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Instant Pot Red Chile Pork Tamales

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Have you ever wanted to make tamales, but didn’t know how? Or maybe you thought it would be too hard? Well put those ideas out of your head, we are making Instant Pot Red Chile Pork Tamales in the easiest way possible while still staying true to the original recipes that have been handed down for generations.

For even more delicious pressure cooker recipes, check out the Instant Pot Recipes page.

Ring the dinner bell, the Instant Pot Red Chile Pork Tamales are ready!! © COOKING WITH CURLS

My grandmother would have loved these Instant Pot Red Chile Pork Tamales, they are nice and spicy! Obviously she did not pass this recipe down, she was born and raised in England, LOL

Slightly spicy pork surrounded by tender masa make these Instant Pot Red Chile Pork Tamales an instant family favorite!! © COOKING WITH CURLS

This Instant Pot Red Chile Pork Tamales recipe is a combination of several recipes that have all been blended together and tweaked to work using an Instant Pot.

How do you make Instant Pot Red Chile Pork Tamales?

Place husks in a large bowl or pot, cover with hot water and let them soak for until pliable, about 30 minutes…..

Corn husks submerged in a pan of warm water to soften © COOKING WITH CURLS

Stir the masa (corn flour) and warm water together in a large bowl or bowl of a stand mixer until thoroughly mixed and it form a ball…..

Ball of masa dough mixed up in a mixer © COOKING WITH CURLS

Add the lard, baking powder, salt, and stock. Blend on medium speed for 5 minutes to thoroughly incorporate. The mixture should be the consistency of hummus…..

Masa whipped up in the blender and ready to use © COOKING WITH CURLS

If you do not have enough moisture, your tamales will be dry and crumbly. Place a scoop of masa into a bowl of warm water…..

Masa float test in warm water © COOKING WITH CURLS

If it floats, you’re good to go. If it sinks, you need to add more liquid. Set your finished dough aside until ready to use.

Remove the corn husks from the water and lightly dry them to remove excess moisture…..

Lay corn husks on dish towel to remove excess water © COOKING WITH CURLS

Place a 1/4 cup of dough in the center of each corn husk…..

A 1-4 cup of masa in the center of a corn husk © COOKING WITH CURLS

Spread the dough out into about a 4-inch square, about a 1/2-inch thick in the center of the husk…..

Spread masa on the corn husk in a 4-inch square © COOKING WITH CURLS

Do as I say, not as I do, LOL Don’t worry, keep going!

Place 2 Tablespoons of Instant Pot Red Chile Pork in the center of the masa…..

Add red chile pork on top of the masa © COOKING WITH CURLS

See, that one is much closer to 4 inches. 😉

Fold the husk over, starting with the side closest to you. Roll into a tight log/tube and fold up the long end towards the center. Tie a thin strip of husk around the center to secure…..

Wrap the corn husk around the masa and meat, fold up the end and tie with a thin strip of husk to hold it together © COOKING WITH CURLS

I could have sworn I took more photos of the rolling process…ooops!

Repeat the process until you have used up all of your husks and masa.

Place 2 cups of water in the bottom of your Instant Pot, then insert a steamer basket.

Add the wrapped tamales with the open ends facing up…..

Place wrapped tamales into the Instant Pot with a steamer basket © COOKING WITH CURLS

***Make sure the tamales are not sticking up too high over the edge of the Instant Pot liner or your pressure cooker will not be able to build pressure, it will keep the lid from sealing properly***

Secure the lid, make sure the pressure knob is in the “Sealing” position, and set press the Manual button, High Pressure and use the = and – buttons to set the timer for 20 minutes…..

Cook on Manual - High Pressure for 20 minutes © COOKING WITH CURLS

When the pot beeps, allow the pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes then manually release any remaining steam. Very carefully remove the lid at an angle to keep the moisture from dropping down onto the tamales…..

Cooked Red Chile Tamales in the Instant Pot © COOKING WITH CURLS

Allow your tamales to rest for 20 to 30 minutes to set and begin to firm up.

Serve with Mexican crema, sour cream, crumbled Queso Fresco, salsa, or sauce of your choice…..

Instant Pot Red Chile Pork Tamales just in time for Cinco de Mayo! © COOKING WITH CURLS

So amazingly good!! The Red Chile Pork by itself seemed a bit spicy, but after it is cooked inside this yummy masa it is perfect!

Recipe Notes:

  • You want to keep your masa at least 1/2-inch away from the sides to make it easier to roll. I got better at it after a few tried, but didn’t take any new photos.
  • Yes, this is a time consuming process. If you have little helper to form an assembly line, it will go much faster.
  • I prepared my Red Chile Pork one day, and prepared the tamales the next.
  • Rip a few husks into 1/2-inch strips and soak with the full-sized husks to use as your ties.
  • Corn husks are all different sizes, just adapt your fillings to the smaller husks and you will be fine.
  • You read correctly, I did say 2 cups of water. I ran out of water during the first batch, so I added more for the second and it didn’t dry up!

Why yes you did read that correctly, I said Lard! Why do you use lard you ask? Well because that is the way they have been made for centuries and I have no intentions of going up against anyone’s abuela for messing with tradition. You can substitute vegetable shortening if you must, but the flavor will not be the same. 🙂

More Tamales filling recipes for you to try:

Recipes to compliment your tamales:

Tools used to create these tamales:

stainless steel expandable steamer with black handle.

Are you ready to give these a try? Let me know how it goes.

Enjoy!!

Ring the dinner bell, the Instant Pot Red Chile Pork Tamales are ready!! © COOKING WITH CURLS

Instant Pot Red Chile Pork Tamales

Slightly spicy pork surrounded by tender corn masa dough make these Instant Pot Red Chile Tamales an instant family favorite!! 
4.39 from 49 votes
Print Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Prep Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Pressure Release: 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 50 minutes
Servings: 25 tamales
Calories: 144kcal
Author: Lisa Johnson

Ingredients

  • 8 ounce package corn husks
  • 3 ½ cups masa harina (I used the fine version)
  • 2 ¼ cups warm water
  • 10 ounces lard (substitute vegetable shortening if you must)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 ½ cups chicken stock
  • 3 ¼ cup Red Chile Pork

Instructions

  • Place husks in a large bowl or pot, cover with hot water and let them soak for until pliable, about 30 minutes.
  • Stir the masa (corn flour) and warm water together in a large bowl or bowl of a stand mixer until thoroughly mixed and it form a ball.
  • Add the lard, baking powder, salt, and stock. Blend on medium speed for 5 minutes to thoroughly incorporate. The mixture should be the consistency of hummus.
  • If you do not have enough moisture, your tamales will be dry and crumbly. Place a scoop of masa into a bowl of warm water. If it floats, you’re good to go. If it sinks, you need to add more liquid. Set your finished dough aside until ready to use.
  • Remove the corn husks from the water and lightly dry them to remove excess moisture.
  • Place a 1/4 cup of dough in the center of each corn husk. Spread the dough out into about a 4-inch square, about a 1/2-inch thick in the center of the husk.
  • Place 2 Tablespoons of Instant Pot Red Chile Pork in the center of the masa.
  • Fold the husk over, starting with the side closest to you. Roll into a tight log/tube and fold up the long end towards the center. Tie a thin strip of husk around the center to secure. Repeat the process until you have used up all of your husks and masa.
  • Place 2 cups of water in the bottom of your Instant Pot, then insert a steamer basket.
  • Add the wrapped tamales with the open ends facing up. ***Make sure the tamales are not sticking up too high over the edge of the Instant Pot liner or your pressure cooker will not be able to build pressure, it will keep the lid from sealing properly***
  • Secure the lid, make sure the pressure knob is in the “Sealing” position, and set press the Manual button, High Pressure and use the = and – buttons to set the timer for 20 minutes.
  • When the pot beeps, allow the pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes then manually release any remaining steam. Very carefully remove the lid at an angle to keep the moisture from dropping down onto the tamales.
  • Allow your tamales to rest for 20 to 30 minutes to set and begin to firm up.

Notes

  • You want to keep your masa at least 1/2-inch away from the sides to make it easier to roll. I got better at it after a few tried, but didn’t take any new photos.
  • Yes, this is a time consuming process. If you have little helper to form an assembly line, it will go much faster.
  • I prepared my Red Chile Pork one day, and prepared the tamales the next.
  • Rip a few husks into 1/2-inch strips and soak with the full-sized husks to use as your ties.
  • Corn husks are all different sizes, just adapt your fillings to the smaller husks and you will be fine.
  • You read correctly, I did say 2 cups of water. I ran out of water during the first batch, so I added more for the second and it didn’t dry up!

Nutrition

Calories: 144kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 35mg | Sodium: 248mg | Potassium: 303mg | Fiber: 1g | Vitamin A: 605IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 68mg | Iron: 2mg

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19 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    GIRL – my hubs has been begging me to make some for years. I’m going to have to try this. Or better yet – you are going to have to come up here for a visit & we can make them together. 😉

    1. Oh, that sounds like so much fun!! I would need to do it before my parents sell their house and move to AZ, the cold weather finally got to them. 😉

  2. 5 stars
    Hello can you please tell me how many tamales this recipe makes? Also what would the cooking time be in my instant pot if my tamales are frozen? Thank you very much

  3. Hi a friend just shared your link. What size IP are you using? You started with 2C water but said you added more. About how much more and was this before or did you stop the cooking process midway and then add more water? Thanks.

    1. Hi Melissa, I use a 6 quart IP. I used 1 cup in the first batch and the pot was dry when I opened it, so I used 2 cups in the second batch. I am guessing that there was still enough moisture in the pot itself which I why I did not receive a burn notice.

  4. 5 stars
    The photos are really beautiful, and helped me make tamales last night. Mine were a mess after rolling so I tried tying like yours, cute and they stayed together. 25 minutes was fine in the IP. I used leftover pasilla beef stew, just shredded the beef w/ a little sauce, very good. Thanks!

  5. Wy wife and I just made both the red chili pork and the tamale tonight, waiting on the tamales now! We screwed up and got the pre-made masa tamale mix – hopefully still turns out good.

    The red chili pork was AMAZING though. Stole a few too many extra bites of that during the rolling process!

  6. 5 stars
    I made this and the Red Chile Pork recipe… I followed the recipes exactly and they turned out Amazing!! I was so happy to finally make my own and fill it with more meat. Honestly they were amazing and even better then a lot of my friends moms family recipes… but Shhhhh don’t tell!!

    Lol… thank you so much for sharing

  7. Excellent Adventure! Thank you for your information on cooking time (20 minutes) is great considering that it can take 1 1/2 hours on a gas range. This holiday season I will be using my insta pot. By the way I have gone to using a shortening that is a 50/50 blend of lard and vegetable shortening.

  8. I am so glad I came across your web site. I finished making your tamales.
    So much easier in the instant pot and they were WONDERFUL
    Thank you so much
    I am anxious to browse your site

  9. I just finished making them and they aren’t fully cooked. How much longer should I put the IP for? Everything was so easy but they need more time to cook.

  10. Just made some thanksgiving tamales with my instant pot. I utilized your method for cooking them (but a different recipe),and i must say : read ALL of the instructions first, including the tips, haha. My tamales were sticking up too high, and it didn’t seal properly, so i had to start the cooking process over with my instant pot.
    They eventually turned out great!

  11. 5 stars
    So delicious. I did use veg shortening and the flavor is still fabulous, I believe, because I used homemade chicken stock which turned out very flavorful. Great recipe, not too difficult, and will make again. Was a hit with the family.

  12. 5 stars
    I have made these twice for special occasions (because they’re definitely a bit of work!), and they’ve gotten universal rave reviews both times. They are super delicious and worth the work!! Thanks!

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