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Sep 30, 2008 11:32 AM

Frozen Hash Browns?

I'm a tad ignorant....
I've never used frozen hash browns....but I have a trashy casserole recipe I want to make that calls for frozen has browns, and I'm not driving to town to get some. Aren't they just shredded potatoes? Or are they some amazing food group that has completely passed me by?

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  1. Yes and no. It's more reliable to use the commercial stuff, which is why they're standard in food service. The commercial product is parcooked and processed for specific moisture content, oil content, converted starch content, and performs the same every time.

    When I shred and make my own, I grate raw potatoes, soak in water to remove surface starch (helps cut down on the discoloration), drain, salt heavily, wait until they weep, wrap them in a dish towel and wring as much moisture as I can out of them. Then I'll fry them up for hash browns or latkes or whatever. In my case, it's a lot more work than going to the store, but YMMV.

    Despite all this work, my home made texture eges closer to al dente than the commercial HB's. If you want that commercial texture, I'd go with the processed stuff.

    1. You might also think about precooking the potatos and then shredding them and adding them to the casserole. Although they might get mushy. We always made hashbrowns out of precooked potatos, and the store version just seems to be shredded and precooked, to speed up the process.

      1. I just shred 'em and cook 'em; no special treatment.

        1. Oh bother. I'll postpone my trashy casserole until I get to town...thanks, all!