Pressure Cooker Chicken Tamales
- 4 cups masa harina (Mexican-style flour)
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder
- 4 cups water, divided
- ⅔ cup vegetable shortening, melted
- 3 cups shredded Mexican-style chicken
- 16 large corn husks, soaked in hot water for at least 30 minutes
For best results, we recommend using:
- Mix masa, salt, and baking powder together in a large bowl; add 3 cups water and mix.
- Stir vegetable shortening with the masa mixture; knead to incorporate.
- Remove husks from water and pat dry.
- Working in batches, spread about 3 tablespoons of the masa mixture onto the widest part of each husk. Top masa with 1 tablespoon shredded chicken.
- Fold sides of a husk around the filling and then fold the bottom narrow flap of husk over the center; secure closed with kitchen twine. Repeat with remaining portions.
- Pour remaining cup water into pressure cooker pot. Lay the steam rack over the water.
- Arrange the tamales on the rack so they are standing upright.
- Lock pressure cooker lid in place and set steam vent to Sealing.
- Select Pressure Cook (Manual) and cook for 40 minutes on High pressure.
- Allow pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes, then set steam vent to Venting to quick-release remaining pressure.
- Remove tamales to a plate; let cool until the filling sets, 15 to 30 minutes.
Corn husks can be difficult to soften. Give yourself plenty of time to get the husks soft enough to wrap the tamale filling without breaking to achieve ideal texture on your tamales.
What others are saying
Kay Weckerly says:
I just got my pot today and am wondering about this: I bought tamales at Costco and froze them. Can i use the pot to just steam them for reheating? If so, how long and what settings would i use?
Erin Hudson says:
I softened the husks for over an hour in order to get them right. Then I used shredded chuck roast instead of chicken in the tamales. I know it's supers untraditional but I had some leftover ad didn't want it to go to waste.
Steven Gomes says:
There was a lady that came buy my job selling these things and I've been addicted ever since. This recipe is really close to the kind she used to make, but I just need to perfect my sauce. I was tempted to use more than 1 tablespoon of the chicken but that's plenty once you cover it in masa harina.
Garcia B says:
This makes about 2-4 servings of tamales depending on how many you eat. We did pork tamales and spicy sauce. I tied them together using kitchen twine so they wouldn’t fall in the water.
Melissa P says:
Made these with shrimp and a homemade tomatillo sauce and they were amazing. This is a great base recipe to get you started. Make sure you buy the masa harina for tamales. I believe there’s diff kinds.
McKenzie C says:
I made this recipe using salsa verde and shredded chicken. It was slightly labor intensive, but that's to be expected with homemade tamales. I had to make them shorter so that they would fit in the pressure cooker on top of the steam rack. It also helps to tie them in bundles with yarn or kitchen twine so that they stand up right. A couple of my tamales got wet in the water under the steam rack, so those two or three were soggy. The ones that stayed dry during the cooking process turned out great.