Can You Freeze Cooked Tamales
You can safely freeze any leftover tamales to use later. Freezing the cooked tamales increases their shelf life for a long period of time. Freezing will alter the taste and flavor of the cooked tamales a little bit but you can freeze them for up to 6 months.
Now that you know how to freeze your tamales, cooked or not, let us dive in and explore five great ways to heat up your tamales. Depending on which method of preparation you are using to heat up the tamales, you might not actually have to defrost them first. If you do not want to wait overnight to defrost the tamales, you can defrost and heat tamales right out of the freezer.
It is best if you never thaw frozen tamales at room temperature, as this can spoil the texture and taste. The raw frozen ingredients in the tamales can taste different after spending long periods of time in the freezer and when they are thawed. Once defrosted and cooked, uncooked frozen tamales can get soggy, as the masa fails to hold together the ingredients, creating an unappetizing mess. It is better to freeze cooked tamales, since the uncooked fillings can alter their flavors and textures during freezing, so freezing the tamales once they are cooked really preserves the most flavors, textures, and qualities.
If you freeze cooked tamales twice, then the quality, color, taste, general appearance, and shelf-life of the cooked tamales degrades. Putting cooked tamales back into the freezer will impact the overall flavor and quality of the cooked tamales. While there is some suggestion that the tamales must be unwrapped before freezing because freezing ruins the wrapper made from corn husks, this does not appear necessary.
When preparing the tamales, it is important that the tamales are wrapped correctly and thoroughly for freezing, since the initial corn husk wraps are far too fragile to hold up under intense freezer temperatures. Homemade Tamales must be packed properly, as their original corn husk wrapping is too flimsy to withstand against the intense cold. To freeze a uncooked tamale, you can pack the filling inside a cornhusk wrapper, or you can pack the filling batch unwrapped into a sealed container.
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Depending on your personal preference, and whether or not you have corn husks handy, you can pack tamale filling into husks now, or freeze filling so that it is added to a husk when it is thawed. To do a freezer version, you would simply prepare the filling the way you normally would, then pack the tamale filling in a husk wrapper, or simply pack up your entire batch without wrapper, and put in your freezer.
|Fresh||For 3 to 6 months|
|Cooked||For half a year|
Once you have prepared your prepared cooked tamales, and regardless of if you used husks, put your tamale/tamale filling into a freezer-safe bag or an airtight container. You should wrap the tamales in plastic first, and then put it in a heavy-duty freezer bag. If you are going to freeze them, you have to tightly wrap them with plastic wrap, and then put them in the freezer bag. Just make sure you wrap the steaming tamales tightly in plastic wrap and store in a sealed container when putting in the freezer.
Freshly steamed tamales hold heat very well, so let about an hour or two pass before moving to a ziplock bag or plastic tub for storage. Once cool, you can store the prepared tamales in Ziplock bags or plastic food-grade containers in your refrigerator, where they will keep 4 days to one week, or freeze them. Once your home-cooked tamales are fully cooled, grab a big, leakproof plastic container or some heavy-duty, resealable plastic bags. Once you have removed your tamales from the freezer, put your frozen tamales on a plate and leave in the refrigerator overnight, or for at least 5 hours.
You can let the uncooked frozen tamales sit in the refrigerator to thaw overnight, which is the safest way to allow them to thaw, then put them into a steamer to cook. We would not recommend keeping cooked or uncooked tamales on the ice much longer, as they lose the most quality the longer they sit in arctic temperatures.
With proper packing and preparation, you can store both cooked and uncooked tamales in your freezer up to six months. In either case, with the right strategies, you can prepare the tamales ahead of time and keep uncooked lumps in the freezer to cook at a later date.
If you must freeze tamales with a vegetable or fruit filling, you will want to cook the filling a bit below medium heat, or do not cook it at all, so that you are not left with any mush when you thaw. If you do not want to eat the leftovers, or a tamale mix that is been made in advance, within seven days, freezing it is the perfect solution instead of ruining them. First, split tamales that you would like to eat immediately and those that you would like to freeze after cooking.
If you want your tamales to have that freshly-made flavor, wrap them with some fresh corn leaves before you place them into the freezer. You will learn the various ways you can heat up your tamales to taste just as you made them. We will take you through freezing both cooked and uncooked tamales, along with best practices for defrosting and heating so that you can have a few tasty tamales on hand at all times. Yes, you can freeze and store steam-cooked tamales for up to 6 months, and still be able to enjoy their tasty flavors on any given day.
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In fact, due to how tightly wrapped the tamales are in corn or banana leaves, the tamales can be frozen and stored up to 6 months. As long as Tamales are made and packed correctly, they can remain fresh in the freezer for 3-6 months without changing much about the taste or texture. Tamales Cooking Method Tamales are truly suited for freezing, and they can last a half-year in the freezer. You can also thaw them overnight in the refrigerator then prepare as normal, but that takes longer due to prep work.
Without a freezer-safe container, a tamale could get damaged from ice crystals and freezing, which could change the texture and flavor of it drastically, and a tamale simply does not have the same flavor once thawed and prepared. If placed in a sealed container, or wrapped tightly with plastic wrap and placed in a freezer-safe bag, the tamales will last up to six months in the freezer.
How do you store cooked tamales?
When tamales are cooked, they are traditionally wrapped in aluminum foil. Ensure the wrapped tamales are airtight by placing them in an airtight container or ziplock bag. The cooked tamales will stay fresh for around seven days in the fridge or for up to six months if they are vacuum-sealed in a Ziploc bag in the freezer.
How do you reheat frozen cooked tamales?
Frozen tamales can be reheated in the oven. The oven should be preheated to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Seal in moisture by wrapping frozen tamales in tinfoil. Bake for about 15 minutes, flipping each tamale after about 25 minutes, after squeezing out excess air. Bake for a total of 25 to 30 minutes.
How long do cooked Tamales last in the fridge?
Cooked and uncooked tamales will remain great for about seven days in the fridge or up to six months frozen in an airtight container or vacuum-sealed Ziploc bag. Tamales are best kept in the refrigerator and freezer when wrapped in plastic wrap and put in an airtight container. Tamales should not be left out on the counter for more than four hours.