How to Eat Tamales

How to Eat Tamales

Tamales are an ideal way to add some variety and color to your meals. Additionally, they’re packed full of healthy micronutrients for added benefits.

Tamales can be served with a variety of dishes, such as black bean soup or fresh fruit. Before you can enjoy them though, you must learn how to properly reheat them.


Tamales are a traditional Mesoamerican dish made with masa dough and filled with meat, vegetables or cheese. They can be either savory or sweet in taste and traditionally steamed inside corn husks for added convenience.

Tamale fillings come in many varieties, from classic pork with red sauce to vegan options. No matter your preferences, there’s sure to be a recipe that works for everyone in your family!

Tamale fillings typically consist of beef and beans, though you can also try chicken, cheese or fish. Seafood tamales are especially popular in parts of Mexico where shrimp, crab or lobster pair well with chile sauce for an irresistible combination.

Add extra flavor to your tamales by incorporating spices, herbs and other ingredients you already have on hand. Cumin, chile powder and chipotle peppers are all excellent additions; herbs like cilantro, parsley or basil also work wonderfully.

To assemble each tamale, spoon a tablespoon of filling down the center of the dough on top of the corn husk. Fold over one long edge so it encapsulates the filling, and repeat with each tamale.

Tie each tamale together using strips of cornhusk or 100% cotton kitchen string. You don’t have to tie them, but it helps keep the tamales sealed and prevents them from tearing as you roll them up.

Wrap each tamale tightly with about 3 pieces of husk and place on a baking sheet. Tamales should steam for 45 minutes, depending on their size and how you wrap them.


Tamales are typically wrapped in corn husks, but you can also use alternative wrappings. Parchment paper works well as it’s reusable several times and doesn’t impart any flavors or smells which could affect the taste of the tamales. Turnip leaves may also be substituted for corn husks; just remember to blanch them first! Wax paper works similarly and can usually be found at most grocery or dollar stores.

Grape vine leaves can also be used for wrapping tamales. They’re similar in shape to corn husks and provide a quick and efficient option, plus they’re very flexible – ideal for securely enclosing the filling inside.

For a sustainable alternative to plastic wrap or parchment paper, try aluminum foil. It has no flavor or smell and can be used multiple times before needing replacement.

Once your tamales are prepared, you can quickly steam them in a steamer basket for the easiest preparation. Although this takes more time to cook than other methods, make sure not to let the tamales touch the water inside the basket as this could cause them to swell and become soggy.

Another method for steaming tamales is to place them in a pot and cover it with either a colander or mesh of some sort. This will keep the tamales away from water, cutting down on cooking time significantly.

After cooking your tamales, there are several ways to reheat them: in the microwave or stovetop. Before doing so, be sure that they reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

When reheating tamales in the oven, be sure to preheat it first. Doing this will guarantee that the tamales are thoroughly heated through before you consume them.


One of the quickest and most efficient ways to cook tamales is with a steamer. These come in various forms and sizes, but for efficiency a multi-tier steamer works best since it takes care of all steps involved during preparation.

Another great alternative to steaming tamales is using a pressure cooker or instant pot. This method can be done on the stovetop and works for both fresh and frozen tamales; just be sure to check them after cooking to make sure they’ve cooked through.

You can reheat tamales using the microwave. While this method is easy and usually successful, it won’t preserve their original texture or flavor as well as drying out the tamales more than other methods may. Be warned though; microwave cooking may leave them feeling dry or hard to bite into, depending on which device you use.

The downside of microwaving your tamales is that they may develop a crispy exterior. To prevent this, add a few drops of water onto each one before microwaving to keep them moist and prevent drying out.

If you’re in search of a more traditional method to reheat your tamales, try placing them in the oven with their husks on. This will give your treats a much tastier result than microwaving them.

There are a variety of methods for reheating tamales, but the three methods listed above are the most popular. With these reheating methods, you can get the same flavor and texture as freshly steamed tamales without all of the work or mess.


Tamales can be enjoyed many ways, but the best way to enjoy them is hot and fresh. Reheating leftovers properly is also key so that the flavors don’t become overcooked or dried out.

One of the simplest and most common methods for heating tamales is to steam them in an electric or stovetop steamer. This method requires minimal set up time, taking only minutes to complete. Furthermore, its gentle nature means there’s less risk of drying out or overcooking the tamales.

Another convenient way to reheat tamales is by placing them in an air fryer. This method works great for those who are short on time, as cooking takes only five to eight minutes.

To use this method, place the tamales in a small compartment of your air fryer and set the temperature to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Make sure there’s at least an inch between each tamale so they have room to breathe and heat evenly throughout.

Once the tamales have cooked, take them out of the air fryer and allow to cool for a few minutes before serving. This will guarantee they remain warm and tender while keeping them fresh for several days.

A slow cooker is an ideal method for reheating tamales, though it will take more time than other methods. This process is similar to microwave and oven reheating as it uses dry heat in order to keep the tamales moist and tender.

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