These sweet and warm fillings are the recipe for happiness. And you can keep going back to the hot and fresh Tamales even if they’re not just cooked. Reheating leftover Tamales is not as tricky as you think it is, but how to reheat Tamales the right way? It’s only a matter of proper storage and reheating hacks?
Tamales are a famous South American dish. Filled with meat, chicken, cheese, or veggies. It has a dough-like filling that is usually wrapped in a corn husk or a banana leaf. I don’t blame you to think that reheating Tamales would ruin the flavor and freshness. But I recommend you to know how to reheat Tamales – as if your life depended on it!
There are 4 different ways to reheat Tamales. You can opt-in based on what you already have at home.
Homemade Tamales Around Latin America
Reheating Tamales the Right Way!
1. Reheating Tamales Using an Oven
As simple as reheating chicken or a pie, preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Make sure you wrap each tamale in aluminum foil. Sealing it completely from the outside air so no moisture gets in.
Once the oven is warm and ready to go, reheat Tamales for 20-30 minutes. If the Tamales are denser or have more filling, increase it by a few minutes. But make sure it’s an even number because you have to flip them halfway. So they reheat and cook well on both sides.
2. Reheating Tamales Using a Steamer
Traditional and effective, right? A steamer retains the moisture of any dish. So it never tastes dry and bitter. Tamales, especially, thrive in a steamer. Tamales taste rich in flavor and fresh after you reheat them in a steamer. They don’t taste like leftovers at all!
However, this brings up 2 important questions. How did you store your leftover Tamales? And for how long?
If the Tamales were frozen, steaming is a much longer process. Refrigerated Tamales take 10 -12 minutes to serve warm.
So based on that, here’s how you reheat Tamales in a steamer.
You’ve got to preheat the steamer the same way you did the oven. So start your steamer up to medium-high heat if it’s on the stove. Once you start to see some steam rising to the top, open the lid and add a few Tamales. Don’t overcrowd the steamer with too many. This will just ruin the whole steaming and reheating process.
For frozen Tamales, add 10 minutes more. So that’s about 25 minutes for frozen Tamales. And 10 to 15 minutes for refrigerator Tamales.
If you have a food thermometer, check if the Tamales have touched 165 degrees. If they have, then you’re good to go!
Read more: Simple Steps on How to Reheat Shrimp
3. Reheating Tamales Using a Microwave
A microwave is less advanced than an oven. A home may or may not have an oven, but it most certainly as a microwave. You can reheat Tamales in a basic and standard microwave. Here’s how.
But hold on a second. Here’s a microwave hack to get you those fresh and warm Tamales.
Thaw those Tamales first! Then put them in the microwave for 30 to 45 seconds. Frozen Tamales take longer and can most likely dry out and taste mushy. If you thaw the Tamales, they will turn out crispy and delicious. That’s a promise!
Do not microwave the Tamales wrapped in toil. Instead, wrap each tamale in a damp paper towel. This keeps the moisture intact and avoids dehydration of the Tamales.
Place the Tamales on a microwave-friendly plate. Flip the Tamales after 20-25 seconds so they cook on both sides. Make sure the paper towel doesn’t burn. It has to be damp all the time. Unwrap and wrap a new sheet, if it comes to that.
4. Reheating Tamales Using a Crock-Pot
When you can’t use a microwave or a steamer or an oven. This is your last but equally effective chance. A crock-pot, simply said, is a slow cooker. It may take more time but it doesn’t matter if the Tamales come out hot and fresh, right?
Most slow cookers come with their precise temperature settings. So once you put the crock-pot on the stove, adjust it to the highest temperature.
You can put refrigerated Tamales directly into the crock-pot. Do not put too many or too few. Make sure the open end is facing up.
Coat the Tamales with some water and cover the crock-pot. The Tamales should take about 30 minutes (each side) to reheat. You can arrange and rearrange them as you like. Just like the steamer, once the Tamales reach 165 degrees, turn the heat off.
A Few Tips Before You Go
To know how to heat frozen Tamales, you have to know how to store Tamales. This is how.
The first thing is – do not remove the corn husk. Or the banana leaf. While reheating the Tamales, the corn husk/banana leaf helps distribute heat evenly. And it prevents spills as the tamale expands after being frozen and refrigerated.
The second thing is – steam if the Tamales are frozen. This is a good way to go if you want to out drying out the Tamales. The Tamales cook evenly in a steamer than anywhere else. Because steaming leftover, frozen Tamales, you don’t have to thaw them. That’s only for when you’re using a microwave to reheat them.
Thawing different types of food are important. Especially Tamales if you don’t want to ruin its flavor and texture.
The third thing is – you can fry them after reheating. This is if you love the crispiness of Tamales. Make sure you soak up the excess oil after reheating the Tamales with a paper towel.
Read more: How to Reheat Crab Legs in 5 Super Easy Ways
Tamales are filling and mouth-watering. And now, you can make as many Tamales as you want. And not worry about throwing them in the bin when there are leftovers. You can store them in a freezer or refrigerator. And reheat them any way you like.
The most exciting part about reheating Tamales from scratch is that it’s so easy. You can do it in a microwave, oven, steamer or crock-pot. Make them soft from the inside until the cheese filling bubbles. And make them crispy from the outside by baking or frying.
Now you have a reason to go nuts about Tamales. They’ll be as tasty tomorrow as they are today. You know more about cooking and reheating leftovers. This sort of knowledge is more important now than ever!