Can You Freeze Tamales Before Steaming?
You can surely freeze tamales uncooked before steaming but they must be properly wrapped and packed in a freezer-safe container before freezing. However, they should not be stored for more than 3 months in the freezer as it is made from uncooked ingredients which start degrading the flavor and texture even when frozen.
If you wish to freeze tamales before they are steam-cooked, then you must tightly wrap them in plastic wrap, and place in a refrigerator. You will need to wrap them first with plastic, and then put them in heavy-duty freezer bags. Once you have prepared the prepared tamales, regardless of if you used the wrapper or not, put the filled tamales/tamales in the freezer bag or in an airtight container. Once your home-cooked tamales are fully chilled, obtain either one large, airtight plastic container or multiple heavy-duty, resealable plastic bags.
Stored airtight in the container or wrapped up plasticky inside the freezer bag, the tamales will keep for 5 months. Tamales last for up to six months in the freezer, which is great if you are planning on having a big family get-together over the holidays. As long as tamales are made and packaged correctly, they will keep fresh in the freezer for 3-6 months, with very little changes to flavor or texture. If you store your tamales in a refrigerator correctly, they will stay in the best possible state for approximately three to six months.
With proper packing and preparation, you can store cooked or uncooked tamales in the freezer for up to six months. We do not recommend keeping them in the ice much longer, as they will lose quality the longer they sit in arctic temperatures. It is best if you never thaw frozen tamales at room temperature, as this will destroy their texture and taste.
It is also faster to heat pre-cooked frozen tamales once thawed, saving you tons of time. If you do not want to wait overnight to let your tamales thaw, you can defrost and heat your tamales right out of the freezer. You could let frozen, uncooked tamales thaw overnight in the refrigerator, which is the most reliable way to allow them to thaw, then put them into a steamer to cook.
If you really have to thaw tamales before you bake, the best way by far is to let them sit overnight in the refrigerator. You can also thaw your tamales overnight in the refrigerator and then prepare them the same way as normal, but this takes longer due to prep work. Since tamales need to be cooked once they are thawed, leaving the veggie fillings uncooked is recommended.
Although, with proper technique and preparation, it is possible to prepare tamales ahead of time and store uncooked in a freezer for cooking later. In any case, with the right strategy, you can make the tamales early and store uncooked lumps in the freezer to be cooked at a later time. The raw frozen ingredients in the tamales may taste different after spending long periods of time in the freezer and thawing. When you freeze cooked tamales, flavors in the filling are frozen at the height of their flavors, so the taste and texture is much like they were when they were first cooked.
It is best to freeze cooked tamales, because the fillings that are not cooked can have a different taste and texture when frozen, so freezing the tamales once cooked really preserves the most flavors, textures, and qualities. Freezing cooked tamales keeps the fillings in their best flavors, making sure that fewer Zs are lost during the thawing process. If you must freeze tamales with a vegetable or fruit filling, you will want to undercook the filling a bit, or do not cook it at all, to ensure you do not end up with any mush when thawing.
If you freeze the filling separately, you will have to let the dough and filling sit in the refrigerator overnight to thaw, then wrap it up with a corn husk wrapper, and then steam the tamales. To do a freezer-friendly version, you will simply prepare the filling the way you normally would, then pack the tamale filling into the corn husk wrapper, or simply package the entire batch without the wrapper, and put in the freezer. Depending on your personal preference, and whether or not you have some corn husks handy, you may want to either pack the tamale filling into a husk now, or freeze the filling so that you add the filling into a husk once thawed. To freeze a uncooked tamale, you can pack the filling into a wrapped corn husk, or pack the batch of filling unwrapped into an airtight container.
When tamales are cooked, you need to make sure to package tamales correctly and carefully for freezing, because the initial corn husk wrap is too fragile to hold up under intense freezer temperatures. While there is some suggestion that you need to dewrap your tamales before freezing, since freezing will destroy the corn husk wrap, this does not appear necessary. The corn husks will indeed soften when they are defrosted, however, so heating up your tamales with the oven or broiler might be more feasible for you if you are freezing the wraps.
If you have frozen your tamales wrapped, you can prepare your tamales from frozen in the steamer, not first defrosting. Once cool, you can store cooked tamales in a ziplock bag or plastic food storage container in your fridge, where they will keep 4 days to one week, or freeze them.
By heating the tamales in a slow cooker, you will be able to achieve the same moist texture and flavors that you would have had on the day you cooked them. If you would like your tamales to have that same freshly made taste, wrap them with some fresh corn leaves before you place them into the freezer. Homemade tamales need to be packed correctly, as their initial wrap of cornhusks is far too fragile to handle intense cold. If uncooked tamales have meat in them, you would better not wait too long, cooking 48 hours after you have made them.
It is probably easier to steam the entire batch of tamales all at once, separate out those that you will need right away, and freeze the rest. If you do not want to eat the rest, or tamale mixtures that have been made in advance, within seven days, freezing is the way to go instead of ruining them.
Can you freeze fresh-made tamales?
There are frequently leftovers since the tamales can feed a big crowd. Any leftover tamales can be securely frozen for a later date. Ensure no air touches the tamales in the freezer to prevent the burn of an unattractive freezer. This will keep the tamales safe.
Do you thaw frozen tamales before cooking?
If one plans to fry the tamales, defrost them until they’re barely defrosted before cooking. Put them on a heated griddle or pan over hot temperature, still tightly wrapped in their corn husks. Before turning the husk, let it blacken.
Can you bake tamales instead of steaming them?
Heating up tamales in the oven is a simple and rapid approach that is a suitable option for steaming. Preheat the oven and wrap each tamale tightly in aluminum foil, ensuring that there is no air between the layers. Bake them for twenty minutes, turning them halfway through.