Yes you read that right. Waffle iron hash browns. Am I nuts? No. I’m a man who likes potatoes in just about any form. That form includes hash browns. Mmmmm. Hash Browns. What a great breakfast item. Not particularly hard to make. But 90 seconds in a waffle maker is a heck of a lot quicker than waiting around for them to brown in a pan. It’s also kind of novel, which is always cool. I like being novel.
This another recipe that’s hardly even that. It’s so few ingredients and so easy I feel guilty calling it a recipe. It’s just fun. It’s only fun if you have a waffle maker though. A waffle iron is one of the few things I’ll put in my kitchen that only does one thing. I hate things that have only one purpose. Having a small kitchen, it seems like an extravagance. I make an exception for a waffle iron though, because if you want a waffle how else are you going to make one? Now I don’t have to feel even a little bad about my waffle maker either though. Now I can do something different with it. Uni-tasker no more!
Admittedly these hash browns are a bit different from your garden variety hash brown. It looks like a waffle! It also depends a bit on your waffle maker. I have a shallow waffle maker. It’s not one of those deep crevice Belgian waffle irons. I’m not sure how these would work on that. It’s so little time investment I think it would be worth giving it a shot though. What’s to lose except one or two potatoes?
To start this really simple recipe I shred a potato or two on my big octagon shredder thing. Russets are probably the way to go here. I used a russet and a red potato. Other kinds of potatoes will probably work out just fine though. The shredder is one of those things that might actually have 8 sides, it definitely has at least 6. Each side does something different and it’s a sturdy thing that can take all the skin off your knuckles if you’re not careful. Danger in the kitchen always makes things taste better. I use the side that has like 20 or 30 round holes with the little dish below them, they look like little stainless steel teardrops with a hole in the middle. You can use whatever side you like. I think this is a nice size shred though.
You’ll end up with a very wet pile of potato shreds. I put this pile in some paper towel or a clean towel and give it a really good squeeze to get a good deal of the water out. I put that in a bowl and season it to my general liking. Salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, and maybe a light sprinkling of paprika. You can add some finely diced onion and/or garlic to the mix if you’re intrepid or not lazy. I was just hungry so I didn’t. I toss everything well to mix all the spices in evenly and it’s ready to go.
Get your waffle iron heated up. I give it a little time to heat so the light goes on or off – however yours is set up, and then give it a few more minutes to get good and hot. I spray some Pam or some olive oil on the grates and it’s ready to go. It will shrink a bit when it’s cooking, so keep that in mind. Mine has a little lock so that when you close it, it keeps the lid solidly fixed and keeps pressure on what’s being cooked inside. I put enough in that I have to put some pressure on the top to get it to latch. I use the highest heat setting. Your mileage may vary here. The highest mine goes is 6. 6 on mine may be 3 on yours. If you know your iron is crazy hot on its high setting then you may want to back off. Mine also has a setting for crispy outside/crispy all the way through. I choose crispy all the way through. This setting basically just extends the cooking time. A little bit of extra cooking time won’t kill things – so I go with it.
90 seconds on mine was a bit short. I eventually just let it go through its cycle and alert me that it was finished. You’ll definitely smell awesome browned potato when it’s nearing finished. If you don’t smell that, chances are it needs some more time. You should try to avoid opening it up to check on things if you can. Obviously while you’re experimenting that probably can’t be avoided. But if you can avoid it, do try.
You’ll be greeted with a really cool looking hash brown that’s got most of what makes hash browns awesome. Crispy outside, moist puffy inside, just right then. And there’s no denying that if you pull this off in front of the unsuspecting you’ll be some kind of kitchen warlock, no doubt.
For this wildly easy “recipe” you’ll need the following
- A Waffle Iron Clearly
- 2 or 3 Russet Potatoes
- 1 Teaspoon Salt
- 1 Teaspoon Pepper
- 1/2 Teaspoon Onion Powder
- 1/2 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
- 1/4 Teaspoon Paprika
- Maybe a bit of Diced Onion and/or Garlic
- Oil to Grease the Waffle Iron