How to Make Crispy Tater Tots in The Microwave

We’ve all been there: an intense craving for tater tots hits, and all we have is a microwave and a bag of frozen gems. You follow the instructions on the bag, listening to the microwave’s humming and excitedly awaiting your snack.

Yet, the result is often far from satisfying – soggy rather than crispy tater tots. But what if we told you there’s a way to achieve crispy, golden tater tots right in your microwave?

Yes, you heard it right. This tutorial on ‘how to make crispy tater tots in the microwave’ is the perfect solution. It pairs the convenience of a microwave with the satisfaction of a perfect snack.

We’ll walk you through the key techniques and tips to transform your microwave into a tater tots crisping machine, ensuring you never have to deal with disappointingly soggy tots again!

How to Make Crispy Tater Tots in The Microwave

Understanding Tater Tots

Anatomy of a Tot

Tater Tots, those bite-sized blobs of grated potatoes that we all adore, have a simple yet effective construction. They mainly consist of grated potatoes, flour, and seasoning. The crispness factor highly depends on how the ingredients are compacted together and the amount of moisture within the tot. Lowering the moisture content while ensuring an even distribution of the constituents is key to achieving that desirable crunch.

Frozen vs. Fresh

There’s a noticeable difference in cooking methods and outcomes when using frozen versus fresh tater tots. Frozen tots often require more cooking time and are pre-seasoned, whereas new tots offer the opportunity to customize flavors and achieve optimal crispness with proper preparation. However, both types can yield satisfactory results when appropriately cooked.

Microwave Science 101

Microwave ovens operate on a simple principle: they emit waves of energy that are absorbed by water, fats, and sugars. When these waves are interested, they produce heat, effectively cooking the food from the inside out. Consequently, microwaving tends to retain more moisture, which might be a hurdle in achieving the crispiest tater tots. However, with the right tricks, like preheating the microwave-safe plate, even this obstacle can be surmounted.

Can You Make Crispy Tater Tots in The Microwave?

For lovers of frozen foods, tater tots are one of the most delicious options on the market. But if you’re in a hurry or don’t have an oven at your disposal, it’s hard not to ask yourself one question: can you make crispy tater tots in the microwave? The answer is yes, you absolutely can! While it may seem counterintuitive, with a few simple techniques and a touch of experimentation, you can achieve beautifully crispy tater tots with nothing more than a microwave.

Whether you’re in a dorm room, office break room, or simply craving the convenience of a quick snack, microwave tater tots are a surprisingly viable option for anyone looking to indulge in this crispy, delicious treat.

Why Should You Make Crispy Tater Tots in The Microwave?

Crispy tater tots can be a delicious snack or side dish that is easy to make in the microwave. While traditional tater tots are usually fried, the microwave offers a healthier and more convenient option. Making tater tots in the microwave takes only a few minutes, and with the right technique, the result is savory and crispy.

Not only is the microwave method faster and less messy than frying, but it also allows for greater control over the level of crispiness. Plus, microwaving your tater tots means you can enjoy them whenever you want without having to wait for the oil to heat up on the stove. So next time you’re craving a salty, satisfying snack, consider making crispy tater tots in the microwave.

Prepping for Perfection

The secret to achieving perfect crispy tater tots in the microwave lies in the preparation.

Essential Equipment:

First, gather the right tools. You will need a microwave-safe plate, an oil spritzer, and a microwave. A grill pan or a silicone mat is optional but can help evenly distribute heat and prevent the tots from sticking to the plate.

Thawing Techniques:

The question of whether to thaw your tots before microwaving depends on your personal preference. Some may enjoy the crispier exterior with a slightly colder center, while others may prefer a thoroughly cooked tot. If you opt for thawing, use the defrost function on your microwave or let it reach room temperature naturally.

Seasoning Savvy:

Seasoning your tater tots can dramatically elevate their flavor. Classic seasonings include salt, pepper, and garlic powder. For those with an adventurous palate, try combinations like cayenne pepper and lime zest for a spicy citrus kick or smoked paprika and onion powder for a savory, smoky twist.

How to Make Crispy Tater Tots in The Microwave: A Guide to Perfect Golden Brown Goodness

1. Prep Your Tater Tots

Before we get started, there are a few steps you can take to prep your tater tots for optimal crispiness. First and foremost, make sure they’re not frozen. Frozen tater tots may seem like a shortcut, but they’re already coated in ice, which can lead to excess moisture when microwaved. Instead, allow them to thaw in the fridge for a few hours before cooking.

Prep Your Tater Tots for Optimal Crispiness

Alternatively, you can soak them in hot water for 10-15 minutes to speed up the process. Once thawed, pat your tater tots dry with a paper towel to remove any excess moisture. This will ensure a crispy exterior.

2. Use the Right Container

Microwaving tater tots in the wrong container can lead to uneven cooking and a lack of crispiness. Make sure to use a microwave-safe plate or dish. You can even use a microwave-safe wire rack, which elevates the tater tots and allows for air circulation. Avoid using paper towels or napkins as they can stick to the tater tots and rob them of their crispiness.

3. Don’t Overcrowd the Plate

Another common mistake is overcrowding the plate. If too many tater tots are on the plate, they’ll steam and become soggy instead of crispy. Leave enough space between each tot so they can cook evenly and crisp up nicely. If you have a lot of tater tots to cook, consider microwaving them in batches. It may take a bit longer, but the result will be well worth it.

4. Cook in Short Intervals and Flip Them Halfway Through

Microwaving tater tots in one long interval can lead to uneven cooking. Instead, cook them in short intervals, such as 30 seconds to 1 minute at a time. After each interval, flip them over to ensure they cook evenly on both sides. This will prevent soggy spots and lead to an evenly crispy exterior.

5. Finish in The Oven

While the microwave is great for quickly heating up tater tots, the oven is key to achieving true crispiness. Once your tater tots are cooked in the microwave, transfer them to a baking sheet and finish them off in the oven set to 400°F. Bake for 5-10 minutes or until they’re golden brown and crispy. This extra step may take a bit of time, but trust me, it’s worth it.

Microwave is Great for Quickly Heating Up Tater Tots

6. Choose the Right Toppings

Once your tater tots are crispy, it’s time for the fun part: picking out your toppings! You can top them with anything from melted cheese to bacon bits. For a healthier option, consider adding some chopped vegetables or herbs. The possibilities are endless! Just make sure to choose toppings that won’t make your tater tots soggy.

7. Enjoy!

The key to perfectly crispy tater tots is following the right steps, from prep to finish. With just a few simple tips and tricks, you can enjoy delicious, homemade, crispy tater tots in no time! So grab some tater tots, get creative with your toppings, and enjoy. Let the crispiness commence!

That’s it! You’ve now learned how to make crispy tater tots in the microwave. Get ready for a delicious, guilt-free snack that you can whip up in no time! So what are you waiting for? Grab some tater tots and get cooking!

5 Things You Need to Know Before Making Crispy Tater Tots in The Microwave

1. You Need to Use a Microwave-Safe Dish.

Tater tots are best cooked in the oven, but if you’re in a pinch, you can cook them in the microwave. Just make sure to use a microwave-safe dish, such as a glass baking dish or a ceramic plate.

2. You Need to Preheat the Tater Tots.

Before cooking the tater tots, you’ll need to preheat them. To do this, place them on a plate and microwave them for about 60 seconds. This will help to ensure that they cook evenly.

3. You Need to Cook the Tater Tots on High Power.

When cooking tater tots in the microwave, you’ll need to cook them on high power. This will help to ensure that they cook through evenly and become nice and crispy on the outside.

4. You Need to Flip the Tater Tots Halfway Through Cooking.

Flipping the tater tots halfway through cooking will help them to cook evenly and become crispy on both sides. To do this, simply take the plate out of the microwave after each interval and turn over the tater tots.

Flipping the Tater Tots Halfway Through Cooking

5. You Need to Let the Tater Tots Cool Before Serving.

Once they’re done cooking, let the tater tots cool for a few minutes before serving. This will help to ensure that they’re not too hot when you bite into them.

Beyond the Basics: Elevating Your Tater Tot Game

Oil Alchemy: The Impact of Different Cooking Oils

The choice of cooking oil can have a major impact on your tater tots, affecting not only their taste but also their texture and crispness. Avocado oil, with its high smoke point and mild flavor, is excellent for achieving a crispy exterior. Canola oil, another high smoke point option, is also a fantastic choice for ensuring a golden-brown and crispy finish. Olive oil, while having a lower smoke point, imparts a rich, unique flavor that can make your tater tots stand out. Remember, the key is to lightly coat your tots with oil before cooking to ensure crispiness.

Crispy Coating Hacks: Extra Crunch Time

If you’re looking to take the crunch factor to the next level, there are several hacks you can use. A thin coating of breadcrumbs or panko can create an additional layer of crispiness. For an extra savory crunch, consider grating some parmesan cheese over the tots before baking them. These additions adhere to the oil and bake to a beautiful golden brown, providing an extra layer of texture and flavor.

Flavor Fusion Fun: Creative Toppings and Dips

Unleash your culinary creativity by experimenting with various toppings and dipping sauces. Drizzle some hot sauce over your tots for a spicy kick, or dip them in a ranch for a tangy contrast. If you’re feeling fancy, why not serve them with guacamole for a cool, creamy complement? From barbecue sauce to sour cream and chive, the possibilities are endless. The key is to choose flavors that complement the potato and your chosen seasonings.

Leftover Love: Storing and Reheating Tots

No need to worry about soggy leftover tater tots. Store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator to maintain their freshness. When you’re ready to enjoy them again, resist the temptation to use the microwave. Instead, reheat your tots in the oven or a toaster oven at 400°F for 10-15 minutes. This method will revive their crispiness and ensure they’re heated through. Enjoying leftover tater tots has never been this easy or delicious!

These unique tips and tricks are sure to elevate your tater tot game, bringing restaurant-quality tots into the comfort of your own home. Embark on your culinary adventure and let the taste-testing fun begin!

Creative Tater Tot Twists

Mini Appetizers

Tater tots lend themselves beautifully to being the base for appetizers. Transform your tots into mini pizzas by adding a dollop of marinara sauce, a sprinkle of mozzarella, and your favorite pizza toppings before popping them back into the oven until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Or create nacho-style tots by topping them with melted cheese, jalapenos, and a spoonful of salsa, guacamole, and sour cream. For a hearty option, consider making loaded-tot boats. Hollow out the middle of the tots and fill them with ingredients such as bacon bits, cheese, and chives, then heat until the cheese is perfectly gooey.

Breakfast Bonanza

Tater tots can also take center stage in your breakfast dishes. Try adding them to breakfast burritos for a crunchy twist, or use them to create a layered hash brown dish topped with poached eggs and Hollandaise sauce for a homemade eggs Benedict. For a unique take on waffles, press tater tots into your waffle iron and cook until crispy. Serve with a side of bacon and a drizzle of maple syrup for a sweet and savory treat.

Dinnertime Delights

Tater tots aren’t just for appetizers and breakfast; they can also be the star of your dinner. A tater to mac and cheese offers a delicious twist on the classic dish, with the tots adding a crunchy topping to the creamy pasta. Shepherd’s pie with a tater tot topping is another comfort food favorite, using the tots as a delectable crust. For a fun and creative dish, make stuffed tater tots by hollowing them out and filling them with cooked ground meat and vegetables, then bake until heated through.

Global Goodies

Tater tots can even be given an international twist. For an Indian flavor, consider making samosas with a tater tot filling, mixing the tots with traditional spices before stuffing them into the pastry. If you enjoy Korean cuisine, replace the traditional rice cakes in tteokbokki with crispy tater tots, absorbing the deliciously spicy sauce.

The versatility of tater tots makes them a great ingredient in a variety of dishes, from appetizers to main courses. By getting creative, you can transform this simple potato product into a culinary delight that will impress your family and friends.

Benefits of Making Crispy Tater Tots in The Microwave

When it comes to whipping up a quick and easy snack at home, few things are more satisfying than a plate of crispy tater tots. And while many of us immediately reach for the oven to achieve that perfect golden crunch, the humble microwave is a surprisingly effective way to cook these delicious potato bites. Not only does microwaving tater tots save time and reduce the amount of prep work involved, but it also offers a few specific benefits that you might not have considered.

For starters, using the microwave means you’ll use less oil overall, which can be a great way to cut calories and make your snacks a little healthier. Plus, the controlled environment of the microwave makes it easier to get consistently crispy tots without having to worry about hot spots or uneven cooking. So next time you’re in the mood for a snack, give the microwave a chance and see just how delicious and easy crispy tater tots can be!

Some Common Mistakes People Make When Trying to Make Crispy Tater Tots in The Microwave

Tater tots are a beloved side dish that can be a quick and easy addition to any meal. And let’s be honest, microwaving them seems like the perfect quick fix for satisfying those crispy cravings. However, while some people might find success in microwaving tater tots, others might end up with a soggy and disappointing result.

One mistake to avoid is overcrowding the plate, which can lead to uneven cooking and mushy tater tots. Another pitfall is not preheating the microwave, which can lengthen the cooking time. By taking a few extra steps and avoiding these common mistakes, you can have perfectly crispy tater tots that will make your taste buds dance with joy.

Another Pitfall is Not Preheating the Microwave

How Long Should I Cook Tater Tots in The Microwave?

Are you in a rush but craving some crispy tater tots? No problem! Cooking tater tots in the microwave is a quick and easy solution. But how long should they cook for? The answer is dependent on the wattage of your microwave. For a 1000-watt microwave, cook for 3-4 minutes. For a 700-watt microwave, it may take 5-6 minutes. Don’t forget to give them a shake halfway through cooking for even crispiness. With this simple trick, you can have a delicious and satisfying snack in no time!


In conclusion, making crispy tater tots in the microwave is not only possible – it’s easy! You can achieve golden brown perfection in no time with a few simple steps. Remember to thaw thoroughly, and pat dry your tater tots, use the right container, don’t overcrowd the plate, cook in short intervals, flip them halfway through, and finish in the oven.

The result will be crispy tater tots that are every bit as delicious as those cooked in a deep fryer – but without the extra calories. Thanks for reading our post about how to make crispy tater tots in the microwave.

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