You’re standing in front of the freezer, staring at the container of tater tots. You’re really in the mood for some tater tots, but you don’t want to wait for them to cook in the oven. The microwave would be much faster, but you’re not sure if tater tots can be microwaved.
Can they? You don’t want to ruin a perfectly good batch of tater tots by microwaving them. And if so, how would you cook them in the microwave?
But maybe I can help. In this article, I’ll cover everything you need to know about microwaving tater tots, from whether or not you can microwave them, to the exact cooking times and methods.
So if you’re ready to learn how to microwave tater tots, let’s get started.
Can You Microwave Tater Tots?
The answer to this question is yes, you can microwave tater tots. This method is especially helpful if you’re short on time.
But there are a few things you need to know before you put them in the microwave.
First, it’s important to note that not all tater tots are created equal. Some brands are better suited for microwaving than others. For example, Ore-Ida Extra Crispy Tater Tots are designed to be cooked in the microwave, and they come with crisping paper that helps them get nice and crispy.
On the other hand, some tater tots, like those from Alexia Organic, are not meant to be cooked in the microwave. Their package says “do not microwave.” If you insist on microwaving them anyway, you’ll likely end up with soggy, mushy tater tots.
So if you’re not sure whether or not your tater tots can be microwaved, it’s always best to check the package before proceeding.
That said, there’s actually a way to crisp up tater tots in the microwave, even if they’re not designed for it. You can use a microwave crisper pan, which is a special pan with raised ridges that help circulate the heat and create a crispy exterior. I’ve tried this method before, and to my surprise, it works pretty well.
If you don’t have a microwave crisper pan, you can also try putting them under the broiler for a minute or two. Although this means you’ll have to heat up your oven, it’s still a faster method than cooking them in the oven from scratch.
Is It Safe to Microwave Tater Tots?
The next question you might be wondering is whether or not it’s safe to microwave tater tots. Yes, it is safe to microwave tater tots.
There are no health risks associated with microwaving tater tots. In fact, microwaving is a pretty safe cooking method overall. The only time you need to be concerned about microwaving food is when you use plastic containers or wraps, as these can release harmful chemicals into your food.
When plastic is microwaved, it can release harmful chemicals into your food. So if you’re going to microwave tater tots, be sure to use a glass or ceramic container.
Another safety tip is to arrange the tater tots in a single layer and flip them once or twice during cooking. This will help them cook evenly and prevent them from overcooking.
How Long to Microwave Tater Tots
The answer to this question depends on a few factors, such as the number of tater tots you’re cooking and the wattage of your microwave.
As a general rule, you’ll want to cook tater tots on high power for three and a half to four minutes. If you cook frozen tater tots, you’ll need to add three minutes to that time.
Avoid cooking a large batch of tater tots at once, as this can potentially result in uneven cooking. It’s best to cook them in batches of six to eight.
If you have a lower-wattage microwave, you’ll need to cook them for a minute or two longer. Conversely, if you have a higher wattage microwave, you can reduce the cooking time by a minute.
If you’re not sure how long to cook tater tots in your microwave, it’s always best to cook in 1-minute intervals until they’re done. This way, you can avoid overcooking them.
How to Cook Tater Tots in the Microwave
Now that you know how to microwave tater tots, let’s go over the steps for cooking them.
- Preheat your microwave crisper pan for three to four minutes. Check the manufacturer’s instructions for more specific guidance.
- Put the tater tots on the microwave crisper pan. Space them out so they’re not touching each other.
- Cook for three and a half to four minutes, flipping them once or twice halfway through. If you’re cooking frozen tater tots, add three minutes to the cooking time.
- Carefully remove the pan from the microwave and open one of the tater tots to check if it’s cooked through. If not, cook them for an additional minute or two.
- Let the tater tots cool for a minute or two before serving.
And that’s all there is to it! Using a microwave crisper pan is the best way to ensure that your tater tots come out crispy and delicious.
If you don’t have a microwave crisper pan, you can skip the preheating step and cook them directly on a microwave-safe plate. To crisp them up, put them under the broiler for a minute or two.
How to Store and Reheat Microwave Tater Tots
If you have leftovers, put them in an airtight container lined with paper towels and store them in the fridge for up to four days. Or you can also store them in the freezer for up to six months.
When you’re ready to reheat them, the oven is the first popular choice. Preheat it to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and bake the tater tots for eight to 20 minutes.
If you’re in a hurry, you can microwave them for three to four minutes. Once again, you need to use a microwave crisper pan otherwise they’ll come out soggy.
The third option is to reheat them in the air fryer. This method is faster than the oven and produces crispier results. Simply preheat the air fryer to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and cook the tater tots for three to four minutes.
5 Ways to Eat Tater Tots for Dinner
It’s no secret that tater tots are delicious. But did you know that they can also be the main dish of a meal? That’s right, with a little creativity, you can turn those tots into a delicious and satisfying dinner. Here are 5 ways to do just that.
1. Cheesy Bacon Tater Tot Pie: This savory pie is sure to please even the pickiest eaters. It’s packed with cheesy, bacon-y goodness, and the tots add the perfect amount of crunch. Plus, it’s easy to make ahead of time and reheat for a quick and delicious dinner.
2. Tater Tot Pizza: This unique twist on pizza is sure to be a hit with the whole family. The tots make for a crispy and sturdy crust, and they’re also great for soaking up all of that tasty pizza sauce. Add your favorite toppings and dinner is served!
3. Tater Tot Casserole: This hearty casserole is perfect for chilly nights. It’s packed with protein and veggies, and the tots add some much-needed comfort. Plus, it’s super easy to make and can be easily tailored to your family’s tastes.
4. Tot Sandwich: This sandwich might sound strange, but trust us, it’s amazing. The key is to get creative with your toppings – think beyond the usual suspects of ketchup and mustard. Consider adding things like avocado, bacon, or even BBQ sauce. And of course, don’t forget the tots! They’ll add some much-needed crunch to this sandwich masterpiece.
5. Totchos: What’s better than nachos? Totchos! This dish is perfect for game day or any other time you’re craving something hearty and comforting. Simply top your tater tots with all of your favorite nacho toppings – cheese, sour cream, salsa, etc. – and dig in!
So there you have it – everything you need to know about microwaving tater tots. Whether you’re cooking them from frozen or using leftovers, I’ve got you covered. And if that’s not enough, I’ve also included 5 delicious recipes for turning those tots into a satisfying and nutritious dinner. So what are you waiting for? Get cooking!