How to Cook Frozen Tamales in Air Fryer?

How to Cook Frozen Tamales in Air Fryer?

When it comes to cooking frozen tamales, using an air fryer is a game-changer. Not only does it save time and energy, but it also delivers perfectly cooked tamales every time. As a professional copywriting journalist, I’ve tried and tested different cooking methods, and I can confidently say that using an air fryer is the easiest and most efficient way to cook frozen tamales.

But before you start cooking, it’s important to follow the right instructions to ensure perfect results every time. In this article, I’ll guide you step-by-step on how to cook frozen tamales in an air fryer.

Key Takeaways:

Getting Started

If you’re new to using an air fryer, don’t worry! It’s a straightforward process that will have you cooking frozen tamales in no time. The first step is to preheat your air fryer. Most models have a preheat function, so consult your manual for specific instructions. It’s crucial to preheat the air fryer to ensure that the tamales cook evenly and thoroughly.

While the air fryer is preheating, take some time to review the cooking instructions included with your tamales. It’s always best to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations to achieve the best results.

When you’re ready to start cooking, fill the air fryer basket with the desired number of frozen tamales. Keep in mind that the amount you can cook at one time will depend on the size of your air fryer basket.

A Note on Air Fryer Models

There are many different air fryer models available on the market, each with varying features and functions. However, the general cooking instructions for frozen tamales will be the same regardless of the model you choose to use.

Preparing the Frozen Tamales

Before preparing the frozen tamales in the air fryer, you may wonder if it is necessary to thaw them out first. In general, it is not required to thaw frozen tamales before air frying them. However, if they are already thawed, you can still use the same method to cook them.

Once you are ready to cook, take the frozen tamales and wrap them in foil. This is an essential step that prevents the tamales from drying out during the cooking process. Wrapping them also ensures that the filling stays moist and juicy.

For best results, use a double layer of foil when wrapping the tamales. Ensure that the foil is tightly wrapped around the tamales to prevent any air from getting inside. This will help cook the tamales evenly.

Cooking the Tamales in the Air Fryer

Now that I’ve prepared the frozen tamales, it’s time to start cooking them in the air fryer. The first step is to preheat the air fryer to 400°F. This can take between 2-3 minutes, depending on your model of air fryer.

Once the air fryer has been preheated, it’s time to place the tamales in the air fryer basket. Make sure to leave some space between each tamale so that they can cook evenly. Depending on the size of your air fryer basket, you may need to cook the tamales in batches.

Cooking Time Temperature
12-15 minutes 400°F

Cook the tamales for 12-15 minutes, or until they are heated through and the external layers are crispy. Remember to shake the air fryer basket at least once during the cooking process to ensure the tamales cook evenly.

Once the tamales are done, it’s important to check for doneness by using a food thermometer. The internal temperature of the tamales should reach at least 165°F for safe consumption.

Now that the tamales are cooked to perfection, it’s time to take them out of the air fryer basket and serve them up!

Checking for Doneness

Once the cooking time is up, it’s essential to check that the tamales are fully cooked. Checking for doneness ensures that the tamales are heated through and are safe to eat. The easiest way to check if the tamales are thoroughly cooked is by taking an instant-read thermometer and inserting it into the center of the tamale. The recommended internal temperature for tamales is 165°F.

If you don’t have a thermometer, another way to check if the tamales are done is by peeling back the husk. If the masa, or dough, is firm and pulls away easily from the husk, the tamales are ready to be served. If the masa is still wet and mushy, they need to be cooked for a few more minutes.

Remember that cooking times may vary depending on the size and thickness of the tamales and the air fryer model you’re using. It’s always better to check the tamales periodically to avoid overcooking or undercooking them. Once the tamales are fully cooked, you can serve them hot with your favorite toppings and enjoy the delicious flavors of this classic Mexican dish.

Serving and Enjoying the Tamales

Now that you’ve cooked the perfect frozen tamales in your air fryer, it’s time to enjoy them! Tamales are a versatile dish that can be served as a main course or as a snack. Here are some serving suggestions and toppings to elevate your tamales:

  • Salsa: A classic and easy topping for tamales. Choose from mild to hot varieties depending on your preference.
  • Guacamole: A creamy and flavorful topping that pairs well with tamales. You can make your own or buy pre-made guacamole at the store.
  • Sour cream: A dollop of sour cream adds a tangy flavor to the tamales.
  • Cheese: Sprinkle some shredded cheese on top of the tamales and let it melt in the air fryer for an extra layer of flavor.

Another fun way to enjoy tamales is to use them as a base for other dishes. Here are some ideas:

  • Tamale Bowls: Cut the tamales into bite-sized pieces and use them as a base for a rice bowl. Top with veggies, protein, and your favorite sauce.
  • Tamale Sandwich: Slice the tamales in half and use them as a bun for a sandwich. Add your favorite fillings such as pulled pork, avocado, and salsa.
  • Tamale Breakfast: Serve the tamales with some scrambled eggs, avocado, and hot sauce for a delicious breakfast.

Get creative with your toppings and pairings to discover new and exciting ways to enjoy tamales. The possibilities are endless!

Cleaning and Maintenance Tips

Cleaning and maintaining your air fryer after cooking frozen tamales is essential for optimal performance and longevity of the appliance. Here are some tips to help you:

By following these simple cleaning and maintenance tips, you can ensure that your air fryer remains in great condition and ready to use for the next time you want to cook frozen tamales or any other delicious meal.


In conclusion, cooking frozen tamales in an air fryer is an easy method that yields perfect results every time. By following the instructions on preheating the air fryer, wrapping the tamales in foil, and setting the appropriate temperature and cooking time, you can enjoy delicious and perfectly cooked tamales in no time.

One of the best things about using an air fryer to cook tamales is its convenience. With the variety of air fryer models available in the market, you can choose the perfect one that meets your needs. Plus, with the air fryer’s ability to cook food evenly and without oil, you can enjoy healthier meals without sacrificing flavor.

Once your tamales are cooked to perfection, you can get creative with your toppings and accompaniments. From salsa and guacamole to sour cream and cheese, the possibilities are endless. Plus, tamales are versatile enough to be enjoyed in different meals, such as breakfast or as a side dish.

It’s important to remember to clean and maintain your air fryer regularly to ensure its optimal performance and longevity. By doing so, you can continue to enjoy perfectly cooked tamales and other delicious meals for years to come.

In conclusion, cooking frozen tamales in an air fryer is an easy and convenient method that yields perfect results. Give it a try and impress your family and friends with your delicious and healthy tamales.


Q: Can I cook frozen tamales in an air fryer?

A: Yes, cooking frozen tamales in an air fryer is a convenient and efficient method.

Q: Why should I use an air fryer to cook frozen tamales?

A: Using an air fryer allows for even and crispy results without the need for excessive oil.

Q: What are the general cooking instructions for air frying frozen tamales?

A: Preheat the air fryer, then follow the recommended cooking time and temperature settings provided.

Q: Do I need to thaw the frozen tamales before air frying?

A: Thawing the tamales is not necessary, but you may choose to do so to reduce cooking time.

Q: Should I wrap the frozen tamales in foil before air frying?

A: Wrapping the tamales in foil helps prevent them from drying out during the cooking process.

Q: How long should I cook the frozen tamales in the air fryer?

A: The recommended cooking time depends on the size and type of tamales, so follow the instructions provided.

Q: What temperature should I set the air fryer to when cooking frozen tamales?

A: The recommended temperature also varies, but usually falls between 350°F and 400°F (175°C to 200°C).

Q: How should I place the frozen tamales in the air fryer basket?

A: Arrange the tamales in a single layer, making sure they are not overcrowded for even cooking.

Q: How do I check if the tamales are cooked through?

A: Check for doneness by ensuring that the tamales are heated through and reach an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C).

Q: What are some serving suggestions for air fryer-cooked tamales?

A: You can enjoy the tamales with various toppings such as salsa, guacamole, or sour cream, and serve them as a main course or appetizer.

Q: How do I clean and maintain my air fryer after cooking tamales?

A: Regularly clean the air fryer’s basket and non-stick surfaces with warm soapy water, and avoid using abrasive materials.

Q: Can I use different types of tamales in the air fryer?

A: Yes, the air fryer method works for various types of tamales, including meat, cheese, or vegetable-filled ones.

June Brandt
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