After spending hours making your favorite tamales, you do not want your leftovers to go to waste.
By learning how to freeze tamales, you can make sure this Mexican cuisine is ready for future meals.
Made with a variety of meats, cheese, vegetables and chilies, tamales are an excellent addition to any lunch or dinner.
How Do You Freeze and Reheat Tamales?
Unlike some foods, tamales survive the freezer fairly well.
When families make large batches of tamales, they often make extra so that they can freeze some of them. For this process to work, you have to prepare the tamales properly.
If you do everything right, the tamales can maintain their freshness for up to six months.
After six months, the tamales’ texture and flavor may change. To learn how to freeze tamales, you can try out the following steps.
- Using your favorite recipe, you should prepare the tamales. Your tamales will last longer if they are cooked first.
- Allow the dish to cool down completely. You should never freeze tamales that are still warm. Homemade tamales should cool down for at least an hour on a cooling rack.
- You should place the tamales inside a freezer bag or a plastic container. The container must be airtight. You should avoid packing too many tamales inside the container.
- After you close the lid, you should write the storage date and the type of tamales on the label. Then, you can stick the container in the freezer.
Whenever you are hungry, you can remove the tamales from the freezer and prepare them for dinner.
The best option is to take the tamales out of the freezer and let them thaw in the refrigerator overnight.
Then, you can cook them in a steamer. In general, it takes about 25 minutes to steam thawed tamales over medium heat.
The actual amount of time can vary based on the tamale’s size and the number of tamales.
Sometimes, you might not have time to thaw out tamales overnight.
While the taste and texture may be affected, you can cook frozen tamales right away. To do this, you just have to place the frozen tamales directly in your steamer.
Do You Freeze Tamales Cooked or Uncooked?
While you can freeze uncooked tamales, this method is generally not the best option. Uncooked ingredients are more likely to degrade over time.
This means uncooked tamales will quickly suffer from flavor and texture changes. For the best results, you should cook your tamales before you freeze them.
How Long Can You Freeze Tamales?
If you do everything correctly, you can generally freeze tamales for six months. After this point, the quality level will steadily decline.
If you place the tamales in a refrigerator, they will only keep for about a week before going bad.