Quick and Easy: Reheating Frozen Tamales on the Stove

Discover the perfect solution for a fast and convenient meal with our guide on reheating frozen tamales on the stove. Whether you crave the comforting flavors of traditional Mexican cuisine or simply seek a hassle-free dinner option, this method provides a quick and efficient way to enjoy delicious tamales without sacrificing taste or quality. With our step-by-step instructions, you can elevate your dining experience and savor the rich and aromatic flavors of tamales in no time, making it an ideal choice for busy weeknights or spontaneous gatherings with friends and family.

By following our expert tips, you’ll unlock the secret to flawlessly reheating frozen tamales on the stove, ensuring that each bite is as delightful as the first. Say goodbye to bland and soggy tamales and hello to a simple yet satisfying culinary experience that will leave everyone at the table craving for more. Whether you’re a seasoned cook or a novice in the kitchen, our tried-and-true method will empower you to enjoy restaurant-quality tamales in the comfort of your own home.

Quick Summary
To reheat frozen tamales on the stove, place them in a steamer basket over boiling water and steam for 20-30 minutes, or until heated through. Alternatively, you can wrap the tamales in damp paper towels and steam them in a covered pot for the same amount of time. Check the tamales occasionally to ensure they are heated evenly, and enjoy their delicious flavors once they are fully warmed.

Choosing The Right Cooking Pot

When reheating frozen tamales on the stove, it’s essential to choose the right cooking pot to ensure that the tamales heat evenly and retain their moisture and flavor. A heavy-bottomed pot, such as a Dutch oven or a deep skillet, is ideal for this purpose. The heavy construction of these pots helps distribute heat more evenly, preventing the tamales from scorching or cooking unevenly. Additionally, the depth of the pot allows for stacking the tamales neatly, maximizing space and ensuring even heat distribution.

Opting for a pot with a tight-fitting lid is also crucial when reheating tamales. The snug lid helps to trap steam during the reheating process, preventing the tamales from drying out. As steam circulates within the pot, it helps to thaw and reheat the tamales thoroughly without compromising their texture. Ultimately, choosing the right cooking pot sets the stage for successful reheating, ensuring that the tamales are heated thoroughly and retain their delicious taste and texture.

Preparing The Tamales For Reheating

To prepare the tamales for reheating, start by removing them from the freezer and allowing them to thaw in the refrigerator overnight. If you’re short on time, you can also use the defrost setting on your microwave to speed up the process. Once thawed, carefully unwrap the tamales from their husks, and discard the husks.

Next, prepare a small amount of water in a large pot and bring it to a gentle simmer. You can then stack the tamales in a steamer basket, ensuring they are not touching the water, and place the basket in the pot. Cover the pot with a lid to trap the steam and allow the tamales to reheat for about 15-20 minutes. Alternatively, if you don’t have a steamer basket, you can create a makeshift steamer by placing a heatproof bowl or plate upside down in the pot and stacking the tamales on top.

By following these simple steps to prepare your frozen tamales for reheating, you can ensure that they come out just as delicious as when they were first made, with the added convenience of enjoying them quickly and easily.

Adding Liquid To The Pot

When reheating frozen tamales on the stove, adding liquid to the pot is an essential step to ensure the tamales heat evenly and retain their moisture. The liquid can be water, broth, or a combination of both. Start by pouring a small amount of liquid into the bottom of the pot to create steam, which will help warm the tamales without drying them out. The exact amount of liquid will depend on the size of the pot and the number of tamales being reheated, but generally, aim for enough liquid to create a shallow layer at the bottom of the pot.

Once the liquid is in the pot, bring it to a gentle simmer over medium heat before placing the tamales in the pot. The steam generated from the simmering liquid will gradually heat the tamales to perfection. It’s crucial to monitor the pot and add more liquid if needed to keep the tamales from sticking to the bottom and to maintain a moist cooking environment. Adding liquid to the pot is the key to achieving perfectly reheated tamales that are as delicious and satisfying as when they were first made.

Placing The Tamales In The Pot

To properly reheat frozen tamales on the stove, you’ll need to start by placing them in a pot. This step is crucial for ensuring even heating and preserving the tamale’s texture and flavor. Begin by filling a large pot with water, making sure there’s enough to fully submerge the tamales. Then, place a steamer basket or a heatproof plate at the bottom of the pot to keep the tamales from directly touching the water. This helps to prevent the tamales from becoming waterlogged while they heat.

Next, carefully arrange the frozen tamales in the pot, ensuring that they are not overcrowded. It’s important to leave enough space between each tamale to allow the steam to circulate, promoting even heating. If you have a large batch of tamales, you may need to work in batches or use multiple pots to ensure that they heat through properly. Once the tamales are arranged in the pot, cover it with a lid to trap the steam and heat, and then turn the stove to a medium-high heat setting. This will gradually thaw and reheat the tamales, ensuring that they are thoroughly heated while retaining their delicious flavors.

Reheating The Tamales

To reheat tamales on the stove, start by placing a steamer basket or a metal colander in a large pot. Add water to just below the bottom of the basket or colander, but not touching it. Next, stack the tamales upright in the basket or colander, making sure they are not too crowded, to allow the steam to circulate evenly. Cover the pot and bring the water to a gentle boil over medium heat. Let the tamales steam for 15-20 minutes or until heated through, checking occasionally to ensure that the water doesn’t completely evaporate.

Alternatively, if you don’t have a steamer basket or colander, you can reheat the tamales by using a large pot with a small amount of water at the bottom. Place a heatproof plate or a few reed leaves on top of the water and arrange the tamales on the plate or leaves. Cover the pot and steam the tamales for 15-20 minutes until they are thoroughly heated. Whichever method you choose, make sure to test the tamales for doneness by carefully unwrapping one and checking its temperature in the center with a food thermometer. Once heated through, remove the tamales from the pot and let them rest for a few minutes before serving.

Checking For Doneness

To ensure that your reheated tamales are thoroughly warmed through, it’s important to check for doneness before serving. The most reliable way to determine if the tamales are ready is by using a food thermometer. Insert the thermometer into the center of the tamale and make sure the internal temperature reaches at least 165°F (74°C). This temperature ensures that any harmful bacteria are killed, making the tamales safe to eat. If you don’t have a thermometer, you can also check for doneness by cutting open one of the tamales and checking to see if the filling is hot all the way through.

Additionally, pay attention to the texture and appearance of the tamales. The masa should be heated evenly and not feel cool or dense in any part. The filling inside should be hot and moist, not cold or dry. If the tamales appear and feel thoroughly heated, they are likely done and ready to be served. By checking for doneness using these methods, you can ensure that your reheated frozen tamales are safe and enjoyable to eat.

Serving The Tamales

Once the tamales are heated through, they are ready to be served. Carefully remove the tamales from the pot using tongs or a slotted spoon, taking care not to break them apart. Place the tamales on a serving plate, and they are now ready to be enjoyed.

For a festive and traditional presentation, you can serve the tamales with a side of Mexican rice and refried beans. Garnish with a sprinkle of fresh cilantro and a squeeze of lime for an extra burst of flavor. To add some heat, consider serving the tamales with a side of salsa or a drizzle of hot sauce. For a refreshing contrast, you can also pair the tamales with a simple salad of mixed greens dressed with a light vinaigrette. Whether serving as a main dish or part of a larger spread, hot, flavorful tamales are sure to be a hit at any gathering.

Storing Leftover Tamales

After reheating and enjoying your delicious tamales, it’s crucial to store any leftovers properly to maintain their quality and flavor. Tamales can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 4-5 days in an airtight container. It’s best to keep them in a single layer to prevent them from sticking together. If you need to store them for longer, tamales can be frozen for up to 3 months. To freeze tamales, wrap them individually in plastic wrap and then place them in a freezer bag for extra protection against freezer burn.

When you’re ready to enjoy your leftover tamales, simply reheat them using your preferred method, whether it’s in the microwave, on the stovetop, or in the oven. However, keep in mind that reheating previously frozen tamales may require a bit of extra care to prevent them from becoming dry or overcooked. By following these storage tips, you can ensure that your tamales stay fresh and ready to enjoy whenever you have a craving for this classic Mexican dish.


Incorporating frozen tamales into your meal rotation doesn’t have to be a hassle. Utilizing the stove for reheating is a simple and efficient method that preserves the integrity of the tamales, ensuring a delicious and satisfying meal. By following the quick and easy steps outlined in this article, you can enjoy the convenience of frozen tamales without sacrificing flavor or quality.

Whether you’re looking to save time in the kitchen or simply want to have a delicious meal at your fingertips, mastering the art of reheating frozen tamales on the stove is a skill worth acquiring. With these straightforward techniques, you can savor the authentic flavors of tamales with ease, making them a versatile and convenient addition to your culinary repertoire.

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