Can You Freeze Tamales?

Is it safe and easy to freeze tamales?

Yes, tamales can be frozen as long as they are made and packed in a proper manner. They’ll stay fresh for about 3-6 months in your freezer without any changes in their taste or texture.

Tamales are an essential part of Mexican food. They are a doughy, starchy and savory corn-based meal that is cooked either in an husk made of corn or a banana leaf. Tamales are often filled with meat, cheese or fruit or vegetables, and even chilies.

Tamales are a tradition on itself, and the making of tamales being an integral aspect of Mexican culture. It can take a long time to make tamales. It is wiser to make batches of tamales and freeze them.

You’ll be able to reduce your time by learning how to freeze tamales correctly and you can make a large batch to store and enjoy for several months.

We’ll guide you through freezing both uncooked and cooked tamales as well as how to best prepare them for reheating and freezing to ensure you always have tasty tamales in your fridge.

Freezing Cooked Tamales

Tamales that are frozen tend to be frozen once they are cooked.

It’s ideal for a make-ahead dinner when you’ve made the tamales, they can be cooked all in one pot. This means you don’t have to prepare the tamales raw after you have removed these from your freezer.

When the tamales have been cooked, it is essential that you pack them correctly and cautiously for freezing because the corn husk wrapper is not strong enough to hold up against the extreme freezing cold.

It is best for tamales that have been cooked to be frozen since fillings that are not cooked can alter taste and texture after freezing Therefore, freezing tamales after they’ve been cooked will preserve more flavor and texture. It also improves the quality.

How To Freeze Tamales

Prior to freezing, you’d create an extra batch or two tamales with the ones you’re going to consume on the day. It is possible to make them exactly as you would do should you consume them right after cooking.

Once you’ve cooked your Tamales, you will need to divide them into the ones that you’ll eat right away, and those you’d like to store for later.

Follow this method to freeze Tamales to have a great time:

Let them cool down –You must allow the tamales to completely cool to room temperature prior to getting them ready for freezing. Put the tamales onto cooling racks for around an hour.

Make sure to check them regularly to determine whether they’ve completely cooled. But, you cannot leave the tamales long enough long, as they may get spoiled after a prolonged amount of time.

Pack them up – Once the tamales have been cooled to the temperature of the room, you can put them in their storage containers to be frozen. The tamales can be placed in an airtight, large container. It is no limit on the number of tamales that can fit into a container, and these containers can take up a lot of freezer space.

Alternately you can wrap each tamale in the wrap of plastic, and then put them all in a strong frozen plastic bag. This lets you remove the tamales you need, without the need to defrost all of them.

Seal the container securely regardless of whether it is an empty plastic freezer container or freezer bag and label each with the label of the item and the date of the freezing. This will help determine when the tamales are best consumed to ensure the highest quality.

Freezing Uncooked Tamales

The masa, a soft dough that can be used in the making of tamales is very perishable.

The majority of people do not freeze tamales that are not cooked due to the higher possibility that the masa as well as other ingredients won’t stand up to freeze-drying. They may not be able to retain the same delicious taste and texture when frozen and then thawing.

If you follow the correct technique and preparation you can prepare the tamales ahead and then store them without cooking within your freezer to cook later.

For this, it is as simple as making the filling the way you normally would. Then, you can either put the filling into the cornhusk wrapping or simply pack the entire batch in a single wrap, and then place it into the freezer.

There is no better choice to do this, it’s entirely up to your personal taste. If you decide to pack the filling on its own or wrap it inside the corn husk wrap it is essential to put it in the freeze-safe container.

If you don’t have a freezer-safe container the tamale can become damaged from ice crystals or frost, which may alter the consistency and taste for the better and the tamales will not taste the same after being they are cooked and thawed.

Cooking Frozen Uncooked Tamales

When it’s time for you to prepare frozen tamales, there are two alternatives. The tamales can be left to freeze in the refrigerator for a few hours and this is the most secure way to let them melt and then put them into the cooker to simmer.

Read also: How long will my tamales last?

Alternately, you can put them in the frozen tamales straight into the steamer to cook them from frozen. Tamales wrapped in wraps are excellent to cook directly from frozen, especially with steamers.

If you’d made the filling in separate freezer bags then you must put both the filling and dough in the refrigerator for a night to let them thaw prior to wrapping them in the corn husk wrapper and steaming the Tamales.

The tamales defrosted can be cooked for about 25 minutes over medium-high temperature however it will be contingent upon the dimensions of the tamales and the number of tamales you would like to cook.

What is the maximum time that tamales can be frozen?

If they are placed inside an airtight container or wrapped in plastic wrap before placing into a plastic freezer bag the tamales can be kept within the freezer for as long as the period of six months.

Although they’ll still be acceptable to eat following this the taste and quality of the tamales will start to diminish and they won’t taste as great as they ought to.

Labeling the container with the date for freezing is essential to ensure that you have the opportunity to consume the tamales before they begin to diminish in quality.

What fillings affect freezing?

Although most tamales are safe to freeze but be aware of the fillings you’re employing when freezing. A majority of fillings, including shrimp and meat, are extremely well-suited to freezing and taste similar when heated and thawed.

For fillings made of vegetables, it is important to keep in mind that vegetables tend to become much more slimy and watery following being frozen and then thawed.

Because of this, it is advised to not overcook your vegetable filling prior to freezing. It is also possible to keep the filling of your vegetable uncooked to ensure it is of the proper texture and consistency after it has been thawed and heated, but not too soft and soft.

Fillings made from dairy such as cheese fillings can be a challenge. Dairy, depending on the type it is, will sometimes split when it is frozen or thawed, or, like cheese, may become brittle.

If you’re freezing cheese fillings ensure that there is a healthy mixture of ingredients to keep that cheese mixture from leaking or turning dry and crumbly when frozen.

To make cheese fillings, it’s recommended to freeze the tamales for at least three months instead of waiting for the full six months.

Interesting Facts & Questions

This is it: an easy guide to freezing tamales of every kind to help you preserve them for another time.

We’ve also included related questions to help you if you’re looking for additional questions about freezing tamales.

Is it possible to freeze tamales in tinfoil?

Tamales can be frozen using foil. Instead of using wrappers to cover the tamales, you can cover them with aluminum foil. After you have covered them in aluminum foil, put the tamales into the freezer bag in a large size and seal it.

How do you thaw frozen tamales?

If you’re not heating the frozen tamales, you should let them thaw overnight in the refrigerator. This is the most secure method of thawing the tamales. It also ensures that they don’t remain at temperatures that could trigger the growth of bacterial colonies to increase.

If you don’t wish to sit for an entire night for the tamales to be ready, the tamales will be ready in a couple of hours in the refrigerator can allow the tamales to defrost enough to warm them.

Do I have to let the tamales chill before freezing?

There is no need to let tamales thaw before heating them. However, you should allow them to chill for approximately 30-minutes before placing them onto the cooktop, the steamer, or in the microwave to warm up.

It is possible to steam tamales from frozen, however waiting for them to take half an hour to let them thaw makes some difference in the time it takes to reheat, as well as their quality when they are heated.

Freezing Tamales – Roundup

It’s completely safe and feasible to freeze tamales for enjoyment in the future, and many people make a bigger batch of tamales to store for later enjoyment.

It takes a lot of time to make Tamales. It is better to spend a few hours in the afternoon making several batches in addition to freezing some instead of having to invest several hours each time you’re in need of Tamales.

The convenience of having some frozen food in the freezer can make a difference, and gives you the chance to enjoy healthy meals without the many hours of cooking!

Norah Clark

Norah Clark

Norah Clark, the founder and editor of YummyTasteFood! She's a seasoned food writer and editor with over a decade of experience in the hospitality industry as a former pastry chef, sous chef, and barista. When not writing about food, she explores new recipes or travels the world for culinary inspiration.