How to Heat Frozen Tamales?

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There are many ways to heat tamales to eating temperature.

Heat Frozen Tamales

Tamales is a traditional Mesoamerican dish. It is derived from starchy, and usually corn-based dough that is then steamed in a banana leaf or corn husk. This dish may be frozen for the purpose of long-term preservation. Before eating, it has to be heated to thaw it and render it proper for consumption.

How to heat up frozen tamales

There are three ways of heating the frozen tamales. These are steaming, oven baking, and microwaving respectively. We explain the three methods hereunder for you.

A. Steaming

Steaming entails the use of hot steam to thaw the cold and frozen tamales. It is an option you want to explore if you lack sophisticated pieces of cooking equipment as it is cheaper and less complicated. The steps below explain what you may have to do to steam the ingredients well:

  • Remove the tamales from their bags or packaging
  • Place the tamales inside a steamer
  • See to it that the water levels remain below that of the tamales
  • Let the tamales stand upright before commencing the task of steaming
  • If the number of tamales does not exceed four, cover them and let the steam run for 25-30 minutes
  • In case, however, the tamales exceed five, cover and then steam for 35-40 minutes

B. Oven baking

As the name implies, this is the use of the ovens to heat and thaw the tamales. Ovens are hotter than steaming and subsequently take a shorter duration to tackle their chores. To heat your tamales over an oven, you need to follow the steps and procedures below:

  • Pre-heat the oven to around 325°F
  • Remove the tamales from the packaging or the bag wherein the same are enclosed
  • Wrap the tamales in the foils
  • Place the foils on the sheets and then in the pan
  • Bake for around 15-20 minutes if thawed, and a further 20-25 if frozen
See also  How to Reheat Nachos

C. Microwaving

Lastly, you may also use a microwave oven to heat up the frozen tamales. This of course is the use of microwave ovens to thaw the food contents. The approach is faster and more reliable. Following the procedures below will certainly help you out in all these:

  • Incise a hole in the bag that packs the tamales
  • Heat each bag one at a time for around 3-4 minutes (if the tamales are thawed)
  • In case the tamales are frozen, heat them at 50% power for around 3 minutes
  • Turn the bag over and then heat at full power for 1-2 minutes

PS: To prevent direct exposure to external heat, you may need to wrap the frozen tamales in damp towels. This towel absorbs some heat and prevents the contents from getting into direct contact with the exterior heat. Even after you have finished heating, let the packaging continue wrapping the tamales for some time.


Alright! Go ahead with confidence and heat up your frozen tamales in the best ways possible for you, now that you know How to Heat Frozen Tamales. We can only wish you all the best as the steps and the procedures we have outlined above are direct and to the point.

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