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No store bought frozen tator tots can compare with these Homemade Bacon-Ranch Tator Tots! Sure there is a little work involved but it’s worth it! They’re flavorful and super crispy! You won’t get that from the frozen kind.
These Homemade Bacon-Ranch Tator Tots are perfect for a special dinner. You can make them ahead of time which is always a plus. Once the tator tots are done, let them cool, then place in a freezer bag and freeze for up to 1 month. To reheat, place an oven rack in the middle position and heat your oven to 400 degrees. Place the tator tots on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until heated through, about 12 to 15 minutes.
Here are a few tips when making this recipe:
- If you have a few large pieces of potato that remain after processing, chop them coarsely by hand.
- To make handling the uncooked tots easier, use a wet knife blade and wet hands. This will help you shape the tots.
- When you drop the tots into the hot oil they may stick together. Be sure not to stir them until they have browned and set.
- You may end up with a few tots that have fried together. Once they are cool enough to handle, gently pull them apart.
Now you’ve gone through all the work of making homemade tator tots from scratch, and let me tell you these probably don’t really need any sort of condiments; but if you simply must have something like ketchup to dip these little nuggets of fried crispy-ness in, then be sure you choose a high quality ketchup like Sir Kensington’s ketchup. Sir Kensington’s ketchup was one of my surprises in my June Degustabox this month! Be sure to click my affiliate banner below to get your first Degustabox at 50% off!
Adapted by Mary from Cook’s Country
- 6-Quart Dutch Oven
- Food Processor
- Candy Thermometer or Fry Thermometer
- Wire Skimmer
- 1 cup water
- 2 ¼ teaspoons salt
- 2 ½ pounds russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 ½-inch pieces
- 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
- 1 ½ tablespoons all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 4 slices finely chopped cooked bacon
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon dried dill
- 1 quart peanut or vegetable oil
- Whisk water and salt together in a bowl until salt dissolves. Pulse the potatoes in a food processor with the salt water until coarsely ground, about 10 to 12 pulses; stirring occasionally. Drain mixture in a fine-mesh strainer, pressing potatoes with a rubber spatula until dry. (You’ll want to try to get at least 1 ½ cups of liquid out of the potatoes.) Discard liquid. Transfer potatoes to a bowl and microwave uncovered for about 8 to 10 minutes, stirring halfway through. You want the potatoes dry and sticky. Add cider vinegar and stir to combine.
- Stir flour, pepper, cooked bacon, onion powder, garlic powder and dried dill into the potatoes. Spread potato mixture on to a thin layer of aluminum foil to let cool for 10 minutes. Push potatoes to the center of the foil and place the foil in an 8-inch square baking dish, pushing the foil into the corners and up the sides of the baking dish; smoothing it so it’s flush with the baking dish. Leave excess foil on the edge to create handles. Press potato mixture in tightly and evenly. Freeze uncovered until firm, about 30 minutes.
- While the potatoes are in the freezer, adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat to 200 degrees. Set a wire rack over a rimmed baking sheet. Add oil to a Dutch oven until it measures about 3/4-inch deep. (I use a ruler that I only use for food to check to make sure I have the right amount of oil. Just dip the ruler in and check where the oil line meets on your ruler.) Heat oil over high heat until your thermometer reads 375 degrees. Using the foil handles, lift potatoes from the pan and cut into 48 pieces, 5 cuts in 1 direction and 7 in the other direction. Fry half of the potato tots until golden brown and crisp, about 5 to 7 minutes, stirring only after they are browned and set. Transfer potato tots using a wire skimmer to the prepared baking sheet and place in the oven to keep warm. Return the oil to 375 degrees and repeat this process with the remaining potatoes and serve.