, or really any day? But, if you've ever found yourself craving hard taco shells and have none available, your toaster can save the day with a nifty hack.

While you could heat a pan with oil and crisp up tortillas, that's a lot of work. Hot, messy, greasy work. Yet, if you've got a toaster, it's the safer, oil-free substitute to frying, and the perfect alternative to having to put on pants and go to the store. Simply fold the tortilla in half, pop it in one of the slots, and voila! Toaster taco shells come out perfectly U-shaped, just right for holding all those delicious fillings.


a true taco Tuesday game-changer 🤯 #tiktoktaughtme #tiktokpartner 🎥 @zozobexx


Whether you're going for the simple approach of refried beans, ground beef, and shredded cheese, muy auténtico saucy birria tacos, or even those edgy TikTok egg tacos Gordon Ramsay adores, simply toast up some tortillas in your toaster and get to eating.

How to make the best taco shells in your toaster

To do this hack right, you'll need to use a regular bread toaster as this method won't work in toaster ovens. The other thing to know is that the trick works just as well for flour tortillas as it does for corn. Flour tortillas are a bit more flexible and don't require any prep work. Corn tortillas, on the other hand, have a slightly stiffer texture and a tendency to crack when folded. To get around this, the hack within the hack is to use your microwave to give them a quick steam. Place the corn tortilla on a microwave-safe plate, cover with a damp paper towel, and zap for about 15 seconds — just long enough to soften and put a little spring in that tortilla's step.

Next, fold your tortilla of choice in the middle to form the quintessential shape of a hard shell taco. Drop one per slot (open end up) into your toaster and fire it up. If your model doesn't have heat settings, toast for one to two minutes, keeping a watchful eye on things to avoid burning.

If your device does have control options, start it on medium and see how it goes. Different toasters have various wattages that will give varying results. Some may also heat unevenly, so you'll have to invest in some trial and error before achieving that delicate balance between underdone or burnt to a crisp.

More tricks for tasty toaster tacos

There are a few more tips to make your toaster taco shell journey trouble-free. First, you should be aware that not only can the tortillas burn in your toaster, in extreme cases, they could also catch on fire. This can happen if the tortilla gets stuck inside, up against the toaster's heating element or if it simply toasts for too long. So, start with lower heat settings and do not leave the toaster unattended while you experiment.

While this should go without saying, it's best not to copy the part in the TikTok video above when the user fishes out their taco shells with metal tongs. While it's pointed out in the video's comments that the toaster was unplugged when the tongs were used, metal should never ever be inserted into a working toaster. All jokes aside, this could lead to electrocution, serious injury, or death. And as much as we love tacos, they're not worth dying for. If your taco shells do get stuck inside the toaster, first make sure it's unplugged, then use something non-conductive (no metal) to fish them out, like wood or plastic chopsticks.

You can avoid this situation all together by sticking with smaller-sized store-bought tortillas. The ones sold as taco- or fajita-size are generally smaller, and you'll want to look for ones that are no bigger than 6 inches. If you can't find those, you can always trim down the larger tortillas you have at home.