Last Updated on July 4, 2022 by Guillermina
Tamales are a delicious and we should be able to enjoy them past the holidays, so how long can you freeze tamales? The short answer is a long time! Freezers have amazing pieces of technology that allow for the preservation of food in a small and confined space. Typically, when you freeze tamales, they stay as they were.
There are many ways you can freeze tamales successfully so that they remain delicious, preserved, fresh, and colorful. If you do not properly freeze your leftover tamales, they can go bad and suffer from frost. Once frost starts to form directly on the tamales, this could be a sign that they are becoming stale.
What Are Tamales?
First, we need to know what tamales are before we can determine how to properly preserve them. Tamales have been around for thousands of years, long before they were given that name. Actually, corn production was an important way of life for many Aztecs and indigenous Latin Americans.
Since corn grew abundantly, many of the dishes produced by the Aztecs and other indigenous groups used different parts of the corn plant. Tamales are unique because they are made with a cornmeal, prepared by crushing and drying the corn kernels. The corn husks then wrap around the masa of the tamales.
In the beginning, these unique pocket sized foods were only made for royalty and as tributes and sacrifices to the gods. A lot changed and suddenly everyone was using, producing, making, and eating tamales regardless of the occasion. They continued to grow in popularity even after the Spanish colonized Mexico.
How Do You Prepare Tamales?
So, how do you prepare tamales? Tamales take a lot time to prepare. Usually, this is a tradition passed along by family member to family member. Tamales are made in unison and with help from loved ones. First, you need to prepare the masa separately from the filling.
After the masa is complete, clean corn husks to use to wrap the tamales in and cook them. Corn husks are convenient because of how affordable they are, and they also provide a different flavor to the dish.
How Long Can You Freeze Tamales?
But,how long can you freeze tamales? The answer is not certain. Some experts answer the question of how long can you freeze tamales by stating a number of days. Although it is true that most tamales can last anywhere between 3-6 months in the freezer, there are tell-tale signs that something is wrong.
Before you trust the date written on the packaging, look for signs that the tamales are okay. Since they are in the freezer, it is highly unlikely that they will grow mold of harbor bacteria. While this is true, tamales do spoil and when exposed to extreme icy temperatures, can stale in flavor and texture.
4 Ways To Freeze Tamales
Listed below are four unique ways that you can freeze tamales successfully. If you use one of the methods listed in this section, you are likely to make your tamales last longer than 2-3 months. Always look for signs of spoiling tough such as a foul odor, bitter taste, and direct frost.
Sometimes it is possible to use a plastic or glass tupperware to store your frozen tamales. When looking for the answer to how long can you freeze tamales, you will need to dive into multiple ways. For example, using a piece of tupperware as storage is not enough.
Actually, the tamales should be protected by plastic! Although glass is stronger and significantly less damaging to the earth, glass bursts easily when it comes into contact with extreme temperatures. If you are going to use tupperware, look for a plastic one.
2. Plastic Wrap
What about plastic wrap? Actually, plastic wrap is commonly used to store and freeze tamales so they don’t go bad. Before this preservation technique was made, it was hard to store tamales that were made with animal meat, a common practice that occurred because of the colonization of Spain.
When choosing to use plastic and finding out how long can you freeze tamales, you should lightly wrap the plastic around each tamale separately. This keeps them from sticking together, while also providing an easy way to separate the tamales.
3. Aluminum Foil
So, how long can you freeze tamales? This number significantly increases when you use special tools such as aluminum foil or plastic wrap. When you use aluminum foil, keep in mind that this is a head conducer. This particular tool traps heat, meaning it can dry out the tamale.
Aluminum foil, though, is a great idea when you are out of the most important ingredient, corn husks! They serve a similar purpose since they can bend and mold to the shape of what they cover. Aluminum foil does have the risk of ripping, so be careful when choosing this as an option.
4. Parchment/Wax Paper
The thing about how long can you freeze tamales is that there is no answer. Some people choose to only freeze tamales for 2-3 months. Actually, if you do not store tamales at the right temperature or setting, they will start going bad faster. The good this, is that there are many solutions.
Using a combination of parchment paper and wax paper may aid in increasing the shelf and frozen life of a tamale. Although a tamale may be healthy to eat, that does not mean it tastes good. Some tamales in the freezer lose flavor!
All in all, if you are looking for unique methods to freeze tamales so that they last longer, we have four above that can help you! Cooking frozen tamales is just as easy and all you need is a boiling pot of water. Did you learn anything new regarding how long can you freeze tamales?
Do you know anyone else hoping to make tamales last longer? If so, send them our way! Authentic Mexican tamales have a delicious flavor that is hard to beat. However, without proper freezing and re-heating, you can lose the delicious and almost sweet flavors.
Do frozen tamales go bad?
Frozen tamales do not go bad or grow mold, however, the less fresh they are the worse the taste is.
How do you freeze and reheat tamales?
Freeze tamales by placing them into bags that can be stored. When you want to reheat a frozen tamale, boil them into water.
How long will tamales last?
Tamales typically last up to 1 week in the refrigerator. In the freezer though, tamales can last years!
How many tamales should I eat?
This is a personal question for you! Not everyone has the same stomach or the same diet. Although this is the case, a good range is 2-3 tamales.
Nixza is a passionate chef who loves to cook Mexican food. She has been cooking since a young age and has developed a deep understanding of the flavors and techniques of Mexican cuisine. She strives to bring the flavors of Mexico to life in every dish she creates. Nixza loves to experiment in the kitchen and is always looking for new recipes to add to her repertoire. Whether it‘s a traditional dish or something more modern and inventive, Nixza loves to share her passion for Mexican cuisine with friends and family. Her delicious creations have earned her a loyal following of admirers, who enjoy her unique and flavorful dishes. Nixza is passionate about making sure her food is both delicious and healthy, and she takes great pride in the quality of her recipes.