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How Long to Cook Frozen Tater Tots in an Air Fryer

Tater tots can be eaten at basically any time of the day. This is because they’re straightforward to make. But even as these little guys are so simple to cook, there can be some slight hiccups here and there when cooking them. If you’re looking for how to make perfection out of frozen tater tots, you’re definitely in the right place.

In this article, we’ll be walking you through the few easy steps to take when attempting to cook frozen tater tots in your air fryer. Ensure you pay enough attention to the cooking tips, guidelines, and instructions we have compiled for you below.

Tips for Cooking Frozen Tater Tots in Air Fryer

Don’t over-crowd your basket- this is the first basic step to take when cooking tater tots in an air fryer. Overcrowding the air fryer basket will prevent the hot air from circulating freely around the tater tots, which will cause them to not cook evenly. This doesn’t just apply to tater tots but every kind of food that goes into the air fryer.

If the tater tots you’re cooking are much, you can divide them into batches and cook the first batch before cooking the second. You can also cook your tater tots in a single layer; that is, your tater tots in the air fryer shouldn’t pile atop each other, but just laid in a single layer with little spaces between them.

When cooking a second batch, note that the air fryer has already been preheated by the first batch, so cook the second batch for a shorter duration.

Shake your basket- the more tater tots you have in your air fryer basket, the more you should shake the basket. If you’re in a hurry to cook them and you have your basket filled up halfway, shake it about twice or so when cooking. Shaking the air fryer basket allows the food to turn properly when cooking and ensures that all areas are evenly cooked.

Don’t place your air fryer close to the wall- this is generally because all air fryers come with a vent at the back, and this vent is where the hot air that has been circulating in the air fryer basket is released from. The heat from the vent could singe or completely burn your outlet cover. You don’t necessarily have to place the air fryer on your counter, but just far from the wall so it doesn’t cause any damage.

You can make a salad- remember that tater tots are just small fried potatoes, so you can make a simple salad using tomatoes and cucumbers to eat with it if you’re going for a more balanced diet.

Tater tots are pre-fried- although the process of using an air fryer isn’t frying your tater tots in oil, keep in mind that tater tots are just like French fries— they’ve already been fried when they come in the packaging. If you’re on a diet that doesn’t include fried foods, you should buy or make your baked tater tots instead.

You can use some oil- to add some flavoring to your tater tots, lightly spray the base of the air fryer with some high flash point oil in a spray bottle. You can use some grapeseed oil, avocado oil, or olive oil for this recipe.

You can use dippings- remember tater tots are more delicious when they’re eaten with dipping sauces like ketchup, mustard, cheese sauce, mayonnaise, BBQ sauce, or any other dipping sauce you have in your pantry. So be sure to include that when trying out your tater tots.

Rest your tater tots- when your tater tots are ready, take them out from the air fryer and leave them to rest for a while in the air fryer basket. This allows them to cool off a bit so they don’t burn your fingers or tongue.

Cooking Time for Frozen Tater Tots in Air Fryer

Below we have compiled the ideal timing guidelines for a suitable dish of tater tots using an air fryer.

Cooking Procedure Cooking Time
Cooking frozen tater tots in the air fryer at 400° F. 10 to 14 minutes
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Air-Fried Tater Tots (2 to 3 servings)

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  • 1 (28 to 32 ounce) packet of frozen tater tots
  • Spray bottle containing olive oil, avocado oil, or grapeseed oil
  • 3 tbsp of ketchup
  • ½ tsp of salt to taste (optional)


  1. Spray the base of your air fryer with your cooking oil and preheat to 400 degrees F.
  2. Place tater tots into the basket or middle rack in the air fryer oven.
  3. Cook for 7 minutes.
  4. Pull out the air fryer basket and shake the tater tots inside.
  5. Place the basket back into the air fryer and cook again for 7 minutes for maximum brownness and crispiness.
  6. After that time, pull out the air fryer basket again and check if the tater tots are thoroughly cooked with a fork or toothpick. They should be cooked fairly well enough.
  7. Pour 3 tablespoons of ketchup into a plate and serve alongside your tater tots. You can sprinkle half a teaspoon of salt and toss your tater tots around to make them more delicious.

Note that the number of tater tots inside your air fryer basket will determine the cooking time for the tater tots. Also, if you divided the tater tots into batches, repeat the same process above for all the batches you have.

This recipe for tater tots is sure to make yours turn out crisp and delicious, and it won’t even take you up to half an hour! It’s a very fast and simple snack to prepare, and you might find yourself falling in love with them in no time.

You can refrigerate your leftovers in an airtight container for about 3 to 4 days. If you want to warm up leftover tater tots, just repeat the same cooking process stated above, the oil being optional.

If you’re looking for more tips and guidelines on how to make you a professional with tater tots in an air fryer, feel free to check out this video recipe.

  • Author: Bobby