How to Cook Frozen Tamales

cooking frozen tamales guide

As a seasoned chef with a passion for exploring culinary possibilities, cooking frozen tamales has always been a delightful challenge for me. Unlocking the flavors trapped within those corn husks is like discovering a hidden treasure.

However, my experience has taught me that there's a unique way to elevate this classic dish – grilling them to infuse a touch of smokiness that takes the flavors to a whole new level. I believe that this alternative approach not only adds depth to the tamales but also revolutionizes the way we savor these beloved treats. It's a culinary journey worth embarking on!

Key Takeaways

  • Use various methods like steaming, baking, microwaving, or grilling for cooking frozen tamales.
  • Ensure to thaw tamales before grilling or smoking for even cooking.
  • Maintain moisture and flavors by wrapping tamales properly before cooking.
  • Always check the internal temperature with a thermometer to guarantee safe and delicious results.

Steaming Frozen Tamales on Stovetop

Have you ever wondered how to perfectly steam frozen tamales on your stovetop for a delicious and authentic meal?

To achieve this, place the frozen tamales in a steamer basket over a pot of boiling water. Cover the pot to trap the steam, allowing the tamales to cook evenly.

Steam for 25-40 minutes, adjusting the cooking time based on the quantity and thickness of the tamales.

To check for doneness, insert a thermometer into the tamales, ensuring they reach the recommended internal temperature.

This method preserves the moisture and texture of the tamales while heating them thoroughly.

Remember to unwrap any leftover cooked tamales before steaming to avoid overcooking them.

Instant Pot Steaming for Tamales

If you're looking to streamline the process of cooking frozen tamales, utilizing the Instant Pot for steaming offers a quick and efficient method. Simply place a trivet inside the Instant Pot, add water, and stack the tamales vertically. Cook the tamales on the steam setting for about 15 minutes.

Once done, allow for a natural pressure release before opening the Instant Pot. Let the tamales stand for a few minutes inside the Instant Pot to ensure they cook evenly.

Instant Pot steaming isn't only speedy but also helps preserve the authentic flavors and textures of the tamales, making it a convenient option for enjoying delicious tamales straight from the freezer.

Baking Frozen Tamales

cooking frozen tamales carefully

To bake frozen tamales, preheat your oven to 325°F (160°C) for optimal results.

Wrap each tamale individually in foil and place them on a baking sheet. Bake the tamales in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes to ensure they're fully cooked and heated through.

For a crispy exterior, you can unwrap the foil during the last few minutes of baking. Use a meat thermometer to check that the tamales have reached the appropriate temperature before serving.

Baking frozen tamales is a convenient way to enjoy a delicious meal with a crispy finish, maintaining the authentic flavors of this traditional dish.

Microwaving Frozen Tamales

When microwaving frozen tamales, keeping the corn husk on and wrapping them in a damp paper towel ensures even heating and locks in moisture for a delicious outcome. Here are some tips for microwaving frozen tamales:

  • Microwave the tamales for 3.5-4 minutes for optimal results.
  • If heating multiple tamales, wrap each one individually and cook for 7 minutes.
  • Rotate the tamales during microwaving to ensure even heating.
  • Thawed tamales can be microwaved for 2-2.5 minutes as a quicker reheating option.

Grilling or Smoking Tamales

cooking tamales over fire

Thaw frozen tamales in the refrigerator overnight before grilling or smoking to ensure they cook evenly and retain their delicious flavors. When grilling, keep the tamales wrapped in corn husks and place them on indirect heat for 10-12 minutes. This method adds a delightful smoky flavor, enhancing the taste of the fully cooked tamales. Remember to check the internal temperature using a thermometer to guarantee that they're thoroughly cooked.

Corn husks not only protect the tamales during the grilling process but also infuse them with a natural aroma. Grilling or smoking tamales can be a unique and flavorful way to enjoy these traditional treats, perfect for gatherings or adding a twist to your meals.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is the Best Way to Cook Frozen Tamales?

When cooking frozen tamales, consider steaming for maintained texture. Instant Pot method offers quickness. Baking can yield a slightly crispy exterior. Microwaving is convenient for reheating. Grilling or smoking thawed tamales can add a smoky flavor.

Should You Thaw Frozen Tamales Before Cooking?

You should consider thawing frozen tamales before cooking if you prefer a more even and potentially quicker cooking process. Thawing is optional but can lead to better results. Ultimately, the decision to thaw or not depends on personal preference and time constraints.

How Do You Steam Frozen Tamales Without a Steamer?

To steam frozen tamales without a steamer, position a metal colander or heatproof plate over boiling water in a pot. Cover it with a lid to trap steam, ensuring the tamales do not touch the water directly. Check for doneness by testing the masa.

What's the Best Way to Heat up Tamales?

To heat up tamales, steam them for 20-30 minutes. Steaming retains moisture and flavor, ensuring even heating. Avoid microwaving to prevent dryness. Steaming is the best method for reheating, keeping the masa soft and delicious.


In conclusion, cooking frozen tamales in the oven is a convenient and delicious way to enjoy this traditional dish.

By following the simple steps of preheating the oven, wrapping the tamales in foil, and baking them until heated through, you can have a tasty meal ready in no time.

Experiment with different fillings, serve with your favorite toppings and salsas, and enjoy the authentic flavors of homemade tamales without the hassle.

Bon appétit!