How Long Does It Take To Fry Frozen Tater Tots In An Air Fryer (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 10-15 minutes

Tater tots are a well-known delicacy in the fast-food industry. They appear as fan favorites on the list of appetizers and starters around the world. Grated potatoes are rolled in the shape of a ball or cylinder to make tater tots. In fact, the word ‘tater’ itself translates to potatoes.

Several frozen food companies sell pre-packaged, frozen bags of tater tots that can be thawed and fried at the leisure of an individual. Usually, tater tots are deep-fried in oil to give them the coveted crisp taste. However, with the onset of a healthier culinary regime, this practice has been replaced by the method of using an air fryer to cook them.

How Long Does It Take To Fry Frozen Tater tots In An Air Fryer

How Long Will It Take To Fry Tater Tots

Tater Tots cook faster when fried using an electronic air fryer. This makes them easy snack options. However. the temperature of such an air fryer, the total number of tots to be fried, and the individual preference for the desired texture of the cooked tots will all be important in determining their composite time frame of cooking.

Usually, tater tots are cooked at a high temperature when using an air fryer. A temperature of at least 400 degrees F is preferred. If you like your tater tots mildly crispy when completely cooked, then the time taken to fry them using an air fryer will be marginally less. Tater tots befitting such a preference will be cooked within 10 minutes.

However, there are many who like to eat a crispier version of the tater tot. They prefer that extra crunch to their tots. This necessitates a longer cooking time when using an air fryer. Usually, tater tots that satisfy such preferences can be cooked within a window of 15 minutes. The tots have to be tossed once halfway through the cooking time.

One must also remember to regulate the number of tater tots placed in each cooking batch. Congestion in the fryer may cause delays. Placing too many tater tots in a single batch will result in an extension in the time needed to cook them. Moreover, there remains a very real possibility that the tots will remain undercooked due to overcrowding. A balanced approach is always better when trying to achieve optimal results.  

In Summary:

Crisp PreferencePreparation Time
Mildly Crispy Tots10 minutes
Extra Crispy Tots15 minutes

Why Does It Take So Long To Fry Frozen Tater Tots In The Air Fryer?

The time needed to fry frozen tater tots is longer when using a conventional gas oven or a deep fryer. Air fryers help to considerably truncate this time frame. Cooking tater tots in a conventional oven will add excess time to the bare minimum duration needed to prepare them. Ovens need to be pre-heated before one can begin cooking the tater tots. However, when using an air fryer, this pre-heating step can be skipped.

Moreover, air fryers cook the food placed inside them with the help of a dehydration technique. The heated air inside an air fryer helps cook the food much faster. The high temperature and pressure environment created in an air fryer is essential in maintaining this time frame. This facilitates the rapid preparation of tater tots.

Singularly layering the tater tots in the air fryer helps them cook evenly within a shorter span of time. One must remember to spray the insides of the fryer with a non-stick spray before commencing the cooking process. This helps in achieving the desired crispiness in a tater tot.

Using an air fryer is not only a more economical and faster option, but it is also a healthier alternative to the traditional method of deep frying the tater tots. Air frying them practically eliminates the need for excess oil by preventing them from soaking the fat. Moreover, in an air fryer, tater tots can be cooked directly when frozen. One need not wait for them to thaw before turning on the air fryer. This also helps reduce the preparation time.


Tater tots are famed for their heavenly taste and easy preparation method. These appetizers can be made healthier by eliminating the need to deep fry them. By using electronic air fryers, tater tots can be prepared in a much more efficient and healthy manner.

The time taken to prepare a batch of tater tots in an air fryer is almost negligible. By investing in a good air fryer and following the details of preparing this dish in the fryer, one can easily master the art of cooking tots well within a matter of 15 minutes. If your preference lies with the milder versions of the tot then the preparation time will be as brief as 10 minutes.


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