Why It Pays To Use A Masa Spreader When Making Tamales

The essence of making the best tamales lies not just in the ingredients but in the technique used to assemble them. One crucial element in this process is the spreading of masa, a task that can be significantly simplified and improved by using a masa spreader. There are significant benefits why incorporating this kitchen tool into your tamale-making routine is a game changer.

First and foremost, consistency is key when assembling your tamales. Masa, the corn-based dough that forms the base of the tamale, needs to be spread evenly and at the right thickness across the corn husk. Achieving this consistency by hand using the back of a spoon is possible, but it's often hit or miss, especially for beginners or when making large batches. A masa spreader, with its flat, smooth surface, allows for uniform distribution every time. This consistency is not just about looks, it ensures that each tamale cooks evenly and has the perfect balance of filling.

Speed is another factor where the masa spreader shines. Spreading masa the traditional way using a spoon is time-consuming, considering the many strokes you need to make before achieving that perfect layer. This can be pretty tiring, especially if you're preparing tamales for a big group. With this spreader, you can cover more surface area in less time because the tool lets you do it all in one swoop.

How to use a masa spreader in tamale making

Using this type of tool in tamale-making is a straightforward process that can greatly enhance the efficiency and enjoyment of this culinary tradition. The first step is to prepare your masa according to your recipe. Once it's ready, take a corn husk that has been soaked and dried off. Holding the husk in one hand, use the spreader with the other to scoop a generous amount of masa.

Place the tool about a third way down from the top edge of the corn husk and with a gentle but firm motion, glide the spreader across the surface. The goal is to spread a thin, even layer of masa across the husk. You don't want it too thick, as this will make your tamales doughy, nor too thin, as this might tear when wrapping.

Once the masa is evenly spread, it's time to add your filling. Be it a traditional pork, chicken, or vegetarian option, ensure the ingredients are centered and don't spread them out too close to the edges. This helps in rolling the tamale without the filling spilling out. Next, wrap the tamale by rolling the husk and then folding the tip down to create a neat and tight wrap. Steam the tamales as usual and enjoy your delightful meal.