How To Reheat Tamales? Secret Revealed!

how to reheat tamales

Leftover is inevitable; it always happens especially when we cook a lot for an occasion. However, it doesn’t mean that all the foods get to waste because there are a lot of ways of preserving them for tomorrow’s breakfast. Reheating food is one of the best ways to eat the leftover you had the last dinner.

If you enjoy preparing and eating tamales as I do, but wonder how you can reheat them, don’t worry because I will teach you how to store and reheat tamales.

How To Reheat Tamales
tamales with meat on a wooden plate

How To Reheat Tamales?

1. Reheating Tamales In Microwave 

Things You Need:

Microwave-safe plate

It is important that the plate you’re going to use won’t melt once you heat the tamales in the microwave, so make sure you use the microwave-safe one. Turn the plate over and see the writing on its back to check if they’re safe for the microwave or not. Avoid using foam plates, foil, or paper plates. Using the glass ones is safe.

Damp Paper Towels

Use a full-size paper towel to cover the plate of tamales. Use a half sheet of paper towel if you’re only reheating a piece of tamale. Use tap water to get the paper towel a little bit damp.

Step-by-Step Guide to Heating Tamales

Step 1: Arrange the Tamales

On the microwave-safe plate, arrange the tamales. Make sure they’re not touching each other with at least 1-inch space between them. Do not heat more than two tamales in the microwave at the same time. This will ensure that the tamales are reheated evenly and thoroughly.

Step 2: Prepare Tamales

To avoid the microwave from drying out during the reheating session, dampen a towel with three tablespoons of tap water. On top of the tamales, place a damp paper towel. The water will change into steam which will moisten the towel and preserve the tamales’ texture and flavor.

After preparing the tamales, place them in the microwave’s center. Use the microwave’s turntable and place the place in it. Set it to full power and the timer to 15 seconds. Monitor the tamales while it’s being reheated.

Step 4: Heat the Tamales

Press the start button of the microwave. After 15 seconds, open the microwave and remove the paper towel. Turn the tamales over. Get another paper towel and dampen it, then place it on top of the tamales. Set the timer for 15 seconds at full power. Press the power button again.

Step 5: Check Tamales’ Internal Temperature

Open the microwave. Remove the damp towel from the tamales’ top. Use a meat thermometer to check its internal temperature. If it has reached 165 degrees Fahrenheit, it’s ready to serve. If it’s not hot enough, get another dampened paper towel and reheat the tamales for another 15 seconds. Do the same process again.

Step 6: Test the Tamales

Check the tamales by running your fingers along with them. It’s expected that uneven heating might occur and other areas of the food are hot, but others are cold. If the reheated tamales have cold spots, rotate the positions on the plate and reheat again. To increase the surface area for even heating, cut the tamales into halves.

2. Reheating Tamales In Stove

Things You Need:

  • Stove
  • Olive Oil
  • Pan

Step 1: Reheat the Stove

Use the stove and pan to give the tamales a crispy effect without adding the calories and fat you get from the deep fryer.

Step 2: Remove Husks From Tamales

Peel the tamales’ husks and throw them away in the trash. Don’t reheat the tamales on the stovetop with still the husks on.

Step 3: Heat Olive in a Pan

Put olive oil in the pan and heat over medium heat for two to three minutes. The oil will smoke slightly if it’s hot enough.

Step 4: Place Tamales in the Pan

Put the tamales in the pan, do this carefully so that the oil won’t splatter. Cover them with a lid so you can reheat them faster.

Step 5: Flip Tamales

Reheat the tamales and flip them over every 3 minutes. Continue doing this until the tamale is crispy and brown on the exterior.

3. Reheat Tamales Using Steamer

Things You Need:

  • Steamer or Pot
  • Water

Step 1: Heat the Tamales

Using a pot or steamer when reheating the tamales will be convenient for you because you don’t need to monitor the tamales while they’re heating up. You can use this option if you’re busy and can’t monitor the reheating process.

Step 2: Fill Steamer with Water

Fill the steamer with water, ¼ of the steamer. After filling with water set the heat to medium. Leave it for 10 minutes and let the water heat up.

Step 3: Arrange Tamales in the Rack

On top of the rack, place the tamales on it. Make sure they don’t submerge in the water. The end of tamales should face towards the pot’s bottom.

Step 4: Steam Tamales

If the tamales are chilled or frozen, heat them for at least 15-20 minutes. Cover the steamer or pot. To check if the tamales are warm enough, use a cooking thermometer. Its internal temperature should be 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

More Tips Of Reheating Tamales

1. Leave the Corn Husks

When you reheat the tamales in whatever method you want, make sure that you leave the corn husks. The corn husks keep the food together and prevent the filling from splattering during the reheating process. It also imparts flavor to the sauce. Throw the corn husks away when you’re done eating the reheated tamale.

2. Steam Tamale from Frozen State

If the tamales are frozen, you can steam them. It will take you 10 minutes longer than steaming it from a thawed state. The tamales will look uneven if it’s steamed from their thawed state. The result is, that the ends are dried out by the time the center of the tamale’s internal state reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

3. Fry for Crispy Texture

You can fry the reheated tamales if you want a crispy texture. It’s like cooking the tamales again. Frying the tamales will be oversaturated with cooking oil though, so you have to soak up the excess oil with paper towels. Just wrap the tamale with paper towels.

Read More: How to reheat pot roast?


Those are the three easy ways of reheating tamales. Reheating tamales will avoid you from wasting such food. Remember that no food’s a waste if you know how to reheat it. You can also refer to this video for more visual information. It’s always a pleasure sharing this kind of information with you, so enjoy cooking!

Read Next: Peanut oil substitutions.

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