Tater tots are hands-down my favorite frozen item to make in the air fryer. When prepared right, each bite is crispy-potatoey goodness. Tater tots are the ideal dipping sauce delivery system – just drag one flat end in ketchup, barbecue sauce, ranch dressing or your favorite condiment and you have the perfect bite. The best news is that they are super easy to prepare – just know one important trick to get delicious tater tots out of your air fryer.
How Many Tater Tots Can I Air Fry At Once?
This is the most important question to ask yourself before air frying tater tots. But it’s not about “can” – it’s all about “should”. Even smaller air fryers can hold half of a bag of frozen tater tots, but that doesn’t mean they should. The most important variable to get right for perfect air fried tater tots: the capacity-to-tot ratio. The amount a 5.3 quart air fryer cooks perfectly probably won’t come out as well in a much smaller 1.6 liter air fryer. But once you figure out your air fryer’s perfect tot capacity, you’ll never want to be without a bag of frozen tater tots at the ready.
The Secret to Perfect Air Fried Tater Tots
The number one trick to perfect air fried tater tots is to cook them in a single layer in your air fryer. Yes, you can cook a lot more in any air fryer if you layer them, but trust me – that’s not the way to go. If you go that route, they will cook, but the crispness will vary from tot to tot. And that’s assuming you’re shaking the basket/mixing them at least once during the cook time. It’s very likely some will lack any crisp even though they are properly heated. Alas, there’s nothing sadder than a tater tot not reaching its full potential…
To get the best results with your air fryer, fill it with a single layer of tots and no more. Even if you have to make multiple batches, it will definitely be worth it.
If you HAVE to cook multiple layers at once (a tater tot emergency!), then be sure to shake/mix/stir the tots at least once during the cooking time (which you might need to up by a minute or two due to opening and closing the air fryer multiple times).
Prepare perfectly crisp tater tots in your air fryer in minutes
- One bag of your favorite frozen tater tots
- Non-stick cooking spray or spritz of your favorite oil
Spray basket with non-stick cooking spray or oil
Pour 1/2 bag of tots in the basket.
Cook at 400 degrees for 8-10 minutes, shaking/mixing half way through.
Plate and enjoy!
Tools and ingredients for this recipe: