Tamales are made from a starchy corn-based dough, or masa. It can be stuffed with a variety of items, including meat, cheese, fruits and vegetables. This stuffed dough is then wrapped in banana leaves or corn husks and steamed.
Tamales are not only tasty but also fun to eat, and because they are wrapped in corn or banana leaves, they replace plates and require no cleanup, making them an ideal dish for large families. If you make tamales in bulk and freeze them, or buy them frozen, you need to know how to reheat them, which is easy and keeps them fresh.
Also Read: How to Keep Green Bananas From Ripening
How to Heat up Frozen Tamales | Ultimate Guide 2024
How to Reheat Frozen Tamales in a Stovetop Steamer
Steaming is the most traditional and well-known method of cooking tamales, and for good reason. Steaming keeps the tamales tender and moist. However, tamales must be watched closely while steaming in a steamer. If they are steamed too much, they will absorb too much water and quickly become soggy.
Cooking time depends on the temperature of the steamer and the number of tamales to be heated at the same time: one layer of tamales will take about 20 minutes, but if more tamales are added or the steamer temperature is low, it can take up to 45 minutes. Check the tamales after the first 20 minutes to get an idea of how done they are. At this point, they can be rearranged to ensure even heating.
- If you have a countertop steamer, preheat it according to the manufacturer’s instructions. To steam on the stovetop, fill a large pot with a few inches of water, place the steamer basket in or on top of the pot and heat.
- Place the tamales in the steamer in a single layer, skin side up. Make sure the tamales do not touch the water and cover tightly (they will settle).
- Steam until the entire tamale is hot, about 20 to 45 minutes.
How do you reheat frozen tamales in a pan?
Cooking frozen tamales in a skillet is one of the best ways to cook them, as they become golden brown and crispy.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat. While the pan is heating, remove the corn husks from the tamales.
When the pan is hot, add 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil or lard. Heat the fat for a few seconds before adding the tamales.
Carefully place the tamales in the hot pan. Cook for 3-4 minutes on each side until golden brown. Cook, turning occasionally, until the inside is steaming.
Also Read: How to Slice Cheese Thinly
How to Bake Frozen Tamales to Reheat?
Baking is a convenient way to reheat large quantities of tamales. However, the disadvantage of baking is that tamales dry out more easily than other methods. To prevent them from drying out too much, it is best to wrap them tightly in foil to lock in moisture before baking.
- Baking the tamales
- Preheat oven to 325F.
- Wrap the tamales tightly in foil (leaving the corn husks on) and place them one at a time on a baking sheet.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the center of the tamales is hot.
How do I reheat frozen tamales using a griddle or grill?
There are two ways to reheat tamales: in a pan without oil or on a griddle. This method gives the outside of the tamales a slightly crispy, toasted taste. It is ideal for serving tamales at barbecues and outdoor parties.
- Preheat a griddle or grill to medium heat.
- Place the tamales, still wrapped in the corn husks, on the griddle. For grills, place a double layer of aluminum foil and place the tamales on top to prevent burning. Alternatively, place the tamales directly on the griddle and heat them up.
- Cook the tamales, turning them from time to time. The skin will turn black, but it doesn’t matter because you will remove it when you are ready to eat.
- Cook until the tamales are hot, remove the plastic wrap and serve.
How do you reheat frozen tamales by steaming them in a slow cooker?
Slow cookers are known for their ability to use time and moisture to create tasty dishes without the hassle and energy of other cooking methods. Many of us want to know how to cook tamales in a slow cooker and if you can steam tamales in a slow cooker. This is a great question and the answer is yes.
Steaming tamales in a slow cooker is another easy way to reheat large quantities of frozen tamales, as the slow cooker acts as a steamer. This method is useful if you are bringing tamales to a potluck or other gathering and need a portable heat source that won’t dry out the tamales.
- Turn the slow cooker on high. Place tamales upright, open side up, and pour water over them.
- After 30 minutes (or halfway through cooking), rearrange the tamales to ensure even heating.
How do I “fry” frozen tamales to reheat them?
It’s true that anything can be fried, including tamales. To do this, defrost the tamales first, then heat them in the microwave on low heat for 2-3 minutes. However, soft tamales are more difficult to fry when fully heated in the microwave. Thawing slightly will allow them to cool and make them easier to fry.
- Set the fryer to medium heat.
- Remove the skin from the tamales and dry them with paper towels if there is excess moisture.
- Slowly place them in the oil and cook for 2 to 3 minutes.
- When the tamales are golden brown, carefully remove them from the oil and transfer them to a paper towel lined plate or a wire rack.
Also Read: How To Boil Milk WithOut Curdling
How to Reheat Frozen Tamales from Boiling?
Some tamales are frozen in microwave and heat resistant vacuum packs. This makes it very easy to boil and “heat and eat” frozen tamales. You can also use this method if you have a heat-resistant vacuum cooking bag.
- Heat a large pot of water and bring it to a steady boil.
- Meanwhile, remove the bag of frozen tamales (if this step has already been done) or place the tamales, with the corn husk intact, in the vacuum bag and seal it.
- Once the water is boiling, submerge the bag completely, making sure it does not touch the sides or bottom of the pot. If the bag touches a metal pot, especially the bottom, the plastic may melt. Placing a steaming basket in the bottom of the pot can help separate them to some extent.
- Cook four tamales for about 22 minutes. Once the tamales have been removed from the bag, they cannot be put back in the pot to reheat, so check carefully. Once the tamales have been removed from the bag, they cannot be put back in the pan to reheat, so check carefully.
Also Read: How to Clean BBQ Grill Grates with Ammonia
How do I reheat frozen tamales in the microwave?
You’ll find that tamales can be heated in a variety of ways and are still tasty. And what’s even better is that, unlike many foods, they don’t lose their flavor or become too hard when heated in the microwave. This makes them a great choice for lunches at work or meals on the go.
- If the food is in a microwave-safe bag, simply leave it in and cut a small hole to allow the steam to escape.
- You can also place the tamales in a glass bowl and cover them with a few drops of water. Cover tightly with a lid or plastic wrap.
- Heat the tamales over medium to 50% heat for 3 minutes to thaw evenly.
- Then flip the tamales over and cook on full heat for another 1-2 minutes. Heating times may vary depending on brand and size. Check the instructions if you are unsure of a commercial product.
Also Read: How to Use a Wok On a Gas Stove
How do you reheat frozen tamales in the Instant Pot?
The Instant Pot has taken the internet and kitchens around the world by storm with its quick and easy use and versatility. The Instant Pot is widely used to make thousands of recipes, including reheating and cooking frozen foods. Reheating frozen foods is one area where the Instant Pot excels.
So how do you reheat frozen tamales in the Instant Pot? Let’s start at the beginning.
- Place the Instant Pot trivet on the bottom of the Instant Pot.
- Line the Instant Pot steamer basket and place it on top of the trivet.
- Pour about 2 cups of water into the pot. It is important that the water collects at the bottom and does not touch the tamale directly. This is important because the tamale should not be in direct contact with the water. If you leave the tamales in the water, they will become soggy and inedible.
- Arrange the tamales (with the shells and opening facing up) in a circle around the edge of the steamer.
Some people place an Instant Pot safety item (like a small circular plate) in the center of the tamales to hold them in place. If you don’t have one, simply arrange the tamales so that they are secure.
- Close the lid, place the lever in the center and set the Instant Pot to “manual”. Set the timer for 15 minutes and cook.
- When the timer goes off, wait for the Instant Pot to release naturally, i.e. release the pressure on its own, and move the toggle switch to prevent it from releasing quickly.
- To remove the tamales, use tongs or other heat sensitive objects. The tamales are hot.
If you reheat frozen tamales in a pressure cooker (a different brand than the Instant Pot), the time will be the same as in the Instant Pot. Make sure the middle of the tamale is hot before serving. Also, always follow the safety instructions for your appliance.
Also Read: How to use a Mandoline Slicer for Zucchini
How to Heat up Frozen Tamales | Video Explanation
- The FDA recommends that all leftover and cooked foods be heated to at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
- This ensures that bacteria that cause foodborne illness are killed. Use a thermometer to verify that tamales have reached an internal temperature of 165F, especially if you are making large quantities, as they can heat unevenly.
- When steaming tamales, make sure they do not come in contact with boiling water. If the steamer comes into contact with hot water, the tamales may melt.
- Tamales can be eaten for breakfast, lunch and dinner. They go well with fried eggs, queso fresco, pico de gallo, hot sauce and mole sauce.
- Tamales have a wide variety of fillings to suit different tastes and meals. Chicken, beef, pork, beans, cheese, vegetables and sweet corn are common.
Hi, I’m Jennifer Lawrence, Went to Calhoun High School (Georgia) my goal is to make the kitchen fun by providing a mathematical and logical component to our approach to cooking good food. I look not only at delicious recipes but also at kitchen tools and gadgets to give you the tips and tricks we hope you will find useful. Read More Here