How to Thaw Frozen Hash Browns: A Look at The Best Options

Want to know how to thaw frozen hash browns quickly and properly?

In the guide below, you will learn the about the best defrosting methods, along with other important information.

With that said, let’s get started.

Do You Have to Thaw Hash Browns Before Cooking Them?

Hash Browns Cooking in a Pan

It depends on how you plan on preparing them.

Some recipes will allow you to use frozen hash browns as is, while others will require them to be thawed before use.

This question was asked on the popular social media site, Reddit. One user wanted to know whether to use frozen or thawed hash browns in their breakfast casserole.

The answers varied, but it is usually recommended to thaw many frozen ingredients before use, as it will allow you to remove the excess moisture that develops after the ingredients have been thawed.

How to Thaw Frozen Hash Browns: The 3 Best Options

Best Way to Defrost Hash Browns: 3 Best Options

If you are using a recipe that requires defrosted hash browns, then you have three methods you can use.

There are three methods you can use when trying to defrost hash browns.

You can use:

  • Overnight in the Refrigerator
  • The Microwave
  • The Cold Water Method

The thawing option you use will depend on how much time you have.

Let us take a detailed look at each option below.

Overnight in the Refrigerator: The Best Method

The best way to thaw hash browns is letting them sit in the refrigerator overnight.

In using this method, you will be guaranteed that the hash browns will be properly thawed and ready for use.

This is also the perfect option for those who do their recipe planning ahead of time.

Let us take a look at how to do it below.


  1. Take the frozen hash browns and place them on a paper towel lined cookie/baking sheet.
  2.  Cover the cookie/baking sheet with paper towels and place in the refrigerator.
  3. Let the hash browns sit in the refrigerator overnight for 6-8 hours to fully defrost.
  4. Before use, you should pat dry the hash browns to absorb any excess moisture.
  5. Once finished, the hash browns will now be ready to be used.

In the Microwave: The Quickest Method

If you are in a rush, then the microwave is the quickest way to thaw hash browns.

It will only take a couple of minutes to have everything defrosted and ready to be used.

Let’s see how it is done below.


  1. Take the frozen hash browns and place them on a microwave plate/container that is lined with paper towels.
  2.  Cover the plate/container with paper towels and place in the microwave.
  3. Microwave using the defrost setting for about 30 seconds to 1 minute (depending on the amount of hash browns you will be thawing).
  4. If not fully thawed, defrost in the microwave in 10-15 second intervals.
  5. Before use, pat dry with paper towels to absorb any excess moisture.

Cold Water Method: Another Quick Method

If you need your hash browns defrosted quickly and you do not own or want to use the microwave, you can also use the running cold water method to thaw them out.


  1. Take the frozen hash browns and place them in a colander or pot.
  2.  Place the colander/pot under the kitchen faucet and turn on the cold water.
  3. Constantly swish around the hash browns to ensure that all the hash browns are being exposed to the cold water.
  4. After 30 seconds, check to see if hash browns have full thawed, if not, let the cold water run until fully thawed.
  5. When finished, pat dry with a paper towel to absorb any extra moisture.

Can Hash Browns Be Defrosted at Room Temperature?

There is a reason why we did not list the thawing of hash browns at room temperature as a recommended method.

While this is common practice for a lot of people, we could not list it as an option, because of food safety concerns.

The U.S. Food & Drug Administration has stated that “because bacteria can multiply so rapidly in unrefrigerated food, it’s simply unsafe to let food thaw at room temperature. If left unrefrigerated, some organisms can create toxins that will survive the cooking process even if the food is cooked to temperatures that kill the bacteria themselves.”

Wrapping it up

We’ve reached the end of our guide on how to thaw frozen hash browns.

Did I answer all your questions? Was there anything that I left out that you might have wanted an answer to?

If you have any questions or concerns, let me know in the comments below.

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