How to Reheat Tater Tots

“You love foods that you have grown up eating.” It is one of those phrases I had heard from numerous people, and I can vouch for its authenticity. Take tater tots, for example. I used to eat them at least three times a week as a child, and now that I am an independent adult, these deep-fried potato barrels are still one of my favorite snacks.

One thing that I always do is overestimate my appetite when I buy a batch of tater tots from the local deli. Even though I can’t eat a lot of fried food, I seem to can’t stop myself from buying at least two servings of these crispy munchies. Want to experiment with another version of the versatile potato, try roasted potatoes!

And hence, I always have them as leftovers in the fridge. For someone who likes their food crispy and piping hot, I had a hard time reheating these the first few times. Snack time cravings try reheating chick-fil-a nuggets

Now that I know a little about what I am doing, I thought I’d share it in an article for the ones struggling to reheat their leftover tater tots.

What are Tater Tots?

Source: Eater.com

Tater Tots are a popular potato side dish made with grated potatoes shaped into small cylindrical shapes and then deep-fried.

Thanks to the Grigg brothers, who accidentally found this potatoey goodness back in 1953 when they were experimenting with a machine to cut fries.

With the lack of the machine’s functioning, the brothers were left with a lot of “waste” potatoes that they didn’t know what to do with. So, instead of throwing out the leftover potatoes, the Grigg brothers decided to go about and add some flour and seasoning to them and deep-fried those tiny potato balls. 

That’s where the first tater tots were made.

And, since then, they are made all over the world, especially loved by the children. These are also served as street foods with cheese and poutine and many twists to the taste.

How to Reheat Tater Tots?

how to reheat tater tots

Everyone believes that reheating something with potatoes is a complete fail. They remain soggy and lose the flavor and taste the more you reheat it.

While that might be true in some cases, the same doesn’t apply to tater tots. If reheated the right way, you wouldn’t even realize that you are eating leftovers from the day before.

I will share my top picks for reheating tater tops that leave them crispy on the outside and perfectly moist and fluffy on the inside.

In the Oven

Steps to follow:

  • Start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • In the meantime, take a baking tray or an oven-safe container to transfer the tater tots into them.
  • Spread them out evenly to prevent them from sticking to each other.
  • Once done, cover the dish with a sheet of aluminum foil to preserve the heat and ensure even reheating.
  • Set the oven time between 10-15 minutes, depending on the quantity you want to reheat.
  • Once done, take them out of the oven and enjoy them piping hot.

In a Pan

One of the best and easiest ways to reheat your tater tots is to deep-fry them again in a pan of oil. It is a quick but a little tricky process, especially because of the temperature of the oil. If the oil is too hot, the tots will likely burn, and if the oil is cold, the tater tots will absorb the oil and become soggy. So, make sure you keep a keen eye out on the temperature of the oil.

Steps to follow:

  • Start by putting a wok or pan on the gas stove with some oil for deep-frying.
  • Once the oil heats up to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, drop the tots one by one to retain their shape.
  • Keep an eye out on the frying and stir them every 20 seconds to prevent overcooking.
  • Once the tots regain a crispy exterior with a golden brown color, take them out of the pan and transfer them to a tissue lined plate to absorb excess oil.
  • Enjoy them hot with your favorite condiments.

In an Air Fryer

Reheating leftovers in an air fryer is becoming a popular thing these days, especially among the health nuts. It is a quick, easy, and healthier alternative. It leaves the exterior crispy and retains the fluffiness of the potatoes inside as well.

Steps to follow:

  • Start by preheating the air fryer to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, more if you want it quicker.
  • Once done, take out the air fryer tray and line it with a baking sheet to avoid a mess. Spread out the tater tots and spritz some oil on top, if you want.
  • Close the tray and then set the timer for 5 minutes and let them crisp up from the outside.
  • If you have less quantity of tots, set the timer for 3 minutes.
  • Once done, take it out of the basket and enjoy it hot.

In Toaster Oven

The significance of a standard oven and toaster oven is pretty much the same. It is just the space that varies. An oven is larger compared to a toaster oven. But, the results are pretty much the same. So, if you own a toaster oven at home, you can use it to reheat your tater tots.

Steps to follow:

  • Preheat the toaster oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 2 minutes.
  • In the meantime, take a baking sheet and line it with a reusable silicone mat, and spread out the tater tots on it.
  • Put it in the toaster oven for 10 minutes, flipping them around halfway through.
  • Once done, take them out of the oven and enjoy them the way you like.

In the Microwave

Even though I am including this in the list, I’d suggest you keep this as your last resort. Reheating your leftover tater tots in the microwave can create a giant batch of soggy potatoes. So, you need to extremely careful with the process.

Steps to follow:

  • Transfer the tater tots into a microwave-safe bowl or container or a plate, for more convenience.
  • Once done, put them in the microwave and set the timer for 20-30 seconds, checking it once.
  • If it’s too hot, flip them with a spoon or spatula to prevent it from overcooking.
  • Timing is key when you are using a microwave for reheating. Leaving the tater tots in the microwave for too long will result in soggy tots.

Conclusion

Now that you know how to reheat the leftover tater tots the right way, I hope you wouldn’t throw them out the next time. I have suggested a few reheating methods, so you can pick out the one that you think would work the best for you. It can be a little challenging to get the temperature and timings right the first few times, but I am sure you’ll get it after a few tries.

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