Are One Year Old Frozen Tamales Still Edible?

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This post is by Bernie Carr,

Many families have their own special tamale recipe that is traditionally made during the holidays. We usually make several dozen, split among family members. Normally they are eaten within a three months at the most. But I wanted to see if tamales could stay edible for a year so we stored some for a taste test.

What we did

The tamales we made last year were pork tamales. As soon as they cooled, we packaged them using a Food Saver vacuum sealer. We marked the date we made them on the package and stored them in a deep freezer.

Fast forward to this year: We also made a new batch of pork tamales for the New Year so I wanted to compare the one year old frozen ones to the fresh ones.

When we were ready for the taste test, we opened the sealed package from a year ago and warmed the tamales in the microwave.

The result


The one year old vacuum sealed tamales look pretty good after year – there is no freezer burn and no ice crystals. They just look frozen.


After they were thawed and warmed, the one-year old vacuum sealed tamales had a drier texture than the fresh ones. However, they were not completely dried out and the texture is still acceptable.


Remarkably, the one-year old vacuum sealed tamales still tasted pretty good. Of course they are not as good as the fresh ones, but considering they have been kept in the freezer for a year, they were not bad at all.

When you look at them side by side you can tell which ones are the frozen ones.  (If you are interested, I shared additional photos of the one-year old tamales, side by side with the fresh tamales over in my Patreon page:  Membership is optional of course!)


In answer to the original question, “Are One Year Old Frozen Tamales Still Edible?” the answer is yes, they are, as long as they were stored properly. In this case, they were vacuum-sealed soon after cooking, and stored in a deep freezer.

This can be applied to other types of foods that you freeze for later use.

  • Remove as much air as possible when you freeze foods.
  • If you are not vacuum sealing, use heavy duty aluminum foil, freezer plastic wrap or heavy duty plastic containers.
  • Label the frozen food’s packaging with a sharpie so you know how long they have been stored.

Of course, if you are not sure how long the frozen food and where it was properly stored, it’s best to toss it out.


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