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Can You Microwave Frozen Tater Tots? A Tater Tot Crackdown


Can You Microwave Frozen Tater Tots

Frozen tater tots are one of the most popular snack foods in America. They are delicious, easy to cook, and relatively cheap.

With the increased popularity of frozen foods, it makes sense that we would develop a deep and abiding love for tater tots. But our love of these bite-sized bits of potato is not as strong as we might like.

They are challenging to cook in the microwave. Every time someone tries to cook frozen tater tots in their microwave, they end up with an undercooked, soggy mess that will never be edible.

 Keep reading if you want to know why it is so hard to cook frozen tater tots in the microwave.

Can You Microwave Frozen Tater Tots?

Yes, you can microwave frozen tater tots, but you shouldn’t.

Microwave tots are a delicious snack, but did you know they’re healthier and tastier if you don’t zap them? Bake them instead. They’ll be brown and crispy as opposed to the mushy mess you’ll get when you microwave them.

A Peek Into The Popular Frozen Tater Tots

The popularity of frozen tater tots has grown exponentially over the past several years, and they can be found in almost every grocery store freezer section. It’s a safe bet that you could even find a few bags of frozen tots in your pantry right now.

With a price tag under 2 dollars, they’re one of the most affordable snack food items you can buy from your local grocery store. For that reason, Americans have been microwaving them for over 50 years. 

Frozen tots were invented in 1953 by Nephi Grigg, and Ore-Ida started shipping them by 1961.

Tater tots are the best finger food out there. They’re easy to eat, seasoned in a million ways, and have the perfect ratio of crunchy outside to soft potato inside. 

But too often, we find ourselves microwaving frozen tater tots for a quick snack when there has to be a better way.

Microwaving your tots can cause the fat in the potato to leech out into the water, making it more difficult for your body to digest. Baking your tots will produce less water, leaving more vitamins and nutrients intact.

Tater tots are a popular side dish at home and in restaurants since they can be served with various meals, including breakfast foods.

 They are also a popular menu item at the concession stands in movie theaters, where they are sold individually or in packs of four or six.

In addition to being delicious and versatile, tater tots are famous because they are simple to make and easy to serve. 

They can be cooked using several cooking methods, including frying them in hot oil, cooking them in the microwave, heating them in the oven, or serving them chilled.

Why Do People Microwave Tater Tots Anyway?

Have you ever microwaved tater tots? It’s fun, right? Who doesn’t like the sound of sizzling tater tots, but what on earth are they doing in the microwave?

To make them crunchy and crispier

The reason why people microwave tater tots are because it makes them crispy. It’s an easy way to get a lot more crunch out of your potatoes. It results in a crispier texture that makes for a great snack or side dish. 

Many people have tried it and found that it works pretty well. 

When you microwave tater tots, it creates a crispy outside and a soft inside. The same thing happens when you deep fry them.

However, deep-frying creates a thin crispy crust that surrounds a very soft middle. It’s hard to achieve that thin crispy outer crust in a microwave.  

To achieve that perfect thin crust, you should bake the tater tot in the oven at 450 degrees for about 10 minutes.

Microwaving is for fresh tater tots only; frozen tater tots are another thing altogether!

It’s quick and fast

Microwaving is conveniently quick for those people on the go.

No access to ovens

Many college students microwave frozen tater tots because they have no access to the oven. Frozen tots are the lifeblood of every college student. 

They are the perfect accompaniment for chili, chili cheese dogs, or just eating out of the bag when you’re hungover. 

Is There A Better Way To Cook Frozen Tater Tots?

The best way to cook frozen tater tots depends on your personality and how much time you have. There are three ways to cook frozen tater tots: the toaster oven, a skillet, and the microwave.

Do you like your tater tots crispy? If so, then you should use a skillet or a toaster oven. It would be best to place them in the middle of the oven, and there will be no need for flipping. 

It will take about 20 minutes in the toaster oven and 35 minutes in the skillet. Make sure that you use tongs when touching the tater tots, or else you’ll get burned!

Reheating In The Oven

Have you ever cooked tater tots in the microwave only to have them burn on the outside and be uncooked on the inside? It’s not your fault. It is because of science.

 There is no way to make a frozen package of tater tots taste good without a thorough cooking process.

Most people don’t have time for that, though, which is why they want to reheat their tater tots in the microwave instead of reheating them in the oven.

Tater tots cooked in the oven have a nice crispy outside and a soft and fluffy inside. They taste better than microwaved ones.

Microwaved frozen tater tots are easy to make a quick meal, but sometimes you want them to be crispy. Reheating them in the oven can help you achieve this.

Things You’ll Need

  • frozen tater tots
  • Baking sheet or pan
  • Aluminum foil


  • Line the baking sheet with aluminum foil. 
  • Arrange your tater tots on the baking sheet. Make sure they are not touching each other. This will allow heat to circulate between the pieces while cooking.
  • Put the timer to 20 minutes, place your tots into a preheated oven (350ᵒ F) and wait for your tater tots to turn crispy and crunchier.
  • Serve hot with a chili side dish if you like.

Why Is It So Hard To Cook Frozen Tater Tots?

Frozen tater tots are a staple of American childhood, and they’re also one of the most challenging foods to cook. 

Anyone who has ever microwaved them knows that they don’t work very well. They either stick together or turn into a rubbery mess. 

Microwaves go too hot and crisp the outside while keeping the inside soft and cold, and boiling water make them cold and soggy.

If you’ve ever had tater tots that are too hard or too soggy, you know how nerve-wracking it can be to cook frozen tater tots.

The biggest issue is that frozen tater tots need to be cooked in a frying pan or grill, which means you have to flip them. However, they are notoriously hard to cook.

But why? There are many theories, including the fact that they are frozen solid, so not much heat can reach them in the oven. Some say it’s the oil in the packaging.

Reasons Not To Microwave Frozen Tater Tots:

Frozen tater tots are quick and easy to make, and they form the base of several dishes like Tater Tot Pizza or Tater Tot Hotdish. 

However, while we might think we’re adding convenience to our lives by microwaving frozen food, there are several reasons to avoid it.

They lose their flavor: Microwave tater tots lose their flavor because the instant you pop them in the microwave, they start to cook and release steam and moisture. This moisture is what gets trapped inside the tater tot to make it soggy and salty.

The best way to fix this is to let them cool off after heating them, or even better yet, use your oven instead.

Their crusts get soggy and soft: The microwave is a convenient method of reheating frozen foods, but it also has the potential to turn your tater tots into something resembling nuclear sludge.

The outside burns before the inside are cooked: Microwave ovens utilize the frequency of 2.4 gigahertz to cook food to heat food without causing any damage to the microwave quickly. 

The problem is; when you put frozen food in the microwave, it takes time for the center of that food to thaw, which causes the outside to cook faster than the inside. The result is burnt food.


Microwave or baked tater tots? You decide. We can’t argue with the convenience of microwaveable tater tots, but we do think they taste better when baked.

If you want to be sure your homemade version tastes just like the frozen kind, sprinkle them with a bit of salt and pepper and bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes.

Jacob Lindsey

Jacob is a home remodeling guru having worked over 15 years in construction in Reno, NV, mainly focused on home renovations. He likes taking ideas from his clients and making them a reality.

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