Yes, you can definitely steam tamales in a rice cooker. In fact, it is a convenient and effective method for cooking these traditional Mexican dishes. If you ask about frozen tamales then it is also possible to steam frozen tamales in a rice cooker.
However, it is important to consider the pros and cons of this approach before deciding whether it is right for you. Below I’ll be adding everything about it. So, keep reading.
Pros of Steaming Tamales in a Rice Cooker
In this segment, I’ll discuss the positive sides of steaming tamales in a rice cooker. So, keep on reading.
Easy to Cook
One of the main benefits of steaming tamales in a rice cooker is that it is a relatively easy and hassle-free process. Here all you need to do is just add water to wait for a certain time. No additional task is required
Another advantage of using a rice cooker to steam tamales is that it can save you time. It will take only 30-45 minutes to get the food done. So it’s comparatively less time-consuming.
Requires Less effort
Another great thing is steaming tamales in a rice cooker requires less effort. For example, if you were to steam tamales on the stovetop, you would need to bring a large pot of water to a boil. Then carefully place the tamales in the pot and maintain the heat for the duration of the cooking time.
This can be a time-consuming and labor-intensive process, particularly if you are cooking a large batch of tamales. Now, on the other hand, a rice cooker allows you to set it and forget it. It also makes you free to do other tasks while the tamales cook.
Drawbacks of Steaming Tamales in a Rice Cooker
Now let’s talk about the cons of steaming tamales in a rice cooker.
Unevenly Or Undercooked Tamales
One concern is that the rice cooker may not be able to generate enough steam to fully cook the tamales. Tamales are typically steamed for a longer period of time than rice. So the rice cooker may need to work harder to maintain the necessary level of steam.
This could potentially cause the rice cooker to overheat or shut off. And it may lead to undercooked or unevenly cooked tamales.
Can’t Cook a lot at once
Another potential issue is that the size of the rice cooker may limit the number of tamales that you can cook at once. If you are trying to feed a large group of people or are hosting a tamale-making party, you may need to cook the tamales in batches, which can be time-consuming and inconvenient.
How to Steam Tamales in a Rice Cooker?
By now you know there are more positive sides than drawbacks to steaming tamales in a rice cooker. So, now you must be willing to know the proper process of steaming tamales in a rice cooker.
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to steam tamales in a rice cooker:
- First, get some water and fill the rice cooker’s inner pot. But make sure you don’t exceed the maximum fill line.
- Now, place the tamales in the pot, standing them upright if possible.
- After that, Close the lid of the rice cooker and turn it on. Make sure to select the “steam” or “cook” setting, depending on your model.
- Allow the tamales to steam for about 30-45 minutes, or until they are fully cooked. To check if they are done, you can carefully open the lid and poke a tamale with a toothpick or fork. If it goes in easily and comes out clean, they are ready.
- When the tamales are done, carefully remove them from the pot with a slotted spoon. And then place them on a plate to cool.
- You are done. Finally, serve the tamales hot, with your choice of sauce or topping.
Optional: To add more flavor to the tamales while they are steaming, you can add spices, herbs, or sliced vegetables to the water.
For example, you could add diced onions, garlic, or jalapeños to the water for a spicy kick.
Note: Always use caution when handling hot water or steam. It’s because it can cause burns or scalds. It’s a good idea to use oven mitts or a towel to protect your hands when handling the rice cooker or tamales.
Besides, you can read the article “Rice Cooker Magic: How to Steam Sweet Potatoes in Minutes?
Can You Steam Frozen Tamales in Rice Cooker?
Yes, it is possible to steam frozen tamales in a rice cooker. To do this, fill the rice cooker with enough water to reach the steam tray. Then turn the rice cooker on. After that, place the frozen tamales in the steam tray and cover the rice cooker. Now let the tamales steam until they are heated through and fully cooked. This steaming process will take 30-45 minutes, depending on the size and quantity of the tamales.
By now I’ve covered everything on the topic – can you steam tamales in a rice cooker?
I would say it’s completely okay to cook tamales in a rice cooker. However, when you’re cooking for a large group of people then I would suggest not using a rice cooker.
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