Nixtamal Starter Kit

Nixtamal Starter Kit



Please note our Nixtamal: A guide to masa preparation in the United States book is currently out of stock and expected to be available again soon.

(Video above^^^From Milpa to Mesa–translation: “From Corn Farm to Table”–is a preview of the kernel-to-masa process that you can enjoy with your very own Nixtamal Starter Kit.)

This kit includes everything you need to start nixtamalizing (now, with a hand mill option!): 4 bags of Masienda’s heirloom corn (Masienda chef’s choice), 1 8oz bag of cal (enough to prepare 50 lbs of corn for masa), 1 copy of Masienda’s best-selling Nixtamal: A guide to masa preparation in the US, and an option to add on the 1 Doña Rosa x Masienda tortilla press (we can’t recommend it enough!).

Masienda Heirloom Corn

We’ll choose 4 varietals (5 pounds each) from our expanding list of options for you to get started with and find your favorite.

Chef-Grade Cal

Nixtamalization: The process of cooking and steeping corn in an alkaline solution, usually water and cal. Developed thousands of years ago, this ancient Aztec technique removes toxins and frees up essential amino acids and nutrients that are not available in untreated corn. It improves the texture, flavor, aroma, nutrient density, and structure of the corn, allowing it to be ground into masa. That makes nixtamal an O.G. superfood. We’re getting you started with 8oz.

Nixtamal: A guide to masa preparation in the United States

This book is a brief distillation of our experiences with scientists, chefs, tortiller@s, journalists, academics and home cooks about nixtamalization, as well as answers to some of the frequently-asked questions that we receive at Masienda.

Partnering with Blair Richardson of MiniSuper Studio in Mexico City, we self-published this primer on nixtamalization. We have drawn on one notable academic and scientist, Amanda Gálvez, PhD, to highlight the nixtamalization basics, from history to science. We have similarly enlisted Lesley Téllez, a culinary tour guide and Mexican cookbook author, to help edit and contextualize this phenomenon for the home cook. And finally, we have featured several of the dynamic stateside chefs with whom Masienda has collaborated, each of whom approaches nixtamalization in a distinct and personal way.

Doña Rosa x Masienda Tortilla Press

Deep in the labyrinthine heart of Oaxaca’s Central de Abastos, Doña Rosa has been selling tortilla presses to locals for longer than she can recall. From the first time we worked with this style of press, we have consistently marveled at how such a simple, seemingly straightforward tool could make such an outsized impact on a finished tortilla. Unavailable in the US, its pure heft and tight calibration make a range of tortilla thicknesses possible (where every other commercially-available press falls disappointingly short).

Upon multiple special requests over the years, we’ve brought back as many of these handmade presses that our suitcases could carry. Entertained by our efforts, Doña Rosa eventually agreed to make a limited number of presses just for Masienda. For extra style and food safety, we commissioned the presses uncoated and imported them to Los Angeles, where we had them professionally powder coated with FDA-approved paint.

Years in the making, the Doña Rosa x Masienda tortilladora collaboration is ready for its debut.

Tortilladora Specifications:

Base Dimensions: 9.5” x 8.75”

Capable of producing tortilla diameter up to 6.5”

Weight: 10.4lbs

Disclaimer: These are handmade tortilla presses with subtle imperfections. Use caution when opening and closing the lid, minding its edges and corners, which can be sharp. Paint may wear in high-contact areas after extensive use. Handle with care.

Click here for instructions

Masa Hand Mill

If you’re going to be milling nixtamal at home for scratch-made masa and aren’t yet ready to commit to a Molinito, this is the mill for you. A hand-cranked masa mill (aka corn mill) is a reliable, inexpensive, and straightforward alternative to basalt metates or electric molinos. We teamed up directly with Victoria, the maker of the most classic, timeless hand mill on the market, for this special product drop.

This mill still makes us nostalgic for our very first encounters with nixtamal, grinding at the dining room table, giddy with joy as we marveled at the transformation of corn into masa. You who are about to embark on the storied rite of nixtamal, this is the gateway mill for you. Welcome to #thirdwavemasa.

Tortilla puff pro tip: Contrary to our original thoughts on the matter, this mill is absolutely capable of producing masa that will achieve a tortilla puff. The trick is to ensure that the nixtamal gets at least three passes through the mill’s grinding plates. Each unit has a tightening screw that moves the metal plates farther apart or closer together. Use this to dial in to the desired coarseness, starting with a coarse grind setting and ending with the finest setting possible. After loading the hopper and turning the crank, the first pass should yield a texture of mostly rough, broken bits of nixtamal with perhaps a whole half of a kernel here and there. The second pass should reduce the particle size substantially—to about the size of coarse sea salt. Finally, the last pass should yield a more dough-like consistency, reminiscent of masa. Keep in mind that this masa will especially benefit from additional water in the mixing process that occurs in the next step of this kernel-to-masa sequence.

The metals used in this mill are 100% food safe. Each plate is made of white iron, while the body is composed of cast iron and tin coating.

The fastening clamp is easily adjustable to tables and boards between 1/2″ and 2″ thick and comes with a rubber edge protector that doubles for surface protection and prevents the mill from slipping during use.

Product Dimensions: 5.5″ x 6″ x 18.75″

Weight: 9.6 lbs

PLEASE NOTE: We are currently experiencing extended shipping timelines and all orders are expected to ship within 4-6 business days, US holidays excluded and regardless of shipping method (i.e, FedEx Ground versus USPS Priority Express). If you require expedited shipping, please email Thank you!

SKU: SQ4027901-2-1 Category: SELECT OPTIONS

Additional Information


4 x 5lb Corn + 8oz Cal + Nixtamal Book, 4 x 5lb Corn + 8oz Cal + Nixtamal Book + Doña Rosa Tortilla Press, 4 x 5lb Corn + 8oz Cal + Nixtamal Book + Doña Rosa Tortilla Press + Masa Hand Mill, 4 x 5lb Corn + 8oz Cal, 4 x 5lb Corn + 8oz Cal + Doña Rosa Tortilla Press

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4.67 out of 5 stars

6 reviews

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5 reviews with a 5-star rating

  1. Sarah Fitzgerald

    Great Product

    Sarah Fitzgerald (verified owner)

    The quality appears to be great. I ordered this for my husband who has been making his own tortillas for a few years. I always thought they were good before, but now they are superior! I cannot comment exactly on use, but after he read the booklet that came with the kit, he began the process with no difficulty. The press is very durable (certainly better than our previous one). I am reaping the benefits by eating delicious, fresh tortillas, and it is totally worth the price! Also, Masienda as a business has been wonderful to order from. Their customer service is quick, kind, and accommodating. I will definitely be ordering more from this business in the future.

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  2. William Haynos

    Best masa I have ever used.

    William Haynos

    By far using this masa is the closest I have come to truly authentic Mexican tortillas. Far superior to anything I have ever tried before!

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  3. Rueben Luna

    Everything is amazing

    Rueben Luna (verified owner)

    I am extremely happy with everything in the package that I bought. The corn has a great color, and the tortilla press feels very durable. The tortilla press probably weighs 10lbs, and all parts are welded. The press will probably last more than a generation. I will definitely become a regular customer as I continue to learn how to make fresh corn tortillas from the various corn kernels I have, and will get.

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  4. Paola Hernandez-O'Connor

    Tortilla Snob

    Paola Hernandez-O’Connor (verified owner)

    Beyond please with the quality of corn. The nixtamal booklet is incredibly helpful and if you need visualization of the process, the masienda videos online are very helpful!

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  5. Brian Mauricio

    The perfect starter kit for tortilla fans looking to make authentic, fresh tortillas!

    Brian Mauricio

    I ordered the Nixtamal Starter Kit without the tortilla press and was blown away by all 4 varieties of corn. When I opened that first bag of corn (white) and smelled the earthy aroma I knew it was authentic as can be. The resulting masa produced the best-tasting tortilla I’ve had!

    The guide that was included was beautifully designed, and showed me how to cook the corn kernels a multitude of different ways. Very easy to pick up.

    If you’re looking to make your own corn tortillas, this kit is a great first step!

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