How To Reheat Frozen Tamales – The Best Way

How do you reheat frozen tamales?

You can easily reheat frozen tamales by steaming them for 20-30 mins. They can also be reheated using the oven or the stove. You can boil or microwave your tamales – we strongly recommend you don’t!

Tamales are not just tasty, they’re also fun to eat as well. They’re a fantastic food to serve at an event with a large number of family members as the corn husk or the banana leaf wrap can be used instead of a dish, which means there’s no mess!

If you’ve cooked a huge batch of tamales to freeze or bought frozen ones and need to figure out how to heat them in a manner that’s simple and keeps them in a fresh state.

There are many different methods to heat frozen tamales, and we will cover every one of them, from the most efficient to the least techniques, in the next article.

ApplianceSetting the Temperaturehow long (from to being frozen)The length (Thawed)
SteamerHigh30-45 minutes20 minutes
Pot (Steamer Insert)High, boiling, and hot water30-45 minutes20 minutes
Rice CookerHigh20-30 minutes15 to 20 minutes
Instant PotHigh15 minutes10 minutes
MicrowaveMed (Frozen) High (Thawed)3-minutes, then flip, 2 minutes1 1/2 minutes Turn 1 minute
Oven350 F25-35 minutes15 to 20 minutes
Pot (Boiling Water)High-temperature, boiling water10 to 15 minutes8-10 minutes
Griddle/StovetopHighn/auntil husks are burned on all sides

How To Cook Frozen Tamales

Tamales can be made with any type of food, including a meat-based mix, beans, rice, or scrambled eggs.

They’re wrapped in sweet or savory cornflour and then wrapped in a stunning corn husk, or banana leaf depending on where you’re purchasing the items from.

Based on the type of filling contains It is possible to change the way you cook them, but any of these options are suitable, regardless of the contents.

How To Steam Tamales

The process of steaming tamales may differ slightly based on the steamer, the number of the tamales are steaming at the same time, as well as the contents of your tamales contents are.

A steamer pot with an insert such as the one on Amazon is ideal for steaming tamales.

We suggest steaming only one layer of tamales per time except if you have an adjustable steamer. Don’t put your tamales right over each other, however, as they’re more likely to get soft where they touch.

How To Steam Tamales:

  • Make sure to set your steamer at about 20 mins and afterward, check your tamales for the temperature and the texture.
  • You should be careful not to over-steam your tamales as the dough may become somewhat soft and wet when you steam them for too long. Additionally, if the filling is extremely moist, for example, a large amount of tomatoes or other veggies that have a high amount of water be cautious about steaming too long.
  • When you’re warming tamales stored in the steamer,, it is likely to take between 40 to 45 minutes but be sure to check at minimum every 5-10 minutes following the 20-minute mark.

What is the best way to Steam Tamales: Stovetop

There are a lot of cheap steamer inserts that fit into stockpots that work well to steam Tamales. We are awestruck by this steamer insert that folds because it can be adjusted to accommodate a variety of dimensions of pots and expand in various shapes based on the cooking requirements.

to steam tamales over the cooktop:

  • Fill the pot with around 2 inches water It should be filled with water about 2 inches and then insert the steamer in Be sure that the water does not go out of the steamer. It is not advisable to have your tamales in water because they’ll become too mushy.
  • Place your tamales in the steamer’s insert, standing up with the ends that are open facing towards the upwards. Make sure not to fill too much into the pot. Also, make sure that your tamales don’t slide around so they’re lying in a flat, or across the diagonal.

With the countertop steamer, it takes about forty minutes in order to cook your tamales after they’ve been frozen. But you need to check on the tamales after 20 minutes to make certain that they’re not overcooking.

How to Steam Tamales Without a Steamer

If you don’t own an appliance to steam but want to keep it traditional and steam your tamales, you could get the same results by making use of an alternative such as a rice cooker or an instant pot.

How to steam tamales in the rice cooker

Tamales can be cooked inside a rice cooker however, you’ll need to add something else to the bottom of the cooker such as rolled aluminum foil, or even a circular metal rack to ensure that you can shield the tamales from the water.

This is only beneficial when you’re heating a maximum of 4 tamales because otherwise, they’ll get too dense inside the rice cooker to cook evenly.

For steaming tamales using the rice cooker:

  • Make sure you add one or two inches of water to the rice cooker. Make sure the tamales are raised from the water. Place them on a high table with their open edges facing upwards.
  • Cook on high for approximately twenty minutes after removing them from the freezer. Examine the internal temperature and allow them to simmer for 10 minutes as required.

Steam Tamales In An Instant Pot

Making tamales from frozen using an instant pot is easy to do, however, it’s only recommended when you have a steamer basket specifically made specifically for the Instant Pot.

Steamer baskets made of mesh come in two sizes to keep your tamales, as well as any other food item you’d like to steam safe from water pooling in the bottom of your vessel. The baskets also come with handles that allow you to take the basket out easily and securely, removing any excess water as you make your way.

When steaming tamales inside an instant pot:

  • It’s recommended to use around two cups of water to fill the Instant Pot to produce enough steam. However, you need to ensure that the tamales aren’t in water at all.
  • Make sure that the openings face upwards, and that your tamales are on their ends in a neat clean, neat circular pattern.
  • Cover and seal the Instant Pot and then set it to 15 minutes..
  • If the timer is set to go off, let the natural release setting to let the steam out instead of using an instant release option. Once the steam is released, carefully open the pot and make use of oven mitts or a tong in order to remove the extremely boiling steamer basket.

How To Cook Tamales In The Oven

The process of baking tamales is easy, however, it can make your tamales dry more quickly than alternatives.

To safeguard yourself from this shameful travesty to prevent this from happening, you could wrap your baking pan in aluminum foil, and wrap every tamale with aluminum foil.

To heat tamales by baking them in an oven:

  • Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees F..
  • If the tamales you’ve bought are frozen, it will take at minimum twenty-five minutes.
  • If you’ve let them cool before putting into the oven the oven will be ready in just 15 minutes.

How To Cook Tamales On A Griddle or Stovetop

If you plan to cook your tamales it’s recommended to chill them until they’ve completely defrosted prior to cooking them. Make sure they’re still tightly sealed in corn husks. Then put them on the hot griddle or fry pan at a high temperature.

It is important to allow the husk to blacken prior to flipping it. The tamale should be hot in the middle when your husk is completely black. This is a classic method of rapidly heating the tamale. It should take 7 to 7 minutes at high temperatures.

You can also cook your tamales without husks by placing a small amount of olive oil, cooking oil, or even the grill. This will create a crisper outer crust. It only takes around three minutes per side, and they taste great.

How To Cook Tamales By Boiling

Tamales can be cooked in boiling but it’s not advised since there are too many possibilities for error.

It is essential to make sure that no water will contact your Tamales So you have to seal them properly either in a Ziploc bag which is not intended to be cooked or placed in the silicone bags for food storage that has been certified for cooking sous vide.

  • If you own Sous vide containers, you can place the tamale(s) in the bag and ensure that it is sealed properly.
  • Ideally, you should defrost your tamale first , and then place it in boiling water for eight to ten minutes.
  • A well-made silicone bag should be secure enough to put an ice-cold tamale in then seal it and cook for 10 to 15 minutes.

If you’re boiling your tamales, keep an attentive eye on your bag to check for leaks. If any water is leaking into the tamales, it will spoil your food.

Do You Reheat Tamales Using The Microwave?

Tamales can be heated by heating them in the microwave However, microwaves do not evenly distribute heat, which makes them less reliable, particularly for items that are tightly wrapped such as the Tamale.

If you’re in a hurry or are trying to pack the perfect healthy and delicious lunch to work sometimes, a microwave may be your only option.

It won’t be perfect however, it will taste great. There’s a chance that you’ll get a hard or rubbery dough, but if you keep an eye on the tamale closely and make sure you don’t overcook it, then you’ll probably be happy with the result.

If you’re microwaving tamales you’ll need to alter the temperature and time depending on whether it’s frozen:

  • When your tamale has become in a freezer, place it on an oven-safe plate inside the husk, then cover it with an splatter guard or bowl and then heat it at medium or 50 percent to about 3 mins. This will melt the tamale. Turn it over and cook at a moderate temperature for an additional 2 minutes and it will completely warm the tamale.
  • When your tamale has frozen it is possible to heat to high until 1.5 minutes to one side. Then then flip then heat for another minuteon the opposite side.

Security Note:

It’s always a good idea to test the temperature inside of your food prior to eating it, particularly if there’s meat in your tamales. The FDA advises that food items that are reheated must be at or above 165F at their core.

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.