Tater tots have been a cafeteria lunch favorite for years, and most people continue to love the crispy little potato treats long after elementary school graduation. Frozen tater tots, readily available and relatively inexpensive, are fully cooked and ready to heat and serve. Although tater tots are usually heated in the oven, you can also heat the crispy little spuds in a deep fat fryer or on an electric grill.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit to heat frozen tater tots in the oven. Spread the tater tots in a single layer on a baking sheet and heat until they are golden brown -- about 20 minutes for a half package or 25 minutes for a full package. Season the tots with salt and pepper.
Preheat cooking oil to 375 F in a deep fat fryer, then place the tots in a fryer basket. Fill the basket no more than one-half full. Lower the basket carefully into the hot oil, and fry the tater tots until they are golden -- about 3 or 4 minutes. Drain the tater tots on a thick layer of paper towels, season with salt and pepper, and serve.
Preheat a gas grill to 450 to 500 F if you prefer grilled tater tots. Crumple a piece of aluminum foil, then smooth the foil slightly and spread it in the bottom of a disposable aluminum pan. Spray the foil lightly with nonstick cooking spray to prevent sticking, then place the tots in the pan. Cover the grill and cook the tater tots for 10 minutes. Stir the potatoes so they cook evenly, then cook an additional 10 to 12 minutes, or until the tots are crispy and golden.
Things You'll Need
Salt and pepper
Electric fryer with fryer basket
Disposal aluminum pan
Nonstick cooking spray
The microwave oven isn't the best way to heat tater tots, because they tend to be pale and mushy. Some manufacturers make tater tots especially for heating in the microwave, and cooking time is only 3 to 4 minutes.