Tamale making machines take the stress out of making tamales by hand.
They cut down the time it takes to make tamales considerably, with the machines helping to assemble tamales easier and faster by combining the masa and meat together quickly.
You just need to wrap the filling in corn husks and voila – the tamales are ready to be steamed! There are both electric and manual tamale making machines, and the one you choose will depend on how you want to prepare your tamales.
Which is the best tamale making machine? The best tamale making machine will depend on how often the machine will be used. Manual machines are smaller and great for periodic home use, though require more time and effort, while electric tamale machines are much more efficient, but are best for making large batches.
To help you choose the best tamale making machine, we have detailed what you need to look for, and the 5 best machines for you to choose from!
What Are Tamales?
If you are unfamiliar with tamales, you are missing out! Tamales are a Mesoamerican meal, which is as traditional as it gets.
Tamales are made with masa, and commonly filled with cheese, various meats, vegetables, olives, chilis, or dried fruit, and are steamed wrapped in corn husks or plantains until firm and cooked through by steaming.
Tamales have a wonderfully distinctive taste, but they are also so popular due to the portability of the husks, which act as a sort of container for the filling.
Many different families will have their own spin on tamale recipes, including the preparation and ingredients, which are usually family secrets!
It usually takes quite some time to make tamales, and not everyone has spare hours on hand to fill and fold husks. However, with tamale machines becoming more readily available, more people get to enjoy and prepare tamales at home.
Tamale Making Machines: A Buyer’s Guide
There are a few considerations to take into account when choosing the right tamale machine.
The machine you choose will be dependent on how many tamales you want to make in one go, and how much you want to be involved in the tamale-making process.
Electric Or Manual
The first decision you will need to make is if you need an electric or manual tamale making machine.
For most home kitchens, a manual machine is suitable. These are small and easy to store.
Manual tamale machines are easy to use. They take most of the hard work out of tamale preparation, but still allow you to be somewhat involved in the tamale making process, giving it that homemade touch.
Electric machines are larger and capable of making more tamales in less time. They are helpful but are mainly used if you are looking to make tamales on a larger scale.
Take into consideration the size of the tamale maker you will purchase. Most are the same size, but be sure that you have space in your kitchen to store the machine so it doesn’t get in the way.
Different tamale making machines will have different nozzle sizes included. Make sure there are a variety of nozzle sizes to accommodate for your preferences and uses.
The Material of the Machine
It is always a good idea to invest in a machine that is made from durable, easy to clean and maintain, material. Make sure that you can clean the tamale machine easily, and that it has a strong and durable build.
The 5 Best Tamale Making Machines
Below are the 5 best tamale making machines to use at home to prepare some delicious tamales in next to no time:
|Tamale King “Tio” ‘Carlos’ Tamale Maker
|Easy home use
|BE&SCO Manual Tamale Machine
|Fast+big home batches
|La Tamalera Manual Tamale Machine
|BE&SCO Electric Tamale Making Machine
|Serious food production
|El Toro Electric Tamale Machine
|Large, professional production
We’ve got more on each of these tamale super machines below so keep reading to learn more about your new and improved tamale making options.
1. Tamale King “Tio” ‘Carlos’ Tamale Maker
The “Tio” Carlos’ Tamale King Tamale Maker is the perfect tool to bring easy tamale making into your kitchen.
It is ideal for the average home cook and doesn’t take up as much space as other tamale making machines.
The tamale maker holds 3 ½ pounds of masa, and around 2 ¼ pounds of meat, which is quite substantial with the size of the machine. It gives a ratio of 60% masa and 40% meat. Delicious!
With a self-leveling piston, the machine is easy to use, and it really doesn’t take much to set the machine up and get tamale making.
Being so compact and lightweight as well, the machine will not take up much room in the kitchen and is fairly easy to store away.
Both the handle and the base are made from cast metal, so it is long-lasting and durable. The plungers and cylinders are made from food-grade polycarbonate, which is an ideal material to use as well.
Using this machine, you will be able to make 3 different sizes of tamales.
It comes with a default nozzle of 1 inches, which is capable of making 30 four-inch tamales. Using the 11/8-inch cylinder, you can make up to 40 four-inch tamales and with the 7/8-inch cylinder, you can make 50 four-inch tamales!
The machine is wonderfully easy to use. You can empty the cylinders in a few minutes and fill them back up in another few minutes.
The cylinder and nozzle distribute the meat evenly within the masa, helping the tamales feel more authentic.
Lightweight, low-maintenance, and easy-to-use, any tamale lover would love to have this tamale maker in their kitchen to help them make the delicious parcels in next to no time!
2. BE&SCO Manual Tamale Machine
You are able to choose either a manual or electric tamale maker from BE&SCO, allowing you to choose one which matches your needs, and how many tamales you need to make in one go!
This manual tamale machine naturally requires a bit more labor than when using the electric versions, but it still cuts down the time it takes to make tamales considerably.
It also helps you keep that authentic hand-made feel as well. Each cycle only takes 10-12 minutes to complete, so you get the best of both worlds.
To use the machine, you turn a lever which pushes down the cylinders. This fuses the meat and masa together.
The level also allows you to push the product out to your preferred length, so it does provide you with more options than some other machines.
For those who need a high output of tamales, this machine can make up to 400 tamales per hour! That is perfect for having the family, and the whole neighborhood over!
However, you can also use the machine to make just enough for a family dinner at home. If you want to skip tamale making for one day, you could also use the machine to make candies, canapes, and churros!
3. La Tamalera Manual Tamale Machine
If you are looking for a manual tamale machine that really helps you make a large number of tamales in a short amount of time, the La Tamalera Manual Tamale Machine is just what you need!
It is ideal for small business owners, or if you take your tamale-making quite seriously at home.
Another great thing about this machine is that there is plenty of room for customization. You are able to adjust the diameter freely and can choose between a 1-inch, 1¼-inch, 1½-inch, 1¾-inch, and 2-inch diameter size.
The machine is meant for heavy-duty tamale making. It stands at 39-inches tall and weighs 86 pounds with a chamber measuring 18-inches, so you won’t be able to keep it packed away in your kitchen at home if you are tight on space.
To help make a large number of tamales, the masa tube holds up to 8 pounds of masa, with the meat tube holding 4 pounds of meat – you can imagine how many tamales you could make with that!
Helping the process be that much simpler, you do not even have to grind the meat before placing it in the cylinder to be used.
4. BE&SCO Electric Tamale Making Machine
To take tamale making to the next level, and to begin producing them on a larger scale, you will need to invest in an electric tamale making machine, such as the one from BE&SCO.
This electric tamale machine from BE&SCO works differently from their manual model.
It is a freestanding machine capable of making up to 200 dozen tamales per hour, and this involves using very little effort.
You simply need to prime the manifold with the meat you are using, and secure the cylinders firmly in place. Then fill the cylinders right to the top with the masa and meat and let the machine do the rest of the work.
To make life even easier, you can purchase an attachable conveyor with a built-in tamale cutter.
This is not an option with the manual machine, and this does help speed up production and lighten the load when you are making up to 200 dozen tamales per hour!
Cleaning is also simple, as the inside pieces are easily accessible. You are able to remove and wash them easily when the need arises.
5. El Toro Electric Tamale Machine
The El Toro Electric Tamale Machine is one of the larger machines available. It is just the machine to purchase if you are wanting to make a large number of tamales in a very short amount of time.
This machine would be suitable for businesses and for large restaurants.
Fast-acting, the machine is capable of making up to 4 dozen tamales per round, when using the 1¼–inch diameter nozzle. This is equivalent to making up to 480 tamales per hour.
The machine comes with a few different size nozzles, so you can choose the diameter for the tamales you want. You can choose nozzles measuring 1-inch, 1¼-inch to 1½-inch, 1¾-inch, and 2-inches in diameter.
You can fill the tubes with up to 8 pounds of masa and 4 pounds of meat, which will help with the large tamale output.
While the machine comes with many different parts, it is fairly easy to put together and then take apart.
Made with stainless steel, it is durable and easy to clean. All the inside parts are made from metal as well, so you know the machine was built to last.
A cycle with the machine lasts about 2 and a half minutes, which is ridiculously short. You do not need to grind the meat before placing it in the cylinder either, taking even more work off your hands.
It only takes one person to operate – so it is truly as easy as can be.
Do I Need A Tamale Making Machine?
For those who enjoy making tamales at home, it might be difficult to decide whether you do need a tamale machine or not.
One reason you would purchase a tamale making machine is to make the tamale making process at home a little bit easier.
If you find yourself spending hours at home making tamales for friends and families, then you might want to look at investing in a home tamale making machine, such as the “Tio” Carlos’ Tamale King Tamale Maker.
It isn’t anything too fancy, and you can store it away easily in your kitchen. This machine can be pulled out and used for family functions and put away again for next time.
It is easy to use, but it really does help you make some large batches of tamales in a short amount of time from the comfort of home, still with that homemade touch.
However, if you run a restaurant or cater to a very large amount of people, then you might want to look at a larger manual machine such as the BE&SCO Manual Tamale Machine.
This machine works to make tamales on a larger scale but is still able to give somewhat of an authentic touch to the tamales you make.
To really step up your tamale game for a fast-paced restaurant or a large catering company, you would need to look at an electric tamale maker like the El Toro Electric Tamale Machine, which helps you make up to 480 tamales per hour.
You need to look at how often you make tamales, whether it is just for occasional family dinners, or if you need to rely on a machine to consistently make a large number of tamales day in and out.
The above options are all reliable, but all are suited to different needs.
You do not need a large electric tamale dinner to make a batch of tamales at home, and a small manual tamale will only slow down your restaurant. Decide what you need and choose from there!
How Do You Use a Tortilla Press to Make Tamales?
To use a tortilla press, simply place a ball of masa onto a corn husk and place a piece of plastic wrap on the top to hold it down. Close down the tortilla press to evenly distribute the masa over the husk.
Then, spoon on your prepared filling and finish wrapping the tamale – simple!
Why is My Masa Sticky?
Masa is sticky in the beginning, feeling very similar to wet bread dough. You need to add in oil or lard to the tamale to take away the stickiness.
Lard helps to add in an amazing flavor to the masa, and it prevents it from sticking to the husk. Vegetable oil or melted shortening can also be added to the masa to prevent stickiness.
As it cooks through, it will become easier to work with. You might have to adjust your recipe a bit to get it to the consistency that you are happy to work with.