A tostonera is a wooden (and sometimes plastic) press used to make "tostones". Tostones are flattened discs of plantain that are cooked, pressed, then fried again. The process is simple. Plantain slices are fried until softened a bit then removed and drained. The slices are then laid in the bottom of the press then pressure applied to flatten out the slice. The slice is then returned to the pan to complete the cooking process. There is also a deeper version of the tostonera called a tostonera relleno (see below)

Selecting A Press

simple wooden tostonera

Our favorite presses are made of good quality

hard wood from Colombia. This type of press has become increasingly difficult to find. Most of the presses found online are made in China. This press will function but the wood tends to be lower quality and the hinges may be more prone to rust.

Simple Wood Tostonera

Plastic tostoneras are available as well. A sturdy plastic press will probably be more useful than the lower quality wooden press. Check to make sure the plastic is thick and the hinges well-attached so they don't come apart with use.

Tostonera Relleno

tostonera rellanoThe tostonera relleno is used for making stuffed tostones. A plantain slice is placed in the bottom of the form then pressure is applied. The pressure stretches the slice and creates a "crater" which is stuffed, then fried.






Buy A Tostonera


Care Of Your Tostonera

Wooden presses should never be soaked in water or put in the dishwasher. After each use simply wipe the press off with a damp cloth.

Basic Tostones Recipe

  • 2 plantains (green)
  • 2 cups canola oil
  • Salt, add to taste

In a large frying pan or deep fryer, heat the oil. In a separate plate, peel and cut the plantains into one inch rounds. Place them in the hot oil and cook for about 3 minutes while turning. Remove from oil and pat dry with a paper towel. Place each round inside a sandwich bag and smash it with the bottom of a bottle or with a "tostonera". Put them back in the hot oil for about 3 minutes turning until golden brown on both sides. Remove from oil and pat dry with a paper towel. Add salt to taste.

Serving Suggestions:

Eat with guacamole topping or your favorite dip. Great appetizer for picnics and parties or serve as a side dish.

Barbara Bowman graduated with degree in Foods and Nutrition from San Jose State University. As CEO of she spends most waking hours writing, cooking, eating, gardening and traveling.