How To Cook Tamales Without A Steamer?

How To Cook Tamales Without A Steamer

How to cook tamales without a steamer? The simplest way to make tamales without a steamer is to put them on a plate in a high standing pan with boiling water. Check more tips and details further in this post!

On the other hand, if you have a bit of spare time on your hands and decide to spend it by perfecting your culinary skills, then you’ve come to the right place! This article contains all the different ways to make tamales with and without a steamer – from those simple and less challenging to those that require a bit more patience and care. One thing’s for sure – whichever one you land on, delicious tamales will follow!

How To Cook Tamales Without A Steamer?

The truth is there is an entire world of possibilities – from the oven and stove on the one hand to pressure cookers and slow cookers on the other. All of these can serve to either cook or reheat tamales with the best of them. Thus, your only logical next step is to go through the article, find your favorite method and try it out tonight!

Here is probably the BEST way to do it.

  1. Make a couple of aluminum foil balls.
  2. Place them into a pan.
  3. Put a plate with tamales on the balls.
  4. Add water, close the lead and bring to a light boil.
  5. Steam them like this for 20 minutes and you are done!
  6. Carefull, the place will be hot.

If you are not clear on what I mean, here is the guide on exactly this procedure but with another dish:

You might also want to know how to cook tamales in a roaster, yep it is possible.

Can You Bake Tamales Instead Of Steeming Them?

Even though steaming tamales is the traditional way to go and the first one that pops up on Google, there are other ways of making them – baking them in the oven is one.

Baking or simply reheating tamales in the oven is severely underrated, and I’m not sure as to why this is. All you need to do is wrap them up in foil and bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Okay, so maybe a few more details that I left out here, but you’ll find a detailed recipe for cooking tamales in the oven below!

Can You Cook Homemade Tamales In The Oven?

Like I’ve said, you can absolutely make tamales in the oven, and once they’re in, they’ll be done in just a couple of minutes. Thus, as promised, here is the simplest tamales recipe for the oven you’ll ever come across.

  1. First, preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Wrap the tamales in aluminum foil balls and place them on a sheet pan – there should be room between them!
  3. Once the oven has heated up, bake them for 15 to 20 minutes.

After 20 minutes, some good news – the tamales are all done and ready to serve up!

How To Cook Tamales Without A Steamer pin

Can You Make Tamales Without A Steamer?

Even though most tamale recipes list a steamer as a must-have, you don’t actually need it when making tamales. You can make them in pretty much anything – from a rice cooker and Dutch oven to a roasting pan or the evergreen large pot. Tamales really can be made in an abundance of ways – and lucky for you, I’ve singled out the best below!

How To Make Tamales Without A Steamer?

Let’s start easy – one of the quickest ways to make tamales without a steamer is to use a microwave oven, and for this recipe, you’ll do just that!

  1. Before placing them in the microwave, soften up the corn husks by placing them in warm water.
  2. Once soft, assemble the tamales with masa, seasoning, and your filling or choice – this part is up to you and your imagination.
  3. Stack the assembled tamales in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave for 6 minutes – if they don’t appear done, cook them for 30 seconds more until you’re satisfied!

Oh, and did I forget to mention – this works for frozen tamales too! Just wrap each one in a damp paper towel, space out, and reheat for one to two minutes, simple as that!

How To Cook Tamales In Instant Pot Without Steamer Basket?

If you don’t have a steamer basket at hand, you can still make tamales without it in the instant pot. Just add a cup of water into the pot and place your tamales flat across the trivet – steam them for five minutes. All done, the steaming process is done, and you have some hot tamales to get to!

How To Reheat Tamales Without A Steamer?

One quick and easy way of reheating your tamales dinner plate is placing them in the oven. Just preheat the oven to 350 degrees and bake for 25 minutes. This gives them time to cook properly, well reheat anyway.

Once they’re fully cooked, grab a plate, put on your favorite show, and enjoy!

How To Cook Frozen Tamales Without A Steamer?

Okay, so up till now, I’ve shown you how to steam tamales in both a microwave oven and a real one. Now, it’s time to step up your game a bit with a tamale recipe for the rice cooker!

  1. Since we’re cooking without a steamer, the first thing to do is place a wire rack on the bottom of the cooker.
  2. Next, add 2 inches of water into the pot.
  3. Place the tamales in a single layer and close the lid.
  4. Steam the tamales for around 1 hour.

An extra tip, you say? If it’s your first time using a rice cooker to prepare tamales, make sure to check up on them from time to time. If the water is close to gone, add some more and continue cooking.

How To Reheat Frozen Tamales Without A Steamer?

In the same way that cooking tamales don’t necessarily need to be done with a steamer, reheating them doesn’t either. If you’re in the mood for tamales and have some in the freezer, just look around your kitchen – a microwave, oven, rice cooker, or even crockpot will do the trick. Although, in all honesty, the last one will take a bit longer.

Once you decide on your culinary weapon of choice, scroll back up and check out detailed recipes on how to reheat frozen tamales in each of the above.

Best Way To Make Tamales Without A Steamer?

If you ask me, I’d have to go with a crockpot, simply because I think that the longer something cooks, the better the flavor profile. Letting everything simmer for a few hours guarantees an envious flavor profile. On that note, here is a step-by-step tamales crockpot recipe!

  1. You’ll need to prepare the meat beforehand, the night before ideally – hey, I did say the recipe takes some time!
  2. Once the tamales have been assembled the next morning or afternoon, add three cups of water into the crockpot and place the tamales inside.
  3. Before closing the lid, put a layer of aluminum foil across the top of the crockpot and then seal everything in.
  4. Your ideal cooking time is six hours – although it sounds long, the upside is you can leave the tamales be and watch a movie or two while they cook.

How To Cook Tamales In A Steamer Pot?

I feel like I have to mention this is not some anti-steamer pot article. It’s just giving you some more options. However, to prove there’s no hard feeling, here’s a tamales recipe for the steamer pot.

  1. Place a steamer basket at the bottom of the pan, and fill the latter of the two with water, so it’s just about touching the basket.
  2. Place the tamales in the basket in a vertical position and place everything on the stove.
  3. Cook at high heat until you’ve got boiling water, then reduce to medium heat and cook for about an hour. This will prevent the water from getting into the tamales and making them soggy.

Even though the recipe is done and the tamales are cooking, it doesn’t mean you’re done. To be extra safe, you’ll need to check the tamales from time to time and make sure no water has gotten into them. Remember – this simple step may just save your dinner!

How To Cook Tamales In A Steamer?

Now for the easiest tamales recipe out there – yes, easier than even the microwave one! Fill the steamer with water and place the tamales into the basket vertically – this is just an extra precaution for preventing them from getting soggy! Once the water is boiling, the cooking time begins – cook the tamales for 1 to 2 hours at medium heat.

You probably want a more specific cooking time, right? The best I can do is tell you to check them after 40 minutes to an hour and see where they’re at. Everything else is up to the steamer!

Can You Steam Tamales In Foil?

Although this method of cooking may appear a bit strange, it’s actually pretty common. The easiest way of steaming tamales in foil is either in a pot or oven. The oven part is covered if you just scroll a bit back. However, if you’ve never used foil to steam tamales in a pot, you’re in luck since this recipe is just for you!

  1. Find a large pot and place three large pieces of aluminum foil at the bottom – this is what elevates the tamales, so they’re not touching the water.
  2. Place a heat-proof plate over the aluminum balls and evenly distribute the tamales on it.
  3. Once the water begins to simmer, reduce the heat from medium-high and cover the plate over with a lid.
  4. At this rate – everything should be done in 30 to 40 minutes. However, keep an eye on them to make sure they don’t overcook.

How Do You Steam Tamales On The Stove?

As you may have noticed, steaming tamales on the stove both with and without a steamer is quite simple and easy. Both methods take about an hour, with each corn husk turning out more delicious than the one before it. Once you decide on how you’re planning to prepare them on the stove, scroll back through the article and check if you’ve got everything you need before you take on this culinary adventure!


Since the article’s done, I’d take it you now know how to cook tamales without a steamer! The easiest way is to place them in a preheated oven and cook for 15 to 20 minutes at 325 degrees F. But hey, if you’re ever looking for a culinary adventure with or without a steamer, you’ve just learned a whole bunch of different ways to prepare tamales!

Share this post, it will help me a lot!

Leave a Reply