I know that when you think of an “air fryer” you probably don’t think it’s something you absolutely need in your kitchen, and I get it. I didn’t either! But let me tell you, when I tried this thing to make tater tots, I could not have been more impressed with both the process and the result.
Basically, an air fryer circulates hot air around the food to create a crispy layer without any oil at all. It’s a foodie’s dream, especially one whose a bit more health-conscious, because it means being able to make things like fried chicken, french fries, and even tempura without the added fat or danger of a traditional fryer (yep, extremely hot oil is a huge safety hazard).
It couldn’t be easier to use, too - you set it to whichever temperature you need (there’s a visual guide right on the front) and the timer for as long as you want. For optimal results, I’d recommend setting the timer for half of what the recipe calls for so that you’re reminded to take the basket out and shake your food around for optimal crispiness on all sides. It’s also incredibly easy to clean since no oil means minimal mess. I did admittedly use half a tablespoon of olive oil to coat my tater tots, but you totally don’t have to. I was kind of just experimenting and next time will try them without! If you do decide to add a touch of oil for whatever reason, just make sure to toss your food in the oil in a separate bowl before putting it in the fryer basket.
For my tater tots, which I highly recommend making for National Tater Tot Day on February 2nd, I simply picked up some frozen tater tots from the freezer aisle at the grocery store. To transform them into crunchy goodness, I put a few servings in a bowl and tossed them with the olive oil, poured them into the basket and let the air fryer do it’s thing. About 20 minutes later, I had the crispiest tots I’ve ever on a plate with my homemade spicy mustard greek yogurt dip. It was awesome. If you’re not a fan of the store-bought tater tots, this recipe and this recipe are both great homemade options.
For the greek yogurt dip, simply take ¼ cup of plain greek yogurt, add 2 tablespoons of your favorite mustard, a couple dashes of sriracha, and a pinch or two of sea salt. Stir until combined. Dip your warm tater tots in the cool dip for a sure-fire party in your mouth and enjoy!
Jordan Drankoski is the one woman star of the foodie blog Dancing for Donuts. She's a regular guest writer on ToBox serving up inspiration and recipes for the mind and soul. She loves spending time in the kitchen creating new recipes, hiking, trying new restaurants and visiting new places.