How to Make Tater Tots - Homemade Tater Tots!

How to Prepare Homemade Tater Tots

Four Parts:

Though most people eat tater tots when they are out to eat, they are actually quite easy to make at home. Begin by parboiling several potatoes until they are soft, then peel and grate the potatoes into shreds. Add spices or herbs if you wish and then form the shredded potato into cylindrical tots and either fry or bake them for a delicious brunch treat.


  • 2 pounds (908 grams) russet potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon (14.79 ml) all-purpose flour
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon (4.93 ml) garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon (2.46 ml) onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon (1.23 ml) dried oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon (1.23 ml) dried dill
  • 2 tablespoons (29.57 ml) chopped fresh parsley (optional garnish)
  • 1 cup (236.59 ml) vegetable oil (if frying the tots)
  • 1 tablespoon (14.79 ml) olive oil (if baking tots in the oven)


Peeling and Parboiling the Potatoes

  1. Peel the potatoes.Wash and scrub the 2 pounds (908 grams) of potatoes, then use a potato peeler to completely peel them. Dispose of the peelings and place the potatoes in a large pot.
  2. Cook the potatoes over medium high heat.Fill the pot of potatoes up with cold water until the water covers the potatoes by about one inch (2.54 cm). Then turn the heat to medium high.
  3. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat.Cook the potatoes over medium heat until they reach a boil, then reduce the heat to medium low.
  4. Cook about 6-7 minutes on medium low heat.Cook the potatoes for about 6-7 minutes, then poke one of the potatoes with a fork. If the fork can pierce the potato fairly easily but still meets resistance in the middle of the potato, the potatoes are done parboiling. If the potato is still difficult to pierce, cook until they are done.
    • This process of cooking the potatoes before frying or baking is called parboiling. Partially cooking the potatoes ensures that they will be light and crispy when fried or baked instead of dense or mushy.
  5. Drain the potatoes.Once parboiled, pour the potatoes into a colander to let the water drain away. Pat the potatoes with a paper towel, then place them on the counter to cool.

Forming the Tots

  1. Shred the potatoes.Once cooled, finely shred the potatoes. You can use the food processor, making sure to use the grating attachment, or use a box grater to grate the potatoes by hand.
    • How finely you shred the potatoes is up to you. Traditionally, tater tots are finely shred, but if you want more textured tots you can either grate them for less time in the food processor or use a coarse box grater to grate the potatoes.
  2. Drain the grated potatoes.Place the grated potato pulp in a large piece of cheesecloth or inside several paper towels and bring up the corners to make a sack. Use your hands to squeeze the sack of potatoes to drain them until liquid stops dripping out.
    • Potatoes naturally retain a lot of water. Draining the shredded potato will help your tots get crispy.
  3. Create the tater tot mixture.Once drained, transfer the shredded potato out of the cheesecloth or paper towel to a large mixing bowl. Add in the flour, garlic powder, onion powder, dill and salt and pepper. Then mix with a large spoon until all the ingredients make an even paste.
    • If you want neutral tasting tots, leave off the garlic powder, onion powder and dill. If you want your tots to have a slight edge, use the garlic powder and salt and pepper but the other flavorings.
  4. Form the paste into cylindrical tots.Scoop the mixture out onto a clean cutting board or counter. Pick up small scoops of the mixture and use your hands to shape it into cylindrical tots that are a little shorter than the length of your thumb.

Frying the Tots on the Stovetop

  1. Heat the vegetable oil over medium heat.Place a large stockpot on the stove over medium heat. Pour in the vegetable oil and wait a minute or so for it to heat.
  2. Place the tots in the skillet.Drop the tots individually into the skillet, placing them about 1 inch (2.54 cm) apart. If the skillet isn’t large enough to fit all the tots, fry them in batches so that the skillet doesn’t get overcrowded.
  3. Flip the tots over at about 2 minutes.After the tots have fried for about 2 minutes, use a spatula to flip the tots over to the other side so that they cook evenly. The tots should be getting golden and start to look crispy.
  4. Remove the tots from the skillet.After about 3-4 minutes, the tots should be golden brown and crispy. Use a spatula to scoop the tots up and transfer them to two layers of paper towels to absorb excess oil. If you are baking the tots in batches, fry the rest of the tots.
  5. Garnish and serve.Let the tots sit on the paper towels for about 30 seconds, then serve while hot. Garnish with parsley if you wish and serve alongside ketchup, mayo or your favorite dips.

Baking the Tots in the Oven

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F (218.33 C).Begin baking your tater tots by preheating the oven to 425 degrees F (218.33 C). If you want extra crispy tots, preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit (232.22 C).
  2. Spread the tots on a baking tray.Cover the baking tray with parchment paper, then place the tots on top. Parchment paper will make cleanup easier than baking the tots directly on top of the baking tray.
  3. Toss the tots in olive oil.Drizzle 1 tablespoon (14.79 ml) on the tots, then toss them to lightly coat them in the oil. Then arrange the tots so that they are about one inch (2.54 cm) apart to ensure that they don’t stick together.
  4. Bake the tots for 15 minutes and flip.Place the tots in the preheated oven and cook for about 15 minutes. Then use a spatula to flip the tots onto their other side and place them back in the oven.
  5. Bake the tots for 15 more minutes and serve.Keep the tots in the oven for another 15 minutes, then take them out and transfer them to a plate or serving platter. Garnish them with parsley if you wish, then serve them alongside your favorite dipping sauces.

Community Q&A

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  • Baking tots is healthier than frying, as you use less oil in baking.
  • Parboiling does take extra time, but it is worth the effort because it will make your tots crisper and tasting more like restaurant tots.

Video: Tater Tots | Episode 1050

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Date: 12.12.2018, 20:43 / Views: 53191