Learn how to reheat tamales the easy way, by steaming them in your Instant Pot!
Did you know you can reheat tamales in the Instant Pot? It’s a cinch to do it, and the result is tender and moist tamales! Keep reading to get the tips and tricks for using this method.
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It doesn’t take long to realize just how versatile the Instant Pot is. It is one of the most useful appliances in my kitchen, for sure!
One of the most little-known uses for the Instant Pot is the fact that you can reheat leftovers in the Instant Pot!
This is particularly useful if you don’t have a microwave, or for those foods that can sometimes have a tendency to dry out in the microwave, such as tamales.
Not only that, but you can also keep food warm in the Instant Pot, which is great if you’re cooking now but won’t be eating it until a little later.
Today, I’m sharing how to reheat tamales in the Instant Pot, and you’ll be amazed at just how simple it is.
- How to Reheat Soup in the Instant Pot
- How to Reheat Pulled Pork in the Instant Pot
- How to Reheat Rice in the Instant Pot
- How to Reheat Mashed Potatoes in the Instant Pot
The Best Way to Reheat Tamales
I don’t actually make tamales myself, but every Christmas season, I order a dozen homemade tamales from a woman in my church who makes them, and they are amazing!
So when it’s time for us to eat them, I want to reheat them the best possible way, which is steaming!
Because let’s be honest–if you or someone else took the time to make delicious homemade tamales, you certainly want to reheat them the best way.
When you reheat tamales in the Instant Pot, the moist steaming environment helps to keep the tamales nice and tender, exactly as they should be!
I admit, I used to just reheat them in the microwave, and the fact is–that’s the fastest way to do it if you’re in a hurry.
But, I think using the Instant Pot is the best way to reheat tamales, because it preserves their texture so well.
How to Steam Tamales in the Instant Pot
These are the tips and tricks I find useful when reheating tamales.
(Printable instructions are available below)
Add Water to the Instant Pot
First up, you’ll add some water to the insert pot of the Instant Pot. This is necessary to create the steamy environment.
Use a Steamer Basket
To steam tamales in your Instant Pot, I recommend using a steamer basket.
Since we added water to the Instant Pot, we need a way to keep the tamales out of the water, and a steamer basket works perfectly for that.
I have this steamer basket and it works great for this purpose.
- ⭐️ Instant Pot Compatible - The 717 Steamer Basket is compatible with 6 and 8 quart Instant Pots, as well as many other Pots and Pressure Cookers. The 717 Steamer Basket is perfect for Eggs, Meats, and Veggies
Stand the Tamales Upright if Possible
While you can stack the tamales on top of each other, I find they reheat more evenly if you stand them upright on their ends.
This positioning exposes more surface area, which allows the steam to circulate more around each tamale.
Use the Steam Function
If your tamales are cold (but not frozen), start with a 5 minute steam time. I’ve found this is the perfect amount of time for reheating tamales, but this is just a starting point.
If your Instant Pot is crammed full of tamales, you may need to increase the steam time by a minute or two. Likewise, if your tamales are large and have a lot of filling, they may need additional steam time.
I have not yet tried this method with frozen tamales, but I’d imagine you would need to increase the steam time to around 15 minutes in that case. I’ll update this article once I’ve had a chance to try steaming them from frozen!
After the steam time is complete, do a quick release and carefully open the lid to lift out the basket.
What if I Don’t Have a Steamer Basket?
If you don’t have a steamer basket, you can try standing the tamales up on the trivet that came with your Instant Pot. It can be a little tricky to balance them this way, but it can still be done!
Alternatively, you can lay the tamales flat on the trivet and steam them that way.
If you’re stacking several tamales, I’d increase the steam time by a couple of minutes. But if you’re just laying a few on the trivet, the 5 minute recommendation should work just fine.
- 4 Pre-cooked tamales (or however many you want to reheat)
- Add 1 cup of water to the insert pot of the Instant Pot. Set a steamer basket in place.
- Add tamales to the steamer basket, standing them up on their ends if possible.
- Close lid and set vent to the sealed position. Use the Steam button to select a steam time of 5 minutes.
- After the steam time is complete, perform a quick release of the pressure, then carefully remove the lid.
- Remove the steamer basket carefully and serve the tamales. Enjoy!
- If you don't have a steamer basket, you can lay the tamales flat across the trivet that came with your Instant Pot or try standing them up on the trivet. If you only have a few tamales laying on the trivet, stick with the 5 minute steam time. However, if you are stacking several this way, increase the steam time by a couple of minutes.
- This steam time is a starting point--depending on how large/cold your tamales are, you may need to add a couple of minutes. If you find the tamales aren't warmed through after 5 minutes, replace the lid and add 2-5 more minutes of steam time.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 247Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 28mgSodium: 672mgCarbohydrates: 22gFiber: 3gSugar: 1gProtein: 10g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated and is not guaranteed for accuracy.
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