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Old 01-29-2006, 10:25 AM   #1
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How big of a tamale steamer do I need??

Okay, dh has decided that I can make tamales and now will buy me a steamer for them.
My question is, how big should I get? They don't have real big ones at Walmart or Target, so, I'm looking on line. What I want is like a 60 qt. or is that too big but, I want it wide not so deep. Do any of you chef's out there know what I'm looking for and where I can get one.

Okay, further looking, maybe 60qt. IS too big. Does this look good?

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Old 01-29-2006, 06:29 PM   #2
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Ha Ha. I'm am in the same boat tg! This tamale steamer looks like it'd be perfect and cheap to boot! I think I may order one for myself. They didn't go for the greek food but they both loved the tamales! Maybe our husbands should meet!
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Old 01-29-2006, 06:36 PM   #3
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I'm no expert, having never made tamales much less knowing there was a special steamer for it...but 7 dozen tamales is a LOT of tamales! I should really try to expand my horizons, the only things I eat at Mexican restaurants is burritos, quesadillas and taco salad!
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Old 01-29-2006, 06:40 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jenny
I'm no expert, having never made tamales much less knowing there was a special steamer for it...but 7 dozen tamales is a LOT of tamales! I should really try to expand my horizons, the only things I eat at Mexican restaurants is burritos, quesadillas and taco salad!
You're right, that is a lot of tamales. The recipe I made was about 4 dozen and I thought that was a lot. But as tamales are such a long process and freeze so well, I figure make a bunch at once and have enough tamales to last! Right, tg?!
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Old 01-29-2006, 06:45 PM   #5
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The one I have (it was actually labeled as a tamale steamer pot) is about 20-qt. - enameled steel (blue with white specs like Grandma's old turkey roaster). I don't remember if I got it at WalMart, Target, K-Mart or an Albertson's grocery store. It's been 10-12 years but I know I didn't pay over $20 for it. It can easily handle 6-7 dozen tamales. It's also good for boiling pasta, shrimp boils, etc. Being enamel - it's non-reactive, so it can also be used for really big batches of chili, tomato sauces, etc.

Pots can only get so wide before they exceed the heat source under them. The general rule of thumb that I have always heard is that the diameter of the pot should not exceed the diameter of the burner more then 2-4 inches, with 2 inches being better.

A 60-qt pot isn't impossible to find. You just need to look for a professional kitchen supply store. You just put it together a la carte - you buy each piece seperately - the pot, the steamer basket, and the lid. I checked my favorite restaurant supply (they are on the other side of town from me) and found these:

Steamer/Tamale rack (14.75-inches wide or 12.75-inches wide), the pot, and the lid. These are light "standard" weight aluminum - heavy weight or SS is going to cost more (just browse their site for stock posts).

Hope this helps.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jenny
I'm no expert, having never made tamales much less knowing there was a special steamer for it...but 7 dozen tamales is a LOT of tamales!
LOL - there really is no magic or anything special about a tamale steamer. It's just a pot with a lid and rack to hold the tamalies up above the water. Basically any stock pot with a rack in the bottom will work - I've used a 6-qt pot with a cake rack for small batches.
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Old 01-29-2006, 07:15 PM   #6
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Michael, like the one at the bottom of this page? It's what I was looking for to begin with, but, I can't find it any cheaper than this.
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Old 01-29-2006, 08:32 PM   #7
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Yeah, TG - like that - mine is just the older style dark blue and a little bigger.

That really doesn't look like a bad price. Shelf price has a lot to do with where you live, the ethnic makeup of the community, and where you shop.
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Old 01-29-2006, 08:38 PM   #8
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I think that's the one that I'll get too. It looks like it's of better quality than the other. I want one that is going to last.
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Old 01-30-2006, 09:25 AM   #9
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Ooooh, I like that last one, too. The trouble with using those spreading vegetable steamers is you can't get enough water in the bottom to last very long for tamales. Love the price on that one, too. I usually make about 7 dozen at a time and cobble them out among several pots.

Tamales are so labor intensive, it's better to set aside a couple of days and make a boatload of them for the freezer. Same for burritos, which also freeze great. Straight from freezer to oven and you have ready-made meals.
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Old 01-30-2006, 12:48 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasBlueHeron
Ooooh, I like that last one, too. The trouble with using those spreading vegetable steamers is you can't get enough water in the bottom to last very long for tamales. Love the price on that one, too. I usually make about 7 dozen at a time and cobble them out among several pots.

Tamales are so labor intensive, it's better to set aside a couple of days and make a boatload of them for the freezer. Same for burritos, which also freeze great. Straight from freezer to oven and you have ready-made meals.
That's why I need to get one myself. DH liked the ones I made and is wanting some that he can have for lunches and just whenever he gets in the mood for them.
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