There is a great amount of variety in how people build a burrito. No matter what ingredients are inside, the main goal is to have a finish burrito that is not overstuffed, not melting through the tortilla in which it is wrapped, and that will not fall apart when eaten. One way to achieve this is to ensure that there is a layer of dry, or mostly dry, ingredients insulating the walls of the tortilla. The ingredients also should be formed in a line down the center of the burrito so the tortilla can be easily folded to form an effective wrapper. The tortilla being used to build a burrito should be warmed first to make it more malleable and less brittle; otherwise, the folds could easily snap and leave the tortilla in pieces.
The size of the ingredients added should be considered to build a burrito that will not fall apart as it is eaten. Optimally, they should all be cut to about the same size, and long or whole pieces of vegetables should be avoided. This is mainly to prevent the filling of a burrito from ripping through the tortilla or pulling the ingredients out when a bite is taken.
The ingredients used to build a burrito also should be fairly dry and not soupy. Tomatoes can be seeded, lettuce crisped and meat drained of liquid fat. This will help the tortilla stay in one piece, whereas excessive moisture could soak through and cause it to rip or break.
To build a burrito, the filling should be placed down the center of the open, flattened tortilla. The tortilla also should be warm or hot at this point so it is as flexible as possible. The filling should form a line down the center, keeping a large amount of space on three sides and coming closer to only one edge, which will be the open end of the burrito. It is important not to overfill the burrito.
Once the filling is in place, the next step to build a burrito is to fold the tortilla. This starts with the edge at the bottom of the line of filling, opposite the edge that will be open. This edge is folded to cover the bottom portion of the filling. Next, the edge to the right of the bottom is folded over so it covers both the filling and the already folded bottom flap. The left side of the burrito is then folded over the filling and the burrito is allowed to rest so the tortilla sets, after which it is ready to be eaten.