Reviving Tamales: Master the Art of Reheating Without Sacrificing Moisture!

The Ultimate Guide: How to Reheat Tamales Without Drying Them Out


Tamales are a beloved Mexican dish made of masa dough stuffed with flavorful fillings, wrapped in a corn husk, and steamed to perfection. However, if you have leftovers or store-bought tamales that need reheating, you may find yourself worrying about keeping them moist and delicious. In this guide, we will share some expert tips on how to reheat tamales without drying them out.

1. Method 1: Steaming

Steaming is the preferred method for reheating tamales as it helps retain their moisture and texture. Follow these steps:

A) Prepare Your Equipment:

– Fill a large pot with an inch or two of water.
– Place a steamer basket or metal colander inside the pot.
– Make sure the water level doesn’t touch the bottom of the basket.

B) Arrange Tamales:

– Unwrap the desired number of tamales from their husks.
– Stand them upright in the steamer basket, leaving enough space between each tamale for steam circulation.

C) Steam:

– Cover the pot with a lid and bring water to a boil over medium heat.
– Once it starts boiling, reduce heat to low-medium while maintaining gentle steam production.
– Steam your tamales for approximately 10–15 minutes until thoroughly heated.

2. Method 2: Oven Heating

If you don’t have access to stovetop steaming equipment, using your oven is another reliable option:

A) Preheat Your Oven:

– Set your oven temperature between 325°F (163°C) and 350°F (177°C).
– Allow your oven to fully preheat before moving on to the next step.

B) Prepare Your Tamales:

– Remove husks from the desired number of tamales.
– Wrap each tamale tightly in aluminum foil, ensuring they are completely covered.

C) Oven Heating:

– Place the wrapped tamales directly onto a baking sheet or oven-safe dish.
– Put them into the preheated oven and heat for about 15–20 minutes until warmed through.

3. Method 3: Microwave Reheating

While microwaving is a convenient option, it can sometimes lead to dryness. However, following these steps will help you avoid drying out your tamales:

A) Dampen Paper Towels:

– Wet two paper towels under running water and then wring out any excess moisture.

B) Arrange Tamales:

– Unwrap as many tamales as needed and place them on a microwave-safe plate with some space between each one.

C) Moisture Retention:

– Lay one damp paper towel over the top of the arranged tamales.
– Cover everything with another dry paper towel to create steam while preventing excessive drying during reheating.

Note: Microwaving times may vary depending on your microwave’s power settings.


Reheating leftover or store-bought tamales without drying them out may seem challenging at first. However, by utilizing these methods – steaming, oven heating, or microwaving with proper precautions – you’ll be able to enjoy deliciously warm and moist tamales anytime. Always remember that using appropriate reheating techniques ensures an excellent culinary experience while preserving the original flavors intact. Enjoy your perfectly reheated tamales without worrying about compromising their taste or texture!

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