How to Reheat Tamales

As a workaholic, the earliest I could get off my office chair to go home is usually at 10 PM. Most of the time I am pretty much exhausted and hungry. So the idea of getting into the kitchen to cook up something is usually not part of my agenda. Going to a fancy Mexican restaurant to grab myself packed dinner is what I do most of the time. I like Tamale place's tamales because they are the real pros at making the freshest and tastiest tamales around. The problem is that when I get to my apartment, my tamales are cold and I cannot eat them that way because they won't taste as good as when they are hot. So I will end up dumping them inside the recycler the next morning. What a waste!

So one day I explained my troubles to my secretary and she was pretty much amazed at how come I did not know the ways in which I could reheat cold tamales and maintain the original good taste. So she schooled me on different ways to do this and I am going to share the knowledge with you today.

So if you have a fresh cold tamale and you don't know what to do with them, don't throw them away just yet because:

1. You can reheat your tamales the same way they are being prepared using a steamer cooker

Tamales are usually cooked in steam for longer periods of time depending on what has been stuffed inside the dough and how hard the corn husk or the banana leaves covering the dough is. It is pretty easy if you have a cooking steamer in your home. To do it, you fill up your steamer with enough water that will be able to generate steam and then you turn on the heat, which shouldn't be too hot but hot enough. So I'd say, medium heat is okay.

The next thing to do is you open the upper surface of all your tamales and place them on the edges of the steamer with the open surface facing up. You will have to leave the tamales steamed for longer periods of time depending on whether they were inside the fridge or not. If your tamales were inside the fridge or freezer, you have to let them steam up for 10 to 15 minutes before they are ready. But if they were in a freezer, let them steam up for 20 to 30 minutes. Time also is dependent on the number of tamales there are.

2. You can use an oven to reheat your cold tamales

Reheating tamales using an oven will ensure it retains that fresh and spicy taste it had while hot or at room temperature. So you need to make sure the oven is hot enough before you put your tamales inside by preheating it to 420 degrees. You then have to remove the banana covers from the tamales and spread a little butter on the oven pan. The last thing to do is placing the tamales on the pan and putting the pan inside the oven. Keep watch on the oven and wait for the color of tamales to turn to dark brown because that's the indicator that your tamales are already preheated the way it's required. If the tamales are a little bit crispy, then well and good!

3. A stove would do too when it comes to reheating tamales

I know most of you are afraid that stoves won't work well on reheating tamales. The truth of the matter is, I find it the best and the easiest way so far. All you need is a pan, a lid and a spoon of cooking oil. The first thing to do is to oil the pan and put it on the stove with medium heat. You can leave the pan heating for a minute as you remove the corn covers on the tamales. You then place the tamales on the pan and let them heat for 2 minutes under the medium heat before turning them the other side. Once they become crispy, your tamales will be ready to serve.

4. Microwaves do come handy as well when it comes to reheating tamales

This is the most used option. It is faster. I don't like eating microwaved foods for private reasons and so it won't be as jolly when I explain it to you how to reheat cold tamales using this kitchen appliance. If you love a crunchy feeling when you eat your tamales then I suggest that this should be the least of your reheating options. So if the tamales have been in a freezer, you will have to defrost them for three minutes before you remove the covers and reheat them. Place the uncovered tamales in a plastic tin and heat it in a microwave for up to five minutes.

5. You can use a deep fryer


I would not advice someone who is on a diet or wants to cut down on calories to use this method. But the process is not hard, you just heat a deep fryer to a medium heat. Defrost your tamales first for 2 minutes if they have been in a freezer. You then remove the cover and dip them inside the deep fryer. You have to wait until your tamales are dark brown before you take them out of the deep fryer.


It does not matter whether your tamales were frozen or they had already been warmed up and left on the dining table. Provided they were properly cooked they can be eaten within 4 hours after being reheated. It is not advisable to eat cold tamales due to fat deposits cooling off and forming a layer on the surface of tamales. You should always make sure you use healthy methods to reheat your cold tamales before eating them. The best method is by using the steamer cooker because it is natural and that is how raw tamales are being cooked.

Ferguson Meadows

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Ferguson Meadows

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