Knowing how to reheat tamales is crucial if you want to experience that delicious first-bite flavor again. Whether you’re enjoying a night out with friends or having a quick meal on the go, reheating tamales can help you savor all the goodness these flavor-packed pockets have to offer.
Tamales, a traditional Mesoamerican dish, are filled with meats or beans and cheese and wrapped in a banana leaf or corn husk. They are steamed and served with pico de gallo and rice, making them a delightful dish that’s easy to make and bursting with flavor and spice.
How to Reheat Tamales in a Microwave
Microwaves are the go-to option when it comes to heating frozen or cold food quickly. Here’s how you can reheat tamales using a microwave:
- Moisten the husks with cold water or wrap each tamale in a damp paper towel.
- Place them on a microwave-safe plate, leaving space between each tamale.
- Heat them for 1 to 2 minutes to warm them up.
However, keep in mind that using a microwave may dry out your tamales. In such cases, steaming is a better alternative. Also, remember to thaw your frozen tamales in the refrigerator before reheating them in the microwave.
How to Steam Tamales Using a Cooking Steamer
If you have a steamer, it’s an excellent option for reheating your tamales without drying them out or overcooking. Follow these steps:
- Fill the pot with 2 to 3 inches of water, ensuring that the water doesn’t touch the bottom of the steaming basket.
- Place the steaming basket into the pot and cover it with a tight-fitting lid. Allow the water to boil.
- Once the water has boiled, use tongs to place your tamales in the basket.
- Cover the pot and reduce the heat to medium.
- After 30 minutes of steaming, your tamales should be ready. Refrigerated tamales take about 10 minutes less to reheat than frozen ones.
Can You Steam Tamales the Next Day?
Absolutely! You can prepare tamales ahead of time and store them in the refrigerator for up to one week or a couple of months in the freezer. This means you can steam them the next day and enjoy them while they’re hot. Just follow the steps mentioned above to use a steamer for reheating your tamales.
How to Reheat Tamales in an Oven
An oven is a reliable alternative for reheating cold tamales. Follow these simple steps:
- Preheat your oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Wrap each tamale two or three times with aluminum foil.
- Squeeze each tamale to remove any trapped air.
- Place the tamales in an oven-safe dish or on a sheet pan, leaving space between them.
- Put the dish in the oven and allow the tamales to heat for 20 minutes. If they’re frozen, heat them for 25 minutes.
- Flip the tamales at the 10-minute mark to ensure even heating. Use a meat thermometer to check if the tamales reach 165 degrees Fahrenheit before serving.
How Do You Reheat Tamales on the Stove?
Using a stove to reheat your tamales brings out the most flavor and gives them a crispy texture. Here are the steps to follow:
- Remove the husks from the tamales and discard them.
- Add a teaspoon of olive oil or your favorite oil to a pan.
- Heat the pan over medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes.
- Place the tamales in the pan and cover it with a lid.
- Flip the tamales every 2 to 3 minutes.
- After about 10 minutes, your tamales should be heated through and have a crispy, brown exterior. This method requires more involvement, but it delivers excellent results and allows you to enjoy your tamales just the way you like them.
Can You Reheat Tamales in an Air Fryer?
Definitely! Using an air fryer is becoming a popular option for reheating tamales because it’s fast, easy, and healthy. Here’s what you need to do:
- Heat the air fryer to a mid-range temperature.
- Moisten the wrappings or husks of your tamales with cold water.
- Place them in the air fryer basket without overcrowding and heat them for 5 minutes.
Remember to exercise caution when removing the tamales from the basket as they can be hot.
How to Reheat Tamales in an Instant Pot
If you’re looking for a quick and perfect way to reheat frozen tamales, turn to your trusty Instant Pot. In just minutes, you can have perfect, ready-to-eat hot tamales. Follow these steps:
- Heat your Instant Pot on the high setting.
- Slightly moisten your tamales and let them warm for about 10 minutes, ensuring ample space for thorough heating.
- Pour 1 cup of water into the Instant Pot’s insert pot.
- Position the tamales in the steamer basket, preferably standing them on their ends for optimal evenness. Seal the Instant Pot’s lid and set the vent to the sealed position.
- After the designated steaming time, perform a quick release of pressure and carefully open the lid.
By following these steps, you’ll effortlessly bring back the delicious flavors of your tamales using your Instant Pot.
Reheating Frozen Tamales
Reheating frozen tamales takes slightly longer than reheating refrigerated ones. Regardless of the method you choose, be sure to add an additional 5 to 10 minutes to the reheating time. In general, it will take about 20 to 30 minutes to reheat your tamales using any of the above methods.
For some individuals, using a microwave to reheat frozen tamales may not be ideal; thawing them first is necessary. Alternatively, you can defrost your tamales in the microwave by placing them in a bowl and heating them for 3 minutes at a medium (50%) heat level.
Before indulging in your tamales, remember to check their temperature using a meat thermometer, especially if they contain meat. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advises that all reheated foods should reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
If you need to store your tamales for later, simply pack them in Ziploc bags or airtight containers and refrigerate them. When your appetite kicks in, use any of the methods mentioned above to reheat your tamales quickly and easily!