The Key To A Sturdy Hashbrown Breakfast Sandwich

If your hash brown breakfast sandwiches collapse into a mess on the very first bite, we've got a little tip to help you build better ones: Use pre-formed, frozen hash brown patties instead of the variety of loose shredded ones. They're super-convenient and already in the perfect "slice-of-bread" shape, large enough even for a sprawling sunny-side-up egg. The loose bags of shredded hash browns you find at the supermarket are versatile, but they aren't the best option for this particular job because they need to be shaped first, don't have the heft of pre-formed patties, and break apart easily once cooked. They simply add too many stages into the mix when most of us want to make something quick for breakfast to start the day off.

Once you've got your frozen, pre-formed hash brown patties, you'll want to shallow fry them in a good amount of oil rather than baking them in the oven for a result that's crispier and sturdy enough to prevent fillings from escaping. Frying them gives you greater control of the end result, and you can whack up the heat easily to attain a bespoke golden crust on both sides.

How to fry hash browns for a breakfast sandwich so they remain crispy

The key to a sturdy hash brown breakfast sandwich is combining a hot pan with enough oil to crisp up the exterior of each rectangular piece of potato goodness. Be stingy with the oil and your hash browns won't achieve the appetizing golden color that indicates a good, solid crunch. You want them to be robust enough to carry all the ingredients that will be sandwiched between them. 

Furthermore, if you don't fry your hash browns long enough, they won't have the structural integrity to contain your fillings, and you'll end up with soft handfuls of broken sandwich on your first bite. Although you could eat it with a knife and fork, a breakfast sandwich is meant to be picked up and munched on sans cutlery, like a hoagie or toasted panini. It needs to mimic the characteristics of a couple of slices of bread. Yes, the runny egg and bits of bacon that fall onto your hands are part of the beauty of a good breakfast sandwich, but a solid enclosure of crispy potato will minimize the mess.

Retain the golden crispy edges of your hash brown by placing them on a cooling rack after frying (putting them on a plate will trap the steam, working to soften the craggy finish). Pat any oil that hasn't dripped off with a paper towel to reduce the grease on your fingers while you enjoy your sandwich.