Can You Freeze Tamales? (Yes, You Can)

If you love Mexican Cuisine, Tamales should be on the top of your list. Made from cornflour and filled with delicious fruits, vegetables, meat, cheese, and more, these are steamed in either corn husk or banana leaf.

The starchy and savory flavor will linger on taste buds for a long time, and that will leave you with one question. Can I store excess tamales with me?

Can You Freeze Tamales?

Yes, you can freeze and store steamed tamales for as long as 6 months and enjoy the delicious taste on any good day. Just remember to wrap them tightly in plastic wrap and keep them in an airtight container while placing them in the freezer. Label with the date and enjoy the delicacy later on.

Step-by-Step Guide to Freeze Tamales

Quite a delicious dish, people look for processes to freeze tamales safely. Once you have cooked the tamales, you can move ahead with the process of freezing them.

Well, these simple steps are followed by restaurants too. So, here are the steps:

Step 1: Once you are done steaming the tamales, let them cool down. Do check that they are properly cooled down at room temperature. It might take up to an hour but do check in every 10 minutes to be sure of. Proper cooling will avoid condensation inbox while freezing.

Step 2: Select a heavy-duty Ziploc or any freezer-safe bag. It would be best if you kept them separate to avoid sticky or suffering from freeze burns. You can even use aluminum foils to wrap them up.

Step 3: It’s time to seal the bags now. You can use the straw to suck the air out of the bags and preserve the tamales most amazingly and perfectly.  

Step 4: Place them in the container once the bag is sealed. Properly stack them to accommodate the maximum in the container. You can even label the freezing date on them to avoid any confusion.

Step 5: Place the container in the freezer. Ensure to maintain a consistent temperature. Also, make sure you have an uninterrupted supply of power to ensure the freezing goes on properly.

There you go; you now have the perfectly preserved tamales for 3-6 months with you.

Other Useful Tips 

● Keep the tamales away from other frozen items to avoid cross-contamination and odor change.

● Ensure to wrap up the tamales properly so that the texture, taste, and consistency are not compromised.  

● Make sure to mark the date of freezing. This will avoid confusion on which box to consume first, so do that properly.

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Is It Safe To Freeze Tamales?

Yes, it is safe to freeze and store tamales. You can keep them frozen for around 3-6 months and can enjoy them at any moment of the day. Just make sure you do pepper sealing and maintain a consistent temperature to avoid getting them sour. Though you might experience a change in taste and texture, still it’s safe and sound. 

How to Thaw Frozen Tamales?

It is important to know the right steps to thaw the tamales before preparing them to consume. You need to know the right steps and methods to avoid losing taste and texture. 

Method 1 – Direct Thawing

Step 1: Remove the box from the freezer and place it in the fridge for 5-7 hours. You can even leave them overnight if needed. 

Step 2: Take the container out of the fridge, take the required tamales, and place them. 

Now, once you are done with thawing, you are ready to enjoy them. This is a bit of a long process; you can try others that are quicker and simpler.

Method 2 – Using Crockpot

Here, you can use the crockpot, which will also retain moisture. The steps to be followed are:

Step 1: Fill the crockpot with 1/5th water.

Step 2: Set the slow cooker to medium heat.

Step 3: Take tamales from the freezer and place them in a pot.

Step 4: Let it sit for 8-10hours.

You are now set to enjoy the tamales. 

Method 3 – Using Steamer

A speedier process in contrast to crockpot one, this will offer an amazing taste. Follow the steps below:

Step 1: Fill the steamer with water. You can add some stock cubes for added flavor. 

Step 2: Place the tamales when water comes to a hot boil.

Step 3: Wait for 45-60 minutes, and you are ready to enjoy the delicacy. 

Method 4 – Using Oven

A bit of a time-consuming process you can get the baked tamales using this process. 

Step 1: Preheat the oven at 420F.

Step 2: Wrap the tamales in aluminum foil for baking. Wrap tightly to remove air. 

Step 3: Once preheated, stack tamales in the oven properly.

Step 4: Cook for 20 minutes and flip every 5-10 minutes for proper cooking. 

Method 5 – Using Stovetop

If you want a crispy texture, then this is the right method for you:

Step 1: Put a tablespoon of cooking oil in the frying pan. Heat for around 3 minutes. 

Step 2: Place the tamales and cover them properly with a lid.

Step 3: Wait for 5-10 minutes, and your tamales are ready. 

Method 6 – Using Microwave

Last but not least, this is the least recommended method. This can cause a loss of texture and taste. Yet, the steps are here:

Step 1: Keep the tamales container in the freezer for 1-2 hours. 

Step 2: Wrap the tamales in a paper towel before placing them in the microwave. This will avoid them drying out.

Step 3: Heat for around 2-3 minutes, and you are good to go.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) 

Can you freeze cooked tamales?

Yes, it is possible to freeze the cooked tamales. Make sure to follow the right set of steps while freezing. Keeping tamales in a proper freezing container will ensure the best taste and texture. The maximum time you can keep the cooked tamales frozen is 6 months. 

Can you freeze uncooked tamales?

Tamales are made from a soft dough called masa. Though freezing, it is difficult but not impossible. You need to be more cautious while storing uncooked tamales. Ensure to wrap them tightly in plastic wrap and keep them in an airtight container. Ensure that there is no frost as it can make it sour. Follow the steps cautiously, and you are good to go.

Can you freeze masa for tamales?

Definitely, you can. You can prepare masa in advance and store it properly by using plastic wrap. Keep it safely in an airtight container before placing it in the freezer. The maximum suggested time is 3 months but can be extended to 6 months. Beyond that, the flavor and quality will start to deteriorate. 

Can you freeze corn husks for tamales?

Yes, you can freeze corn husks for tamales. You just need first to get the corn husk dried up to have no moisture left out. Now place the husk in the ziplock bags and ensure there is no air. You can store these bags for 1 year in a dry and cool place for best use.

Can you freeze raw tamales?

Yes, the steps to freeze raw tamales remain the same as that of the cooked tamales. You will wrap them in plastic wrap, place them in an airtight container, and keep them in the freezer. The raw tamales are not great to go for around 3-6 months. 

Can you freeze Costco tamales?

Yes, there is no doubt that you can freeze Costco tamales as well. But make sure you read the instructions given on the package. Though the process remains the same, instruction on the packet plays a crucial role here. So, ensure to check the packet instructions first and then follow the freezing process.

Can you freeze hot tamales?

Yes, hot tamales are one of the finest available. You can surely freeze them to enjoy later on. But again, make sure to follow the instructions properly to ensure that they remain consistent and delicious later on. Try to follow the instructions in the right manner to have the best hot tamales always. 

Can you freeze unsteamed tamales? 

A: Yes, freezing unsteamed tamales is simple and easy. You just need to follow the steps mentioned previously to freeze them. The maximum time you can freeze is around 3-6 months. Make sure to check the taste and texture before using. Avoid keeping them beyond 6 months in any case.

Can you freeze tamales in banana leaves?

Yes, it is possible. But the process is a bit lengthy. You need to remove tamales from banana leaves and wrap them in plastic wrap. Keep in airtight containers and then in the freezer for 6 months maximum. But if you want to enjoy the authentic taste, keep the tamales in banana leaves as it is and enjoy them within 3-5 days maximum. 

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To conclude, ensure that you follow the complete set of instructions to freeze the tamales. Following the right steps will ensure that the consistency, taste, and texture are maintained for a long time.

Try to avoid freezing uncooked or raw tamales and masa as the chances of losing taste are high. Maintain a consistent temperature, ensure a regular power supply, and do proper packaging for the best taste and flavor to enjoy.