Tuesday, July 7, 2009

How To Make Homemade Frozen Hashbrowns

Comfort food is my weakness...specifically carbs. Aside from chocolate all it takes is potatoes or pasta or bread to fill my cravings. I really love frozen hash brown casseroles and hash browns fried up all golden and crispy with my eggs. But have you seen the price of the packages of frozen hash browns? Seriously. There better be some kinda crazy cracker jack prize inside for me to pay that.

So when I came across 2-15lb bags of free potatoes this week that only had 6 rotten ones in the whole bunch (and I'm kicking myself for not grabbing all 6 bags) the first thing I thought was "Homemade Frozen Hash browns!" So here is how it's done.

First peel each potato, cut it in half and put it in a pot of cold water.
Boil for 10 minutes or until just tender. They will feel sticky on the outside but still give a bit of resistance to a fork being poked into them. This short cooking time will give them just enough heat to keep them from turning brown in the freezer.



Remove potatoes from pot of boiling water and place in a large bowl.


Cover with cold water to stop the cooking process.



Refrigerate overnight.


The next day drain your potatoes.


Either grate them or shred them in your food processor.


Then fill a freezer bag with your shredded potatoes. I store them in serving sizes so for the six of us that's a gallon bag. That's also a similar size to store bought hash browns so if you're using them in a casserole you'll have the right amount. Make sure to squeeze out any extra air.


Store them flat in your freezer so it takes up minimum space.

To cook them heat frying pan over medium-high heat. Add butter or margarine. Place shredded potatoes in pan. Cook for approximately until bottom is browned. Flip potatoes and cook until browned again. Season with salt and pepper. Or use in your favorite recipe.

This post is part of WFMW.

46 comments:

Jill said...

oh YUM! I love hashbrowns, and I'm with you on the carbs thing. Place a bowl potato chips on the counter and get out of my way! I always think in the fall when the potatoes here in the the NW are super cheap that it would be great to buy a bunch but what to do with them? Now I know!!! Thanks! Also, thanks for your links for you menu plan Monday. You always have the best menus! Our families must eat a lot alike because several of the ones I've found through you have been hits at my house. Thanks for your site.

Cardamom said...

Thank you! I have not been happy with how long it takes to make "fresh" hash browns. THIS is the key! Partially pre-cook the potatoes! THANKS!!! My husband and 9 children will thank you...

Shannon said...

Great idea! But do they end up freezing in one big clump? Do you have to thaw them before cooking them up because of this? Thanks!

RLR said...

I've been wondering if this was possible! Now, I just need to get a bigger freezer :)

Kris said...

Seriously?? That sounds so easy! I've made homemade hashbrowns a few times. A couple of times, they were really good, but that was after I squeezed every bit of liquid out of them and, by the time I finished the first couple of potatoes, the others were turning brown. I never thought of boiling them awhile first.

So, when you make the hashbrowns this way, do you have to drain them or squeeze the liquid out or anything after shredding them? I'd be doing them in the food processor.

If you had any idea how much my daughter *loves* her some Saturday morning hashbrowns, you'd know the sincerity with which I say, this may be the best WFMW tip I've ever read!

km said...

I need a food processor. That's fantastic. Even at $2 for a 10# bag, that's cheaper than the frozen hashbrowns.

Jackie said...

Love that idea...thanks!

Bargain Becky said...

Thanks for this post! I know it's so simple - but I find I'm always throwing away potatoes! I never thought of making frozen hash browns with them! My husband is going to be so excited!

JessicaC said...

I had NO IDEA you could do this! We usually harvest 300-500 lbs of potatoes each fall, and these will be great. Thank you!!

Kostman Family said...

Thanks for the great tip. I also love hash brown casseroles. I will be making hash browns very soon.

Mel said...

What a great idea! I never knew it was that simple. I learn so much from reading your blog! Thanks!

Melissa said...

Those look great! We prefer diced hash browns, do you think this method would still work?

I just found your blog yesterday and I love it!

Steph (My Country Haven) said...

Oh! Thanks for posting this! I've been wondering if there was good way to do this w/o them turning brown! Just another way to save some serious $$$$! Thanks again!

Zimms Zoo said...

I have always wondered how to do this. I tried once and the potatoes were so watery and yucky. I can't wait to give this a try.

Teaching My Little BookWorm said...

super cool i had never thought of that! adding this to my food ideas!

I need to get a food processor mine broke :( but i have a bday in sept.! :) guess what i'm asking for??

Julie Bagmary said...

This sounds intriguing. Have you prepared any that you've frozen yet?

Mrs. Querido said...

Wow...awesome!

Just us Junts said...

Thank you!!! I am going to be sure to add some of these to my freezer!

Just us Junts said...

Gayle, if I wanted to cut my spuds into fries, would I use this same process for freezing?

Gayle said...

Yes, for fried do the same thing.

Gayle said...

I think this would work on any shapes that you want to make the potatoes into. The key is just to make sure you pre-cook the potatoes to keep them from turning grey/brown.

Gayle said...

Because these are pre-cooked, most of the juice is cooked out so you won't be dealing with watery raw potato or potato that is turning grey. And since they aren't all watery they won't freeze in a hard clump either. The shred are very dry and freeze up just like store bought.

Blakely said...

You are always filled with such great ideas. Thanks for sharing them.

Krista said...

This is wonderful! I just discovered your blog last week and it has renewed my challenge to reduce our grocery bill. Two weeks ago I googled freezing homemade hashbrowns and couldn't find any answers. Thanks for this great tip!

Do you let them thaw before you cook them or put them in a recipe?

Gayle said...

You can just cook them straight from frozen, just like regular hashbrowns.

Savings Ninja said...

Oh, you're awesome! I have half a bag of potatoes sprouting on my counter that I was about to start experimenting with. You saved me the trouble! Thanks :)

Anonymous said...

Did you freeze all 30 lbs (I was thinking of all that work at once). I ask because I am curious what else you're doing with your freebie potatoes.

Andrea

P.S. You showed GREAT restraint not taking ALL the potatoes; of course 90 lbs of potatoes are a LOT of potatoes. :-)

Jami said...

Oh, thank you, I have been wondering for years how to do this well!

Frugal in Florida said...

Is your freezer really that empty? I think I would have a major anxiety attack ... ok, so I may be a border line food hoarder, but still :)

Gayle said...

Haha! That's our second freezer.

Tigermadstanley said...

As a Brit I've always wondered what US hash brown potatoes were as over here they are shaped with onion and seasoning. Now I know - thank you:) I have loads of potatoes that I was just going to chuck (which goes against my frugal and eco-friendly ways). I shall be making frozen hash brown potatoes now. I shall be sure to link to your post from my frugal living blog.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you on the comfort food! We have 6- 43 ft rows of potatoes so you idea is great! I tried to scred them raw and put in the freezer but made a mess by not precooking and putting it in too big of a bag. Thanks for the scoop will try that soon.Becky

Frugal in Florida said...

Glad to hear that was the 2nd freezer! Whew. Now, I must find an awesome sale on spuds and try this.

Rachel said...

I can't wait to try this!!! While I have never been so lucky to find free potatoes...the 10 lb. bags are often on sale for several dollars at my local grocery store.

Anonymous said...

I can't comment from personal experience but I have heard that commercial hash browns have gluten in them...so this would be a way for gluten free to have their hashbrowns!

Susan

Hilary said...

I haven't found frozen hasbrowns on sale in SO long and I LOVE this tip, I'd never thought to par-boil them.
Thanks for posting this!

Cardamom's Pod said...

Hello again - I finally made these, but I forgot to bookmark your site and did it off memory. Let's just say I'm glad I just tested it with a 5-pound bag... I have a question - how much do you put in the gallon bags? When I do things in bulk, I'm all about measuring (roughly) so I can have uniform results for meals. Thanks!

By the way, I added you to my blogroll... :-)

Gayle said...

You know, I didn't measure I just put in what I thought my family would eat. It was a full gallons size bag though.

Susan said...

i'm so excited to stumble across your bolg. i'm a mom of 5 (for now) and will definately be digging deeper to get tips and such. I found you on google when i was looking for a homemade frozen hashbrown recipe.

Anonymous said...

I have seen tips that do not par boil first - just soak the potatos in cold water, thren shred - does the par boiling chang the cooking time?

Christie said...

I'm so happy that I found your site! I just tried out a recipe for frozen breakfast burritos that turned out amazingly well but there was something missing...HASH BROWNS!!! I don't know why those go so well together, but they do! I can't wait to try this! Thanks!!!

Anne Ludlow said...

I was just going to make a Hashbrown Potato Pie, but it calls for frozen hashbrowns, which I never buy. This totally solves the problem of how do I substitute! Thank you!!

Anonymous said...

Ok so I am "more lazy" then most but love hash browns (shredded) Ok here is my take I wash potatos, cut out any questionable spots, no peeling, shred in my food processor into a pan of cold water (maybe add just a smidgen of lemon juice or stay fresh etc, not much when I have my five or ten lbs shrededed and soaked I squeeze out the excess water divide them into manageable ammounts and nuke the for maybe a minute and a half there parcooked. Now spread them on a cookie sheet in kind of a single layer and freeze kind of break up and bag. Now I have a very convenient bag of hash browns where I can cook a little or a lot.. Ok sometimes I get fancy and add some frozen chopped garlic to the bag and of course onion. Onion I just use the mandoline (how ever you spell it) and add to the shredded potatos before blanching . Now for those who want really fancy, tasty hashbrowns try adding sofrito (see Daisy Cooks, Daisy Marinez) for my favorite Sofrito recipe. Wow a lot said sorry for the runon luv hash browns..

Naomi said...

Thank you, Gayle, for posting how to make homemade frozen hashbrowns!! I just froze 7 6-cup bags (I read somewhere that 6 cups is about the equivalent to the 2-lb bags recipes usually call for). I'm so excited to have these on hand - cheap and easy. I appreciate your excellent tutorial!

Anonymous said...

Ooh, I bet this would work to make french fries to bake later too!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the info.This year I want to plant root veg and herbs but I only have a balcony.Now I know what to do with the extra potatoes.I live in Switzerland and the prices for certain foods are astronomical!!!