How to Reheat Tamales in Microwave (7 Simple Steps)

It must be very frustrating to crave something that isn’t easy to make. So, what are you craving right now? Oh, yes, some tamales. At least you have some pre-made ones in your refrigerator right now. But yes, I understand that you’re too busy to even prepare one for yourself.

Well, you don’t need to worry too much. Your trusty microwave is always there to help you out!

If you’re quite unsure of what I’m talking about, then this article will gladly tell you everything you need to know about reheating tamales in a microwave.

You heard it right! You don’t need to spend too much time to get to enjoy your favorite tamales. All you need is your microwave and this friendly guide to help you prepare it.

Let’s get started!

Can you reheat tamales in a microwave?

Yes, you can always reheat your tamales in a microwave. This is the easiest and quickest way to do it! So, you don’t need to hold back your cravings and hunger even if you are too busy or in a rush.

However, while microwaving may not be the best option to choose, it does the job well. The microwave may not be able to heat your tamales as even as you expect. So, that’s something that you would want to prepare for.

Moreover, you need to know how to properly microwave your tamales to make sure that it doesn’t dry out or get crumbly along the way. But if you can do it properly, then it will still taste and feel the same.

How to reheat tamales in the microwave?

Reheating your tamales in a microwave has never been easier. Here are the steps that you can follow to do it faster:

  1. Make sure the corn husks of your tamales are moist.

The easiest way of doing this is sprinkling cold water directly on the husks. But if you think this might still dry out while microwaving, then you have the second option, which is using a damp paper towel.

To do the second option, just grab some paper towels and dampen them with cold water. After that, wrap the tamales with the corn husks with paper towels. If you want, you may also wrap them with plastic wrap after being covered with paper towels. This is to make sure that it is fully steamed while it is reheating in the microwave.

  1. Put the wrapped leftover tamales on a microwave-safe plate. Make sure that they are evenly spaced so that the heat is distributed properly among them.
  2. Put the tamales in the microwave. Heat them at a power level of 50% for 1 to 2 minutes.
  3. After the given time, flip the leftover tamales over and heat them again for another 1 minute.
  4. Take out the tamales from the microwave and remove the paper towels wrapped around them.
  5. Check if the internal temperature of the tamales has reached 165 degrees Fahrenheit or 74 degrees Celsius. If not, continue reheating them for 30 seconds until the desired temperature is reached. You don’t need to wrap it with paper towels again.
  6. Once done, bring out the tamales and peel off their husk.
  7. Transfer it to a serving dish and enjoy your perfectly reheated tamales!

Is it safe to reheat tamales in a microwave?

Yes, it is perfectly safe to reheat your tamales in a microwave. Of course, there are some precautionary measures that you need to consider while doing it.

You have to make sure that your leftover tamales are reheated as evenly as possible. This is to make sure that you can properly enjoy your meal and that you are safe from possibly contaminated food.

In connection with that, you also need to check the internal temperature of your tamales. It should have an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit or 74 degrees Celsius.

Checking the internal temperature of your tamales is important to make sure that it is cooked throughout and safe for you to eat. NEVER skip this step, especially if your tamales have meat like chicken, beef, or pork in it.

Will my tamales dry out if I reheat them in a microwave?

Honestly, YES. Your tamales might dry out and become crumbly if you reheat them in a microwave.

But wait! Of course, if you do it properly, then you don’t need to worry about eating them in that state.

Your tamales will still look and taste just like how you want them if you make sure that they are moist enough before reheating them.

Moreover, you also have to be very patient while reheating them using a microwave. The secret to perfectly microwaved tamales is heating them slowly. This is to make sure it doesn’t overcook and turn out into a disaster.

Do you reheat tamales in the corn husk?

Yes! It is better to reheat your tamales in the corn husk.

Some of us might be a bit worried if it is right to do this. But trust me, you would want to reheat them while they are in the corn husk. Why? It’s because the corn husks help the leftover tamales stay moist and in shape. It also holds the fillings as well as the masa together and allows it to cook properly.

Additionally, the corn husks can help you be more sustainable and efficient! Do you have friends coming over, and you plan to serve them some quick tamales? Well, you don’t need to worry about giving each one of them their plates.

The corn husks can be the plates that your friends can use while eating them. It’s simple and very easy to dispose of. Talk about cleanliness, right?

How long does it take to microwave tamales?

It would usually take around 1 to 2 minutes if you are using a microwave to reheat your tamales. However, there are a lot of factors that affect how long you need to microwave them.

The wattage of your microwave as well as how big your tamales are and how many pieces you decide to reheat in one go all affect how much time you need to spend.

You must check your microwave’s wattage so that you can properly adjust how long you need to reheat your tamales.

Of course, the size of your tamales is completely up to you. So, you may want to consider how many pieces you want to reheat all at once depending on how big or small they are.

If your tamales are quite big, then it might be better if you reheat them one by one. But if they’re smaller, then you can do more than just one at a time.

This is to make sure that they will all be reheated as evenly as possible. I promise you that your patience will pay off well once you get to enjoy your perfectly microwaved tamales.

Is it okay to reheat frozen tamales in a microwave?

It is NOT recommended that you reheat frozen tamales in a microwave. You need to thaw them first before reheating them.

Frozen tamales will take longer to reheat. So, if you want to microwave them faster, then you have to make sure they are not frozen when you do so.

All you have to do is remove them from the freezer and you may leave them in your refrigerator to thaw. You may also put them at room temperature. Just make sure that you reheat and eat them right away.

You can also use your microwave to defrost them. What you need to do is put your frozen tamales in your microwave and set it to defrost or to low power (30%) for about 3 minutes or until it is completely thawed.

Remember to NOT remove the husks of your tamales while defrosting them. This is to make sure they look and taste the same before reheating them in the microwave.


So, there you have some of the things you need to know that can help you enjoy your favorite tamales even during your busy days. This showed you quick tips on how to reheat your tamales in a microwave. It also includes some easy steps that you can follow to do it properly.

Now, who said that you need to set aside your cravings? Go get those tamales and start microwaving!


Can I use aluminum foil to reheat frozen or cold tamales?

Yes, you can use aluminum foil to reheat frozen or cold tamales but not in the microwave. Wrap the frozen or cold tamales in aluminum foil and place them on a baking sheet in an oven preheated to 350°F for about 20 minutes until they are warm throughout. Make sure not to overheat as this will dry out the masa of your tamale.

Can I cook fresh or uncooked tamales using an air fryer?

Yes, you can cook fresh or uncooked tamales using an air fryer if you have a steaming basket that fits inside your air fryer basket. Add some water into your air fryer pan and place your steamer basket filled with uncooked (raw) masa harina flour wrapped in corn husks inside it on a low temperature setting (around 200-220 degrees Fahrenheit). Cook for 15-20 minutes depending on how big your uncooked/raw Tamale is, flipping halfway through cooking time for even heating! After that, take out your crispy cooked Tamale from air fryer and enjoy!

What is the best way of steam cooking my leftover Tamale?

The best way of steam cooking leftover Tamale is by placing it in a steamer basket over boiling water for 10-15 minutes until it’s heated through. This method will keep all of its moisture intact while providing enough heat evenly so that it doesn’t dry out while also making it extra delicious! You can also add additional ingredients such as vegetables, proteins, spices etc during this process if desired!

How do I make extra crispy tamales?

Extra crispy tamales can be achieved by either deep frying them in a fryer basket, or by brushing olive oil over the thawed tamale and baking it in a preheated oven at 350°F for 10-15 minutes. Make sure you wrap the tamale tightly in foil or plastic wrap before baking to ensure an even crispier outer crust.

What is the best way to reheat cold tamales?

The best way to reheat cold tamales is by microwaving them with a wet paper towel on top of them. Place the tamale onto a microwave safe dish and cook for one minute intervals until heated through. The damp paper towel will help maintain its original texture and flavor while creating a crispy exterior.

Can I make Tamales with Masa Harina in an Instant Pot?

Yes, you can make Tamales with Masa Harina using an Instant Pot! To do this, pour 1 cup of water into your Instant Pot and place your sheet pan filled with corn dough (Masa Harina) over it. Set the timer for 20 minutes on high pressure setting, allow 10 minutes for natural release before opening lid carefully. Tightly roll up each portion of dough around desired filling before placing into pot lining them up side-by-side. When finished cooking, let cool slightly before serving warm from Instant Pot!

How to Reheat Tamales in an Air Fryer?

To reheat tamales in an air fryer, start by preheating the air fryer to 350°F. Then, place the tamales inside the air fryer basket and cook for 6-8 minutes, flipping halfway through. Be sure to check them throughout cooking time as different models may vary. When finished, remove and enjoy!

How to Heat Up Tamales on Stove?

To heat up tamales on a stove, wrap them tightly in aluminum foil and place them on a low flame for about 15-20 minutes or until heated through. Alternatively, you can add some water to a pan, cover it with aluminum foil and steam the tamales over medium heat for 10-12 minutes or until they are piping hot!

How to Reheat Tamales in Banana Leaves?

To reheat tamales in banana leaves, preheat your oven to 350°F. Then place each individual tamale into its own piece of banana leaf before wrapping it securely so there is no leakage throughout cooking time. Place the wrapped tamale onto a baking sheet before putting it into the oven. Cook for 15-20 minutes or until heated through before removing from oven and serving!

How to Warm Up Tamales Without a Steamer?

To warm up tamales without using a steamer, wrap them tightly in aluminum foil before placing into an oven preheated at 350°F for about 10 minutes or until they are piping hot. Alternatively, add some water into a pan with a tight fitting lid before adding your wrapped tamale and allowing it to steam over low heat for 10-15 minutes or until completely heated through!

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