How To Make Tater Tots At Home

How To Make Tater Tots At Home

Hi guys, I’m Laura Vitale, today I’m going to show you how to make tater tots! I have had so many requests over the years to share this recipe it’s actually incredibly simple and easy, there are just a couple of techniques that I think are important for achieving the perfect tot so today I’m going to show you how to make them.

The first you’re really going to need is the most important ingredient, I suppose, are potatoes. What I have here are two potatoes – the equivalent of about a pound. These are russet potatoes which I find work best for this recipe, and what I’m going to do, I’ve peeled them, clearly, and I’ve rinsed them, what I”m going to do, I’ve placed them in a saucepan, I’m going to cover them with some cold water, I’m going to bring them to a boil over medium heat, and I’m going to reduce the heat and let them simmer for about six minutes or so, you want them to be somewhat tender when you pierce them with a knife, but you still want them to be firm because I want to show you why that’s really important, so they need to be firm, because I’m going to show you why that’s really important.

So, I’m going to cover them with water, bring them to a boil and let them simmer for about six to seven minutes. Alright, so once my potatoes came to a boil, I actually let them simmer for ten minutes because these are just a little bigger so you’re going to have to make sure that you keep an eye on the size of your potatoes but I want you to see what’s important, what’s important to see is that you see how the outside is getting cooked and it’s tender, you’re knife kinda goes in easily and it comes out easily but there’s still some texture in there, there’s still a little bit of resistance there which is important because if your potatoes are too soft, you’re not going to be able to do the next step which is grating them.

Now, you can mash, if you want to, you can cook them all the way and mash them with a potato masher, but you know how tater tots have a very specific texture? This is how you achieve it, you just take your potatoes which I’ve let cool for about, I don’t know fifteen, twenty minutes, they’re still pretty warm, and then you just take a large side of your box grater and you just grate them.

And this is what you are looking for, okay? So just go ahead and grate away. Alright, so this is what your potatoes look like at this point, yes it’s a weird texture, yes it’s not terribly appealing at this time, but do trust me, they’re going to be fantastic. The next step is crucial.

You’re going to take this mish mash of a mixture, I just do it in the same bowl and I have a clean bowl to the side, and you just want to squeeze like that, there’s nothing coming out which is great, but there could be some liquid in there, and if there is you need to squeeze that liquid out. Right now there’s nothing in there because I think when you let them cool for a while and you don’t leave them in the water for that long, then there’s less chance of a lot of water being in there, but you want to make sure you take that step just in case your potatoes are wet because you don’t want to end up with a really soft, sort of soggy mixture.

My potatoes are good to go, what I have here is some all purpose flour, granulated garlic and some dried parsley, those are going to be added along with a nice heavy pinch of salt, so I’m going to add that right to my potatoes, you don’t have to add any of the garlic or parsley, but I do think that it adds just a little something extra and then I just like to use my hands to just incorporate this into my potatoes.

Alright, so what I’m doing now is I’m just shaping my little tater tots and it’s so easy, the trick really is not to overwork them, so this is what I do, I take an amount, you know, some amount of the potato mixture and I put it in the palm of my hand and then using my fingers, on this hand I kind of just pull it like so, and if it doesn’t want to stick fully, that’s fine that just means more crispy areas, more deliciousness, I’ll show you again, take an amount, you don’t have to roll it because it will really stick anyway because the potatoes are shredded and not mashed so there’s going to be texture, but you want texture because when you go ahead and fry them, you want that traditional golden crispy coating on the outside and you’re going to achieve that by not mashing them, but grating them instead and not compacting them on the outside so much that they just lose any chance they get to get that crispy golden brown texture.

I’m going to continue to roll the rest, I’m also going to use my cast iron skillet with some vegetable oil to temperature, I want that to be nice and hot and then we’ll start frying. That’s it! I have some vegetable oil here, nice and hot over medium heat, I’m going to start adding my little tater tots here, you don’t want to overcrowd the pan because you don’t want the oil temperature to reduce, I have this over about I would say 370F or so, you just want the oil to be really nice and hot but not too hot that it cooks them instantly, you want these to be in here for about 5 minutes total.

And you’ll have to flip them halfway through, until they get really beautiful and golden brown in crispy all around and I’m going to drain them on a paper towel lined plate and I’ll show you what they look like when they’re done.

That is it, get yourself some tots! Just taking the last few out of my hot oil, that one just wants to fly away, look how gorgeous they look, you can see the really crispy ones, those have my name written all over them because I prefer them darker and crispier, but really they look gorgeous and you can see, that because we grated the potatoes, I don’t know if you can really see the texture which I think is really important when it comes to tater tots, but I’m going to go with the really crispy ones because that’s now mamma rolls. Yes, I’m pushing 30 but I’m going to dip them in ketchup. You do you boo! That’s just how I roll. That’s what I like.

Mmm. Very yummy, really great texture, a little bit of the garlic comes through which I love, and also I wanted to mention these freeze beautifully, when the recipe is on my website, which if you want to get this recipe, you know you can get it on

 I will leave a note under the recipe that explains how to freeze them and how to bake them from frozen, that way you will have homemade tater tots on hand whenever your heart desires.

Because I think that’s always great if you want to make a bigger batch than this to just fry them and stick them in the freezer and then you can just pop them in the oven and have them as a last minute snack whenever you have people pop over.

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