Homemade Tater Tots

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Homemade Tater Tots
  • Yield:Serves at least 4
  • Active time:30 minutes
  • Total time:40 minutes
  • Rated: 5.0
This recipe appears in:
The Food Lab: Homemade Tater Tots, Sweet Potater Tots, Twice Baked Potater Tots, And More!

To freeze the Tots, follow the recipe through step 3. In step 4, remove them from the fryer after 1 1/2 minutes and drain on a paper towel-lined plate. Transfer to a sheet tray or large plate in a single layer and place in freezer for at least 1 hour. Transfer the frozen tots to a zipper-lock freezer bag and store for up to 3 months.

Be careful not to overprocess potatoes or they will become sticky and gummy. If a few large chunks of potatoes remain, break them up with your fingers in the bowl.

For variations on the recipe, check out the slideshow in the original article.


  • 2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and cut into rough 1-inch chunks
  • 2 quarts peanut, vegetable, or canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablesoon cornstarch or potato starch
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  1. 1.

    Place potatoes in a bowl of cold water and agitate for 10 seconds. Transfer to fine mesh strainer and allow to drain for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, heat oil in large wok or Dutch oven over high heat to 350°F. Fry potatoes, stirring them with a wire spider until light golden brown and tender, about 4 minutes, adjusting flame to maintain oil temperature. Transfer to a paper towel-lined bowl and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to low.

  2. 2.

    Transfer 1/4 of the potatoes to the bowl of a food processor and pulse until broken down into rough 1/4 to 1/8th inch pieces, about eight 1-second pulses. Transfer to a mixing bowl and repeat with the remaining potatoes, working in three more batches.

  3. 3.

    Add salt, starch, sugar, black pepper to taste, and any flavorings if desired. Gently mix with your hands to combine. Shape into cylinders about 3/4-inch wide and 1-inch long.

  4. 4.

    Reheat oil to 350°F and add Tater Tots. Allow to fry for 1 minute, then gently agitate with a metal spider to separate them. Continue to cook, adjusting flame to maintain heat, until golden brown and crisp, about 4 minutes longer. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Season immediately with salt. Serve hot.

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