Hotel Hack: Use Buffet Waffle Iron to Make Hash Browns

Posted in Hotel Room Hack, On the Ground

Let’s be honest: if your hotel buffet doesn’t have a waffle iron, it’s not really trying. Whether self-serve or manned by a chef in a tall paper hat, that waffle iron is a godsend if the other options are tiny boxes of cereal and a cantaloupe/honeydew/watermelon medley that was frozen for a decade until being thawed out last night.

You know what else is amazing? Tater tots. So what happens when you combine tater tots and a waffle iron? MAGIC.

Behold: the Waffle Iron Hash Brown, a miracle of modern technology:


This comes courtesy of Reddit user oPHILcial (Reddit comment thread here). Basically, take your tots, pop ’em in the waffle iron, then wait for the shape-shifting to begin. After a few minutes, those tater tots will transform into a latticed hash brown — I like to call them Tot Browns — complete with divets that are perfect for storing your topping of choice (cheese, ketchup, syrup — the choice is yours).

Will the tots taste any different as hash browns? No they won’t. Can you use your newly formed hash browns as a base for a Southern-inspired Eggs Benedict? Or as a substitute for bread in a breakfast sandwich? YES YOU CAN! SI SE PUEDE! That’s where the real magic of this Hotel Hack lies: what was once a pile of potato cylinders is now a full on sheet of spud goodness and the possibilities become so much greater when that happens.

Personally? I think I’d cover the whole thing in Hollandaise, then a layer of bacon under a thicker layer of shredded cheese (ask the omelet station to borrow some). Put the whole thing in the toaster (assuming it fits) and voila! You’ve got yourself the best darn breakfast pizza around.

What would you do with your Tot Browns?

It’s a big week for waffles on Fly&Dine. For yesterday’s waffle-related news, click here.


Attribution Some rights reserved by basykes [main photo]


  1. I have never seen tater tots at any of the Mattiott or Hyatt locations I have been to.

    What planet am I on?!

    • You guys don’t carry around a bag of tots with you everywhere you go? That’s on you, folks. I have a tot pouch sewn into all of my shirts for that very purpose.

  2. I’d officially dub this the Napoleon Dynamite trick 🙂

    Seriously most hotels I end up don’t have tots. Sometimes they have the chopped up potatoes but I don’t think those would work as well.
    Good idea though.

    • I actually think this could work with regular breakfast potatoes, too. Most of those waffle machines have a non-stick oil spray for use so the waffle doesn’t stick. The spray can be used to put down a layer of oil that would essentially be used to fry the potatoes. Leave them in a little longer than you would the tater tots and you might be able to achieve the same effect!

    • I have only seen potatoes at Autograph properties where they offer a limited breakfast menu. Courtyard, Springhill, Residence Inn, and Fairfield are all waffles and no tots. Some Marquis properties have an “American Breakfast” which to me sounds like Pop-Tarts, Sunny-D, and frozen waffles, but I digress.

      @JasonKessler: I need to look into that tot pouch! 😀

  3. I know this is old; I just found it. In short, hell no! Not that it is a bad idea – it is a great one. The problem is the ‘Tater Tots’ themselves. Read the label! In a hotel, you’re stuck, but as home you have options. Using freshly grated fresh potatoes, rinsed and thoroughly dried, make that waffle iron earn its keep. A tiny amount of cooking spray, a lower temperature and a little time can deliver wonders. But please ship the tots. A fun, if silly post. Thanks, Jason,

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