How To Reheat Frozen Tamales

Tamales are steamed maize or corn dough that are often filled with meat and other ingredients. They are then wrapped in a slightly moistened banana leaf to keep them together and make it easier to eat as an edible package. In this post, we look at how to reheat frozen tamales.

how-to-reheat-frozen-tamales

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What Are Tamales?

A tamale is a Mexican dish that is prepared by steaming ground maize dough. The corn masa (dough) can be varied according to taste, often with black or pinto beans, fresh white cheese, or meat. They are then wrapped in a slightly moistened banana leaf to keep them together and make it easier to eat as an edible package.

In some parts of Mexico, especially in the state of Michoacán, tamales are filled with various ingredients such as chorizo (Mexican sausage), pork rinds, chicken, shrimp, and even fish.

Related: How To Reheat Smoked Turkey

How To Cook Frozen Tamales

First, bring water to a rolling boil in a large pot. The water should be salty (2 teaspoons per every 2 quarts of water) and also add some vinegar (1 tablespoon per every 2 quarts of water). Use enough water to cover the frozen tamales and bring everything to a quick boil for about 10-15 minutes. You can also use a microwave or in an oven to cook frozen tamales.

How To Steam Tamales

Follow these steps to steam tamales in a pot:

  1. Place some water (around 6 cups) and a steamer rack in the bottom of a thick-bottomed pot.
  2. Preheat the water to medium-high heat on the stovetop.
  3. Brush some vegetable oil on the inside of each tamale.
  4. Then, place each tamale parallel to the edge of the steamer rack, pointing towards you, into the pot. The water should cover the bottom of all your tamales.
  5. Cover your pot with its lid and cook until done, around 15 minutes depending on how large they are.

How To Steam Tamales Without A Steamer

You will need a pot with a steamer rack and a thick-bottomed pot. Follow these steps to steam tamales without a steamer:

  1. Spray the inside of your tamales with vegetable oil and place them parallel to the edge of the steamer rack, pointing towards you.
  2. Place this rack and your pot on the stove-top over medium heat.
  3. Once the water is boiling, place each frozen tamale on a tray so that it does not touch the hot water.

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How To Steam Tamales In A Rice Cooker

The rice cooker is an ideal tool to cook tamales because it allows you to steam them in a pot with a lid. You must heat a rice cooker before cooking the tamales.

  1. Place a trivet in your rice cooker.
  2. Place all the tamales inside the pot.
  3. Once you have put all of them in and closed it, you can set it to cook or even set it to keep warm if you prefer. To cook, press a button and wait until cooking is complete.

How To Steam Tamales In An Instant Pot

You can also use an instant pot to steam your tamales. It is the fastest way to cook your tamales since you do not need to wait for the water to boil. According to instructions, you will need to ensure that the masa dough mixture is not more than 3/4 of an inch thick.

If you are using an instant pot, it is best to place aluminum foil over the label located in the inner liner of your pot. This will ensure that your tamales do not stick during cooking.

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How To Reheat Frozen Tamales In Microwave

The microwave is the most convenient way to reheat your frozen tamales. These are easy to cook, and they can be served quickly. The disadvantage is that they may not be evenly cooked since microwave ovens have trouble heating unevenly shaped food like tamal.

To reheat your frozen tamales in a microwave oven, place them on a microwave-safe plate or a circular dish. Use medium heat to reheat frozen tamales and cook them for about 3-4 minutes, flipping once during reheating.

How To Reheat Frozen Tamales In Air Fryer

The air fryer is another way to reheat your tamales. It is a great alternative to both conventional and microwave ovens since it can cook them quickly and evenly.

According to instructions, you will need to ensure that the masa dough mixture is not more than 3/4 of an inch thick. If a certain part of your tamale does not cook, simply remove it from the air fryer and cook the remaining ones for a few minutes with the same setting.

If your air fryer has an automatic shutoff feature, remove the tamales when they are steaming hot and close the lid. Do not open it until they have cooled down.

Related: How To Choose An Air Fryer

How To Reheat Frozen Tamales In The Oven

You can also use an oven to reheat your frozen tamales. The best way to do this is by using a Pyrex glass casserole dish. Make sure that you preheat the oven to 400F and line the bottom of the dish with aluminum foil. You can also add some spicy sauce or salsa to make it boil faster.

Can You Boil Tamales?

Yes, you can boil frozen tamales, but it will be very difficult for them to retain their shape. They may become mushy and rubbery, so it is best to avoid this cooking method.

How To Reheat Frozen Tamales – Chart

Kitchen ApplianceTemperatureHow Long (From Frozen)How Long (Thawed)
SteamerHigh30 – 45 Minutes20 Minutes
Rice CookerHigh30 – 45 Minutes20 Minutes
Instant PotHigh15 Minutes10 Minutes
MicrowaveMedium3 Minutes, Flip 2 Minutes1 ½ Minute, Flip 1 Minute
Oven350 F20 – 30 Minutes15 – 20 Minutes
Pot (Boiling Water)High10 – 15 Minutes8 Minutes

The Bottom Line

Tamales are very popular throughout Mexico. Their unique taste and texture are quite delicious. But with all the freezing and reheating you need to do to make tamales, it can get costly. In this post, we looked at how to reheat frozen tamales and gave you options for how to do that easily. I hope you got the vast information about how to reheat frozen tamales at home.

FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions

What Is The Best Way To Reheat Tamales?

There are so many different ways to reheat tamales. You can use a microwave, an oven, or even a rice cooker. Most people prefer the oven since it is quick and easy, but not everyone has time for that. Microwaving tamales is also surprisingly effective.

How Do You Reheat Frozen Tamales In The Oven?

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Unwrap tamales and place them on a baking sheet. Cook for 14 minutes or until heated through.

Can You Freeze And Reheat Tamales?

Yes, you can freeze and reheat tamales. They’re Mexican food that is traditionally steamed in corn husks, but they can be steamed in other ways too. To avoid the dough from drying out once it’s frozen and thawing again, you might want to wrap them loosely in aluminum foil before putting them into the freezer for later use. You can just as easily steam the tamales after they’ve been thawed, so long as you make sure that they’re cooked through first; this will also help get rid of any excess water inside them prior to cooking.

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