Tater tots might as well their own food group. I have mastered the art of simple, no mess, delicious tater tots. I use an air fryer. Also, my simple seasoning combination will make the most delicious tater tots you've ever had from a bag.
Tater tots are popular in our home. When my 11 year-old daughter is around, like last night, they serve as a side dish to many main dishes that she enjoys. When kid is not on-premises tater tots act as the base to many insane things a divorced 46 year-old dad with a heavy addiction to pop-culture may enjoy, like tot-chos (tater tot nachos) or chilli-cheese tots. Yes, tater tots.
I am also lazy. California has recreational marijuana and when you are in a tater tot kinda mood, you are also probably not looking to get into making artisnal, handcrafted tater tots like they did in the old country. I turn to bags of frozen processed potato.
My first attempts at improving tater tot quality arose after a batch of soggy and under crisped tots came out of the oven. I tried baking the tots on a cooling rack, allowing more air to flow over them. The tots got better.
I was introduced to the idea of an air fryer. I was a bit befuddled as to why I'd give up space in my kitchen to one, but I'd always wanted a deep fryer. I knew in my heart that deep frying tater tots in rendered duck fat would be the ultimate, but I didn't know what I'd do with all the waste oil. I knew an air fryer didn't fry at all, but was really a super-high-flow convection oven. Then I realized what that meant for tater tots.
Air fried tater tots come out perfect every single time. Here's what you do:
Air Fried Umami Tater Tots
Place the tater tots in the basket of your air fryer.
Set the machine for 400F and 20 minutes
Shake the basket every 5 minutes (15, 10, 5) to move the tots around. Add seasonings at 10 minute mark.
Add about 1/4 tsp Creole Seasoning and 1 Tbs of Nutritional Yeast. The nutritional yeast is where umami lives.
I really like Bragg's Nutritional Yeast. It also makes the best popcorn.
Bragg Premium Nutritional Yeast Seasoning via Amazon
Tony Chacheres Seasoning Creole via Amazon