We recommend thawing tamales in the fridge the day before you plan to eat them. This will cut down your cooking time by 15 minutes.

Our frozen tamales are not pre-cooked which means the dough is raw and needs to be steamed in order to be cooked. All of the fillings of the tamales are cooked, but not the masa dough on the outside. So please be sure to follow the instructions below.

*Tamales can be kept in the freezer for up to 6 months. 



double steamer pot speghetti pot steamer basket insert Tamales steamer pot Bamboo steamer basket positioned on top of a wok pan



 *Always follow safe cooking practices and instructions listed on your cookware and equipment.


Cooking from frozen

    1. Cook from frozen with aluminum kept on the tamal(es)
    2. Set up your steamer by filling 1/2 with water
    3. Turn heat up to high and wait for water to start boiling
    4. Turn down heat to medium-high
    5. Next, arrange tamales around the steamer 
    6. Steam for 60 minutes on medium high heat. Make sure that the water is not physically touching the tamales because if they do, this will make the masa mushy.
    7. Be aware that water in the steamer could run out. Check consistently while they are cooking and add water as needed. 
    8. This part is key to getting the perfect texture of tamal(es). Turn off the stove and take the lid off the pot. Let tamales rest and firm up for 15 minutes.
    9. You will know they are ready when they have the firmness of a soft loaf of bread.

Cooking from thawed

Follow the same instructions as above except cook for 45 minutes instead of 60.

Cooking with Instant Pot

These instructions were given to us by a lovely customer who has cooked our frozen tamales many times using these instructions. 

  • 30 minutes on high pressure
  • 20  minutes slow release/rest

Reheating already cooked tamales

Reheating is your best option for leftover cooked tamales. They can be kept in the fridge for up to 5 days.

  1. Set up your steamer by filling 1/2 of steamer with water
  2. Turn heat up to high and let water boil
  3. Turn down heat to medium-high heat 
  4. Next, arrange tamales around the steamer
  5. Steam for 30 minutes until soft

Alternative reheating options 

While we recommend steaming as the best way to reheat, if you don’t have that option here are some additional options below. 

  • Customers have also shared with us that tamales can be reheated in the oven (or toaster oven at 300 F°) for 20 minutes. Make sure to turn over on the opposite side after 10 minutes for even heating. 

  • They can also be reheated by heating up on a non-stick pan at medium high heat for 15-20 minutes in the husk.

Cooking Instructions for El Colorado Holiday Tamal

  • Steam tamales for 1 hour at medium high heat the day before you plan to eat them 
  • Steam at medium high heat for 1 more additional hour the day that you plan to eat your tamales. 
  • Or steam for 2 hours total on the day you plan to eat them

 Updated January 2023