Tamale makes a name for itself as one of the most popular Mexican dishes, with the cornmeal dough wrapping around seasoned meat and other stuffing.
Even better, tamales can be made from the comfort of your kitchen within a few hours only, providing that you have the right tools.
If you are interested in making homemade tamales, you might as well get the best tamale steamers to ensure the quality of your food. Let’s have a look at these guidelines below and see what suits your needs!
Top 7 Best Tamale Steamers On The Market Reviewed
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ARC Advanced Royal Champion Stockpot – Best Accessories
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For the average household, spending on a tamale steamer just for the sake of steaming this particular type of bread is not economical. This is why I want to introduce to all of you the stockpot from ARC Advanced Royal Champion.
ARC Advanced Royal Champion stands out with its multiple functions, including the ability to cook seafood, stew, or other types of broth. With four sizes ranging from 52 quarts to 100 quarts, rest assured that all of your cooking needs will be satisfied.
Another noticeable charm of this product is the strainer basket, lift hook, divider, and steamer insert rack. Each of the tools serves a different purpose, and they sure provide an effortless experience in the kitchen for whoever uses it.
For example, if you want to steam three dishes simultaneously, simply put the divider in and arrange the ingredients in three separate spaces. Voila, now everything is cooked perfectly using the same heat source, effectively saving you lots of time and money!
- Various accessories.
- Four sizes.
- Highly versatile.
Imusa Tamale Steamer Pot – Best For Limited Budget
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If you are not ready to invest in a pricey kitchen appliance, I suggest that you start slow with a steamer pot from Imusa. With no more than $25, you can get a functional tamale steamer that delivers a decent performance.
To be more specific, Imusa makes use of aluminum to craft the entire pot, lid, as well as perforated insert. The material is sturdy and durable, so you never have to worry about replacing it frequently.
That is not to mention that aluminum can hold its shape upon direct contact, effectively eliminating any chance of the pot getting distorted.
Furthermore, the steamer insert attached with the package is removable, giving you plenty of space to utilize the pot for other cooking purposes. Be it brewing broth or boiling lobsters, Imusa steamer can handle it all.
But still, the sticker labels printed on the body of this product are difficult to remove without leaving a sticky residue. If not careful, this stain will stay there for life.
- Built to last.
- Removable steamer insert.
- Annoying sticker labels.
Granite Ware Steamer – Best Appearance
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At first look, the steamer from Granite Ware caught my attention immediately with its silky black finish. The outer layer of this item is coated with enamel, giving the product a shiny appearance.
Even better? This kind of material does not chip or dent easily, so you do not have to tiptoe around for fear of ruining its perfect facade while in the kitchen!
You will also be pleased to know that this tamale steamer is designed specifically for daily family use, with a capacity of roughly 15 quarts. Not only is it lightweight and portable, but it is also small enough to stack inside the cabinet. If you dread bulky kitchenware, then Granite Ware will not let you down.
However, it should be noted that the steamer basket is hung a bit too low that it almost touches the bottom of the pot. This means you have to watch out for the amount of water, or else the steamed food would be soaked.
- Visually pleasing.
- Compact design.
- Little space between the pot and the basket.
Ematik Steamer Pot – Best Capacity
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If you are looking for a heavy-duty steamer that can withstand excessive use, I would say that Ematik is your best option. The most distinctive feature of this product is its 33-quart container, which can fit at least 105 tamales!
Do you have a feast coming up? Is there a birthday party around the corner? Are you about to open up a small cafeteria? The size of this enormous steamer will solve all of your problems.
Moreover, Ematik includes a heat-resistant lid and handles, making it safer to cook and move it around. You no longer have to worry about using rags and pieces of cloth to hold the pot or accidentally burn yourself when steaming food. Ematik makes sure the cooking procedure is as safe as possible.
Sadly, there is one downside to this product, and it is the fact that this pot takes up a lot of space. If you own a tiny kitchen, Ematik’s storage may be a concern.
- High capacity.
- Heat-resistant handles and lid.
ARC Advanced Royal Champion S20S Steamer – Best Value
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You might be familiar with this brand name before on my list. But here, ARC Advanced Royal Champion S20S offers a less costly steamer that still guarantees top-notch performance. If you want a large-sized container while not ready for anything too exorbitant, then model S20S is precisely for you.
Upon closer examination, you will notice that S20S takes advantage of premium-quality food-grade stainless steel, which is better at heat retaining and can keep food warm for hours. The material itself is rust-resistant, so rest assured that the cleaning will be a piece of cake.
Furthermore, S20S prides itself on the spout design, allowing users to add more water without removing the lid. This way, the moisture inside the pot will not escape, and the heated environment will be preserved until the heat is off.
Unfortunately, this product can be pretty heavy and difficult to carry. So once you purchase it, be ready to use a bit of force when it comes to maneuverability.
- Reasonably priced.
- High-quality material.
- Innovative construction.
Imusa 12-Quart Tamale Steamer Pot – Best User Feedback
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With nearly 1500 reviews on Amazon, the 12-quart steamer from Imusa impresses me with its affordability and high sales record. So what are the characteristics of this product that makes it such a desirable item?
First off, it occurs to me that Imusa once again uses aluminum for the build quality. Aluminum minimizes the time needed for water to boil while ensuring that the heat is well distributed to all parts of the container. If you want the ingredients to be cooked properly, Imusa will see to it.
Secondly, the manufacturer optimizes the versatility of this kitchenware by including a detachable steamer insert. When put in, you can easily boil tamales or other types of seafood. When put out, the steamer essentially turns into a pot for standard cooking. Doesn’t it sound awesome?
Nevertheless, this item is not without flaws. Due to its small size, the 12-quart steamer cannot hold more than 25 tamales at the same time. If you intend on cooking a larger batch, you would have to repeat the cooking multiple times.
- High-quality material.
- Limited capacity.
Smart Cook Steamer – Best Versatility
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Why buy a tamale steamer just to steam one particular cuisine while you can use it for many different cooking purposes?
This is when Smart Cook steamer comes in handy with its multi-use pot, which is perfect for cooking veggie, meat, or other proteins in a healthy way. Feel free to use the container for boiling pasta, simmering beef stew, or poaching fish!
What is more, Smart Cook comes with a coordinating lid, which holds firmly to the pot itself. After placing it on, all the heated air and moisture will be trapped inside so that the nutrients will remain intact.
I also enjoy the fact that the product’s lid and handles are heat insulated, essentially reducing the chance of accidents while cooking.
Anyway, I have to warn you beforehand that the Smart Cook steamer is not best known for its appearance. This gadget is quite big and bulky, coupled with an awkward design that makes its overall presence unattractive.
- Fast cooking thanks to its unique design
- Heavyweight steamer
- Unappealing look
What To Consider When Buying A Tamale Steamer
The larger a steamer is, the more tamales it can cook in one go. If you want a gadget for daily use, it is highly recommended that you buy a 7-quart steamer.
For those with more than 4 members in the family, you might want to try out a 15-quart one. There are some commercial use steamers that can hold up to 24 quarts of water, so make sure you understand the capacity of each product.
Tamale steamers are mostly available in three materials: plastic composite, aluminum, and steel. Each of them has its own pros and cons.
Plastic composite is lightweight and easy to move around, but the standards required are much higher. You have to choose plastic that is BPA-free and food-grade.
As far as aluminum is concerned, the heat is better distributed but also quick to lose temperature. On the other hand, steel can warm the food for a long time after the heat is off, but it will take much longer for water to boil.
While shopping for a high-quality tamale steamer, you should avoid any products without heat-resistant handles. Even better, choose a pot with a spread-out handle. This way, you can easily carry the container without the risk of burning your hands.
What kind of steamer do you use for tamales?
When shopping for tamale steamers, you should go for a stockpot, preferably with a perforated steamer basket. Make sure to pick a basket that comfortably rests on the pot’s rim. Thus, you would not have any difficulties lifting it off.
How many tamales fit in a 24-quart steamer?
A standard 24-quart steamer is capable of holding up to 77 tamales. Of course, you can put in a few more if needed. But be aware that if you exceed the recommended portion, the quality might be compromised.
What is the best way to steam tamales?
First off, make sure you pour enough water into the pot itself. Usually, the amount of water needed would be roughly one-fourth of the entire pot.
Next up, let the water boil for a few minutes, then lower the temperature and start stuffing tamales inside. It should take at least 20 minutes for the tamales to be cooked properly.
Why are my tamales still mushy?
Mushy tamales mean they are undercooked. To fix this problem, rearrange them into the steamer and let the water boil on medium for another 5 minutes.
Can you steam tamales too long?
No. Steaming tamales longer than necessary will tamper with the food’s texture, taste, and overall appearance.
Can you bake tamales instead of steaming them?
Yes. To bake tamales, all you have to do is wrap them with foil, turn the oven to 350 degrees, and leave them there for at least 15 minutes.
How much water do you put in a tamale steamer?
How much water goes in would depend on the size of the tamale steamer. If you ever get confused, one rule of thumb is to keep the water level from touching the basket, preventing the tamales from soaking.
How do you make tamales in a steamer?
In order to make tamales in a steamer, you will need:
- Tamale filling (either store-bought or homemade)
- Corn husks
- Steamer basket or colander
- Pot with a tight-fitting lid
First, fill the bottom of the pot with water so that the steamer basket or colander will be partially submerged. Then, place the corn husks in the steamer basket or colander. Next, fill the center of each corn husk with tamale filling (either store-bought or homemade). Finally, fold the two long ends of the corn husks over the filling and tie them together with a piece of string or a strip of corn husk. Make sure that the tamales are not too close together in the steamer basket or colander, as they will need room to expand.
Place the pot on the stove and turn the heat up to medium-high. When the water begins to boil, place the steamer basket or colander of tamales in the pot. Cover the pot and allow the tamales to cook for 30-40 minutes, or until they are firm to the touch. Remove the pot from the stove and allow the tamales to cool for a few minutes before serving.
Are tamale steamers energy efficient?
Tamale steamers are not the most energy-efficient cooking devices, as they use a lot of energy to heat up water and generate steam. If you are looking for an energy-efficient way to cook tamales, consider using a slow cooker instead. A slow cooker will slowly cook the tamales over a period of several hours, using much less energy than a steamer.
How do you store tamales?
If you have leftover tamales, you can store them in the refrigerator for 2-3 days or in the freezer for up to 2 months. To reheat frozen tamales, place them in the refrigerator overnight to thaw. Then, place them in a microwave-safe dish and cook them on high for 2-3 minutes, or until they are heated through.
Can you use a tamale steamer as a slow cooker?
No, you cannot use a tamale steamer as a slow cooker. A tamale steamer is designed to cook tamales quickly and efficiently with the help of steam, while a slow cooker cooks food slowly and evenly over a period of several hours. If you are looking for a way to cook tamales slowly and evenly, consider using a slow cooker.
Having the best tamale steamer will definitely ease off the burden should you want to savor a batch of freshly made tamales. Now that you have finished reading my guidelines, make sure to pick a product that best suits your cooking needs. And of course, do not forget to share this article with those interested!