I attempted making hash browns several times after I got married, but they didn’t turn out so good. Gray, mushy, and gross would describe them very well. I gave up and started buying frozen hash browns. Then I read that you should bake the potatoes first and then grate them up and fry them. Why didn’t I think of that??
So now when we have baked potatoes for dinner I bake way more than we need and put the left overs in the fridge over night. In the morning I peel them, grate them, and fry them in olive oil or butter. Yummm! no more grey, mushy, hash browns!!
I don’t think we can eat all these before they go bad so I decided to freeze my own hash browns. I figured this would be good practice for this fall when my garden gives me tons and tons of potatoes!! (hopefully)
After a little trial and error (and some potato therapy) I ended up with perfect frozen hash browns. 🙂
Here’s what to do:
Start with potatoes that are roughly the same size so they take the same amount of time to cook.
Wash them, poke them with a knife a couple times, (to avoid explosions) then place them directly on the rack in an oven that is preheated to 350 degrees.
These HUGE baker potatoes took 1 hour and 20 minutes to cook completely. Regular size potatoes will take from 45 to 60 minutes to cook. I found out by my third batch that if you under cook them a little they will grate MUCH easier, and ultimately found that cooking these big guys 55 minutes was about right.
When they are done, set them on the counter to cool. When they’re cool enough to handle put them in the refrigerator until cold. (over night works well) We tried to grate the first batch when they were still a little warm and ended up with mush. 🙁
Now that you have cold, slightly under cooked baked potatoes, it’s time to peel.
Now take your nicely grated potatoes and sprinkle them on a greased cookie sheet.
If you skip this step and put them directly into freezer bags you will end up with a solid brick of smashed potatoes. Don’t put to many on the tray or they will stick together as they freeze, and you want to be able to easily break them apart.
Note: If you’re having a bad day or feeling a little frustrated, then go ahead and pack them on the cookie sheet. When they’re frozen solid take them out of the freezer, get a big metal spatula, (hammer, pickaxe, or splitting maul are all acceptable) and goggles, then start hacking and hacking at the potatoes to break them up. After the hash browns are evenly dispersed in your hair and around the kitchen, take a deep breath…..potato therapy! (Disclosure – I am not a doctor or a therapist of any kind, I only share tips that work for me.)Place them in the freezer until frozen through. This takes about an hour and a half.
Break them apart, scoop them into a labeled freezer bag, and store in the freezer.
There you have it! Homemade frozen hash browns ready for breakfast or any recipe that calls for frozen hash browns! It sounds time consuming, but it’s mostly time spent doing other things (there’s always plenty to do) while the spuds are cooking/cooling/freezing etc…