How To Cook Tamales In a Roaster?

How To Cook Tamales In a Roaster

How to cook tamales in a roaster? How long do tamales take to cook in Rival electric roaster ovens? In general, the best way to cook them is to steam tamales in a hot steamer basket inside the electric roaster oven for 2 hours. For more detail, keep reading!

Tamales are a popular Central-Karribean American dish, made of masa dough wrapped in a corn husk. They can also be filled with chicken, turkey, ground beef, and pork. They are the most popular in Mexico, Nicaragua, Cuba, Puerto Rico, and several other countries, including the USA, where they became a traditional holiday meal. However, you can eat tamales whenever you want, but if you don’t know how to cook them, this article will help you with it!

How To Cook Tamales In A Roaster?

  1. First, you will need to place the steamer into the roaster oven, pour water just below the level of the steamer, and preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Lay a dozen tamales horizontally on the rack so that they don’t touch the water.
  3. When tamales start steaming, lower the temperature to 200 degrees
  4. Let tamales steam 2 hours or until corn husks start falling off the tamales
  5. When cooked, remove tamales from the roaster and serve them with salsa sauce, cheese, sour cream, or however you like them

Steaming tamales without a steamer is also possible. You just need a boiling pot that can go into the oven and a strainer or wire rack that will allow the steam to penetrate tamales when the water inside the pot reaches the boiling point.

How Long Does It Take To Cook Tamales In The Roaster?

They will steam for approximately two hours.

How To Reheat Tamales In A Roaster Oven?

Commercial tamales are pre-cooked and only require you to reheat them on medium heat. That means you can cook tamales quickly and easily. The whole process is similar to the previous paragraph, but instead of cooking them for 2 hours, making tamales this way will take you only 15-20 minutes.

Pro tip: Before preheating remove the tamales from the bag and wrap each tamal in the damp paper towel. If you don’t have time nor patience to wrap each tamale with paper towels, you can simply cover them all with wet paper towels instead. Paper towels cover and steam tamales more quickly

How To Cook Tamales In a Roaster pin

How To Cook Tamales In A Turkey Roaster?

Apart from roasting turkey meat, you can cook tamales in a turkey roaster.

  • Place the steaming rack into the oven and fill it with water.
  • Preheat the turkey toaster at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes and then lower the temperature to 325 degrees
  • Place tamales vertically into the rack and cook for 1,5 hours until they are perfectly steamed.

How Long Do You Cook Tamales In A Roaster Oven?

Cooking time depends on whether the tamales are pre-made and pre-cooked, or you are making them from scratch. Also, how many tamales do you plan to prepare can affect the cooking times. Not to mention the obvious, the higher temperature is, the more quickly cooked will tamales be.

Pre-cooked tamales are cooked quickly in a roaster oven, in just 15-20 minutes. Freshly made tamales will take anywhere from 1,5 hours to more than 2 hours. If you decide to cook tamales in a pressure cooker, it will take you 15-20 minutes even if they were freshly made.

Regular oven baking takes 20 minutes to fully cook tamales, but it requires tamales to be cooked on a baking sheet and flipped halfway through the cooking time so that the tamale dough cooks evenly. After flipping, continue cooking for another 10 minutes. If you want to cook your tamales in a slow cooker, it will take you 3-4 hours at high heat, or 6 hours at medium-low heat.

How Do You Steam In A Roaster?

A rival electric roaster works in a quite simple way. Water is poured into a steamer rack and the roaster gets preheated at 375 degrees minimum until the water starts boiling. Tamales or other ingredients are put into the wire rack so that they don’t touch the boiling water directly, but the steam can reach them.

At this point, the temperature should be lowered so that the boiling water doesn’t evaporate too quickly. Some people cover tamales with wet towels so they are steamed more quickly and evenly.

Do You Put Water In The Bottom Of A Roaster?

People usually pour the water into the steaming rack of a roaster. The amount of water depends on the expected cooking time. The minimum amount of water needs to cover the bottom of the steamer basket, and it can’t be higher than the steamer basket level. The longer the cooking time, the more water will be needed, and vice versa.

However, one recipe suggests avoiding putting water, and instead, letting the juices from tamales drip down to the steaming rack, from which they will evaporate and penetrate cooking tamales again. It is best to try both suggestions and see which one works the best for you.


So, is it now more clear how to cook tamales in a roaster? We learned that this cooking task is not so hard, they just need to be steamed until their corn husk starts pulling away. For pre-cooked tamales, it is 15-20 minutes, and for freshly made tamales it usually lasts between 1,5 and 2 hours.

They can also be laid on the sheet pan prepared in a conventional oven, and they can even be prepared in electric pressure cookers.

No matter how you prefer to cook your tamales, make sure to eat them quickly or leave them in the refrigerator overnight, as they contain meat that can easily become spoiled, and you don’t want to risk food poisoning.

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