Masa at Home with the Nixtamatic!

I believe I've gone off the deep end, but before you tell me it couldn't have been a very long trip, let me tell you that I've been enjoying 100% pure corn tortillas thanks to this wonderful machine.

I bought it in Puebla and had it shipped back. I'm really thrilled to know that after all my trials I will now always have decent masa.

32 Comments on Masa at Home with the Nixtamatic!

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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. 🙂

  4. 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.

  5. 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…

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


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

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


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


  10. 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!

  11. 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?

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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. david villalobos // June 20, 2011 at 8:32 am // Reply

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

  18. David Villalobos // July 19, 2011 at 6:01 pm // Reply

    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.

  19. 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.

  20. Here’s a follow up on how to purchase a Nixtamatic if you are so inclined:

    Hello – finally able to purchase/import a Nixtamatic after several years of trying to find one. I contacted Nixtamatic a number of times but they would never respond. I think it’s due to a language barrier perhaps and maybe not wanting to deal with retail sails.

    I simply searched for anything I could find to contact Boker directly who is a large hardware retail store near Mexico City.

    Email them at:

    Inquire about purchasing a Nixtamatic an sending to US. You will probably talk to a women named Rosy. She will quote you a price in Pesos including shipping. You then agree on the US Dollar Equivalency based on current exchange rates. In my case total plus shipping came to $510.

    To make payment it was easiest to use POPMONEY in my case thru my credit union. It worked similar to Paypal but doesn’t require a Paypal account and it was free versus trying to send a bank check to the Boker bank account in Texas.

    Here’s where I sent payment via POPMAIL:
    To A NOMBRRE DE BOKER S.A. DE C.V. (Checking)
    Here’s the POPMAIL url:

    Rosy was very friendly I did have to use translation tools along the way but that was easy. She did not speak english, so couldn’t talk live.

    Mention my name if you want as reference, but I don’t think you will need to.

    Once all the details were worked out around payment, etc. The actual delivery to me in PA was very fast.

    I did inquire about importing say 20 units or so as I was thinking there may be others that would want them and I would simply import and transfer at my cost. The discount offered was minimal so I didn’t bother, and in various areas where I posted I didn’t get enough interest to make the hassle worthwhile.

    Good luck – but if you are looking to purchase a Nixtamatic this is how you can do it!

  21. I just purchased a Nixtamatic Mill Grinder directly from Nixtamatic. Prior to purchasing it I had read this and other sites on product and the means of acquiring one. One of our chief concerns was payment of the mill if we attempted to order it out of Mexico, not wanting to donate our credit card number to Mexico City.

    I went to to see what the manufacture said about the product and possibly finding a clue as to how to order one. So I noticed the Contact Tab at the top of the page and went ahead and completed their form and I entered the following message; My wife and I have been trying to locate a Nixtamatic Mill Grinder for corn. Please help.

    The very next day I received an email from Gullermo Carbia stating: THE COST OF THE MILL IS $366.00 US DLLS AN THE SHIPPING BY UPS IS $193.50 THE TOTAL IS $559.50 US DLLS THANCK YOU GUILLERMO CARBIA
    I was almost in shock as I did not of course think I would get a response!

    My next question was: Thank you for your response. What would be the process for making the purchase? Do you accept credit cards or what other form of payment?

    He responded with: HELLO RONALD SNYDER

    I should mention the the shipping cost may be much cheaper for most people as we do live in Fairbanks Alaska. He shipped UPS and the package arrived in two days. The Mill was damaged during shipment however Sr. Carbia insures his shipments. So we opened a claim with UPS and they picked up the package and another was shipped within two days.

    There was a lot of comfort in the fact that the Mill was paid for through Paypal especially since we were dealing with an international shipment. I did use Paypal’s Resolution Center to start the process of resolving the damaged shipment.
    Sr. Carbia did a great job both in the original shipment and the resolution of the damaged shipment.

    • That’s great news.
      A lot of people want these but I have to say over and over, have you tried a hand-cranked model (I think Victoria is one brand) and have you used it enough to know that you really need a Nixtamatic? If you are making masa 4 times a year, it seems like a wild waste of money to me. If you make it regularly, it might make sense. I bought mine years ago and it was much less expensive. Knowing what I know now, I’m not sure it’s for everyone. It’s big, it can be fussy and it’s hard to clean. It does grind nixtamalized corn and it’s much easier than a hand crank model, but $550 seems like money better spent on a trip to Mexico!

    • I have this machine but have no idea how to put together or use. Instructions are in Mexican not English. Can you help me please. Thanks Jennifer

  22. Steve, There were many variables involved with our decision to put out the money for the mill. First off my wife who is Panamanian has had more than her fair share of manually grinded masa. She has had it on her mind for oh about 5 years now and finally decided that it was time. We will use the mill quit often and for many years. The cost is high but our income thankfully allowed us to purchase the mill without any effect on our budget. The cost of shipping has always been a pain here in Alaska but that is what goes with living in a remote state and is expected.
    Interesting enough her father actually rigged a manual mill with an electric motor from their washing machine. After making the masa the motor was re-installed back into the washer. It is not uncommon in Panama for folks to rig up a manual mill with pulleys and such connected to an electric motor.

    As far as a trip to Mexico it is not going to happen, when we go south it is all the way to Panama.

    • I’m not saying you shouldn’t have bought one! Sounds like it was a good investment. It was for me, too. I’m speaking in general about folks who are interested in buying one. They’re not for everyone, especially since in many ways you are on your own once you have it.
      I’m very happy the Nixtamatic people responded. It’s a lost opportunity if they don’t! We would even consider distributing them if the customer service would improve.
      I hope you have many years of service and tons of good masa in your future! I think you do.

      • Oh it was a good investment for us. You mentioned the idea of importing and distributing the mill, this could be problematic even if they had great customer service. The device as you know has not UL tested or approved nor do I think it would pass. If you noticed your cord is two pronged non-polarized, or have the third grounding pin. This is kind of a big issue with modern electrical equipment. I myself will be changing my cord out for a three prong cord just for safety. I am not going to go into how I will determine the hot and neutral wires as I don’t want folks attempting something electrical without the know-how.

  23. Search for “Molino” on eBay, and the Nixtamatic comes up. It’s $550 including shipping, and arrives within a few days by FedEx.

  24. I bought a Nixtamatic from Mexico. All instructions came in Spanish. I can’t use the machine because I don’t have a clue how to put together, clean, grind corn. Is there a booklet in English? Please help.

  25. Where do you buy the corn stateside?? The only cry corn I can find is online at Amazon and it’s expensive!!

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