Rancho Gordo

  • Our monthly newsletter

    Fill out your e-mail address
    No spam or sharing!

The Book List


  • BRAM Cookware
    Amazing collection of clay pots for cooking, now available onlilne.
  • Black Chamba Pots from Toque Blanche
    If you're eager to start cooking with clay, this is the place to start. I love the round soup pots for beans but the casseroles will do as well.
  • Chiles from Tierra Vegetables
    Lee and her brother grow and dry some great chiles. Visit them at the farmers market, online or at their stand.
  • Wonderful Organic Rice
    Take it from someone who generally isn't nuts about brown rice- this stuff is grand!

About Rancho Gordo and this blog

  • We grow many varieties of New World products, specializing in heirloom beans. We sell only domestically in the US at this point, via our website (, directly to restaurants and at farmers markets. The older I get, the more I realize I've barely begun to scratch the surface of the things that interest me, so this blog is hardly the last word on anything, just a collection of experiments. If you have questions, more information or corrections, I'd love to hear from you in the "comments" section after each post.
  • Rancho Gordo on Twitter: @RanchoGordo

« No Market Saturday | Main | The Xochimilco Market in Mexico City »

September 01, 2008


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Masa at Home with the Nixtamatic!:



I can smell it coming out of the machine! The only thing missing was catching a whiff of the masa hitting your comal. Wanted to see that tortilla hecha a mano! Not everyone thinks you're crazy.


Wow, you must go through a lot of masa! What does a machine like that cost?

I usually buy masa prepared by the pound (with the lard and sometimes herbs already mixed in) from one of the local Mexican bakeries or tamale makers. Making your own tamales is labor-intensive enough for me.

Anita / Married ...with Dinner

that's pretty cool. If I had the space, I'd love to have one. But I guess I will just hit up Joan when I need the occasional bag of fresh masa. :)

Steven Sando

None of the tortillerias nearby use actual nixtamal. They use masa harina. The current Rancho Gordo tortillas do use nixtamal but I only have access that on Friday nights and half the time they goof and I'm stuck. Also, we're experimenting by growing some different heirloom corns and now I can process them immediately.
I'm a little embarraresed how much the machine cost, but as you might guess, I can be somewhat driven. Somewhat.


Great! I buy your new book, You go out and buy a new toy? Looks to me like you well have to sell many more books... Looks great, have fun...

Mexico Cooks!

That's really a fabulous machine, Steve. Really. I'm impressed.


jen maiser

This machine is seriously cool. Too bad you don't live in the city -- you could rent us all turns at the Nixtamatic.

Greg Williams

I'm looking for a machine to make fresh masa for tamales.
Where can I buy one at in the United States?


Greg Williams

I'm looking for a machine to make fresh masa for tamales.
Where can I buy one at in the United States?


Steven Sando

I pretty much love the thing. Greg, you could use it for tamales, but I don't know who sells these stateside.
I'm so glad you're all impressed!


What a machine! I would love to own one to make my own fresh masa. There are not many places that sell fresh quality masa anymore. The one store I have relied on for many years has changed hands and, alas, their masa has changed too. Too much lard in their masa preparada and masa harina to boot. People can tell the difference. Do you think you will ever be the U.S. importer of this product?


I'd love to track down and buy a nixtamatic. Any tips for finding and importing one?


So where can I get one? Others have asked. I have to make nixtamal using a metate and that's not a man's work (traditionally). I buy high starch white Yubraska corn (Yucatan genes in corn that can be grown in Nebraska) treat it with calcium oxide (which I steal from the laboratory where I work and then slake it)then work up masa out of the soft kernals on the metate. It took me a while to get the technique figured out so stone does not grind against stone - its more of a shearing action. But what a lot of work for tamales! And while its makes good masa for tamales, I cant get it smooth enough for tortillas.

Steve Sando

Sorry- still haven't heard of a source here in the states. After all this time, I have to say it's very good and probably the best option for home cooks, but it's still not the best. The best is having a neighborhood molino.


Hi Steve: I live in Mexico City and saw the Nixtamatic recently at Casa Boker. Completely fell in love but I thought: Am I really going to be making fresh corn tortillas every day? Is it worth it?

Your video convinced me. I am going back to buy one ASAP. I think the model you have is around 3,500 pesos. Steep for Mexico, but worth it in the long run, in case I ever leave! Corn tortillas in the States are an absolute tragedy. (The ones that aren't made from fresh masa, which are hard to find.)

Thanks again for posting the video.

Larry Keck

I've been grinding my mixtamal with a food processor.. I make pupussas and tamales... I would quit eating for .... 2 days if I could get one of those machines.... maybe just one day. :-)
Thanks for the info. larry

david villalobos

where can i buy the nixtamatic please send me info to purchase one thank you no where can i find the vendors

David Villalobos

please give me info on purchasing the nixtamatic. I want one. Thank you so much. You can call me as i am going crazy trying to locate the seller.

Steven Sando

I get so many requests to buy one of these and I can only repeat- I can't help, sorry! You'll really need to make it down to Mexico and buy one at a kitchen or hardware store.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)