How To

How to Roll a Burrito

No, I’m really serious about this. I’m anal, yes absolutely, but for you non-burrito rollers out there, you’re making the rest of us mental. Spilling grease all over your hands. Exploding avocado onto your plate. I mean, it’s not the WORST thing in the world, but it definitely makes my hands itch.

If you’re like, huh?, you need to read this.

If you’re like YES, I suggest you send this link to another friend, family member, or significant other perhaps as a “suggestion” to read. I’m here for you.

Okay, so let’s get to the actual burrito rolling.

Step one: Assemble your ingredients. 


You have your protein (or as we call it in our household, bro-tein), your veggies, your hot stuff, and your cheese. What those constitute is up to you, but it’s a good baseline to start from. One note though, shred your own cheese. Please. I mean, the bagged stuff works but it’s got like that cornstarchy stuff and it’s kind of yucky. And it costs more. Just trust me.

Also, don’t overstuff. I can’t do a formula for you, but you know, start learning how much is too much for your tortilla.

If you have the internet, you can dice and chop and prepare all of those ingredients in the space of a few paragraphs. Blam. 


Step two: Layer your ingredients. 


Yes, this matters. Cheese first, because you’re then going to going to put the hot layer of protein on top and it will start the cheese melting. Good things.

After that, I like to go from driest to wettest to get the least amount of juice on the bottom of the tortilla as I can. Because that will muck up and possibly tear the tortilla in the long run. This is science.

Step three: Roll. 

This is where the practice and small tricks come into play. Just trust me, we’ll get to a perfect burrito by the end of this. Also, sorry, I have awkward little chubby baby hands. They’re not the most photogenic…

1. Make sure you’re starting with a warm tortilla. This is paramount otherwise it will rip and be all over your hands again. You don’t want to be that guy, remember?

2. Slightly fold in the two sides vertically. As you’re doing this, the most important thing is to push down and back lightly towards the edge of the tortilla to catch some of the filling. So fold, push down, pull back (just a touch).


3. Start horizontal. Fold a good third of the tortilla up so it covers your filling.

4. Before rolling, tuck your tortilla over the filling and pull it towards you slightly. This is a big step where I think a lot of people lose it. You want to kind of give the filling a hug with the tortilla. Make a little pouch out of it if you will. Give it some surface tension. Make sure the sides are still snug. 


5. While keeping that tension, start rolling the tortilla. I like to have the seam land on the bottom by the end of it, but that’s just because I don’t like loose tortilla flopping around.

Also, I’m kind of neurotic.


Step four: Set ground rules and eat.

This actually turned out to be a burrito fail. I neglected the ground rules and after hubby so graciously agreed to photograph me making said burrito, he accidentally thought it was HIS burrito. Sigh.

Lay ground rules folks. Make sure there is a burrito agreement in place before eating starts.


Where are you on the spectrum? Burrito snob? Or, “I’m covered in salsa and I have paper cuts and it burns” person? 


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About Nikki Steele

Nikki Steele is a freelance writer who runs BookPairing, a blog about pairing wine and beer with books, and is a contributor over at Insatiable Booksluts. When she's not writing or cooking, she's probably roughing it outside with her two mutts. Connect with Nikki on Twitter: @BookPairing.

  • Ric Steele

    Brilliant. I am glad you are proud to show how nuts you are about burrito rolling.

    • Nikki Steele

      Always proud. I consider it my public duty. *Cough* Burrito thief *cough*

  • KBread

    Glad to see Brotein stuck.

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