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My homemade quesadillas made with flour tortillas always come out hard, dry and crunchy instead of light and crispy.

I spray the tortillas with a little Pam (spray oil), lay one tortilla oil-side-down in a hot pan, I sprinkle the cheese, meat and sliced peppers, top with the other tortilla, oil-side-up. I flip it when the bottom tortilla is firm and evenly brown-spotted. It's always too dry. I want it to be more like it's a chimichanga crust but of course, that's been fried which can't be done with a quesadilla or all the filling would fall out.

I've looked online but the recipes seem to use the same preparation method that I do.

Any suggestions to make the tortilla lighter and crispier? Thanks everyone!

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@bonCodigo, thanks bon! I thought about the moderator position myself but until I can access the internet from something bigger than my iphone, I don't think I can do the best job. To access the nomination screen, click on "Stack Exchange" in the upper (left?) corner and click on "Notifications". Thanks again! :-) – Kristina Lopez Feb 17 '13 at 15:49
up vote 3 down vote accepted

I use a liquid oil instead of a spray oil; you're far more likely to get hot spots with a spray, which is bad for any kind of cooking. That stuff works better as a grease than an actual cooking oil.

I also tend to have pretty good success by frying the tortillas up to just a hint of golden-brown (dark brown spots is overdone) and then finishing it off (i.e. to melt the cheese) in a low-heat oven. As an added benefit, if you're making a largish batch then that makes it easy to keep them warm until they're all ready to serve.

YMMV, but I find this to be the case for a whole lot of stovetop cooking; with the direct heat, it's very easy to dry foods out before they're cooked to the stage you want. It's far easier to control the heat in an oven and just use the stove for an initial (or final) fry/sear.

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+1 for pan then oven. Thick burgers are a prime example - crust the outside in the pan, then finish in the oven: perfect. – ElendilTheTall Oct 28 '12 at 20:40
Thanks @Aaronut! I appreciate your thorough answer! – Kristina Lopez Oct 30 '12 at 17:47

Don't use oil, tortilla's don't need oil to finish. They should have only been lightly cooked to begin with. The tortilla's need to be soft and pliable before cooking, if they have dried out, lightly steam them in the microwave in a closed container or plastic bag

If they stick to the pan use a better finish cast pan (cast iron is good) and lower the heat. Cook them more slowly than you would for example a grilled cheese sandwich. Or you can cook it entirely under a medium grill (broiler)

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Thanks for the answer, @TFD. I like the little bit of oiliness to the finished quesadilla so I chose the other answer but I upvoted your answer also. – Kristina Lopez Oct 30 '12 at 17:51

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