How to Reheat Tamales
Tamales are a delicious Central and South American dish that are made by steaming a filling within either a banana leaf or some other type of husk. The filling most probably started out as beans and vegetables before becoming more complicated when Europeans explored America, bringing animals and meat with them. They are now enjoyed world over, but they are notoriously hard to heat up once they have already been cooked – which is a shame as they are otherwise a bit of food powerhouse that can use up odds and ends in the kitchen and be a hearty snack to a full on meal for some.
In this article, we look at how to reheat tamales in the oven and how to reheat tamales without a steamer. But first, we investigate what the difficulties are when reheating tamales to help us overcome any future issues when using the oven or other methods of how to warm up tamales.
Difficulties When Reheating Tamales
There are several difficulties that you may encounter when reheating tamales which are good to be aware of. By knowing what makes them hard to heat up, the better chance you have of reheating tamales that are delicious to eat.
Firstly, reheating tamales can make them dry out. This can make them particularly horrid to eat and an unpleasant experience. When reheated incorrectly, all moisture disappears so that eating your warmed tamales can be like eating sandpaper.
Secondly, and as a consequence of drying out, tamales can become flavorless when reheated. If you imagine how tasteless bread or vegetables are when they are not fresh, this is what happens to reheated tamales. Their freshness is what makes them delicious and gives them their taste. Without it, they become dull and lifeless.
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How To Reheat Tamales in The Oven
Once you’ve mastered a few basic ideas, it is possible to learn how to reheat tamales in the oven very easily. In fact, if you don’t have a steamer to hand, reheating tamales in the oven is one of the easiest and quickest ways to get this delicious food served.
For starters, always turn your oven on prior to cooking your tamales. Heating your oven up ensures that it is at the temperature you need the exact moment you pop the tamales in. Not only does this make it quicker in the long run, it also ensures that your tamales won’t dry out. A temperature somewhere between 400 and 440 should be just about right.
Next, wrap each tamale you have in foil. Wrap them individually and do so with several layers. By using several layers when reheating tamales in the oven, you are ensuring there are no air holes where moisture can escape from. This is key if you don’t want your tamales to dry out.
Once they’re all wrapped up, put them in your preheated oven and set the timer for 10 minutes. At the 10 minute mark, turn them over in the oven and pop them back in for another 10 minutes. This ensures they are warmed all the way through.
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How To Reheat Tamales Without A Steamer
It’s actually possible to learn how to reheat tamales without a steamer or an oven. In fact, reheating these delicious little food stuffs is possible through the use of a microwave or even a pressure cooker.
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If you’re using a microwave, there are a few things that you must remember to really make sure that there is no danger of your tamales drying out. Firstly, you need to ensure that any frozen tamales are properly defrosted. If they are not thawed properly, and you use a microwave to warm them up, you are likely to have very dry tamales. Additionally, it can be unsafe to reheat half thawed food.
Secondly, wrap them in damp kitchen roll before putting them in the microwave. Like with the use of an oven, wrap them individually. Finally, only put them in the microwave for a minute or two. Anymore and they will be cooked to the texture of coal.
If you’re using a pressure cooker, you won’t need to wrap them individually, but you will have to dampen each one. Then, switch your pressure cooker on and ensure it is on the hottest setting. Put your dampened tamales in the pot and let them cook in there for up to ten minutes. The tip here is to ensure that they don’t stick together. To do so, put enough of a gap between each one in the pan.
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How To Warm Up Tamales – The Bottom Line
There is no denying it – tamales are difficult to warm up without ruining their taste. It is more than possible though with the methods above – as long as a few notions are followed first. Wrapping them up so that no air escapes is key for all three methods, though in a pressure cooker they don’t have to be done individually. Plus, making sure that they have some source of water is key for the methods in the microwave and the pressure cooker. By putting them in damp kitchen roll or directly wetting the tamale themselves, you will stop your food from turning into sandpaper.
Lastly, remember to eat them quickly. Because if you don’t – someone else will!