Although typically associated with many brands, tater tots are small logs of crispy potato produced by Ore-Ida. Their fast preparation makes them great as a side for lunch or dinner, or even as a quick snack. You can use the extra time to dress up your tater tots by topping them with your favorite nacho toppings, or whip up some curried ketchup or chipotle mayonnaise for dipping. Tater tots also add great texture on top of any casserole or mac 'n' cheese.
Homemade tater tots are a simple recipe of fried pieces of grated Idaho potato mixed with salt and thyme, then formed into logs for frying. The oil infused from frying the grated potato will help bind the tots, but they should be cold before frying to maintain their shape while cooking.
Store-bought tater tots are frozen and should not be defrosted before frying. If you have frozen homemade tater tots, there is no need to defrost them before cooking.
Preheat vegetable oil in a deep fryer to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
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Remove the tater tots from their packaging and pat them dry with a kitchen towel or paper towel to remove any ice crystals. This will keep the tater tots crispy during frying.
Fill the deep-fryer basket no more than halfway with tater tots and submerge them in the preheated oil. Fry for 3 to 5 minutes or until golden brown.
Lift the deep-fryer basket out of the hot oil and pour the tater tots into a bowl lined with paper towels to soak up excess oil.
Serve and enjoy the fried tater tots.
Leftover or homemade tater tots aren't frozen and will benefit from a double-frying technique to maintain crispiness.
Preheat vegetable oil in a deep fryer to 325 F.
Fill the deep-fryer basket up to halfway with tater tots and submerge in the preheated oil for 2 minutes.
Lift the deep-fryer basket out of the oil and let the tater tots cool slightly, about 5 minutes.
Raise the oil temperature to 375 F.
Resubmerge the deep-fryer basket and tater tots in the hot oil for 3 minutes, or until golden brown.
Remove the tater tots from the hot oil and place in a bowl lined with paper towels.
Serve and enjoy your tater tots.
Add your favorite seasoning to the tater tots while they're hot, right after transferring to the paper towel-lined bowl. Try a themed combination from your pantry such as:
- garlic powder, chili powder and paprika
- oregano, basil and thyme
- curry powder and cumin