Captain Ken’s Homestyle Cheesy Hash Browns Review

Captain Ken's Homestyle Cheesy Hash Browns

We were out of town recently, so we decided to stop at a grocery store we’d never been to before to see if we could find something new and exciting to write about. As it turns out, we did! We found a bunch of items by a brand called Captain Ken’s.

Now, this brand was named after Ken Freiberg, a firefighter in St. Paul, Minnesota. Ken would make beans and bacon for his fellow firefighters, and soon word got out that he was kind of a legend at making the stuff. Eventually, he left firefighting behind to take those beans to the masses. And that’s apparently the origin of the Captain Ken’s brand.

Look, we’re not sure that any of that is actually true, but the Captain Ken’s website claims it is, so we guess we’ll buy it for now. It all sounds very lovely.

Anyway, we’re not checking out those world-famous beans quite yet. Instead, we’re interested in seeing how the Captain Ken’s Homestyle Cheesy Hash Browns compare to another Minnesota favorite, the Lunds & Byerlys Company Hash Browns. So let’s dig in!

Even though these can be heated in the microwave, we went all out and used the oven method. It was not difficult, but it did take almost an hour to cook. (If you want to read the full cooking instructions straight off the box, check out the package scans at the bottom of this review.)

Captain Ken's Homestyle Cheesy Hash Browns

This comes out a bit sloppy. In fact, it’s more like a cheesy soup that’s filled with shredded potato rather than a proper plate of hash browns. But that’s actually not a bad thing. In fact, it’s sloppy because Captain Ken’s is so generous with the cheese sauce. And this thing is sloshing around in gooey cheese.

That’s not all cheese, though. This also contains condensed cream of chicken soup. No, we didn’t really taste any chicken, but that does put this dish out of reach for vegetarians.

That said, the flavor is great. The sour cream and cheddar cheese really come together to create a flavor explosion. Since the portion of both of those things is pretty generous here, you’ll definitely taste both of them. And it’s wonderful.

The potatoes retain some of their crispness — these aren’t soaked to sogginess or baked to a crisp. They have a nice texture to contrast with the creaminess of the sauce. And then there are some corn flake crumbs dusted on top of it all.

Captain Ken's Homestyle Cheesy Hash Browns

According to the box, about 1/4 of the package is a serving, and the image above shows what that looks like in a dish. If you eat that much, you’ll be gulping down 310 calories and 590 mg of sodium. We don’t think 1/4 of this pan is a full meal, though; you’ll probably want some pancakes or a muffin, and probably a glass of orange juice or a mug of coffee.

The Captain Ken’s Homestyle Cheesy Hash Browns are quite good, though not vegetarian-friendly. So how does it compare with the Lunds & Byerlys Company Hash Browns? Well, these are a bit soggier, and a bit smaller. We think the potatoes have a slightly more “raw” feel to them here as well. But both of these options, we should point out, contain condensed cream of chicken soup. So vegetarians need not apply. But for non-vegetarians, both of these are great Minnesota-based options.

To learn more about the nutrition content, ingredients, or cooking instructions for these hash browns, check out our package scans below.

Captain Ken's Homestyle Cheesy Hash Browns
Captain Ken's Homestyle Cheesy Hash Browns
Captain Ken's Homestyle Cheesy Hash Browns
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