Some dishes are complex, while others are straightforward and just as delicious. Everyone enjoys a simple meal that just requires a few ingredients.

Some people cook their dishes with vegetables as the major ingredient, while others use meat.

Potatoes are one ingredient that people like worldwide, regardless of how they are prepared. Some people believe potatoes are high in bad fats and carbohydrates, yet they are a healthy food rich in vitamins and minerals.

Tater tots are a popular side dish among adults and children alike, and they can be prepared, frozen, and reheated anytime.

Why use an air fryer?

Air frying is one of the several methods for reheating tater tots.

  • When reheated, it doesn’t produce a lot of calories.
  • It’s best not to use any extra oil on them because they’ve already been deep-fried.
  • There’s no need to heat the oven and the entire house.
  • There will be no more mushy tater tots from the microwave.
  • You can make perfect crispy and delicious potato tots without using any oil.
  • In most cases, air frying tater tots takes roughly 20 minutes in total.

Air frying duration 

Preparation time5 minutes
Frying time15 minutes
Total 20 minutes

Tater tots are a delicious side dish that may also be served as a main course. Grated potatoes are formed into little cylinders to make tater tots.

Even though the term is a registered trademark of the American frozen food manufacturer Ore-Ida, it is now widely used as a generic name for the dish. The meal was created and served for the first time in Oregon, United States.

In 1953, the brothers Nephi and Golden Grigg made the dish for the first time. Potatoes are the major ingredient in this recipe, along with other spices, oil, and seasonings.

In certain regions, it’s also sold as vegetarian tots.

Though it was first popular in America, it has since spread to countries worldwide, including the United Kingdom, Asia, North America, Oceania, and many more.

The dish is warmed and served hot, even though it is sent frozen. Some people buy pre-made tater tots and simply cook them, while others create their tater tots from scratch.

When the Grigg brothers discovered some slivers of cut-up potatoes, they further chopped them up before adding flour and seasonings. They thoroughly combined and pressed them through perforations, trimming the excess and molding them into cylindrical tater tots.

Why do tater tots take so long to air fry?

An electric Air Fry on table with blue background showing assembled parts

Reheating tater tots only takes around 20 minutes. It takes around 5 minutes to prepare them and about 15 minutes to cook them.

Frozen potato nuggets, sometimes known as tater tots, olive oil, seasonings, spices, salt, and pepper, are all utilized in this recipe. Preheat the air fryer for about 5 minutes at 425 degrees Fahrenheit.

Place the appropriate number of tater tots in the air fryer basket.

Drizzle olive oil over them at regular intervals, like every five minutes, and season to taste. Put them in a mixing bowl when they’ve been thoroughly cooked and season with salt and pepper.

Toss well to combine. Serve with hot dips like ketchup.

Your air fryer

Because there are so many different sizes of tater tots or potato puffs, you may need to modify the timing. In addition, each air fryer cooks differently.

As a result, you’ll need to modify the time and temperature accordingly. Simply follow the temperature guidelines below and keep an eye on the potatoes.

Once you’ve cooked your first batch, you’ll know what time is optimal for your style of air fryer, potato puffs, or tots.

Is it necessary to thaw first?

No. The tater tots do not need to be thawed before air frying. Air frying them immediately from the freezer yields the best results.

Cooking them from frozen ensures the crispiest outside.

Is it necessary to preheat an air fryer?

It is not necessary to pre-heat your air fryer. Depending on the food you’re cooking, preheating your air fryer will save you roughly 2-3 minutes of cooking time.

The food will take a few minutes to cook if you do not preheat your air fryer.

I preheat my air fryer about 20% of the time when the food will take longer than 20 minutes, and I remember! Don’t worry if you forget.

The benefit of the air fryer is that it doesn’t require much preheating. The difference in the cooking time of the meal is slight but obvious due to the tiny space and quick heat dispersion.

Cooking temperature

In the air fryer, it is best to cook potato tots at 350°F. During testing, I tried cooking the tots at 400°F, as recommended by the oven instructions.

I noticed that they browned far too rapidly, making it easier to burn the tots. For a slightly lower temperature, I don’t mind cooking for an extra 3-5 minutes.

However, if you keep a tight check on the tater tots in the air fryer, you can try it at 400°F.

In an air fryer, cook frozen tater tots as follows:

  1. If you have a tiny air fryer, work in batches and place 16 ounces of frozen tater tots in a single layer in the air fryer basket.
  2. Avocado spray oil should be sprayed on tots as soon as possible. Season the tots with a pinch of salt.
  3. Preheat the air fryer to 350℉ and cook for 15-20 minutes, shaking the basket every 5 minutes. When the tots are golden brown and crispy to your preference, they’re done.

What do you put on top of tater tots?

Tater Tots are a popular party meal or side dish. You may serve these as a potato side dish with a main beef course or as a party snack with your favorite sauces to a large crowd.

You can top your fried tots with various toppings, including cheddar, sriracha, salsa, and guacamole.

Reheating tater tots

Reheating food in my air fryer is one of my favorite things, and these air fryer tater tots are no exception.

Preheat your air fryer to 350°F and cook the potato tots until heated, around 3-5 minutes. Take them out of the air fryer and eat them!


Though tater tots don’t contain many veggies or components with high nutritional value, they do contain some nutrients present in potatoes and make a terrific last-minute appetizer or side dish.

It’s excellent for a small group, and the best part is that it can be made without heating the oven, and the results are extremely crispy.

The tater tots are deep-fried, preserved, and marketed frozen so consumers can reheat them and eat them with ketchup, mayonnaise, or a dip of their choice when they want a quick nibble.

All that is required is to purchase the tater tots, heat them in the air fryer, season them, and enjoy!