Does This Easy Step Really Prevent Your Hard-Shell Tacos From Falling Apart?

It's truly the worst. You've carefully set up the perfect taco bar, replete with margaritas, all your favorite toppings, and almost every taco filling imaginable. When it's time to build, you've got your warm, crunchy shell; a layer of spicy, saucy taco meat; chopped veggies; maybe a slathering of sour cream or guacamole; and a sprinkling of cheese. You lift your taco for that first sumptuous bite...and it all falls apart, leaving you clasping some broken shell and shredded lettuce between your fingers, the rest of the taco shattered on your plate — or worse, in your lap.

This is an all-too-common problem, right? Surely, if there were a way to prevent hard-shell tacos from falling apart, we would all be doing it...Well, maybe not. Turns out, there are some seriously easy ways to keep your hard-shell tacos in one piece, as long as you're willing to change up your taco construction routine. One common idea doesn't require much effort at all; you just need to swap up the way you stack your taco ingredients.

Saving your taco is all in the stacking

Lifehacker says that to keep your hard-shell tacos from falling apart, you need to pay careful attention to how you stack your ingredients. Most of us likely stack our taco ingredients by weight. The heaviest stuff — like the meat — goes on the bottom, while the lightest ingredients — such as shredded cheese — end up on top. However, if you simply add the cheese first, the hot ingredients will melt the cheese along the bottom of the shell, creating a reinforcing layer as the cheese hardens, as originally explained by a savvy Reddit user. This way, you can pick up your shell and dig in without a problem, as the cheese acts as a glue to keep everything in place. The same hack was touted by Virgin Radio Montreal, where "Shannon's Life Hacks" cleverly pointed out that you can always sprinkle more cheese on top of the finished taco.

If you're not a fan of extra cheese, there are other ways you can reinforce your crunchy taco shells. Lifehacker notes that you can prevent taco breakage simply by placing your empty shells in a hot oven, which heats up the oils and makes the shells "more pliable." YouTuber Curiosityness concurs, though he bakes his fully assembled tacos and swears by their superior strength. Finally, another Reddit thread discussing this problem gave the simplest solution of all: Just switch to soft corn tortillas for true street-style tacos that won't break.