The Trick For Super Crispy Hash Brown Waffles

Let's take a moment to celebrate the trend of using kitchen tools and foods in nontraditional ways. Nobody saw cauliflower coming as it cornered the pizza market and replaced rice. Forget cupcakes; that mini muffin tin now makes savory quiche cups and doubles as a specialty ice cube maker. Creative cooks are finding new uses for old gadgets, and we are here for the flavor and fun. 

Topping the list of appliances making surprising fare is the waffle iron. It's cooking up dishes for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, and don't forget dessert. You can enjoy a fried egg on the double when it gets heat from both sides of your waffle iron, and you won't need to purchase a panini press for that toasty lunch sandwich when your waffle maker can do the same job. From burgers to brownies, the waffle iron is having a multipurpose moment. 

CNET tested out a few of the internet's favorite waffled dishes, and some foods fared better than others. Mac and cheese waffles have been trending but proved to be a bit dry and could have benefited from extra sauce. Some waffle hacks call for ready-made dough, which worked well for waffled pizza but not so much for canned cinnamon rolls in the iron. Each waffled dish needed a little tweak or added ingredient to ensure waffle hack success and the same goes for hash brown waffles. 

All about the edges

From shredding a bushel of potatoes to flipping a pan full of spuds without them falling apart, achieving golden-crusted hash browns on your stovetop is a challenge. Once the hash browns hit the plate, diners often pick through them to get to the crispiest parts. Enter the humble waffle iron to make hash brown magic happen.

For legendary waffled hash browns, The Washington Post turned to famous former NBA star Shaquille O'Neal for a tasty waffle iron hack from his cookbook "Shaq's Family Style." When making his recipe for loaded baked potato waffles with pre-shredded, frozen potatoes, there's a trick to achieving the crispy crust and crunchy edges that hash brown fans crave. To get that ideal texture, make sure to spread your hash brown mixture all the way to the edges of the waffle grid. Evenly distributing your mix ensures that every inch of shredded potato touches part of the hot iron, creating that essential golden brown, crispy exterior that every hash brown lover deserves.

O'Neal suggests adding loaded baked potato ingredients like bacon, scallions, and shredded cheese to make flavorful hash brown waffles that taste great with any meal. While you're getting creative with your waffle maker, feel free to mix in your favorite flavors to ensure that your hash browns will taste just as unique as the method used to make them.