Tamale with red sauce
How To Easily Steam Tamales With A Large Pot And A Wire Rack
Tamale steamers, or tamaleras, are great for steaming tamales in bulk, but if you don't have one on hand, you can also make a DIY steamer using a large, deep pot and a wire rack.
The wire rack serves the same purpose as a steamer basket, providing a barrier from the simmering water and a porous foundation through which the steam can effectively pass.
Place a wire rack into a deep pot, fill the pot up until just below the rack, and place sod corn husks over the rack for a fortified barrier. Then, pack the tamales vertically.
Next, bring the water to a boil, then turn the heat down to a rolling simmer. Place the top over the pot to steam the tamales until they're firm yet tender.
This hack will work just as well with a metal steamer basket and even a metal colander. Just be sure to keep the tamales out of direct contact with water.
To ensure the tamales have the perfect texture and flavor, keep them moist by adding a hearty portion of fat and fully enveloping the masa in the husk or leaf used to wrap it.
Additionally, soak husks or leaves in hot water for at least an hour so they don't crack when folded, as cracked husks can expose masa, and the tamales may dry out as they steam.
Some recipes also call for placing a layer of opened corn husk over the vertically packed tamales before placing the lid on the pot so the top blanket of husks can trap the steam.