You spent hours in the kitchen preparing a delicious meal. After everyone is full, you’re already wondering what to do with what’s left. This scenario is common, and in most cases, the solution is to keep the meal and reheat it for another go. However, when it comes to tamales, things are not that straightforward. You’re going to need a different approach to pack and store the fresh tamales so you can quickly reheat them later so that your entire family can enjoy the unique taste one more time. You can reheat tamales in a pressure cooker, steamer, microwave oven, deep fryer, etc. So, without further ado, let’s take a look at some of the best ways to reheat frozen tamales.
Reheating Tamales in a Steamer
Having a steamer in your kitchen will make it easier when it comes to steaming tamale back to their delicious, warm flavor. Steaming has a couple of advantages, the main one is that you won’t dry the tamales out in the process of reheating. It also prevents overcooking as you only warm them up to go back to that original flavor. So, to practically answer how to reheat tamales in a steaming pot, we’ve put together a step-by-step guide.
- Get your steamer ready
- Fill it with a quarter of a cup of water
- Turn on the heat under the steamer to medium
- Now, take the tamales and place them in the steamer and make sure that you lay them down with the open end up. Also, you will need to make sure the tamales are still in the husk. Ideally, you won’t jam the steamer with too many tamales since it is better to do several rounds than jamming things up.
- Let the steamer to the trick reheating tamales for 15 to 20 minutes. If you previously froze the tamales, make sure to add another 10 minutes to the overall steaming time.
- After the timer on the steamer goes off, check the temperature inside one of the tamales. Ideally, you should reheat tamales up to 165 degrees.
- Use tongs to get them out of the steamer and enjoy!
Reheating Tamales in the Oven
It’s time to check out how to heat up tamales using a regular oven. Not everyone has a steam pot in their kitchen, so knowing how to do it with an oven is very useful. If your kitchen has only the basic equipment, you won’t run out on ways on how to warm up tamales. The good-old oven does a great job of reheating most dishes. So, here’s how to reheat tamales in the oven and enjoy their fantastic flavor once again.
- Turn the oven on and leave it on until the temperature reaches 325 degrees
- Take out the tamales from the freezer or refrigerator once you turn the heat on in the oven so that they have some time to come back to a warmer temperature naturally
- Take each tamale and wrap it in aluminum foil. It’s good to go around each tamale two or three times to make sure it’s covered properly
- Place them inside an oven-safe platter or dish and put them in the oven for 20 minutes. When you’re down to 10 minutes, take out the plate and flip the tamales over. Just like with the previous guide on how to reheat tamales without a steamer, if they were frozen, you can just add 10 minutes to the overall freezing time
- After the time is up, carefully unwrap one of the tamales and check out the internal temperature
Reheating Tamales using a Crockpot
You bought a new crockpot, and you’re just dying for an opportunity to use it? Then you can just forget about the process to reheat tamales in the oven because there’s a specific way to do so using your crockpot. The advantages over the oven method come from not having to flip them over halfway through and being able just to set the timer and go on doing something else. However, on the downside, it is one of the lengthiest methods out there since the slow cooker is designed to cook or reheat food at a very relaxed pace carefully. So, here’s what you should do if you want to enjoy instant pot tamales.
- Set up the slow cooker or crockpot and set the temperature to high
- Take the tamales out and place them inside the pot. Compared to the oven, the process of how to reheat frozen tamales in a crockpot doesn’t require taking them out beforehand. However, you should pay attention and align the tamales with their open end upwards
- Don’t overdo it since crowding the crockpot will considerably lengthen the entire process
- Sprinkle the inside of the crockpot with water and cover the pot. With refrigerated tamales, you should cook them for one hour. Frozen tamales instant pot can easily take 1 hour and 30 minutes, so make sure you take all the necessary precautions.
- You can check on them halfway through and change the way they’re arranged if the process isn’t fast enough. Opposed to steam tamales, the crockpot will not dampen them at all.
- After the time goes off, you should check that the internal temperature hit 165 degrees and you’re ready to serve
Reheating Tamales with a Microwave
It doesn’t matter if you have a standard microwave size or a smaller one, like in a dorm room, for example. This step by step guide answers the question of how to steam tamales without a steamer and is probably the most used method of them all. To reheat tamales in the microwave, you don’t need any ahead preparation, so you can get the process done quite quickly. Admittedly, it’s not the best way for heating tamales; however, if you’re short on options and you want to eat quickly, this is the way for you. If you don’t quite understand why using a microwave is worse than to steam tamales in instant pot, just think about how microwaves heat food unevenly, and even with the rotating plates, it still manages to leave a portion where the food is cold.
Also, compared to reheating tamales in instant pot, when dealing with frozen tamales, you will need to take them out and let them thaw in the refrigerator. As this process can take up to four hours, it’s good to plan your moves ahead. The main thing to remember when you are warming up tamales using a microwave is that they will tend to dry up so make sure you cover them in wet paper. Here’s how you should get things done to enjoy a nice and warm meal.
- Put the tamales on a microwave-safe plate designed to fit properly in the microwave
- Arrange them carefully so that they’re not touching if you want to avoid those cold spots
- Take a paper towel and wet it, then wrap each of the tamales or just use a wider one to cover the entire plate
- Keep the plate in the microwave for one or two minutes at medium power. If you want a pro tip on how to warm tamales, you can heat them for 15 seconds at a time and flip them between sessions.
- Remove the plate from the microwave and let them cool a bit before serving.
Reheating Tamales in a Deep Fryer
If for any reason, all that’s left functional in your kitchen is a stovetop deep fryer, you can use one to heat up tamales as well. Well, you’ll most probably end up eating baked tamales, however, if you simply can’t reheat tamales in crockpot, steamer, regular oven or microwave, this is the only way to go.
Reheating Frozen Tamales – Pro Tips
As we mentioned before, one of the significant differences when reheating frozen tamales comes from the time you need to leave them inside the steamer, crockpot, fryer, or microwave. In some cases, as we’ve seen in the how-to steam tamales in a crockpot guide, you will need to take them out of the freezer long before you reheat them so that they naturally go back to room temperature. Other than these precautions, there’s nothing special you need to keep in mind when dealing with frozen tamales.
So, you are now good to go with reheating and preparing delicious tamales meals for your friends and family. For even more tips and tricks on how to make various meals or reheat aliments, check out the articles on MyKitchenAdvisor, and you’ll be able to tackle any situation in the kitchen.