Batch Cook Tater Tots In The Air Fryer For Crispier Results

Traditionally, tater tots are either deep-fried or baked in the oven, but if you're looking for the intersection of extreme crispiness and undeniable ease, it's time to reach for your air fryer. You can't just throw all of your tots in there, however, to get the crunch you crave. To bring your tater tots to the next level and ensure a perfectly crisp finish, you're going to want to batch-cook them.

Air frying offers a mountain of benefits over traditional cooking methods. Not only does it use less oil than deep frying, leading to a less fattening final product, but the high-heat air circulation is what helps create that delightfully crunchy exterior for your tater tots, sweet potato fries, or even air fryer fried chicken. Just remember that along with cooking them in batches, you'll need to lay them out evenly and avoid overcrowding the air fryer basket each time.

Make sure each batch is distributed in an even layer

As tempting as it is to dump in the whole bag of frozen tots to get them done quicker, resist the urge. Overcrowding the basket will keep the hot air from circulating evenly, which means you'll be left with a jumble of undesirable tots — some overcooked and some still cold. By splitting your tater tots into multiple batches, you'll ensure that hot air can reach all sides of every tot and deliver the crispy bite you're looking for.

To cook your tater tots in the air fryer, first, preheat it for at least five minutes. Once it's reached the right temperature, arrange the tots in a single layer, giving a little "breathing room" between each one. The size of your air fryer basket will determine how many tater tots you can fit, and if you run out of room, keep in mind there'll be more space in the next batch. Cook each tray of tots until they're golden brown and crispy, shaking the basket a few times throughout to further promote even cooking.