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How to Defrost Frozen Tamales in Microwave

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Do you have frozen tamales that need to be defrosted quickly? Stuffed with savory fillings, tamales are a delicious and nutritious way to fulfill your hunger cravings. 

Microwave is perfect defrosting tool to speed up the process to thaw frozen tamales quickly. In just a few minutes, rock hard tamales can be brought to room temperature so that they are easier to warm.

How do you defrost frozen tamales in the microwave? Place the frozen tamales on a microwave-safe plate in the husk, wrap with a damp paper towel and piece of plastic wrap. Microwave for around 2 minutes on defrost setting or medium power level of 50%.

Flip it over and continue defrosting for another 2 minutes to thoroughly defrost the tamale. However, defrost time is subject to the number of frozen tamales, size and microwave wattage.

Note that warming up leftover tamales is an art that one needs to master. The goal is to save time to reheat tamales and steam tamales in the microwave since they must be fully heated to 74 degrees Celsius or 165 degrees Fahrenheit before they can be served.

Whether an individual is making the tamales from scratch or store-bought, they need to learn how to reheat them to avoid drying out and crumbling so they retain their delicious flavor and freshness. 

Is it safe to defrost tamales in the microwave? How long does it take to defrost them? Can you defrost tamales quickly?

This article provides details instructions for how to defrost tamales in a microwave and whether it is safe to defrost them. Answered below are frequently asked questions including the best way of defrosting tamales in the microwave.

Can you cook frozen tamales in the microwave?

Yes, the frozen tamales can be cooked in the microwave for approximately 2 minutes, then flip and continue cooking for another 2 minutes. 

Note that depending on the number of the tamales and wattage of the microwave, the microwave timing can vary. However, when cooking frozen tamales, the center may remain cold while the outside edges get overcooked, which is why its best to completely defrost beforehand.

Therefore, it is recommended to make sure that the tamales are thawed before reheating or steaming. They are often steamed and served when hot thus, the microwave can be used in the steaming process. 

How long to microwave frozen tamales?

On average, it takes about 3 to 4 minutes to defrost one frozen tamale in the microwave. However, timing can take shorter or longer based on the microwave wattage.

Two frozen tamales placed together in the microwave can take approximately 5 to 7 minutes to fully defrost in the microwave. Remember, the frozen tamale should be first wrapped in a damp paper towel and then a piece of plastic wrap to lock the moisture inside the husk.

Why are my tamales taking so long to cook?

If there is too much water added to the steamer, then the tamales will take longer to cook. It’s not that the tamales are taking longer, the larger volume of water is taking longer to heat up and generate steam.

When the water reaches its boiling point and flows over the strainer or the basket used for steaming, the bottom of the tamales can become soaked. When the masa dough is very wet, the tamales will also take an extended time period to steam. 

Making tamales is a time-consuming processes that one will have to complete. It requires patience, and making the dough and fillings takes time. That is why storing tamales in the freezer can extend shelf life so they can continue to enjoyed.

Tips for defrosting frozen tamales in the microwave

Frozen tamales are great alternative meal prep or snack on a busy day. They can be prepared quickly in the microwave without requiring steaming on the stovetop. 

Defrosting prior to reheating will prevent uneven heating and inconsistent results. However, the frozen tamales must be fully reheated after defrosting so that they are prepared to serve. 

Here are useful microwave tips to defrost frozen tamales:

  • Wrap the husk with a damp paper towel and a piece of microwave safe plastic wrap to trap in the moisture so the tamales don’t dry out.
  • Place the prepared tamales on a microwave-safe plate, and select medium heat or 50% power level for thawing.
  • After 2 minutes, the tamales should be flipped and continue defrosting for another 2 minutes at medium heat level. 
  • Be careful when using a microwave to defrost tamales that they do not stay in the microwave for an extended period as they can dry up.
  • If the tamales were bought in a microwaveable bag, when defrosting them, leave them in it and snip a small hole to provide room for steam to escape.

Best way to defrost frozen tamales in the microwave

Defrosting frozen tamales using a microwave is the quickest and easiest method. Make sure they are covered with a damp paper towel and wrapped in microwaveable plastic wrap, spaced apart from each other on the microwave-safe plate, and defrosted for 2 minute intervals until reaching room temperature. 

If the microwave does not have defrost button, simply lower the power to 50% or medium heat so the frozen tamales do not start cooking.

Avoid removing the husk since it helps to create steam, hold the shape and keep the flavor intact while defrosting and reheating in the microwave. 

Flip the tamales and allow them to defrost for an additional 2 minutes on the other side at medium heat. 

It is important to note that before reheating the tamales in the microwave, give them some time to defrost in the refrigerator overnight or use microwave to get the job done quickly. 

The secret to having a delicious and perfect microwaved tamale is to make sure that it is wrapped well in a damp paper towel and plastic wrap before placing into the microwave. Slow the reheating process for a more delicious outcome. 

Do not freeze the defrosted leftovers because the tamales will lose their taste and texture. Therefore, it’s best to only defrost the number of tamales you are going to eat at that time.

Thawing is the first step, the tamales must be reheated afterwards. According to USDA, tamales are a perishable food that must be reheated to an internal temperature of 74 degrees Celsius or 165 degrees Fahrenheit before serving.

How to defrost tamales in microwave

Defrosting Tamales in Microwave: Conclusion

From vegetarian to meat lovers, tamales are a popular food that can be eaten at anytime of day. It has smooth, creamy, and delicious flavor that comes out during the steaming process inside of the husk. 

Tamales take a long time to make from scratch, therefore freezing is a common storage method. Storing tamales in the freezer can maintain the flavor and texture to enjoy next time.

Microwaving is the easiest and most efficient defrosting method. When you are hungry and in a hurry, use the microwave to defrost and prepare delicious tamales quickly. 

Keep the husk intact on frozen tamales and sprinkle water to wet the husk, or wrap the tamale with a damp paper towel and a sheet of plastic wrap. This will help to speeding up defrosting process and keep the moisture trapped inside the masa.

Microwave on defrost setting or 50% power for 2 minutes. Turn the tamales over to the other side and continue thawing for another 2 minutes.

Depending on the number of tamales and wattage of microwave, the defrosting time may vary slightly. So, start with short intervals and watch carefully to prevent the tamales from overcooking.

Once the tamales are fully defrosted in the microwave, reheat or steam to 74℃ or 165℉ to serve delicious tamales that are safe to eat.

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