How To Keep Tamales Warm All Day
Whether filled with chicken and cheese or shredded pork and jalapeno, homemade tamales make a hearty meal that is equally delicious as an appetizer or main dish. However, warming up leftover tamales can be a tricky process. If you want your leftover tamales to taste just like they did when they were freshly made, there are a few methods you can try to make that happen.
We advise heating tamales with the corn husks still on for all methods to achieve the best results.
When you are craving warm tamales and want an easy way to warm them, the microwave is your best bet. Just wrap your tamales in a damp paper towel or microwave-safe dishcloth, and then place them on a microwave-safe plate. Ensure there is space between them so they can heat up evenly.
Microwave them on a high setting for one to two minutes. The damp towel will keep the tamales moist while warming up in the microwave. Although this quick method is quicker than other methods, keep in mind that it risks drying out the tamales. If your tamales are frozen, you may want to thaw them before using this method.
This is an alternative low-maintenance method for heating tamales and one that most people will have in the kitchen. When you want to warm up tamales, you must first preheat your oven to 425°.
Wrap the tamales in aluminum foil, making sure to squeeze each one of them gently. The squeezing helps to press all of the air out. We advise giving them a double or triple wrapping to ensure the moisture stays trapped inside the wrapping. This ensures that your tamales remain moist.
Place the wrapped tamales on a roasting pan or baking sheet, leaving some space between them so they can heat up evenly. Place the tray in the oven for 20 minutes, turning them over at the halfway point.
Instant Pot Method
Warming food using this method is handy when you’re warming food that tends to dry out in the microwave, like tamales, or if you don’t have a microwave. Additionally, you can keep your hot tamales warm in the instant pot, which is convenient if you’re cooking now but will eat them later.
To start, add some water to your instant pot to create a steamy environment. Use a steamer basket to keep the tamales out of the water effectively. once your instant pot
is heated up and letting off steam, place your tamales in the basket and let them warm for 10 minutes.
This is a popular method of cooking with water, and it works well to heat your tamales. It is more reliable than other methods because it helps tamales retain their
texture and original flavor. The steamer ensures tamales are heated in a moist environment resulting in exceptionally moist, fresh tamales. This makes this method the superior means to reheat tamales.
To start, fill your steamer pot with about two to three inches of water. Ensure the bottom of the basket doesn’t touch the water. Bring the water to a boil, place the tamales in the steamer basket, and cover with a lid. Ensure you don’t overcrowd the basket, or your tamales will not heat evenly. Steam them in the boiling water for about 20 minutes and about 30 minutes for frozen ones.
Slow Cooker Method
Also known as a crock-pot, this is a convenient, low-maintenance method that can be used to warm up leftover tamales. However, this method takes a little longer than other methods, but the heating process is hands-off once the tamales are in the cooker.
Start by setting up the cooker. Set the temperature to high heat and let it warm up. Proceed to add water to the crock-pot until it reaches below the pot’s rack. Next, add your tamales to the crock-pot, stacking them on the rack with the open end facing the pot’s lid. Do not remove the wrapping to protect the tamales during the reheating process.
Leave them to reheat for about one and one and a half hours. Ensure you check on them about 45 minutes into the reheating process. If they are reheating too slowly, you may try rearranging them to ensure they are evenly heated.
Air Fryer Method
Besides baking goods or frying foods with little to no oil, this all-around kitchen appliance can be used to reheat leftover tamales. An air fryer takes about the same time to reheat food as a microwave but delivers more impressive results.
The first step is to place your tamales with the husks intact in the air fryer’s basket, leaving some space between each tamale. Next, air fry them at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for about eight minutes. Flip them over using a pair of tongs and continue to air fry for about eight more minutes. If you’re reheating frozen tamales, you may want to add an additional couple of minutes for the reheating process.
Pressure Cooker Method
To heat tamales using this method effectively, you need a steamer basket that fits your cooker and allows the cooker’s lid to close. This method can be done in a standard pressure cooker or a stove-top cooker.
Pour enough water to fill the pressure cooker’s inner pot by about two inches. Next, arrange your tamales in the basket and place the basket in the pot. Ensure you minimize overlapping them so they can heat up evenly. Close the lid and set the pressure cooker to cook at high pressure for about 15 minutes.
After the timer goes off, do not open the cooker’s lid right away. Let the pressure release naturally for about five minutes, then open the lid to check on the tamales.
Rice Cooker Method
If you lack other options to steam tamales, a rice cooker can also be used to reheat them. The main difference between this method and other cooker methods mentioned so far is that the rice cooker’s pan is flat and very small, making it a bit of a challenge to reheat tamales.
However, with the help of a steaming bucket, you can still use the rice cooker effectively. The steaming bucket will help ensure that your tamales do not touch the boiling water but only get steamed by it.
Add water to the cooker and arrange a small batch of tamales in the steam bucket or a large batch of tamales if you’re using a large cooker. Next, steam the tamales in the cooker on medium heat until they are hot and ready to eat. Reheating at the proper temperature is especially important for this method because tamales tend to overcook.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Do You Keep Tamales Warm All Day?
Keeping tamales warm at room temperature requires special attention. The best way to do this is to place them in a slow cooker or wrap them in foil. The slow cooker is the most efficient method as it allows you to keep things warm all day long. However, if you don’t have a cooker, you can wrap them in foil and keep them in an airtight container or a vacuum-sealed bag or ziplock bag to keep them warm for short periods. Although the tamales will be warm for some time, it’s not the best solution when planning to keep them warm all day.
How Do You Keep Tamales Warm Without Drying Them Out
Refrigerated cold tamales stored in a ziploc bag or airtight container maintain a moist texture and great taste. To effectively keep them moist during the reheating process, you can wrap them in a damp paper towel or foil wrap. To keep them warm after reheating, you should wrap them up tightly with plastic wrap.
How Do You Heat Up Tamales For Camping?
The most convenient method of reheating tamales for campers is to use a slow cooker. This way, you don’t have to worry about reheating them while hiking or doing other activities like fishing.
Can You Warm Up Tamales in The Husk?
Yes! The most effective method for warming up tamales is with the husk intact. The husk will help retain moisture and retain the tamales’ original flavor. The most common type of husk used to cover tamales is the corn husk. However, the banana leaf is often used as well. Banana leaf husks are equally effective and easy to find.
What Is The Fastest Way To Warm Up Tamales?
The fastest way to warm up tamales is in the microwave. While it is the fastest way to heat tamales, the result may lack flavor and can be uneven when some parts of the tamale are soggy and others are dry. Therefore, if you’re using a microwave, you should keep in mind not to heat tamales for too long because they tend to get dry.
What Is The Best Way To Store Moist Tamales?
Tamales that have been appropriately stored in the fridge can be reheated. However, you should practice proper reheating to ensure they do not get dry. You should wrap the tamales well foil to keep the moisture from seeping out. You may also place a damp paper towel over the tamales while reheating them to ensure they don’t get too dry.
What Are The Storage Options for Tamales?
Tamales can be stored at room temperature for short periods without refrigeration. If you’re planning to take your handmade tamales over for a large holiday gathering, it’s best to keep the tamales in an airtight container in the fridge. This way, they’ll last longer and don’t risk drying out. Additionally, if you’re planning to store them for a long time, you can wrap them in an airtight bag and keep them in the freezer.