CostCo hashbrowns

There are some combinations that are just counter productive – black Klansman, blind tattoo artist, deaf piano tuner, claustrophobic escape artist, that sorta thing. Sadly, my particular dead-end combination is that Im a person who really likes to eat but doesnt really like to cook. In short, Im a lazy cook.

For example, I can make a very nice red sauce from scratch. Fresh basil, tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, a bit of onion, a long time on the stove and – voila – terrific homemade spaghetti sauce. But nine times out of ten, I’ll just crack open a jar of prepared sauce because I want to eat, not cook.

As a result of this, I’m always on the look out for food that tastes good, keeps well, and requires minimal effort. As I was strolling through CostCo the other day I came across these:

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Yup, another crappy cellphone pic. Brand is “Golden Grill Russet”.

Now, to my way of thinking, nothing is going to make an apocalypse more bearable than a decent breakfast. The cheap and easy way out for most of us is a bucket full of those little packets of Quaker instant oatmeal. And, yeah, its better than nothing in a pinch. But when you’ve got a long day shooting looters, moving debris, scavenging the ruins, and running for your life ahead of you it might be nice to have a real breakfast. Fortunately, with a little pre-planning you can have eggs, bacon, fruit, hasbrowns, coffee, and orange drink for breakfast.

CostCo had these hashbrowns in little pint-size cardboard cartons and, being a sucker for ‘individual serving size’ packages, I threw ’em in the cart. Figured I’d take a chance on them. The instructions say to open the container, fill with really hot water, close container, let sit for twelve minutes, drain, then fry in a pan. Okay, followed the instructions and twelve minutes later there was a huge pile of hash browns ready for the pan. I mean these things increased in size exponentially. I’m not a shy eater…. ‘two servings’ is what I’d consider single serve. But there was a lot of hash browns coming out of that container. Easily enough for two hungry guys and probably enough for at least three average people.

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Theres nothing in this pic for scale, but trust me…thats a LOT of hash browns. And they’re yummy.

Fried ’em up in butter, added some salt and some ketchup, and they were really good. Highly recommend. Im going to have to pick up another one or two packages of them. Eight cartons to package so one or two should handle most short- to mid-length crises. They’d also be an amazingly good choice for camping if you break it down to a smaller package.

The packaging is about the same as a pint of milk – a treated, coated cardboard container. Expiration date is about a year, but as is usual in these sorts of things that date is probably very conservative. Unless the packaging takes some damage these should have years on them. I found them at CostCo but it turns out they’re available on Amazon as well (where they get very high reviews.)

Case of these, a can of bacon, some freeze dried eggs, big tub o’ Tang, and a couple cans of fruit, and you’ve pretty much got the long-term-storage breakfast thing under control. But, they’re also quite good to the point you might just use ’em on a Sunday morning where you don’t feel like making a lot of effort. One of the rare ‘storage foods’ that really is good enough to eat during ‘normal’ times.

20 thoughts on “CostCo hashbrowns

  1. I’ve had those before. They are quite good. When we lived in the RV we used them instead of frozen ones to save freezer space. I’ll order up a couple cases in the near future.

  2. “There are some combinations that are just counter productive”

    Bald barber. He has no respect for your hair. :)

  3. Picked up a case of these last year and had two costco employees say “oh good, the hash browns are back.”

    Makes me think that they may not be available all the time. Love em with the cast iron pan.

  4. Not really for preparedness purposes, but as a fellow lazy cook what I’ve found works really well for me is to go to the restaurant supply place and load up on the pizza toppings. Sausage, bacon, ham, pepperoni, diced onion, diced green pepper, etc. Restaurant supply because bulk is cheaper but you can do the same thing with bags of various frozen veggies for variety. I always keep some cans of water chestnuts and baby corn on hand just for grins, too.

    Then just grab handfuls of 3 or 4 ingredients, open a can or two, toss it all in a skillet, add your favorite spices and go. Not the healthiest, not the least low sodium, yadda yadda but for quick meals every couple of days it works great. Add a slice of pita or a couple jalapeno wraps and there are all sorts of variations you can make very quickly for not much money.

    I agree with you on the hash browns…I bump mine up with the aforementioned bacon bits, onion and green pepper.

  5. While I didn’t get mine from Costco, I have virtually the same product wrapped in mylar deep in storage. Keeps rather well sinc eafter a year we tore open a box and it was just as fresh. Two of the containers with an O2 packet and sealed it up with the iron.

  6. They ARE good. Even my kids like them, and the only other potatoes they will eat are french fries, and not even many of those :-)

    I found they took more than 2x as long to cook as the directions called for, to be browned to my taste. Other than that, the directions will provide a tasty treat, done just right.

    nick

  7. “But when you’ve got a long day shooting looters, moving debris, scavenging the ruins, and running for your life ahead of you it might be nice to have a real breakfast.”

    The Coeds Man! You forgot collecting the damn Coeds! You gettin’ old? If its a real EOTW you gotta collect Coeds. Its in the rules somewhere. BTW, I am older than dirt so you can have my quota. Just let the Missus’ know its OKed by me.

  8. I can vouch that the Costco hash browns also store really well in the original packaging (no need to vacuum seal). For our Christmas breakfast last month, I opened two boxes that I had purchased in 2009 – still just as good as new. They get really good and crispy when fried in coconut oil!

    • My husband was getting ready to throw out these hash browns that expired june last year. After I read him your review he changed his mind ???? Thank you!

  9. I buy dehydrated hash browns! I used to get them in a gallon (?) sized carton at Costco. I put some up, but one carton was 3 days of breakfast for our camping group. I perfer the small ones for prepping, as there is not that many of us (hopefully). So, for 2-4 people these small cartons are excellent.

    I have a propane covered roasting pan. I prep with cut up bacon, garlic powder, diced onions, and butter (I use a entire stick per batch). Brown the “condiments” then add the potatoes. Cover. After about 10 minutes, I add the rest of the butter. Turn the potatoes about every 7-10 minutes. I have yet to have leftovers, so I’m not sure how they are for a second meal. This is definitely NOT a diet breakfast!

  10. We have purchased those in the extra large containers and they are really good, taste great even after being opened, used, and the carton clipped shut and put back on the shelf and stored for years. If you are in a hurry, shake some out into a Pyrex container, cover with hot water and a pat of butter on top, nuke for a minute and dump in the fry pan. Agree they take much longer to get brown, but Yummy! Fry some eggs and bacon or sausage, cover with sausage gravy and you are in heaven

  11. Food reviews now? You’re branching out! 😉
    Thanks for this. It’s a neat find and worth $14 for an experiment.
    Picked up a pack of 8 from The Mothership and we’ll try out a carton when they arrive.
    Figure I’ll split the remaining ones into ‘leave on the stockroom shelf, and stick the others into mylar bags.

    • Oh there are plenty of food reviews to be found if you troll through the website and hit the right keywords. Off the top of my head I can think of freezedried eggs, various Mountain House stuff, some Augason Farms products, canned meats, and a few other edibles. I need to more consistently tag the entries.

  12. They also sell them in singles at Wally-World. I use them fairly regularly and my son loves them with some over easy eggs on top of them.

  13. I have these in storage, they store very well, We just rotated the old ones, they were 4 years old and tasted just as good as new. Great for storage and tasty too for what they are.

  14. I have these in my “Mothership” (cackle!) list, too! Glad to know the final amount rendered – sounds like I can easily do a half now, half later…

    • Beats me..I don’t know what they look like. For all i know the packages are torn and have holes poked in them.
      Assuming the packaging is in good shape, I’d not hesitate to use them.

  15. These are great. I put a tablespoon of dehydrated chopped onions into the dried potatoes, close the carton, shake them up before I add the hot water. Yum.

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