This article as update on 19/07/2023 for clarity and to incorporate new insights.
Reheated hash browns are all too often disappointing because they lose their crunch and become soggy.
To avoid this, I’ve tried out five different ways to reheat hash browns to find the best technique for restoring their crispy golden outsides and soft, tasty, potato-filled interiors.
The best way to reheat hash browns is in the oven or skillet. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C) and heat the hash browns for 10 minutes, flipping once at the halfway mark. To use a skillet, lightly oil the pan and use medium-high heat.
Ready? Let’s jump right in.
A note on my experiment
I made a monster brunch on Saturday morning and purposefully cooked a few too many hash browns. Once brunch was over, I put the hash browns in the fridge.
The next morning I tested reheating them:
- In the oven: A convenient and effective method.
- In a skillet: Nice crispy skin.
- In an air fryer: The best method (if you have one).
- In the microwave: Gummy and lifeless hash browns.
- By refrying them: Inconvenient and oily.
Reheating hash browns in the oven (or toaster oven)
Time: 10 minutes
- Preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C) with a baking sheet inside.
- Lightly coat the hash browns with cooking spray (optional), and place them on the hot baking tray. You can also place them straight on a wire rack.
- Heat the hash browns for 10 minutes, flipping them half way through. In a toaster oven they’ll only need 5-7 minutes.
Preheating the baking tray helps to ensure the bottom of the hash brown doesn’t get soggy. And a spritz of extra oil also helps them crisp up, but you can skip the oil if they already seem greasy.
If after 10 minutes of heating the hash browns aren’t crispy enough for you, place them under the broiler for an extra minute.
Results: This was a super easy and low-effort method of reheating hash browns. The filling came out nice and tender and the outside was crispy (although not as crispy as the skillet or air fryer). Overall this is a great method, especially for reheating lots of hash browns at once.
Reheating hash browns in a skillet
Time: 10 minutes
- Heat a lightly oil skillet over medium-high heat.
- Add the hash browns and heat for 4-5 minutes, flipping half way through.
You don’t need a lot of oil in the pan, especially if you have fried hash browns. If the hash browns were previously fried, they’ll still have residual oil in their coating.
One thing I love about reheating things in the skillet is how easy it is to add extra flavors. If you want to be extra indulgent, fry the hash browns in bacon grease. Or for a light touch of spice, throw some chilis in the pan along with the hash browns.
Results: The hash browns came out crispy, moist, and hot all the way through. There’s not much to fault about this method, apart from the fact you can only heat as many hash browns as fit in the pan.
Reheating hash browns in an air fryer
Time: 10 minutes
- Set your fryer to 350°F (180°C).
- Lightly coat your hash browns with cooking spray (optional)
- Spread your hash browns out in the fryer basket and heat them for 4 to 6 minutes.
If you crowd too many hash browns into the basket, they won’t crisp up as effectively. So keep them as spaced out as possible.
I like spritzing them with cooking spray to get that ‘just-fried’ feeling, but like with the oven, it’s optional and not needed if the has brown already seems greasy.
Results: This was my favorite reheating method for hash browns, purely because of how crispy and fresh it made them. The filling was soft, moist, and not at all gummy or starchy. It’s also a super quick and no-fuss method. Not everyone has an air fryer though!
Reheating hash browns in the microwave
Time: 10 minutes
- Line a microwave-safe plate with a sheet of dry paper towel.
- Spread your hash browns out on the plate and warm them for 30 to 60 seconds.
- If you want to crisp them up, quickly transfer the hash browns to a hot air fryer or broiler for 1 minute.
The paper towel is there to soak up any grease that leaks out of the hash browns.
Once you’ve heated the hash browns, eat them as soon as possible. Once microwaved hash browns start to cool down, they’ll get very hard and cardboard-like (i.e not very nice to eat!).
Results: I wouldn’t recommend this method if you have an alternative available to you. My hash browns tasted starchy and had zero crunch. They were okay after being crisped up, but this defeats the point of using the microwave (speed).
Reheating hash browns by refrying them
Time: 10 minutes
- In a deep fryer or pot, preheat oil to 350°F (180°C).
- Place a few hash browns in a fryer basket and dip them into the hot oil for 20 to 30 seconds.
- Remove and drain excess oil on a wire rack or paper towel.
I only recommend attempting this method if you have a thermometer to measure the oil temperature. Getting the oil temperature wrong can be disastrous.
If the oil is too hot, you’ll burn the hash browns. If it’s too cold, the hash browns will absorb lots of oil and come out really greasy.
Results: While this technique restores every bit of crunchy texture to hash browns, it is not a healthy way of reheating them, nor is it convenient. It’s also quite messy and uses an unnecessary amount of oil, particularly for a small portion.
How to store hash browns
Once cooled to room temperature, you can refrigerate hash browns in an airtight container lined with paper towels (to soak up excess moisture). They’ll stay fresh for 3 to 5 days. You can also freeze hash browns for 4 to 8 months.
Don’t seal the hash browns up when they’re still hot, because this will trap moisture inside the container and make them soggy.
As a final note, make sure they are not overlapping inside the container because this can lead to soggy spots. If you need to layer them up, separate the layers with parchment paper or more paper towels.
How to freeze hash browns?
Yes hash browns freeze well, but they will never be as crispy as the first time you cook them. It’s best to pre-freeze your hash browns on a baking tray first for 1 hour, and then transfer them to a freezer bag. Remove as much air from the bag as possible before sealing and freezing for 4-8 months.
Individually freezing your hash browns first stops them from sticking together in the bag or getting squashed. This means you can easily take two or three out at a time instead of having to defrost the whole bag.
To remove the air from your freezer bag, partially seal it, press down on it to remove excess air, and then close it completely. Or use a straw to suck it all out!
You can then reheat them straight from frozen.
How to reheat frozen hash browns
The best way to reheat frozen hash browns is in the oven. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C) and heat the hash browns for 15-20 minutes. I cover them loosely with foil for the first half of heating and then remove the foil to crisp them up.
You can also microwave them briefly beforehand to reduce the time in the oven.
If you have an air fryer, arrange your hash browns in the basket with no overlap. Then, reheat them at 400°F (200°C) for 7 to 10 minutes, checking regularly.
BEST Way To Reheat Hash Browns [Tested]
- 1 portion hash browns
- 1 spray cooking oil optional
- Preheat your oven 350°F (180°C).
- Space your hash browns out on a greased baking sheet.
- Lightly coat them with cooking spray (optional).
- Place in the oven for 5 to 6 minutes.
- Remove and flip your hash browns.
- Return them to the oven for a further 5 to 6 minutes.
- Serve immediately.