Tamales made in the Pressure Cooker

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Tamales made in the Pressure Cooker

Tamales Made in the Pressure Cooker

I am so excited to share a recipe that my friend Stacy taught me!  She taught me how to make tamales in the pressure cooker!  I am in love with my pressure cooker and I cannot believe how much or how often I use it.  This is not just another kitchen gadget for me.  This has become a major cooking tool that I cannot live without.  If you are new to cooking with the Instant Pot pressure cooker, be sure to check out all of our Pressure cooker recipes here.   You might even want to bookmark that page.

Stacy told me that her Hubby, who is from Mexico, used to make a huge batch (120+) at Christmas, but it was always a 2 day production, and he would steam them for about 10hrs. So, she hasn’t made them in about 2 years because of this very long process.  How awesome is that to be able to make tamales in the pressure cooker in a small amount on time!

She was able to make tamales using leftover pulled pork in only 1 hour from start to finish. And to top it off, her hubby kept raving about how awesome they are!  He said they were perfect, and better than any he had ever made. They turned out perfectly moist (so many tend to turn out dry), and so delicious!

In this recipe she used the Instant Pot IP-DUO60 7-in-1 Multi-Functional Pressure Cooker, 6Qt/1000W at a high altitude (4500 ft). If you are not at a high altitude, you could probably leave as is, or you could shorten cooking time by about 1 min.

The masa and corn husks I found in the Hispanic section of my local Walmart.  If you don’t have it at your local Walmart, you can order the Maseca brand Masa here on Amazon.  You can also order the Corn Husks here too.

 

There’s a printable version of this recipe at the very end of this post.

Tamales made in the pressure cooker recipe ingredients:

4.5 cups masa (Maseca brand tamale masa is the best)
3 sticks butter (I used 1/3c warm/liquid bacon grease and the 2 sticks + 3T salted butter, softened)
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1.5 teaspoon salt
2-3c liquid (I ended up using about 2C warm water)

Tamales made in the pressure cooker recipe instructions:

Mix everything except liquid.

Slowly add enough liquid until it’s a playdoh consistency–soft and easy to mold, but doesn’t stick to your hands.  If it’s too wet, add more masa or if it’s too crumble (too dry), add more liquid but a little at a time until you get it just right.

You can use any filling you want. I used some leftover pulled pork, some green enchilada sauce, and a small slice of Monterey Jack cheese in each one.

Take a moistened corn husk, place some masa on the husk, and pat it down into an approximate rectangle.  If you are making a ton at a time, you might want to invest in a Tamale spreader.  It spreads the masa evenly on the corn husk every time so you can quickly do a large quantity.

Add your filling. Pull each side of the husk toward the center, so the dough covers the filling. Then finish wrapping with the husk, and fold the small pointy side up.

This is a pretty simple video for tamale assembly if you have never seen it done before:

Place tamales, folded side down and open end up, either on the trivet or in a steamer basket.  I actually took the insert out of the IP, left the trivet in, and put the insert on its side so I could stack the tamales in without them falling over.

Once it was mostly filled, I could right the insert and the tamales stayed standing up. Then I just put the insert back in the pressure cooker.   I added 2 cups water along the side.  Now close the pressure cooker.  Make sure the valve on the top is set to “sealing.”

Press manual (should be high pressure), adjust the setting to 18 minutes.

It will take about 15 minutes for it to come to pressure so don’t be surprised if it doesn’t start right away.

After the 18 minutes is up, I let it sit (natural pressure release) for 10 minutes.  The machine will start to count for you.

Then released the rest of the pressure (quick release) by poking the valve with a wooden spoon to switch from sealing to “venting”.  This will release any pressure that is still built up in the machine.

To eat, you unwrap the tamale and discard the husks (they are only used in the cooking process).

You can serve them immediately as is or you can add sauce, cheese, sour cream, etc.

My grandma used to serve the left overs for breakfast.  She was heat them in a frying pan with butter until the outsides of the tamale where a little bit crispy.  So, so good!

Special thanks to my friend Stacy for showing me how to make them in the pressure cooker!

 

Frequently Asked Questions:

Can you freeze these if you are making a big batch?  Yes!  Freeze them after you steam them but keep the corn husks on them.  It keeps them moist after they have been reheated.   Lots of people make these ahead of time and reheat them on Christmas day.  It’s tradition!

Can you eat the corn husk?  No, do not eat the corn husk.  This is only used in the cooking process. It helps to keep the moisture in.  You simply unwrap the tamale to eat the inside.

Does it make that much of a difference if I am not cooking these at a high altitude?  Not sure, cooking at a high altitude always requires more cooking time.  You may not need to adjust the cooking time at all.

What do you serve tamales with?  Beans and rice are excellent choices!

What other fillings can you use besides shredded pork?  There are so many combinations to consider:  Jalapeno and cheese, shredded beef, shredded chicken, bean and cheese, veggie and cheese, or I’ve even heard of some people making them with pineapple and cream cheese!

 

 

 

 

Tamales Made in the Pressure Cooker

 

Feel free to Pin It on Pinterest for later using this photo:

Tamales Made in the Pressure Cooker

 

Tamales made in the Pressure Cooker

4.67 from 3 votes
Prep Time 1 hr
Cook Time 18 mins
Total Time 1 hr 18 mins
Servings 20 - 22

Ingredients
  

  • 4.5 cups masa Maseca brand tamale masa is the best
  • 3 sticks butter I used 1/3c warm/liquid bacon grease and the 2 sticks + 3T salted butter, softened
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1.5 teaspoon salt
  • 2-3 c liquid I ended up using about 2C warm water

Instructions
 

  • Mix everything except liquid.
  • Slowly add enough liquid until it's a playdoh consistency–soft and easy to mold, but doesn't stick to your hands. If it's too wet, add more masa or if it's too crumble (too dry), add more liquid but a little at a time until you get it just right.
  • You can use any filling you want. I used some leftover pulled pork, some green enchilada sauce, and a small slice of Monterey Jack cheese in each one.
  • Take a moistened corn husk, place some masa on the husk, and pat it down into an approximate rectangle. If you are making a ton at a time, you might want to invest in a Tamale spreader. It spreads the masa evenly on the corn husk every time so you can quickly do a large quantity.
  • Add your filling. Pull each side of the husk toward the center, so the dough covers the filling. Then finish wrapping with the husk, and fold the small pointy side up.
  • Place tamales, folded side down and open end up, either on the trivet or in a steamer basket. I actually took the insert out of the IP, left the trivet in, and put the insert on its side so I could stack the tamales in without them falling over.
  • Once it was mostly filled, I could right the insert and the tamales stayed standing up. Then I just put the insert back in the pressure cooker. I added 2 cups water along the side. Now close the pressure cooker. Make sure the valve on the top is set to "sealing."
  • Press manual (should be high pressure), adjust the setting to 18 minutes.
  • It will take about 15 minutes for it to come to pressure so don't be surprised if it doesn't start right away.
  • After the 18 minutes is up, I let it sit (natural pressure release) for 10 minutes. The machine will start to count for you.
  • Then released the rest of the pressure (quick release) by poking the valve with a wooden spoon to switch from sealing to "venting". This will release any pressure that is still built up in the machine.
  • To eat, you unwrap the tamale and discard the husks (they are only used in the cooking process).

Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy.

Tried this recipe? Mention @ISaveA2Z or tag #KetoFriendlyRecipes!

 

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5 Comments

  1. 4 stars
    Have made these twice and they are AWESOME! We used smoked beef roast that we finished in the instant pot for shredding. Only change was we used chicken stock in the masa which added a lot of flavor! Thank you for a great addition to our regular rotation!

    1. 5 stars
      Have made these twice and they are AWESOME! We used smoked beef roast that we finished in the instant pot for shredding then marinated half in green sauce and half in red. Only change was we used chicken stock in the masa which added a lot of flavor! Thank you for a great addition to our regular rotation! This is a 5 star recipe. Not sure what happened with it showing 4. 🙂

    1. No, I put the insert in first so the tamales aren’t sitting in the liquid on the bottom of the pressure cooker. Thank you for asking Pam.

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