Why you should always thaw frozen hash browns before cooking them

Many of us probably agree that every good breakfast involves some sort of starch. After all, carbs are the main source of energy for our bodies (via Everyday Health). While bagels, toast, oatmeal, and cereal are all delicious carbs, you also can't go wrong with potatoes. And what is one of the most popular forms of potatoes for breakfast? Hash browns, of course. Whether you enjoy them as a side to your omelet or baked in a cheesy, creamy breakfast casserole, hash browns are the perfect savory addition to your morning meal.

You can make hash browns from scratch, but shredding all those potatoes it's a tedious and time-consuming process (via All Recipes). An easier and more convenient solution is simply to grab a bag of frozen hash browns from the freezer aisle at the grocery store. Pre-shredded with very little effort required on our part? Yes, please. However, before you toss your still-frozen hash browns into a pan, wait — and let them thaw out first. Here's why.

They'll taste a lot better

The problem with taking your hash browns right from the freezer to the stove (or the oven) is that there's a high chance they won't cook through, leaving you with a soggy mess. If you let your frozen hash browns defrost first, it allows them to cook evenly and fully, so you won't end up biting into a hunk of ice cold potato (via Recipe Lion). Plus, frozen hash browns contain a lot of excess moisture. Without thawing them beforehand, that moisture ends up in your dish and your hash browns turn out wet and mushy instead of crispy and crunchy. To prevent this, as Prepare and Nourish advises, you can also drain any excess liquid from the potatoes after they're defrosted.

As for how to thaw your frozen hash browns? Recipe Lion says you can defrost them carefully in the microwave (checking every 30 seconds or so), or let them thaw out in the refrigerator or on the counter overnight. They'll be ready to go when you wake up in the morning for breakfast.