When I was younger, my granny would always make tamales on Sundays. She would spend all day in the kitchen, cooking and steaming the tamales. I would help her as much as possible. Also, I was always curious about how to steam tamales without a steamer.
Years later, I found out her secret. It’s actually quite simple and only requires a few household items. When it comes to making tamales, one of the key tools you need is a steamer. But what do you do if you don’t have a steamer? Don’t worry, there are still ways to make delicious tamales without one.
Well, I have the perfect solution for you. In this article, I will talk about whether can you steam tamales without a steamer or not. You won’t believe how easy it is. So, grab your ingredients, and let’s get started.
How To Cook Tamales Without A Steamer? 6 Ways
Mexican tamales are a delicious dish made of masa, which is a type of corn dough, and typically filled with things like chicken, cheese, or beans. They are usually wrapped in corn husks or banana leaves before being steamed.
While it is possible to steam tamales without a steamer, it does require a little bit of creativity. So, how do you steam tamales on the stove without a streamer? Let’s get creative:
#1 With A Crockpot
If you want to enjoy delicious tamales but don’t have a steamer, don’t worry! There are plenty of other ways to cook them. One method is to steam tamales without a steamer with a crockpot.
Here’s how to do it:
- First, please ensure your crockpot is large enough to fit the tamales. If your crockpot is too small, it will cook evenly.
- Next, fill the pot with water until it is about an inch or two below the tamales.
- Then, place a layer of tamales on the upper side of the pot’s rack. Make sure they’re not touching each other, so they have room to cook properly.
- You can wrap them in foil
- Cover the pot and set it on high heat.
- Wondering about how long do you steam tamales? Steam for an hour, and your tamales are steamed.
#2 Metal Strainer Can Be A Great Option
If you’re looking for a way to steam tamales without using a steamer, you can use a metal strainer. Plus, this method is simple and effective and doesn’t require any special equipment. Here’s what you need to do:
- Fill a pot with water and bring it to a boil.
- In order to prevent the water from rising too high, place the metal strainer over the saucepan.
- Place the tamales in the strainer, ensuring they’re not touching each other.
- Cover the pot with a lid and let the tamales steam for about 30 minutes.
- Remove the lid and let the tamales cool for a few minutes before serving.
#3 Bowl and Chopstick Method
Do you love tamales but don’t have a steamer? Don’t worry, you can still enjoy delicious tamales without a steamer. All you need is a bowl and a chopstick.
- First, fill a bowl with water and place the tamales in the water. Make sure the water covers the tamales completely.
- Then, place a chopstick in the center of the bowl, so it acts as a rack over the water.
- Place the bowl on top of a pot of boiling water, and ensure the pot is not too big or too small for the bowl. The key is to ensure there’s enough space for steam to circulate around the tamales.
#4 Steaming With Oven
Looking to make tamales without a steamer? No problem! All you need is a baking dish and some foil. Here’s how to do it:
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Line a baking dish with foil, and ensure the foil comes up the sides of the dish.
- Make sure there is space between your tamales when you place them in the baking dish.
- More foil should be used to cover the tamales, and it should fit tightly against the dish’s sides.
- Place the baking dish in the oven and bake for 30 minutes.
- Remove the tamales from the oven and let them cool for a few minutes before serving. Enjoy!
#5 Rice Cooker
Tamales are a traditional Mexican dish, and it is made with corn dough and typically filled with meat, cheese, or vegetables. Tamales can be steamed in a traditional steamer, but if you don’t have one, you can use a rice cooker. So, can you steam tamales in a rice cooker? Yes, you can. Here’s how:
- To steam tamales in a rice cooker, first, add water to the pot and then place a metal steaming basket inside.
- Place the tamales in the basket, making sure not to overcrowd them. Close the lid of the rice cooker and turn it on to cook.
- Depending on the size of your cooker and the number of tamales, it will take 30-60 minutes. Once they’re done, carefully remove the lid and basket from the pot and serve immediately. Enjoy!
#6 A Pressure Cooker Can be a Great Method
Forget about using a steamer for cooking your tamales. A pressure cooker is a much better option and will get the job done quickly and easily. Here’s how to steam tamales with a pressure cooker:
- Fill the pressure cooker with enough water to reach the tamales when they are placed on the steaming rack.
- Place the tamales on the steaming rack in the pressure cooker.
- Close and lock the lid of the pressure cooker.
- Turn on the heat and bring the water to a boil. Once the water is boiling, turn off the heat and let the pressure cooker do its work for about 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes, open up the pressure cooker and carefully remove the tamales from the steaming rack. Serve immediately.
How To Warm Up Tamales Without A Steamer?
Tamales may be heated in a variety of ways, but steaming is probably the best due to the high moisture content. Even while some of the alternative techniques don’t provide typical results, they nonetheless produce delicious meals.
#1. Heat Tamales With A Microwave
If you’re in a hurry and need to warm up your tamales quickly, the microwave is the way to go. Just be sure to follow these steps, so you don’t end up with dry, rubbery tamales.
Place the tamales on a plate and cover them with a damp paper towel. As they heat up, this will prevent them from drying up.
Microwave the tamales on high for 30 seconds to start. Then, check them and microwave them in 15-second intervals until they’re heated through.
Once heated, let the tamales sit for a minute or two before serving. As a result, they will have more time to flavorfully absorb part of the steam.
#2. You Can Barbecue the Tamales
If you’re looking for a unique way to warm up your tamales, try using the barbecue! It’s easy to do and only takes a few minutes. Here’s how:
- Preheat your grill to medium-high heat.
- Wrap the tamales in foil, making sure they’re well-sealed.
- Place the wrapped tamales on the grates and grill for about 10 minutes, flipping once halfway through.
- Carefully remove the foil and enjoy!
Grilling tamales are a great way to add some extra flavor. Plus, it’s a fun cooking method to impress your guests!
#3. Pan Frying
There are several various techniques you may employ to heat tamales. However, one of the best alternatives to regular methods is to heat them up with pan frying. Plus, this method is simple and only requires a few minutes. Plus, it helps to retain the moisture in the tamales, so they don’t dry out. Here’s how you can heat tamales with pan frying:
- First, heat some oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
- Then, add the tamales to the skillet and cook for about 3 minutes per side or until they’re heated through.
- Finally, remove from the skillet and serve immediately.
If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to heat up tamales, then pan frying is definitely the way to go.
#4. Deep Frying
Meat, cheese, or veggies are frequently used as fillings in tacos, a type of Mexican cuisine constructed with maize bread. They are often wrapped in corn husks or banana leaves before being cooked. Tamales can be steamed, baked, or deep-fried.
Deep-fried tamales are a popular way to enjoy this dish. The corn dough becomes crispy, and the filling is hot and melted.
- To deep fry tamales, you will need a large pot or deep fryer and oil that is at least 2 inches deep. The oil should be heated to 350 degrees Fahrenheit before adding the tamales.
- Fry the tamales for 3-5 minutes until they are golden brown.
- Remove them from the oil with a slotted spoon and drain them on paper towels.
- Serve hot with your favorite toppings such as sour cream, salsa, or guacamole.
How to Check Tamales for Doneness?
A tamale is a traditional Mexican dish made of masa or cornmeal dough, typically filled with meat, vegetables, or cheese. Tamales are usually wrapped in corn husks or banana leaves before being steamed or boiled. There are a few different ways to test tamales for doneness.
One method is to insert a toothpick or skewer into the center of the tamale. If it comes out clean, the tamale is done. Another way to test for doneness is to gently press on the tamale with your finger. If it feels firm and cooked through, it is ready to eat.
If you are not sure if your tamales are done, it is better to err on the side of caution and cook them for a few minutes longer.
Steaming tamales without a steamer is possible with a few household items. With a little creativity and some trial and error, anyone can successfully steam tamales without a steamer. So don’t be discouraged if you don’t have a steamer because it is not necessary to make delicious tamales.
If you want to know how to steam tamales without a steamer, follow the methods in this blog. With a little creativity, you can use items in your kitchen to create a makeshift steamer and enjoy tamales anytime.
Frequently Asked Questions & Answers for You
Well, we are almost at the end of the article. And here I am presenting you a FAQ section. I tried to answer some of the most asked questions regarding seaming tamales without a steamer.
One popular method is to steam them on the stove. To do this, you’ll need to create a makeshift steamer. In a saucepan big enough to accommodate your tamales, start by bringing water to a boil. Once the water is boiling, reduce the heat and place a metal rack or cooling rack in the pot. Make sure the tamales are not touching the water.
Tamales are traditionally cooked in a steamer, but if you don’t have one, you can use a pot of boiling water instead. The cooking time will vary depending on the size and type of tamale, so it’s important to check on them frequently and adjust the cooking time as needed. Regularly you will need to cook for 30 minutes to 60 minutes.
There are several ways to make premade tamales without a steamer. First, you can use a Dutch oven or a large pot with a lid. Place a layer of tamales on the racker, cover with water, and bring to a boil. Put a lid on the pot and simmer for about an hour. You can also use a crockpot or slow cooker.
If you’re looking for an easy way to make a tamale steamer at home, a bowl and chopsticks are the way to go. All you need is a bowl, a chopstick, and some water. Simply place the bowl in a pot of boiling water, then put the chopstick in the middle of the bowl. Use a chopstick as a racker; it will create a steamer effect that will cook your tamales perfectly.
Yes, you can steam tamales in the oven. If you don’t have a steamer, this is a fantastic method to prepare them. Just put a rack in the bottom of a pot big enough to fit the tamales upright, add water to come up about an inch on the rack, and cover tightly with foil or a lid. Please put them in a preheated 350-degree oven and steam them for about an hour.