How to Make Corn Flour

Corn flour is a highly common nutritious food in cooking. Dishes are prepared using this ingredient in almost every part of the world, from typical Venezuelan and Colombian arepas to the famous Mexican tamales or tortillas.

Nowadays, there are numerous brands dedicated to commercializing this product. Therefore, you can always find packages with different names on the shelves of grocery stores. However, it’s possible to make it at home.

6 Steps to Make Corn Flour

Homemade preparation of this flour is very easy. It undergoes less processing than those bought at commercial establishments. The result is even better because it’s more nutritious and enhances the flavor. How is it done?

1. Corn Selection

There is a wide variety of grains used to make this food. The favorite is field or dent corn, but sweet corn can also be used. Different types are available at the supermarket. If refrigerated whole kernels are chosen, a 450-gram (16-ounce) bag is required.

Those from homegrown crops take longer because they need to be dried on the cob. Another alternative is to buy those commonly used to make popcorn. The process is simpler because there’s no need to dry them.

2. Dehydration

Once the corn has been selected for corn flour, it is spread out on a special dehydrating tray. If it’s frozen, gently tap the bag to separate the kernels, and then place them in uniform layers.

In the case of fresh corn, the cob is shucked with a sharp knife first. Each cob is equivalent to 450 grams of flour.

Then, they are placed in the dehydrator at a temperature of 52 degrees Celsius (125 degrees Fahrenheit). The estimated time is between 8 and 12 hours, or until completely dry.

When it no longer feels flexible, it’s ready. If it’s not going to be ground immediately, store it in an airtight container.

3. Grinding

The next step is to place the corn in an electric or manual mill. A high-powered blender, mortar and pestle, or grinder can also be used. 

These instruments are used for small portions. In the mill, large quantities are processed in batches of approximately 170 grams.

A plate or bowl is placed underneath to catch the processed corn. Both the mortar and pestle are filled halfway, and the grains are crushed against the sides. 

The electric mill and blender are more convenient because you just have to turn on the machines, and they do the work by themselves.

4. Sifting

The coarse flour obtained from grinding is passed through a fine mesh sieve. Some coarse pieces are likely to remain. If so, grind them again, adjusting the plate settings.

The idea is to obtain a less gritty consistency suitable for preparing meals.

5. Separation of Semolina

After sifting the corn flour, the semolina, or the coarser part, is separated. There should be fewer dehydrated remnants than powder. 

If the amount doesn’t match the amount of corn used initially, it can be ground and sifted again. However, repeating the process too much is not recommended to prevent loss of nutritional value.

6. Storage

It is possible to cook the flour immediately after preparation. This way, the nutrients are retained, and it has more flavor. But if that’s not the plan, store it in sealed plastic bags to preserve it well.

Sealed packages are stored in dry, dark, and slightly cool places. As long as they meet these conditions, they can last up to a year.

Types of Corn Flour

Since this food is obtained from the drying and grinding of a variety of grains, there are different types, including:


This is made by grinding mature, raw, and dry cereal grains. It can be white, yellow, red, or blue. It’s used to make atoles, bread, and other dishes.

Toasted Corn Flour

For its preparation, soft, dent, or sweet grains are used, which are toasted before being ground.


This is a toasted corn flour sweetened with sugar or ground natural piloncillo. In some regions, a little cinnamon or orange peel is added.

Popcorn Flour

It’s made from ground popcorn kernels. In countries like Mexico, it’s consumed with milk or used to make tamales and atoles.


The corn is cooked in alkaline water with lime to release its nutrients. Then it’s ground to obtain natural flour.


Most of these flours are refined and contain preservatives and gums to mimic the texture of natural or traditional flour.

For Fresh Tamales

To obtain it, the grain is cooked just like traditional flour, but for less time. Then it’s passed through a mill, adding water.

For Industrial Tamales

It’s a dehydrated flour used to make tamales. Its flavor and texture are different from traditional fresh flour.


It’s finer than the previous ones, obtained by separating the starch from the corn grain, bran, and germ. It’s used for sauces, beverages, and in baking.

Nutritional Value of Corn Flour

Consuming corn flour is healthy as it contains proteins, vitamins, and minerals. Its nutritional value is internationally recognized. 

Every 100 grams provides 329 calories, 66 grams of carbohydrates, and 8 grams of protein, according to the Spanish Food Composition Database (BEDCA). The amount of fat it provides is less than 3 grams. It’s also a source of vitamin A, potassium, and phosphorus.

Some pre-cooked flours are made from 100% selected natural corn. They do not contain additives or gluten, but they do contain fibers and minerals. Mixed with salt and water, they make exquisite dishes like arepas.