Did your tamales lose flavor or that soft texture when you reheated them? There are various ways of reheating tamales but here are my three favorite methods on how to reheat tamales that will retain delicious corn flavor and avoid the chewy ends.
Quick Dry Method: Using Your Microwave
This is the quickest method among these three that I’m going to show you because it basically requires the least preparation and materials.
If you plan for your tamale to be a quick bite and take the tamale on your way out, this method may prove to be the most convenient for you. Be warned though, this method usually makes your tamales drier than normal but the taste is preserved.
Here's what you will need for this method:
Step - by - Step Procedure
If your tamales are wrapped in aluminum foil, remove foil and just leave on the corn husks.
Wrap each of your tamales using one of the above, moistened well. The moisture is important to keeping the tamale moist.
Place your tamales on the microwave-safe dish.
Cover the dish with another damp towel before putting it inside the microwave.
Set the microwave timer to 1 minute. Flip tamale heat for 20 more seconds.
Let dish stand in microwave undisturbed.
Plate to serve.
The moist towel or cloth serves as a compressed steamer when used inside the microwave. To prevent uneven heating of tamales when using the microwave, don't reheat more than three tamales at once.
Slow Moist Method: Using Steamer
If you want to reheat your tamales and retain the same squishy feel or want it to be more moist as it was served, then this method is for you. There are a lot of steamers to choose from, but we recommend this best-seller from Amazon.
This method is also best for those who are afraid to overheat the tamale. With a steamer, you can never go wrong.
Things you will need:
- Pot, half full of water
- Steamer – Bamboo works well but a metal double-boiler works okay too. See video below for tips on using a double boiler or a pie pan with holes punched in it to steam tamales.
- Thawed or Frozen Tamales - It takes about 45 minutes to thoroughly reheat thawed tamales over simmering water, so increase that to 1 hour and 30 minutes for frozen tamales.
Step - by - Step Procedure
Ready your steamer with water at the mid-level.
Set the steamer into high to quickly heat the water.
Unwrap your tamales from any non-organic wrappings like foil. Keep corn husk on.
Arrange your tamales by standing them up in your steamer rack with the cuts or open portions facing up.
Once the steamer is boiling, place the bamboo steamer or double-boiler on the steam.
Cover the steamer with its lid and try not to open it until it’s ready. Opening the lid of the steamer pot causes the pot to lose heat, lengthening the reheating time.
Steam your tamales for 45 minutes on medium simmer.
Use tongs to remove from steamer basket.
Thawing tamales in a microwave can make the ends chewy and dry. We recommend letting them sit out on the counter for 30 minutes, or just steam them frozen and add reheating time.
Stiff Dry Method - Deep Frying
Use this method if you want to try a different texture of your brought-home tamales. I have friends who only eat fried tamales. This method alters some of the delicate taste of your tamales mostly from the added oil. There is also room for overheating but when done properly, you will result in having a crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside tamale.
For this method, prepare the following:
Step - by - Step Procedure
Ready your fryer by placing your cooking oil in it. Make sure to put enough oil so as to submerge the full width of your tamales, probably two inches deep.
Set the temperature to medium heat.
Don't fry frozen tamales. Make sure they are completely thawed then remove the corn husks of the tamales.
Once the oil is heated just enough (about 3 minutes) carefully lower the thawed tamales into the pan.
Heat for 2 minutes, then use tongs to carefully turn so they get light brown on both sides. Since these are unwrapped, they are delicate. Don't move them around the pan or the dough will start to come apart.
Turn off the heat after two minutes but leave the tamales in the pan for an additional minute.
Remove the fried tamales from the oil on the third minute and put them on top of your splatter shield to drain.
Use your tongs as these tamales are hot to touch.
After a minute of dripping, if desired, place on paper towels to remove excess oil.
Plate to serve. Use a cover to retain heat while getting tamales to the table. These portable, colorful popups are super cute with great reviews.
Tips: Be careful not to overheat the oil before placing the tamales. Avoid frying completely frozen tamales, as the ice crystals will pop violently. We recommend a grease shield or splatter screen.
If you want your tamales crunchy on the outside but soft on the inside, deep fry your tamale when it's still a bit frozen on the inside.
Did this tutorial help you enjoy your tamale even more? Send us some love and share this tutorial with your friends.
If you are into preserving the original feel, moist and taste of a bunch of tamales and have ample time to prepare, you should go with the steam method.
But if you are into want to reintroduce your tamales with a twist, you may want to deep fry so you can give it a new texture. What matters most is that you enjoyed the tamale after reheating it.
If you have other ways of reheating your tamales, tell us about it in the comments section.