As we all know, tater tots or potato gems are a widely loved snack all over the world. They make for a great appetizer or quick bite when you’re on the go. However, when it comes to cooking them, one question that often arises is if they should be cooked on parchment paper. In this article, we’ll analyze the benefits and drawbacks of cooking tater tots on parchment paper.
What Are Tater Tots?
Tater tots were invented in 1953 by F. Nephi Grigg and Golden Grigg from Oregon, USA. They created these tiny cylindrical shaped pieces of grated potatoes as a way to use up leftover scraps. They became increasingly popular among school cafeterias in America and eventually gained worldwide popularity.
Benefits and Drawbacks of Baking with Parchment Paper
Cooking with parchment paper has several benefits that make it a popular choice for many home cooks:
- Non-stick surface – Parchment paper acts as a non-stick surface preventing food from sticking to the pan.
- Easy cleanup – The non-stick quality of the paper makes cleanup quick and easy.
- Reduces oil usage – When baking with parchment paper there is no need to use extra oil or cooking spray.
Along with the benefits, there are several drawbacks that come with baking on parchment paper:
- Higher chances of burning – Parchment paper heats up quickly causing food to cook faster and sometimes burn easily.
- Not oven-safe at high temperatures – Some types of parchment papers aren’t safe to use at high temperatures making it unsuitable for certain recipes.
- Curling and wrinkling – The heat from inside an oven can cause parchment paper to curl even before your food is finished cooking.
Using Parchment Paper to Bake Tater Tots: Pros and Cons
Using parchment paper to cook tater tots reduces the chances of them sticking to the baking tray, making it easier to remove and resulting in less mess.
However, some disadvantages come with this method of cooking. If you’re looking for a more crispy baked tater tots experience, parchment paper may not be the best option as it can cause uneven browning. Also, using parchment paper at temperatures higher than 425°F carries an increased risk of fire.
Alternative Ways to Cook Tater Tots Without Parchment Paper
Frying is a popular way to enjoy tater tots. To do so:
- In a skillet over medium-high heat preheat oil. Use just enough oil that covers the bottom of your skillet.
- Once the oil is hot, add in the tater tots in small batches.
- Fry them until they become golden brown and crispy.
- Place them on a paper towel and sprinkle some salt or any seasoning of your choice
- Serve hot with ketchup or other dips.
Grilling is another great option for cooking tater tots outdoors:
- Preheat your grill for a few minutes on high heat.
- Put the frozen tater tots directly onto the grill grates or use a foil pan specially designed for grilling food.
3.Flip them every two to three minutes until they are golden brown and crispy all around.
4.Remove from heat when ready and serve hot.
Baking without Parchment Paper
Alternatively, if you prefer to bake without parchment paper, follow these steps:
1.Preheat oven to 425°F
2.Line an ungreased baking sheet with aluminum foil
3.Arrange frozen tater tots on one layer on top of aluminum foil.
4.Bake for about 15-20 minutes or until crisp and golden brown
5.Remove from oven and sprinkle some salt or any seasoning of your choice.
6.Serve hot with ketchup or other dips.
Tips for Using Parchment Paper When Cooking Other Foods
Here are three tips to keep in mind when using parchment paper for cooking:
- Always ensure to use the correct temperature-safe parchment paper when cooking food at high temperatures.
- Place a few drops of oil to prevent the parchment paper from curling up or sticking.
- Do not reuse parchment paper as it can become brittle, scorched, or unsanitary after use.
In conclusion, baking tater tots with parchment paper does come with its set of advantages and disadvantages. Ultimately, it depends on personal preference and how you want your tater tots to turn out- crispy or golden brown. However, alternative ways of cooking tater tots such as frying or grilling let you enjoy them with a variety of textures and flavors outdoors, while baking without the use of parchment paper remains a suitable option indoors.
- Q: Can I use parchment paper to bake Tater Tots? A: Yes, you can! Using parchment paper is a great option for cooking crispy Tater Tots without the risk of sticking or burning.
- Q: Do I need to grease the parchment paper when baking Tater Tots? A: Nope! Parchment paper has a non-stick surface that prevents food from sticking, so you don’t need to add oil or spray it with cooking spray.
- Q: How long should I bake Tater Tots on parchment paper? A: It depends on your oven and the amount of Tater Tots you’re cooking, but generally, baked frozen Tater Tots take anywhere from 20-30 minutes in an oven preheated to 425°F.
- Q: Can I reuse the same sheet of parchment paper for multiple batches of Tater Tots? A: While it’s technically possible to reuse parchment paper, we recommend using a new sheet for each batch of Tater Tots. This ensures that your food cooks evenly and doesn’t stick to any leftover residue on the parchment from earlier.