How Long Do Tamales Take To Cook? The Answer Might Surprise You

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Tamales are a popular Mexican dish that can be made with either meat or vegetables. They are often wrapped in corn husks and boiled until they are cooked through. But how long do tamales take to cook? 

The answer might surprise you! In this blog post, we will discuss the various methods for cooking tamales, as well as how long each method takes. We will also provide some tips on how to make your tamales taste their best!

How long does it take to make tamales from scratch?

Tamales are a traditional dish in many Latin American countries. They are made from cornmeal, which is mixed with water and formed into a dough. The dough is then spread on a cornhusk, which is filled with meat or vegetables. 

The tamales are then wrapped up and steamed for hours. The process of making tamales from scratch can be quite time-consuming, but the end result is well worth it.

How long does it take to cook tamales in the oven?

Tamales are a traditional Mexican dish made from masa (a corn dough) and filled with meats, cheeses, or vegetables. They can be cooked in several ways, including boiling, steaming, or baking. Baked tamales usually take around 45 minutes to an hour to cook, depending on the oven temperature and the size of the tamales.

If you’re looking for an easy and delicious Mexican-inspired dish to add to your menu, try baking some tamales! They’re simple to make and can be filled with whatever ingredients you like. Plus, they’re perfect for serving a large crowd. So fire up the oven and get cooking!

How long does it take to cook tamales in the microwave?

Cooking tamales in the microwave can be a quick and easy way to make them, but it does not take as long as some people may think. In general, it takes around five minutes to cook tamales in the microwave, but this may vary depending on the power of the microwave and the size of the tamales.

If they are frozen, it will likely take a bit longer, but generally, five minutes is all it takes. This makes microwaving tamales a much faster option than cooking them on the stovetop, and it is a good way to save time if you are short on them.

What is the best way to cook tamales?

. To cook tamales on the stovetop, you will need a large pot with a tight-fitting lid. You will also need some corn husks or banana leaves to wrap the tamales in. It takes about an hour to cook tamales on the stovetop.

  • First, mix the masa dough according to the recipe instructions.
  • Then, lay out some corn husks or banana leaves on a work surface.
  • Place 1/4 cup of the masa dough in the center of each husk or leaf, and top with a tablespoon of your chosen filling.
  • Fold up the sides of the husks or leaves to enclose the filling, and tie them closed with kitchen twine.
  • Place the wrapped tamales in a large pot and cover them with water.
  • Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 45 minutes to an hour, until the tamales are cooked through. Remove from the pot and serve warm.

Is there a quicker way to cook tamales than using one of the methods listed above?

There is no definitive answer to this question as different cooks have their own preferences and methods for preparing tamales.

However, some people believe that there is a quicker way to cook tamales than using one of the methods listed above. Some suggest boiling the corn husks for about 5 minutes before assembling the tamales, to make them more pliable. Others recommend steaming the tamales for about 20 minutes, rather than baking them for an hour.

Ultimately, it is up to the individual cook to experiment with different methods and find the one that works best for them.

Tips for making perfect tamales every time

There are a few things that you can do to make sure that your tamales turn out perfectly every time.

  • First, make sure that you use fresh masa harina dough. If the dough is too dry, your tamales will be tough and if it is too wet, they will be heavy and greasy. Be sure to mix the masa harina with the correct amount of water according to the package directions.
  • Another important step is to make sure that you roll the tamales tightly. This will help them stay together and not fall apart when you cook them.
  • Finally, make sure that you cook them for the correct amount of time. Tamales should be cooked until they are firm to the touch. If you follow these tips, your tamales will turn out perfectly every time!

Why you should let your tamales sit for a while before eating them?

Tamales are one of the most popular traditional Hispanic dishes. There are many ways to make them, but all have cornmeal dough filled with meat or vegetables, and then wrapped in a corn husk and steamed. They can be served with a variety of sauces, and are great comfort food.

However, tamales are not at their best right after they are made. They need to sit for a while so the flavors can blend and the dough can soften. So if you’re planning to make tamales, be sure to plan – they’ll taste better if you let them sit for a few hours before serving.

Does cooking time vary depending on how many tamales you are cooking at once?

Tamales are a popular dish in many households, and there are many recipes available for this dish. There are variations in the cooking times, based on the ingredients and the size of the tamales.

Most recipes call for cooking the tamales for about an hour, but it is possible to cook them for a shorter or longer time, depending on your preferences. If you are cooking a large batch of tamales, it will take longer to cook them all through. If you are cooking a small batch, it will not take as long. The important thing is to make sure that they are cooked through before serving.

What is the difference between traditional Mexican and Americanized Tamales?

There are several differences between traditional Mexican and Americanized Tamales.

The most notable difference is the preparation method.

  • Traditional Mexican Tamales are prepared by spreading a corn masa (dough) onto a corn husk, filling it with savory or sweet ingredients, and then folding the husk to form a tamale.
  • Americanized Tamales, on the other hand, are usually pre-made and sold in grocery stores. They are typically made with a pre-packaged mix of cornmeal, milk, butter, and salt.

Another difference between traditional Mexican and Americanized Tamales is the flavor.

  • Traditional Mexican Tamales are typically flavored with either chile peppers or mole sauce.
  • Americanized Tamales tend to be less spicy and blander in flavor.

Finally, the texture of traditional Mexican and Americanized Tamales is also different. Traditional Mexican Tamales are typically softer and moister than Americanized Tamales.


How do I know when my tamales are done?

There is no definitive answer to this question. Ultimately, you’ll have to use your best judgment. However, there are a few things you can look for to help you decide. 

  • One indication that your tamales are done is if the masa has pulled away from the husk slightly.
  • Additionally, you can check to see if the husks are starting to brown and split open. If they are, it means the steam has built up inside and the tamales are done cooking. 
  • Finally, you can cut into one of the tamales and take a peek inside. If it’s cooked through, it will be firm and pliable.

How long do tamales take to bake?

Tamales usually bake for about an hour, but this can vary depending on the size and thickness of the tamales. It’s important to keep an eye on them as they bake, to make sure they don’t become too dry or burnt. Once they’re finished baking, let them cool for a few minutes so you can enjoy them fresh!

How long do I steam tamales?

Tamales are a popular dish in many parts of the world. There are many ways to make them, but the most common way is to steam them. How long do you steam tamales? That depends on how big they are. A good rule of thumb is to steam them for about an hour, but it could be shorter or longer depending on the size and how moist you want them.

Some people like their tamales to be moist, while others prefer them to be a little drier. If you want them to be moist, steam them for about two hours. If you want them to be drier, steam them for less time. You can also test one or two tamales to see how they turn out before steaming the whole batch.

No matter what, make sure that the tamales are wrapped in a corn husk before you steam them. This will keep them moist and ensure that they don’t stick to the pot.

Can you steam tamales for too long?

 It’s a question that many people have asked, and the answer is: it depends. Tamales are made of cornmeal dough that is wrapped around a filling, then steamed. The dough is meant to be soft and fluffy, so over-steaming it can make it tough.

If you’re using a traditional tamale pot with a steamer insert, you’ll want to check the tamales after about 30 minutes to see if they’re done. If they are, remove them from the pot and let them cool. If they’re not done yet, continue steaming them for another 5-10 minutes and check again.

Why are my tamales taking so long to cook?

There are a few reasons why your tamales may be taking a long time to cook.

  • For one, if you are using store-bought masa harina, it may take longer to cook than if you were to make your masa from scratch.
  • Additionally, if you are using a lot of filling or using particularly thick corn husks, your tamales will likely take longer to cook through. Be patient – they’ll be worth the wait!

What happens when you overcook tamales?

When you overcook tamales, the cornmeal in the mixture can become dry and crumbly. The masa will be tough and unpleasant to eat, and the filling might be dry or burned. If you’re lucky, the tamales will still taste good even if they’re a little bit overcooked, but they won’t be as delicious as they would have been if they were cooked correctly.

Do you cover tamales when you steam them?

There is no definitive answer to this question – it depends on who you ask! Some people believe that you should always cover tamales when you steam them, to keep the moisture in and make sure they cook evenly.

Others say that it’s not necessary, especially if you’re using a steamer basket – the hot water will circulate the tamales and cook them just fine.

Why are my tamales sticking to the husk?

There are many reasons why tamales might stick to the husk.

  • The main reason, however, is that the tamales are not being cooked long enough or at a high enough temperature. When the cornhusk sticks to the tamale, it can create an unpleasant texture and make them difficult to eat.
  • Additionally, if the tamales are not cooked through, they may be unsafe to eat.
  • To avoid having your tamales stick to the husk, make sure that you cook them for a long enough time at a high temperature. You can also try spraying the cornhusks with cooking spray before assembling the tamales. This will help them to stay moist and prevent them from sticking.
  • Finally, if all else fails, you can try peeling the cornhusks off of the tamales after they have been cooked.

Can I leave tamales out overnight?

Yes, you can leave tamales out overnight. Tamales are a type of food that is made from cornmeal dough that is wrapped around a filling. The dough is then boiled or steamed.

Tamales can be made with different fillings, including meat, cheese, vegetables, and fruits. They are often served as a main dish or as a side dish. Tamales can be stored in the refrigerator for up to four days or in the freezer for up to two months.


“How long do tamales take to cook?” – So there you have it! With a little bit of planning, you can make tamales that will be the hit of your next party. Just remember to give yourself enough time to soak the corn husks and then stuff and steam them. And don’t forget to share your cooking tips with us in the comments below!