Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Quick and Easy Shredded Hash Browns

My family loves shredded hash browns, but I don't always love paying the store prices for them.  Overall they aren't terribly expensive, but when you are trying to stick to a grocery budget they can sting a little especially if your family is like mine and can eat a whole bag of them in one breakfast meal.  So I have started making my own shredded hash browns and through trial and error, I have found an easier way.
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The first couple of times I made my own shredded hash browns, I just washed my potatoes and then shredded them with the grater.  I wasn't thrilled with the results.  By the time I finished shredding all the potatoes, the first ones I shredded were already turning colors.  There was a lot of water in them and even after draining them, they took forever to cook.  Lastly, they just didn't get crispy enough for our liking and I really don't know anyone that likes limp, sad hash browns.  So I started thinking about what I could do to make the hash browns better and then it hit me...
Step 1:  Wash your potatoes
Step 2:  Poke holes in them and microwave them for 4-6 minutes depending on the number of potatoes you are cooking.  I have found it easiest when the potatoes are not quite cooked all the way like a baked potato in the microwave, but they are mostly cooked.
Step 3:  Pop the cooked potatoes in the freezer for 3-4 minutes.  (Note if you don't value your finger tips and love working with screaming hot potatoes, you can skip this step, but I don't recommend it.)
Step 4:  Remove potatoes from the freezer and shred them with your grater.
Step 5:  Cook up the shredded potatoes in oil and in a cast iron pan if you have it.  My favorite oil to cook them in is coconut oil.  Coconut oil is a little healthier for you and it crisps them nicely.  The hash browns should only take about 10 minutes to cook.
This method takes more time than dumping them out of the bag from the grocery store, but it is cheaper and for me, I get them to crisp up better.  The one thing to be careful of in step 4 is that your grater will become sticky from the starch in the partially cooked potatoes so you may have to rinse it off part way through your grating.  I will also tell you that you can spray your waffle iron with non-stick cooking spray and then put a mound of the shredded hash browns in there and let them cook while you are grating the other potatoes.  This method gets them nice and brown and crispy too.
Do you make your own hash browns?  Do you buy them?  Do you have any hints for speeding up the process?

2 comments:

  1. Thanks for this info. I too, make my hash browns in the waffle maker, but have never been overly satisfied with the results. I have not done the microwave method of cooking them first. Going to give them another try now.

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  2. We have never bought frozen hash browns. Making hash browns is a family affair and we do it for special occasions and make them in BULK. I have a food processor now to shred them so that part goes faster. We peel the potatoes, keep them in a pot of water until I'm ready to shred them and squeeze the excess moisture out to put them in the pan. We add salt, pepper, and chili powder.

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