Jan 20, 2014

Easy Homemade Hash Browns

There are three reasons you might want to make homemade hash browns:

* DIY hash browns are healthier. Sadly, most frozen, store-bought hash browns contain GMO ingredients, soy, extra oils, preservatives, etc. (For example, see the ingredients in these Walmart brand hash browns, or in these Ore-Ida hash browns.)

* From scratch hash browns are more frugal than prepared, frozen hash browns, saving about $2 - 3 per pound.

* It's helpful to know how to make hash browns in case you run out of the frozen kind and don't want to spend the money and time to run to the store.

Besides, making hash browns from scratch is really easy.

What You'll Need:

Scrubbed potatoes
A large pot
A colander or strainer
A cheese grater

And if you want to freeze them for later use, you'll need:
wax paper or parchment paper
rimmed baking sheet
freezer bags

How to Make Homemade Hash Browns:

1. Place scrubbed potatoes in a large pot and cover with water. (How many potatoes you need depends upon the size of the potatoes. To give you an idea, though, four very large, baking style potatoes makes enough hash browns to fill about two full gallon-sized freezer bags)

2. Boil the potatoes until they are "al dante." You should be able to prick them with a fork, but the potatoes should still feel firm.

3. Drain, but DO NOT rinse. Allow the potatoes to cool in the colander. Once they are cool enough to handle, remove the peels; they will slide off easily. Let the potatoes cool completely in the refrigerator. (If you try to grate the potatoes when they are still warm, you may end up with something that looks more like mashed potatoes than hash browns.)

For simplicity's sake, I recommend either boiling the potatoes in the morning and finishing them in the afternoon or evening, or boiling the potatoes the day before, placing them in the  frige overnight, and finishing them in the morning.

4. Grate the potatoes using a cheese grater (or food processor).

How to Freeze Homemade Hash Browns:

1. Line a rimmed baking sheet with wax paper or parchment paper. Spread the hash browns over the paper in a thin layer.
2. Place the baking sheet in the freezer until the potatoes are firm. Transfer to freezer bags, breaking into smaller chunks, as needed. Store in the freezer.

How to Cook Homemade Hash Browns:
1. Place a dab of butter, bacon drippings, or a tablespoon of oil in a skillet. Set the skillet over medium to medium high heat.
2. When you can flick a little water in the skillet and it sizzles, add the hash browns. Season with salt, pepper, or other seasonings. Brown on both sides, until the desired crispiness and color is reached. Serve right away.


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