Make irresistibly crunchy British style hash browns with these simple step-by-step instructions for how to Air Fry Frozen Hash Browns. They’re delicious as a breakfast, easy side dish or even just as a tasty snack and require no added oil or ingredients.
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This “recipe” might seem overly simple and quite honestly it is. These are simply my tested timings for how to perfectly cook pre-formed hash browns straight from the freezer with minimal fuss.
If you’re British, you might question why I’ve specified that these are “British style” hash browns in the above intro. Here in the UK these preformed patties are what the vast majority of us think of first when we hear the words hash browns. But in the US, hash browns can easily refer to a few different styles of potato.
I learnt the the hard way when travelling the US extensively a few years back – you rarely get the same thing twice when ordering them! Like in the UK, they are most common as a breakfast food but they can come as shredded (thickly grated) potatoes. These are loose rather than formed into a patty. “Country style” hash browns that are small cubed potatoes or like we have them, as formed patties. I’m sure there are other ways too.
So this recipe really focusses on hash brown patties which incidentally are the same in McDonald’s on both sides of the pond. These are the ones you’ll see in my photos. Don’t ask how I got them, I’m a girl with sources!
Onion is a common addition to all types of hash brown. I prefer less onion in mine but it is really personal preference and doesn’t affect the cooking times.
How to Serve
Breakfast is the main way that I eat my hash browns. Either with other things like bacon and egg piled on top so they replace bread or toast or as part of a larger full English type breakfast.
They’re also great in place of chips or other potatoes on the side of simple meals like sausage, egg and beans or a gammon steak.
I do always like to eat hash browns piping hot and crispy. If you are cooking multiple things in your air fryer, you can always cook them 90% earlier on in the cooking order and then give them a couple of minutes blast just before serving for maximum heat and crispiness.
You can buy frozen hash browns in almost any mainstream shop. Which you choose is really down to personal preference.
McCains is the main UK brand but almost every store including Aldi, Lidl and Iceland have their own brand versions. You can also buy dupes of the McDonalds ones in Aldi (correct as of July 2023). They’re really not bad at all.
It is very rare to find non-frozen hash browns and it is worth noting that there is no need to defrost them. Hash browns can be air fried straight from frozen.
Check the package for ingredients and potential allergens. For the most part they tend to be gluten, dairy, egg and nut free but this can vary and many have “may contain” warnings, especially for gluten.
Please note that this recipe may contain other allergens not referred to above and any variations suggested have not been tested unless otherwise stated. For more information regarding any dietary information provided on this website, please refer to my Nutritional Disclaimer.
How Long to Air Fry Store Bought Frozen Hash Browns
Frozen hash browns cook perfectly in 14 minutes. Although I don’t often need to turn food in my air fryer, especially when the food isn’t crammed in, I do turn thee hash browns for the final two minutes. This is to ensure maximum crisp on all sides.
Leftovers – Storage & Reheating
It is generally best to try and only cook the number of hash browns that you are intending to eat or serve. Any extras are best left frozen and cooked fresh when needed.
If however you are making a breakfast or brunch buffet or that kind of meal and unfortunately end up with leftovers, they are best left to cook completely and then refrozen.
They can then be reheated and crisped in the air fryer another time. They might not be quite as moist and delicious as the first time you cooked them but to be honest they’re really not bad at all.
Common Air Fryer Questions – A Brief Guide to Air Frying
- What exactly is an air fryer?
- What are the benefits of using an air fryer?
- Are all air fryers the same?
- Is an air fryer always better to use than an oven?
- Do air fryers need to be pre-heated?
- What is the best temperature to air fry at?
- Can food be cooked from frozen in an air fryer?
- Can I reheat food in an air fryer?
- Are air fryer liners a good idea?
The Air Fried Feast Community
Come on over to Facebook and join my community discussing all things air fryer. Get involved in sharing your experiences and trials, help out others and find out what wonderful things everyone is cooking in their air fryers!
What Exactly is an Air Fryer?
Very simply, an air fryer is a small convection (fan) oven. The benefit is that the hot air is circulated all around the food being cooked which speeds up the cooking time and cooks the food more evenly.
What are the Benefits of Using an Air Fryer?
Size, time and energy usage. Air fryers are ideal for cooking smaller quantities. Heating up a space that the food just fits into requires less energy and means that the heat source is much closer to the food. Combining these two things can speed up the cooking time.
Are all air fryers the same?
Nope! The term air fryer is now used very broadly. I consider there to be 4 main types:
Basket Air Fryers
These are what I would consider to be the most common, especially in the UK. A boxy type unit has a pull out drawer/basket. Food isn’t usually visible whilst cooking.
Some larger models have two drawers so different items can be cooked at different temperatures or for different times.
This is the type that you’ll see in the images in this recipe. I mostly use a Cosori Lite 3.8L (CAF-LI401S) with a 3.8 litre capacity. The square(ish) shaped basket is 21cm x 21cm and 24cm on the diagonal. It isn’t an overly expensive or fancy model.
I’ve also recommended to several friends and family the model with a slightly larger basket. This is the Cosori 4.7L (CAF-L501) with a 4.7 litre basket. The unit is no larger than the 3.8 litre model on the outside but does have a larger internal basket capacity. I’ve borrowed this air fryer for some recipes where my smaller model was just too small. I’ll always note this in the recipe.
Rotary Air Fryers
Round air fryers with a paddle in the centre that rotates to move the food. This is the type I’ve been using for years – the most common is a Tefal Actifry.
Rotary types are not usually good for recipes where the food is breaded, glazed, likely to break up or in a tray/container. They do however make the best chips and roasted veg.
My 2 in 1 version like the one I’ve linked does have a rotating tray for things that could be broken up by a paddle, but the height clearance with the lid isn’t deep enough to use it to cook some items like sausage rolls.
Multicookers with Air Fryer Functions
Some like Ninja 11 in 1 and some of the earlier versions with a few less functions, have an air fryer option. They mostly operate the same as a basket fryer but the basket drops in the top rather than sliding in like a drawer.
Some electric pressure cookers like Instant Pots can also air fry when used with a specific lid.
Is an air fryer always better to use than an oven?
As much as I do love air frying, the honest answer to this is no. And the more detailed answer is that it will always depend on what you’re cooking, how much of it you’re cooking and what type and size of air fryer you have.
Once you need to cook in more than 2 batches, it often makes more sense to use an oven. If you already have the oven on to cook other items, it may make more sense to throw one more item in rather than using an additional appliance.
I don’t think either method is necessarily better than the other. The important point to note is that there is absolutely no difference in the finished product.
Do Air Fryers Need to Be Pre-Heated?
The answer to this is rather annoying – it depends. It depends entirely on your model and type of air fryer. The best advice I can offer is to check your manual and follow their guidance. My Cosori model has a preheat function. I press a button and it heats at 205c for 4 minutes.
It’s also worth noting that regardless of whether you are supposed to pre-heat or not, if you are cooking in batches, it is quite likely that anything after the first batch will cook a little quicker because of the retained heat. It is best to check on them before the cooking time is completed.
What is the best temperature to Air Fry at?
It will always depend on what you are cooking and from what state. All of my air fryer recipes don’t use temperatures above 200c because many of the most common fryers in the UK don’t go above this. Mine goes to 230c and I use this temperature a lot but it is no help for me to share recipes which most people can’t use.
Can Food Be Cooked From Frozen In An Air Fryer?
Absolutely! To cook from frozen you usually will need to reduce the cooking temperature and increase the time to make sure your food is cooked right through to the middle.
It is best to check my individual recipes for cooking from frozen advice as some items are a little different.
Can I Reheat Food In An Air Fryer?
Yes. As a general rule I reheat food for roughly 1/3 of the original cooking time at the same temperature. Or at 10 degrees lower for half the time for larger items.
Are Air Fryer Liners a Good Idea?
Unless otherwise stated, I do not use liners when air frying. Basket and rotary type air fryers are designed to be used without liners. Mini oven types will generally require some kind of tray like with a regular large oven although some come with crisper racks to use.
There are many air fryer liners available including quite thick silicone ones. These will affect the cooking times and possibly temperatures of your cooking/baking. I also don’t like how cooking juices are prevented from dripping through the basket rack. This can stop food from crisping all the way around.
If you do prefer to use them, once you have got a feel for how they affect your cooking and baking, you may need to make adjustments to the recipe accordingly.
More Air Fryer Recipes
All my recipes with instructions for how to cook or bake them in the air fryer can be found in my Air Fryer Recipe Index.
Don’t forget to let me know in the comments if you try making this recipe – I want to know what you think and if you made any substitutions, how did it turn out?
Still Have Questions?
Simple! Just contact me and I will do my best to help as quickly as I am able. Head over to my Contact Me page, any of my social media channels or post a comment at the bottom of this page and I’ll see what I can do.
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How to Air Fry Frozen Hash Browns
- 4 Frozen Hash Browns (British Style)
- If your air fryer requires pre-heating, allow this setting to run.
- Use tongs to add 4 Frozen Hash Browns to the cooking rack of the air fryer.
- Cook for 12 minutes at 200c/390f.
- Turn the hash browns over and cook for a further 2 minutes.
- Serve hot!
- The air fryer version of this recipe is tested in a Cosori Lite (CAF-LI401S) with a 3.8 litre capacity. The square(ish) shaped basket is 21cm x 21cm and 24cm on the diagonal.
- Not all models advise preheating is required. Please follow the recommended instructions for your model. Mine has a specific preheat setting which is 4 minutes at 205c.
- For this recipe, I can easily fit 4 hash browns in the basket at a time. This gives plenty of room to allow air to circulate.
- As all air fryer models are a little different, you may find that you can fit more or less in at a time. Some models include stacking shelves which will increase capacity.
- Required cooking times and temperatures can also vary between models and brands. If you know that your air fryer runs a little hotter than most recipes suggest, use a lower temperature. And vice versa. Equally if you find that food cooks more quickly in your machine than instructions usually state, reduce the cooking time (or check it earlier) and vice versa.