There is nothing more disappointing than coming home from work and realizing that your Tater Tots were not as fresh as you thought they would be.
Whether it’s because of the quality of the product or just a lack of time, there are few things worse than reaching for those leftover tater tots in the back of your fridge and discovering that they’re cold – or worse, stale.
But don’t worry.
There are plenty of ways to reheat your tater tots. Read on to find out.
What are Tater Tots?
Tater Tots is the name for an American snack food that consists mainly of potatoes, high-fat frying oil, and salt.
Tater tots are generally about three inches in length (or less) and one inch wide, but they can be larger or smaller depending on the brand.
They often have a yellow color from being cooked with high-fat frying oil \(usually lard).
Ore Ida Mills first made Tater Tots in 1953, where they marketed them as “potato croquettes”.
When frozen food became popular after World War II, these fried snacks soon appeared under various names at grocery stores across America.
Today there are different tater tots available such as BBQ flavor and Cheddar cheese flavor, that are sold side-by-side at many supermarkets.
Can You Eat Leftover Tater Tots?
Do you have any leftover tater tots? If so, you must eat them within a few hours of being served.
The longer the dish sits out on your plate or in the fridge, bacteria will grow and turn those crispy fried potatoes into something less than appetizing.
The next time you’re eating a tater tot and can’t finish, think twice before throwing it in the trash.
It might not be as bad for your waistline as that leftover cheesecake from last night’s office party.
So the answer is yes, you can eat leftover tater tots. But only if they are consumed within a few hours of being served.
If they are left out longer, store them properly in the fridge and eat them within a few days.
How to Store Cooked or Leftover Tater Tots?
Tater Tots are a popular side dish at barbecues and parties, but what do you do with all the leftovers? You can refrigerate cooked tater tots for up to a week and reheat them when you’re ready.
The best way to store leftover tater tots is in an airtight container lined with paper towels or parchment so they don’t get soggy before your next meal.
To refrigerate: Store cooked tater tot leftovers in the refrigerator until it’s time for your next meal (up to one whole week).
When ready for reheating, heat on high-medium power in the microwave until heated through – approximately three minutes per large batch of these tasty deep-fried potatoes should do the trick.
To freeze: If you don’t plan on eating all of the tater tots at once, it’s a good idea to freeze them.
Place cooked or leftover potatoes in an airtight container lined with paper towels and placed inside another container filled with water (leave enough room for expansion).
Seal tight, then label accordingly. It’s best to also store your tater tots in the fridge, not the pantry.
This is because, at lower temperatures, bacteria will grow more slowly, which means they last longer.
Freezing can also help extend their freshness a bit and can even be thought of as another storage option.
How to Tell if Tater Tots are Bad?
Tater tots are one of the most popular fried foods in America, but it can be challenging to know when they should be thrown out.
The absolute best way is to monitor their smell.
If the tater tots develop a sour, musty, or otherwise unpleasant odor, it is time to throw them out and start fresh with new ones.
Another good way to tell if your taters are bad is by looking at the color.
If they have turned dark brown, some bacteria are likely in them, and you should not eat them.
If either of these methods doesn’t work for you, or if you want a more accurate answer, take one out and slice it into it with a knife.
Healthy tater tots will cut cleanly, while bad ones will be mushy inside.
Feel free to toss tater tots if they’ve been out for a long time, and the smell indicates that they’re bad.
How to Reheat Tater Tots in an Oven?
Tater Tots are a delicious and versatile side dish.
They can be served as an appetizer, in place of fries with burgers or sandwiches, tossed into soups for extra flavor – the list is endless.
But how do you reheat tater tots? Here are the steps for reheating Tater Tots in the oven:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Place a baking sheet with aluminum foil on it inside your oven, and place your tater tots onto the tray.
- Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown on top. You can also turn them over halfway through cooking if you prefer one side more than another.
- Enjoy as-is or dress up with gravy, ketchup, sour cream, etc.
How to Reheat Tater Tots in a Microwave?
Leftover tater tots should not be reheated by microwave because it will cause them to become soggy and rubbery.
However, if you want to reheat them in the microwave, be mindful of these steps.
• Cover with a damp paper towel and cover with plastic wrap or place into a microwavable container.
• Microwave for 45 seconds on high power if they are still cold or 30 seconds if they are already warm.
If you find that the tater tots start to brown at any point during cooking, stop heating and turn off your oven (it’s important not to let it overcook).
• Remove the tater tots from the oven with a pair of tongs and let them cool for about five minutes.
If you reheated cold tater tots, be sure not to leave them in too long, or they will become dry.
How to Reheat Tater Tots on a Stovetop?
Although we’ve all had Tater Tot cravings before, it’s not always easy to figure out how to reheat them.
Luckily there are many ways you can do so on your stovetop without using an oven or microwave.
Here are steps to reheat Tater Tots on a stovetop:
• Heat your pan and add vegetable oil. You can also use olive oil if you like the taste better.
• Add frozen tater tots, salt, oregano (optional), pepper, garlic powder, cumin (optional), and onions.
• Cook for about 15 minutes or until crispy browned edges forms around the outside of each tot.
• Remove from heat and serve with ketchup for dipping in sauce or eat as is.
A healthy alternative would be adding some nonfat Greek yogurt instead of sour cream.
How to Reheat Tater Tots in an Air Fryer?
Air fryers are perfect for reheating leftover tater tots.
After all, they’re made with potatoes and vegetables, perfect ingredients for any comfort food.
While you can’t microwave these little nuggets of goodness without risking a soggy mess, an air fryer makes it easy to heat them without any risk of getting mushy inside.
Follow these steps to reheat tater tot in an air fryer:
• Place the tater tots in the air fryer basket and set them on a high setting, 360° Fahrenheit.
• Cook them for about 12 minutes until they are warmed through.
• Keep checking to avoid overcooking.
• When they’re finished cooking, use the basket to shake off any excess oil.
• Serve hot with your favorite toppings.
Tater tots are a delicious side dish, but they can be tricky to reheat.
To create a tater tots dish that is not only delicious but also healthy, here are four ways you can warm up your tater tots.
Do any of these sounds like they’d work well for you?