Reheat Tamales: 4 Quick Ways to Keeping Them Soft and Tasty

In short, there are four ways to reheat tamales: with a steamer, in an oven, on a stove, or with an air fryer.

The imagination in making tamales is almost equal to the level of great taste they have in the end. You can really be innovative and put everything you want in tamales—meat, cheese, vegetables, chili, and spices. 

Common, in the end, will always be the corn dough and wrapping of a corn husk, although some use banana leaf instead. It later serves as a plate or holder while you eat, and of course, you can remove it right away.

The last thing you want is to give up leftover tamales if you’re lucky enough to have anything left after lunch. Here are a few ways to reheat them properly to make them just as delicious and juicy as they were in the beginning. And it works for frozen tamales as well.

Heating Up Tamales With A Steamer

A steamer is actually one of the best ways to reheat tamales. The steamer or the steam pot will not dry out the tamales as they heat up and will retain its original flavor. Here’s how to do it properly.

Step 1: Prepare the Steamer and Let the Water Heat Up

The first thing you need to do is turn on the steamer to medium heat. Add the required amount of water to it and let it heat up completely. It will take 5 or 10 minutes perhaps. 

Step 2: Add Tamales in a Corn Husk

For this method of reheating, you do not need to remove husk from your tamales. It’s better to leave it on, so it holds the structure and texture of tamales while reheating. Stack tamales on the steamer basket and cover with a lid.

Step 3: Steam for up to 20 minutes

Cook for about 15 to 20 minutes. After that, your tamales should be ready to eat. The great thing about this way of warming up is that you don’t have to be vigilant to make sure everything is OK. If there is water in the steam pot, you are good. Be careful not to burn yourself while taking the steaming basket out.

Heating Tamales In An Oven

Reheating the tamales in the oven will take some time, but the result is excellent. The tamales will be evenly heated, and that fine taste of tamales will be extracted.

Step 1: Set on your Oven to 425 °F

Turn the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit and allow it to heat up thoroughly. The oven must be hot when you put tamales in it, which will allow nice and even reheating.

Step 2: Prepare the Tamales

Prepare the tamales by wrapping each piece well in aluminum foil separately.

The goal is to have no air to create steam inside the foil and heat the tamales while retaining moisture and juiciness. This means you can put two or even three layers of foil if you want. Then arrange the wrapped tamales on a sheet pan.

Step 3: Bake for 20 minutes

Bake the tamales for 20 minutes. Halfway through, after 10 minutes, take the pan out and flip each piece. So it will heat up better and more evenly on all sides. After completing the remaining 10 minutes, your tamales are ready.

Reheating Tamales On A Stove

Using a stove is another way to reheat tamales, much faster than the previous two. This way, the tamales will be a bit more baked, and this method gives it a somewhat crispy exterior. You will add a little oil to your tamales, but you can soak it with paper towels. Here’s what to do when reheating in a skillet.

Step 1: Preheat the Skillet

Add one tablespoon of olive oil to the pan and place it to heat. If the skillet is larger, add more oil. There must be enough oil so that the tamales do not stick to the bottom and do not burn. Wait for the oil to heat up, but don’t let it start to burn.

Step 2: While the Oil is Heating, Prepare the Tamales

You have to remove the wrapping because you won’t be able to bake tamales with it. So peel the corn husk from each piece and throw it in the trash.

Step 3: Bake Tamales While Watching Over Them

Put the tamales in a heated pan and cover them with a lid. Be careful to gently place the tamales, so the oil doesn’t squirt you. Every 2 or 3 minutes, remove the lid and flip the tamales, so it bakes evenly from each side.

Repeat the process a couple of times, and your tamales should be ready in a maximum of 10 minutes. They will turn a nice brown color and be excellently crispy. 

Step 4: Soak Up the Oil from Tamales

When done, take the tamales out of the pan and place them on paper towels. On top, also pick up leftover oil with a towel to make your lunch tastier and less greasy.

Warming Up Tamales With an Air Fryer

An air fryer is certainly one of the better ways to heat up tamales. A practical device will enable just as fast as high-quality heating. That’s why you don’t need to hesitate much if you have this helper in the kitchen. Air fryer tamales are proven good.

Step 1: Prepare the air fryer and the tamales

It would be best if you chose medium heat for warming up. You don’t need too high a temperature, and about 320 F will be quite enough to accomplish the goal. Then arrange the tamales in the fryer basket but be careful not to stack them on top of each other. They will not heat up equally if they are bumped. Be sure to sprinkle them with cold water.

Step 2: Heat for 5 minutes

Five minutes of warm-up should be enough. But be sure to check if it needs another minute or two when you take the tamales out of the air fryer. You don’t want to have it lukewarm.



The next time you prepare tamales, feel free to make a few more pieces and store them for later. With the right reheating methods, it will taste the same and be a quickly prepared lunch as you desired. It is best to use a steamer, oven, or stove. The result is excellent in all four cases. Also, reheating frozen tamales has the same technique. Just first thaw them before the process.

Up next: How To Reheat Rice

warm up tamales

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