Here's How Long You Should Air Fry Your Tater Tots
Aug 01, 2023
Few side dishes are as convenient as a bag of frozen potato products. Simply heat the desired amount, and you have an easy, satisfying dish to pair with a main course or enjoy as a snack. Making frozen tater tots at home can be even more convenient than ordering them from fast food restaurants. However, many of the instructions that come with these products have been around since the products were introduced, even as new cooking methods and appliances have emerged. For example, a bag of Ore-Ida Extra Crispy Tater Tots lists instructions for oven baking and deep frying. Though it isn't included, an air fryer might be a practical way to heat the product today, but how do you know how long to cook it?
Though instructions around the internet vary, a safe bet is to air fry the tots at 400 F for around 14 minutes. On top of ensuring the product heats thoroughly, this cooking time will allow the golden coating to get crispy.
Prior to adding the tater tots to the air fryer, preheat it to 400 F. For a basket-style air fryer, give the basket a shake halfway through the cooking time to toss the tots. If you have an oven-style air fryer, allow enough space between each tot for air to circulate. Ultimately, the exact cooking time will vary based on the brand of tater tots you choose and how many you add to the appliance. Start checking for doneness about 5 minutes in and every few minutes after that. You'll want to remove the tots when the exterior is deep golden brown and looks crispy.
In addition to cooking until the tots look crisp, there is a trick to ensuring they are extra crunchy. Taste of Home recommends spraying them with a bit of cooking oil before adding them to the air fryer, which will get them to crisp up even more. No one likes a soggy tot!
The options for when and how to serve tater tots are nearly limitless. One of the go-to uses for this product is as a side dish. Use them to accompany hamburgers, sandwiches, hot dogs, roasted meats, or any other meal that would welcome the addition of more carbs. With the quick air fryer cook time, throwing some in is easy while preparing other parts of the meal. Tater tots are also a great breakfast food. The ease of air frying makes them suitable for more than a cheesy breakfast bake. Try serving them alongside eggs, bacon, sausage, or ham to take a simple breakfast to the next level.
Tater tots also make a great, low-effort snack or appetizer to serve to a crowd. You can set them out as-is or mix them with desired seasonings for an extra kick. Next time you host a dinner party, sports watch party, or any other casual gathering, air fryer frozen tater tots are a tasty, low-effort way to make entertaining a breeze.