Best Comal Pan-Tortillas, Crepes, and More

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I’ve searched the market to find the best comal pan. My top choice? The Lodge Cast Iron 10.5-inch Griddle Pan.

Fresh homemade tortillas are tough to beat. They taste way better than anything store-bought, and they’re inexpensive and straightforward to make.

But you need a good pan if you’re going to make homemade tortillas with that perfectly soft texture and delicious flavor.

That’s why I like the Lodge 10.5-inch Cast Iron Griddle pan. Its heavy cast iron construction and top-notch performance make it the top one on my list.

But there are other considerations, such as where it’s made. You might want an authentic clay comal from Central America, or you might want something non-stick. When it comes to comal pans, there are a variety of styles and options on the market.

The question is, which comal pan is the right one for you? Read on to find out more.

Product Reviews: Best Comal Pan

Lodge 10.5-Inch Cast Iron Griddle: Best Overall

Lodge has been perfecting the cast iron skillet for over 120 years. This U.S. brand has a stellar reputation for its cast iron products. 

This Lodge griddle is 10.5 inches (26.67 cm), making it a good size for most home cooks. This comal is round with a single long handle.

The low sides mean you can cook tortillas, spread crepes, and flip pancakes with ease. This griddle can be used to grill, bake, sauté, and sear meat.

The pre-seasoned, heavy-duty cast iron construction evenly distributes heat, so you don’t have to worry about hot spots. The handle’s surface will get hot, though, so be sure to use a handle cover or oven mitts to handle this comal.

This griddle is compatible with all cooktops, and it’s safe for oven use and outdoor cooking. It’s an ideal option for those who like cooking while camping.

As far as cleaning, you’ll need to hand wash your Lodge griddle. Simply wash with warm water, towel dry, and reapply a very light coating of vegetable oil or shortening to keep the seasoning in tip-top shape.

On top of it all? The Lodge Cast Iron Griddle is quite affordable, so you don’t have to break the bank to use a comal.

Pros

  • Pre-seasoned cast iron
  • Made in the U.S.A.
  • For stove, oven, or outdoors
  • Evenly distributes and retains heat
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Hand washing required

Uno Casa Cast Iron Comal Pan: Overall Runner-Up

The Uno Casa Cast Iron Comal Pan has a diameter of 10.5 inches (26.67 cm), making it one of the smaller options. This comal also comes with a cast iron tortilla press for getting perfectly thin tortillas from scratch.

This comal pan features a cast-iron construction. And since it’s pre-seasoned, you can start cooking with your comal right away.

The manufacturer claims this pan is non-stick, but there were several reports of tortillas sticking. Cast iron isn’t true non-stick, but it comes pretty darn close if suitably seasoned and preheated. For most foods, you should also use oil to prevent sticking, but obviously not for tortillas!

You can use this comal on the stovetop, over a campfire, and in the oven with temperatures up to 450°F (232°C). The Uno Casa Cast Iron flat pan has low sides, making it suitable for crepes or other foods that require cooking oil.

The removable silicone handle keeps your hands safe while handling the hot pan, and the downloadable recipe book includes several recipes to get you started.

The manufacturer recommends washing this pan with warm water and towel drying.

While the Uno Casa cast iron comal pan is a more expensive option than others on the list, it’s still very affordable.

Pros

  • Includes tortilla press
  • Removable silicone handle
  • Pre-seasoned cast iron construction
  • Oven-safe up to 450°F (232°C)
  • For stovetop, oven, and campfire use

Cons

  • More expensive model
  • Some reports of sticking

IMUSA Non-stick Carbon Steel Comal Pan: Best Budget Option

The IMUSA carbon steel comal pan has a cooking surface diameter of 13.5 inches (34.29 cm), making it a larger option. However, IMUSA also has a 9-inch (22.86 cm) and an 11-inch (27.94 cm) option if you prefer something smaller.

Instead of a single pan or loop handle, this IMUSA comal has two metal looped side handles. They’re double riveted to make them extra sturdy.

The round shape and shallow sides make this carbon steel comal pan suitable for cooking a wider range of food, from vegetables and tortillas to quesadillas and meat.

The non-stick surface is supposed to help with cleanup and ease of flipping. But there were several reports of the non-stick peeling and scratching.

Pressed for time? This lightweight IMUSA carbon steel comal heats up quickly. The manufacturer recommends using this comal pan on low to medium heat.

There were some reports of uneven heating, however. Several users complained the cooking surface is slightly raised in the middle, causing inconsistent results. And others had issues with their tortilla burning in the center.

Non-stick coated carbon steel is not as durable as cast iron or bare carbon steel, so don’t expect it to become an heirloom piece. The flip side of that, though? This comal pan is extremely affordable.

If you want something that will last forever and cook food perfectly every time? This pan may not be for you. If you want something inexpensive and lightweight that heats quickly? The IMUSA is right up your alley.

Pros

  • Double metal side handles
  • Non-stick surface
  • Heats quickly
  • Lightweight
  • Inexpensive

Cons

  • Cannot use on high heat
  • Does not retain heat as well
  • Complaints of uneven surface
  • Reports of non-stick peeling

Innerwell Non-stick Comal Crepe Pan: Best Non-stick Option

Innerwell specializes in aluminum skillets, crepe pans, and woks. This 11-inch (27.94 cm) crepe pan features an aluminum core with a non-stick ceramic coating. The non-stick layer has a gray stone look to it, making it an attractive addition.

The Innerwell comal pan has a flat cooking surface and low sides, making it suited for crepes and other food that requires oil. Also? The ergonomic handle stays cool to the touch while cooking.

But several customers did mention that the handle is not pre-assembled. Innerwell sends you a screwdriver and two screws to attach the handle to the base of the pan. Strange? Yes, but not necessarily a deal-breaker.

The manufacturer advertises this crepe pan as compatible with all cooktops, including induction. This pan is also dishwasher-safe.

Before the first use, Innerwell recommends rinsing the surface and wiping it dry before applying a thin layer of edible oil, like vegetable oil, to the pan.

While cooking, it’s best to stick to a wooden or silicone spatula. Metal tools could damage the non-stick coating.

Another thing? Use a low or medium temperature to cook food when possible. If the cooking surface gets too hot without food in it, the cookware could become damaged.

Customers like using this crepe pan to heat quesadillas, cook tortillas, and toast buns.

Pros

  • Dishwasher safe
  • Compatible with all cooktops
  • Heats quickly
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Thinner pan, does not retain heat well
  • Handle requires assembly

Black Clay 10-Inch Griddle Pan: Best Artisan Pick

La Chamba is a village in Colombia known for its black clay cookware and kitchenware. La Chamba black clay cookware is used throughout homes and restaurants in the region for traditional cooking.

The black clay cookware from La Chamba is 100% handcrafted by the village’s residents. The result is a beautiful, unique, high-quality piece of cookware.

This 10-inch (25.4 cm) griddle pan has a unique oval shape, but it can still fit nicely on regular stovetop burners.

The black clay is known for heating evenly and holding its temperature for a long time. Clay comals are designed to handle the dry heat needed to cook a tortilla or bake foods in the oven.

Before you use a comal from La Chamba, however, you need to season it. The seasoning instructions are pretty simple, but the process can take a little extra time on the front end.

The product description recommends you wash the black clay comal with mild detergent before you cook with it. This will remove any residue that might be left from the firing process.

Next, fill the clay comal 3/4 full with water and bake in the oven at approximately 400°F (at 200°C) for 30 minutes. This allows the pores of the clay to seal. This process might need a few uses before finally sealing.

This seasoning process will help the comal pan last longer and avoid staining or absorbing food odors.

Customers loved this black clay comal for Mexican cooking and making salsa, tortillas, rotis, or charring vegetables and spices.  They raved about the beautiful handiwork and this comal’s ability to withstand hot temperatures.

Much like a cast-iron skillet, clay griddles can be used outdoors and with stoves and grills. It’s not compatible with induction cooktops, however, due to its non-metallic bottom.

When it comes to cost, this pan has good value, especially considering its craftsmanship. But it is pricier than other models made of metals like aluminum.

Pros

  • Handcrafted in La Chamba, Colombia
  • 10-inch (25.4 cm) size is perfect for the average home cook
  • Retains heat well
  • Distributes heat evenly
  • Use on grills, campfires, in oven and on stove

Cons

  • Requires seasoning before use
  • Not induction compatible
  • There might be slight variation in each handmade piece
  • Slightly more expensive

Victoria Cast Iron Comal Pan: Best Large Comal

With a diameter of 15 inches (38.1 cm), this Victoria Cast Iron comal can make quick work of batch cooking tortillas. A Colombian company, Victoria has been manufacturing cast iron cookware for over 80 years.

The solid cast iron construction means this pan will distribute heat evenly and retain heat well. Like the Lodge, this pan is also pre-seasoned so you can start cooking right away.

The Victoria cast iron comal pan has a round shape. It can go on the stove, in the oven, on the grill, and over a campfire.

The flat, single-loop handle helps with lifting. But this pan is heavy, clocking in at 11.7 pounds (4.99 kg).

The size of this comal means you can use it to make pizza, bake cookies, fry eggs or bacon, cook vegetables, or sear meat. And of course, you can cook tortillas.

One caveat, however. The flat cooking surface has no rim, so it’s best to avoid using butter or vegetable oil that might run off the pan.

Also, this heavy-duty comal pan is pricier than other models. Considering the size and the versatility, though, it still has good value.

Pros

  • Large capacity
  • Attractive appearance
  • Pre-seasoned cast iron construction
  • Doubles as a pizza stone
  • Suitable for oven, stove, grill, and campfire
  • Superb heat retention

Cons

  • Heavy
  • Pricier model

Comal Pans: A Buying Guide

What is a comal pan?

A comal is a type of flat griddle used frequently in Central America and South America. Comal pans are typically made of cast iron and can be used for several types of food.

The comal is an important cooking tool for Mexican cuisine, especially the tortilla. It’s used by chefs and home cooks, alike. You might also see the terms “griddle” or “crepe pan” used interchangeably.

What is a comal pan used for?

Cooking Tortillas or Flatbreads

One of the most common uses for a comal, especially a Mexican comal, is cooking tortillas. The flat surface makes it ideal for making tortillas or other types of flatbread.

Tortillas and flatbreads are made using a dry heat, so it’s best to have a comal pan that can be preheated without oil in it.

Most non-stick pans cannot handle a high heat without a cooking fat, so you’ll want to be careful if your comal pan has a Teflon coating.

Making Crepes

While not associated with Mexican cooking, crepes are another popular dish for a comal pan. Crepes need plenty of room to spread out in order to get that thin, delicate texture.

Since they have a higher liquid content and require cooking fat, it’s best to get a griddle-type pan with a slightly raised rim. This keeps the batter from running off the pan and making a mess in your kitchen.

If you have a cast iron comal, it’s best to avoid using a metal spatula to flip the crepe. Opt for a wood or silicone spatula instead. You can even use a crepe spreading tool with your comal to help the batter reach the corners of the pan.

Toasting

A comal pan is frequently used to toast spices, dried chiles, nuts, or seeds. The dry heat needed to cook food with a comal brings out the flavor and aroma of food, making it ideal for toasting.

The comal is also used to char vegetables like tomatillos or tomatoes for salsa and other staple foods in Mexican cooking. If you’ve ever seen videos of salsa being made, you’ve probably seen them charring green tomatillos on a large, flat griddle before blending them up with spices and other ingredients.

Reheating

A lot of people use a comal to reheat quesadillas, tacos, or flatbreads. The even heat means these items will be warmed all the way through without burning.

Using a comal for reheating is an optimal way to warm up food without having to use a microwave or wait for an oven to preheat.

Searing

Some people even use a comal pan to sear meat. People have had success searing beef, chicken, lamb, or other cuts of meat on a griddle.

You’ll want to use whole cuts of meat as opposed to ground meats. Ground beef and sausage release a lot of fat while cooking, so it’s better to cook them in a pan with higher sides, like a cast iron skillet.

What material is best for a comal pan?

Cast iron comal pans are the most common due to cast iron’s even heat distribution and its ability to stay hot for longer periods of time. Something else to consider? Cast iron can handle a dry heat, which is exactly what you would use to cook tortillas.

As always, cast iron requires seasoning. You’ll also want to avoid using a metal spatula or scrubbing with steel wool to preserve the cast iron and seasoning.

However, there are a variety of materials available for a comal pan. There are clay, carbon steel, and even non-stick comals. These pans often don’t require seasoning and can heat quickly, but they aren’t the best for heating without cooking oil.

Do you plan to primarily use your comal for tortillas? I would go with cast iron or clay. Do you also want to make crepes or other sticky foods? I might try a non-stick option to help with clean-up.

What size comal pan should I buy?

That depends on what you plan to make with your comal. 8-inch (20.32 cm), 10-inch (25.4 cm), and 11-inch (27.94 cm) pans are common and are useful for making tortillas. Although, those sizes mean you can only make one tortilla at a time.

If the pan has a raised rim, you can also use it for making crepes or other recipes that require cooking liquid or fat.

Of course, if you want your comal to make large batches or double as a pizza stone, you’ll need a 12-inch (30.48 cm) comal or larger.

The only downside of a pan this size is that most stovetop burners have a diameter of 10-11 inches (25.4-27.94 cm), making the pan too large for the burner. One option, however, is to use two burners to accommodate a big comal. This is fairly common with large rectangular comal pans.

What features should I look for in a comal pan?

Heat distribution

Even heating is probably the most important factor in cooking with a comal. Since these pans are primarily used for tortilla making and reheating, you want an even heat to avoid burnt or undercooked spots.

A comal pan must have a completely flat surface and be made of quality materials to get the proper distribution. Cast iron and clay are known for even heating. Metals like aluminum and copper are also known for heating evenly.

Heat retention

The ability to retain heat is essential to a good comal. A pan that’s sensitive to heat changes will make cooking tortillas a headache—having a comal that can hold a steady temperature will perform much better.

Heat retention is one reason cast iron comals are more popular than other materials.

Shape

Comal pans come in a variety of shapes, the most common being round, oval, or rectangular.  A round comal will fit nicely on most stovetop burners, resulting in a more evenly-heated pan. For this reason, I prefer a round comal pan.

Oval and rectangular comals are larger and better suited for two burners. If you plan to cook large batches, these shapes might be better for you.

Ease of Cleaning

My philosophy? If you hate cleaning the pan, you won’t want to use it. Getting a comal that’s easy to clean is essential to getting the most out of your cookware.

Cast iron can be a little trickier than, say, a non-stick pan. However, if properly seasoned, the cast iron comal or griddle should be reasonably simple to clean. Just remember to avoid using soap to prevent breaking down the seasoning.

Some griddle pans are dishwasher-safe for easy cleaning. However, unless you’re cooking a sticky food like eggs or using a lot of cooking oil, it should be easy to hand wash a comal.

Of course, remember to let the pan cool before attempting to wash it. Trying to clean a hot pan with cool water can cause thermal shock and damage the pan.

The Best Comal Pan? Final Thoughts

Do you want the best comal pan? It’s hard to beat the performance and heavy-duty construction of the Lodge Cast Iron Griddle. It can help you prepare delicious food, and it can last for years.