I’ve been dreaming about potatoes lately, and eating as many as I’ve dreamed about! It’s been as fun making them as it has eating them. Now, I personally am not a fan of tots, but making them seemed like a fun experiment – and it was! These Homemade Tater Tots are way easier to throw together than I expected them to be, and my family loved them! I hope you do, too. Oh! If you missed my Battered Steak Fries recipe, go back and try them!
Homemade Tater Tots Ingredients
Feel free to jump to the full recipe, but here are useful notes about the ingredients you will need to make this Homemade Tater Tots recipe:
- Russet potatoes, potato starch: The main components of our Homemade Tater Tots. I had potato starch on hand and opted to use that instead of cornstarch, but either will work. I went with russet because they are fluffiest when cooked, but I’m; sure any potato will work.
- Unsalted butter, vegetable oil: For par-cooking the shredded potatoes. You could also parboil the potatoes before or after shredding them,
- Kosher salt, seasoned salt, granulated garlic, onion powder, black pepper: Feel free to swap out any seasonings as you see fit, these are YOUR Homemade Tater Tots.
How to Make Homemade Tater Tots
Full instructions are included in the recipe below, but here is a basic overview of what you’ll need to do, along with some important tidbits to help you make the most of this Homemade Tater Tots recipe:
- Prepare your Potatoes. Peel your potatoes and dig out any eyes. Use your food processor and shredding disc, or the large holed size of a box cheese grater to grate the potatoes into hashbrown form. Add the potato shreds to a large bowl and cover with water. Let them soak for 10 minutes, then drain. Fill the bowl again, swish the potatoes around, and immediately drain them. Repeat this until the water runs clear. Grab another bowl. Transfer half of the potatoes to a large piece of cheesecloth and gather it up around them. Use your hands to wring out all the excess moisture, the same way you would a wet towel, working from the top of the potatoes to the bottom. Once the moisture is removed, drop them into the new bowl. Repeat this step with the other half of potatoes – you can also wring them out in fourths or thirds if that’s easier.
- Par-cook the Shreds! Place a large skillet over medium-high heat and allow it to preheat for 1 minute. Add the butter and vegetable oil to the skillet. Once the butter has melted, add the potatoes to the skillet. Season with kosher salt, then stir and toss the potatoes to get them coated in the butter and oil mixture. Spread the potatoes out into one single layer and reduce the heat to medium. Cover with a lid and allow to cook for 3 minutes. Remove the lid – you should be hit with the smell of cooked potatoes. If not, put the lid back on for another 2 minutes, then try again. Once the potatoes have steamed and softened a bit, turn off the heat. Toss and stir the potatoes – it’s OK if some of them have browned – then transfer them back to the dry bowl.
- Make the Homemade Tater Tots. Add all the granulated garlic, onion powder, and black pepper to the potatoes, along with about half of the potato starch. Use a fork to stir the potatoes, working the seasonings and starch into the shreds. After everything is combined, add the rest of the potato starch and continue mixing until no dry spots of starch remain. If you can’t seem to get rid of all the starch, add 1/4 tsp of oil to the potatoes. Pick up a clump and squeeze it together. Does it stick in that shape? Good. If not, add, a little more oil and starch, just until it does.
- Shape the Homemade Tater Tots! Line a small baking sheet with parchment paper. Working with about one teaspoon of potato at a time, use your palm to squeeze the potato into a big blob. Using your fingers, or by rolling it on the counter or between the palms of your hands, shape the blob into a cylindrical shape. Once you have a little tube, use your fingers or the countertop to press the ends flat, maintaining the shape by holding them in as you go. Place on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat until you’ve used up all the potato. I generally have around two dozen tots, but it can vary. Transfer the baking sheet of tots to the freezer and allow to chill for 30 minutes.
- Fry Up The Homemade Tater Tots! When ready to fry, heat your oil to 350°F in a deep vessel. Add just enough tots to the oil to fill the pan, but not crowd it. Allow them to fry for 7 minutes, tossing intermittently, until golden brown. Drain on a wire rack, and repeat until all the tots are fried. Transfer them to a large bowl and sprinkle over the seasoned salt. Toss to coat them evenly in the seasoning. Dassit!