How Long Do Tamales Take To Cook? Tips To Cook Tamales

Are you looking for a delicious and easy meal to make during the week that is sure to be a hit with your family? Tamales are one of those dishes that fit the bill. However, if you’ve never cooked tamales before, you may be wondering how long do tamales take to cook. This blog post will provide all the information you need to know about cooking tamales, including how long they take in the oven or on the stovetop. Read on to learn more.

What Are Tamales?

Tamales are a traditional Mexican dish made of masa, or corn dough, that is filled with meat, cheese, vegetables, and other fillings. The masa is then rolled in a corn husk or banana leaf and steamed or baked in the oven.

Tamales on the white plate
Tamales on the white plate

Ingredients Needed To Cook Tamales

Making tamales requires a few ingredients, including masa, lard or vegetable shortening, baking powder, and your desired filling. You’ll also need corn husks or banana leaves to wrap the tamales before cooking.

Do You Cook Tamales On High Or Low Heat?

Tamales should be cooked on low heat for the best results. This allows them to cook evenly and prevents any burning of the filling or masa. If you’re using a stovetop, allow it to simmer over medium-low heat for about 20 minutes before checking how your tamales are progressing.

How To Cook Tamales?

You can cook tamales in a variety of ways, including steaming on the stovetop, grilling on the grill, or baking in the oven.

How To Cook Tamales On Stovetop?

To steam tamales on the stovetop, simply fill a large pot with water and bring it to a boil. Place the filled corn husks or banana leaves into the boiling water and reduce heat to medium-low. Allow the tamales to cook for 20 minutes, or until the masa is cooked through and firm.

Tamales is cut into a half
Tamales is cut into a half

How To Cook Tamales On Grill?

Tamales can also be cooked on the grill! Preheat your grill to low heat and place the filled corn husks or banana leaves on the grates. Allow the tamales to cook for 20 minutes, flipping them halfway through, or until they are cooked through and firm.

How To Cook Tamales In An Oven?

Cooking tamales in an oven is a great way to ensure they are cooked evenly and come out with a delicious flavor. To begin, preheat your oven to 350°F (176°C). Then, place the wrapped tamales on a baking sheet lined with foil or parchment paper and bake for 30 minutes. Once done, open up the foil or parchment paper and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes, until golden brown and cooked through.

How Long Do Tamales Take To Cook?

How Long Do Tamales Take To Steam On The Stovetop?

Tamales typically take about 30 -40 minutes to cook when steamed on the stovetop. Be sure to check how your tamales are progressing after 15 minutes of cooking, as some variations may require different cooking times.

Watch this video to know how long do tamales take to cook.

How Long Do Frozen Tamales Take To Steam?

If you are using frozen tamales, that can affect the amount of time you need to steam them. If you’re steaming about four tamales or less, you can steam them for 25 to 30 minutes.

If you’re steaming more than that, steam for about 35 to 40 minutes. It does take longer to steam them if they are frozen than if you are making them fresh.

How Long Do Tamales Take To Cook On Grill?

Tamales take about 20 minutes to cook on the grill, or until they are cooked through and firm.

How Long Do Tamales Take To Cook In Oven?

Tamales take about 30 minutes to bake in the oven, or until they are cooked through and firm.

How Long Do Steamed Tamales Take To Reheat?

Unleash the mouthwatering magic of tamales by steaming those refrigerated gems for a mere 15-20 minutes.

For you frozen treasure keepers, prepare to extend your culinary adventure by an extra 10 minutes to ensure each bite is perfectly exquisite.

Breathe new life into your tamales with a hassle-free reheating process that doesn’t require a steamer. Transform them into steamy, scrumptious delights using your oven at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for a total of 20 minutes. Flip the tamales midway through to ensure even heating.

Enhance the experience by cocooning them in multiple layers of aluminum foil for optimum results.

Alternatively, if you’re pressed for time, employ your microwave with a clever trick: wrap each tamale in a moist paper towel to preserve its tantalizing texture, though it may not be as perfect as the oven-reheated version.


Why Are Tamales Taking So Long To Cook?

There are a few factors that can affect how long it takes for tamales to cook. The most common is if the masa was not prepared correctly, as this could lead to undercooked or soggy tamales. Additionally, if the corn husks or banana leaves were too thick, they may need more time to steam and cook through. Finally, if the heat source is too low or inconsistent, it could take longer for your tamales to cook through.

Can You Overcook Tamales?

Yes, tamales can be overcooked if left in the steamer for too long. This can cause the masa to become dry and tough, as well as any fillings inside to become mushy or burnt. To prevent your tamales from becoming overcooked, make sure you’re checking periodically how they are progressing with a fork.

Tips For Cooking Perfect Tamales

If you want to ensure your tamales come out perfectly every time, there are a few things you can do.

First, make sure that your masa is correctly prepared and that it’s not too thick or thin.

Additionally, use corn husks or banana leaves of the correct size so they don’t take too long to cook.

Finally, make sure that your heat source is consistent and at the correct temperature so your tamales can be cooked to perfection.

With these tips, you’ll have perfectly cooked tamales every time.

Tamales with sauce
Tamales with sauce

What To Serve With Tamales?

Tamales make a great side dish or main course and can be served with a variety of accompaniments.

Some popular sides to serve with tamales include beans, salsa, guacamole, crema, pickled vegetables, and rice. You can also top them with cheese for an extra cheesy treat.

Tamales are also delicious and served with a variety of sauces, such as mole or chile sauce.

No matter how you like to enjoy your tamales, they are sure to be a hit at any gathering.

Popular Tamales Recipes

If you’re looking for ideas on how to make delicious tamales, here are some popular recipes you can try.

  • Sweet Tamales – these sweet tamales are filled with a mixture of raisins, sugar, and cinnamon.
  • Savory Tamales – these savory tamales feature a filling of cheese and chilies.
  • Vegetarian Tamales – these tamales are filled with a variety of vegetables, such as potatoes, carrots, and bell peppers.
  • Beef Tamales – these beef tamales feature a savory filling of ground beef, peppers, and spices.
  • Chicken Tamales – these chicken tamales feature a flavorful filling of shredded chicken, peppers, and spices.

No matter how you like to enjoy your tamales, these recipes are sure to be a hit.

Chicken Tamales on the plate
Chicken Tamales on the plate

Conclusion: How Long Do Tamales Take To Cook?

In conclusion, how long do tamales take to cook depends on how the masa was prepared and how the heat source. Generally speaking, tamales take about 20 minutes to steam on the stovetop or grill, and 30 minutes to bake in the oven. If you’re having trouble getting your tamales to cook correctly or are unsure of how long they should take, it’s best to check them frequently for doneness. This will help ensure that your tamales turn out perfectly every time. Thanks for reading at mollysmtview!

FAQ: Cook Tamales 

How do you boil tamales?

Observe the waltz of steam as it slips from the pot, signaling the water’s boiling point. Maintain this flavorful cloud by replenishing the water every 20 minutes while the tamales simmer for a delectable 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Their readiness shall be unveiled as the dough graciously retreats from the husks. To keep the steam’s momentum alive, introduce a generous 1/2 cup (120 ml) of hot water to the pot every 15 to 20 minutes.

When to make tamales?

Savor the flavors of tantalizing tamales, a delightful treat that transcends seasons. Unleash your inner culinary enthusiast and relish in the joy of creating delectable feasts amidst the warmth and cheer of winter festivities. Experience the magic and camaraderie of gathering with loved ones in the heart of your home – the kitchen, as you embark on an epicurean adventure of crafting tamales this holiday season.

How do you cook tamales in a pressure cooker?

Add a splash of excitement to your meal by transforming your humble pressure cooker into a tamale haven! Begin by pouring 2 captivating cups (473 ml) of water into the cooker’s base before gently nestling a steamer basket inside. With great anticipation, arrange your tantalizing tamales snuggly and vertically, creating a mouth-watering tower of flavor.

How do you reheat tamales?

Revive your tamales to their authentic freshness by indulging in a simple oven technique. Embrace the husks, swaddle them in foil, and let them bask in the warm embrace of a 350°F (177°C) oven for half an hour. Meanwhile, craft three aluminum spheres and situate them elegantly within your choice of pot. Unite these components for a delectable and enticing tamale experience.

How do steam tamales in the microwave?

Maximize the enjoyment of your tamales with a clever trick: wrap each in a damp paper towel and place them spaciously on a microwave-safe plate. This efficient technique only takes 1-2 minutes, but be cautious to prevent any potential drying.

Can you eat cold tamales?

Experience the delight of Tamales, a versatile indulgence that presents mouthwatering flavors at any temperature! Simply choose your preferred variant and relish the scrumptiousness without any fuss.

What does a tamale taste like?

Experience the enchanting fusion of rich nuttiness and savory umami in the Mexican masterpiece – Tamales. Crafted with masa harina corn flour and beef stock, this traditional dish promises an extraordinary gastronomic delight.

What is so special about tamales?

Delve into the delicious world of tamales, a centuries-old staple of Mexican and Mexican American cultures that transcends mere sustenance. These delightful parcels represent unity, family bonds, and shared experiences, weaving a rich tapestry of connections within communities as they gather to celebrate special occasions. Discover the genuine warmth behind every flavorful bite.

Is tamale a healthy food?

Feast on mouthwatering tamales and nourish your health simultaneously. These satisfying, nutrient-rich Latino delights are applauded for boosting your well-being by stabilizing blood sugar, managing cholesterol, promoting weight loss, and optimizing gut health. Dive into the rich essence of the vibrant Latino culture while indulging in the numerous benefits that tamales offer.

What is inside a tamale?

Tamales are a delicious delicacy that can be filled with everything from simple to sophisticated ingredients. In some countries, you might find a basic chicken or pork filling. However, we take it up a notch. Our tamales feature slow-cooked, flavorful meats – usually chicken or pork – combined with savory vegetables like corn, potatoes, peppers, and carrots. We also amp up the flavor profile with cheeses, dried fruits, and olives. Bite into one of our tamales and experience a world of extraordinary taste.

Why are tamales so good?

However, the corn husk exterior isn’t what makes tamales so delicious. Instead, the warm, savory filling of well-seasoned meat and vegetables baked in a starchy dough coating makes this meal genuinely satisfying. In fact, the corn husk is either eaten around or removed entirely to enjoy a tamale properly.

Are tamales a snack or meal?

Tamales make an excellent Christmas dinner or a tasty snack to eat during your holiday travels. Some food explorers like to top their tamales with tomatillo sauce or red chile sauce.

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