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How to Reheat Tamales: A Comprehensive Guide

Few foods are as satisfying and versatile as tamales.

This traditional Mexican dish consists of meat or other fillings wrapped in a corn masa, steamed in a husk, and served with an array of delicious toppings.

Whether you’re eating tamales for breakfast, lunch, dinner or dessert, they’re the perfect comfort food.

But what do you do when you have leftover tamales that just don’t taste the same when eaten cold?

The answer is simple: Reheat them!

In this post, we’ll guide you through how to reheat tamales using different methods so that you can enjoy them fresh and hot.

How to Reheat Tamales

Reheating Tamales: A Few Tips

Before we dive into the various reheating methods for tamales, let’s discuss some key points to keep in mind:

  • Remove the husks before reheating – this makes it easier for heat to penetrate the tamale filling and ensures even heating.
  • Avoid overheating – overzealous reheating can dry out your tamales.
  • Use a shallow container – if you’re using an oven or microwave, place your tamales in a shallow baking dish or container with some water. This helps prevent them from becoming dry.

Now let’s get started with seven popular ways to reheat tamales:

How to Reheat Tamales in a Conventional Oven

The conventional oven is one of the best options when it comes to reheating any type of food including your beloved tamales.

  1. Preheat your oven at 350° F (175°C)
  2. Place your leftover husk-less tamale(s) into an oven-safe container.
  3. Sprinkle some water onto each tamale
  4. Cover the container tightly with foil
  5. Bake at 350°F for 20 minutes
  6. Remove the foil and leave them in the oven for an additional 5 to 10 minutes.
  7. Check often to make sure that they aren’t dried out or burned before removing from the oven.
  8. Serve immediately are your tamales are now hot and ready!

How to Reheat Tamales in the Microwave

Microwaving is probably one of the quickest ways to reheat leftover tamales.

  1. Place your leftover husk-less tamale(s) on a microwave-safe plate while separating them by a little gap if you have more than one tamale
  2. Splash two tablespoons of water over each tamale
  3. Cover loosley with a piece of microwave-safe plastic wrap or damp paper towel
  4. Set your microwave time between 30 seconds on high power, then stopping every single minute thereafter until you get your desired temperature!
  5. Check often to make sure that they don’t dry out or become rubbery.

This method usually takes only about two minutes, allowing for speedy reheating options without sacrificing the taste.

How to Reheat Tamales in a Skillet

Another quick and simple way is reheating them over a skillet.

  1. Heat up skillet over medium-high heat until it gets hot enough (150°C)
  2. Slice off a tiny piece from each end of your leftover tamale(s)
  3. Use roughly one tablespoon of oil just enough to coat bottom of skillet.
  4. Cook tamales for three minutes per side while lightly pressing down upon cooking.
  5. Use tongs when turning enchiladas so they don’t stick together either while you cook these sandwiches thoroughly through their centers.
  6. Serve at once!

How to Reheat Tamales by Searing

This method helps maintain crispy texture, mainly good for chicken and pork-filled tamales:

  1. Coat cast iron pan with cooking spray or vegetable oil on medium-high heat
  2. Place your unwrapped tamale in the hot pan in a single layer and sear for one minute or until the wholly bottom is crispy.
  3. Render tamales onto their side and “cook” two more sides until fully heated.
  4. Remove from heat, place on a plate, and serve!

How to Reheat Tamales in an Air Fryer

Air frying tamales make them very crisp, perfect for those who crave texture.

  1. Preheat Air Fryer To 375°F (190°C)
  2. Place your leftover tamale(s) inside without overlapping of each other
  3. Cook them 5 – 6 minutes if chilled, as it could take longer if freezing overnight
  4. Check often to see if they are crispy enough while reheating
  5. Remove them from the appliance and serve!

How to Reheat Tamales Using a Toaster Oven

A toaster oven may seem too small for anything but slices of pizza, but they work perfectly fine in reheating our leftover tamales.

  1. Heat up your toaster oven to its highest or around about 350°F (175°C).
  2. Wrap each individual husk-less tamale with foil paper.
  3. Arrange leftover tamales on a baking sheet with water drizzled over every piece or pour little water into it altogether then place into toaster oven after covering with foil.
  4. Cook for only about ten minutes
  5. Make sure you check halfway through before removing!
  6. Serve immediately after taking it out of the appliance!

How to Reheat Tamales in a Broiler

Do you want restaurant-quality reheat Tamale drumming? then broiling is the solution.

  1. Set over broiler to high at with full strength if available
  2. Tossing every now and then lightly stir some oil directly onto every inside section of your leftover huskless Tamale
  3. Lay Tamales flat out on a broiler sheet and place them below the broiler for merely 4 to 5 minutes.
  4. Serve at the instance!

How to Reheat Tamales in a Slow Cooker

This method takes longer, but provides amazing results if done right:

  1. Spray oil inside slow cooker as well as all over Tamale
  2. Carefully lay Tamale(s) inside pot upright.
  3. Put several ice cubes at the bottom sides of your slow cooker
  4. Place lid tightly and lower heat setting to medium (low around 190°F or 90°C).
  5. Cook for not less than four hours before removing completely cooked tamales from this appliance.
  6. Serve!

Is it Safe To Reheat Tamales?

If reheated properly, tamales can be consumed safely without any risk of food poisoning or contamination that may harm your health.

However, make sure to refrigerate any leftover tamales within two hours of cooking and discard them after three or four days.


Reheating your leftover tamales may require different methods based on your preference and time available. Each method has its own unique characteristics that you can appreciate in different ways from saving time microwave reheating, dry frying them crispy, pan warming for delicious soft reheat or even using a toaster oven!

Now that you know how to reheat tamales through various methods discussed in this post – conventional oven, skillet, searing-reheating frying techniques including air-frying – get creative in adding new flavors based on each tamale filling type! Happy eating!

jenny happy muncher
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Jenny has always been passionate about cooking, and she uses her platform to share her joy of food with others. Her recipes are easy to follow, and she loves giving tips and tricks to help others create their own unique culinary creations.