How Long You Should Actually Air Fry Your Tater Tots

Ah, the tater tot! Such an under-appreciated fried food. Maybe we'd all be making more tater tots at home if we knew exactly how to best prepare them. Frozen tater tots are a versatile side or snack because they are delicious when prepared correctly and can also be eaten in many different ways. From an easy tater tot casserole to the now-popular totchos, there are tons of ways to incorporate this crispy potato delicacy into your diet besides just on the side of your burger — which, to be fair, is always a great option. 

Air fryers have changed the game for crisping up frozen foods or preparing some of our favorite fried treats. It's not difficult to see why tater tots and air fryers are a match made in easy-to-prepare, crispy snack heaven. While there doesn't have to be a science to tossing tots into an air fryer, there are ways to ensure that you get the picture-perfect cylindrical potato treat every time, and it's quite easy. Preheat your air fryer to 400 degrees Fahrenheit for about a minute, and cook for 10 to 15 minutes. You'll end up with the ultimate tater tots you can serve however you like.

Prep the perfect tater tot

The rules for heating tater tots depend on the type of air fryer you have. If your air fryer has a basket, dump the frozen tater tots in. After cooking for seven minutes, shake the basket thoroughly to re-distribute the tater tots evenly. Then, cook for between five and seven more minutes. Finish by letting the tater tots cool for around two minutes. If your air fryer has racks instead of a basket, before adding the tots, use nonstick cooking spray to spray your racks. Ensure that the frozen tater tots are in one layer on the rack with a little space between them. Cook the tots for 13 minutes and let them cool for approximately two minutes before eating. 

You'll also want to pay attention to your air fryer's wattage. Wattage for these appliances usually falls somewhere between 1,000 and 1,700 watts, so be sure to add a bit of extra time if you have a lower-wattage fryer.

Welcoming your air fryer into your tater tot prep routine isn't just beneficial for frozen tots. You can also use your air fryer to give leftover tater tots a second life. Heat the air fryer to 375 degrees Fahrenheit, and cook for 5 to 10 minutes, and give the basket a good shake once or twice while cooking.