How to Make Hash Browns (crispy, buttery hash browns recipe)
My hash browns recipe is both crispy and buttery, resulting in breakfast heaven for anyone who loves potatoes. Whether you like your hash browns as patties or shredded, I’ve got you covered!
And who doesn’t love potatoes?! They’re so delicious in any form, whether it’s baked potatoes, french fries, mashed, or hash browns!
I’ll show you every simple step of the way in how to make hash browns, and they’ll be the best you’ve ever tasted. Hash browns from McDonald’s have nothing on my recipe! And all the ingredients you need to make hash browns are already in your pantry!
Which Potatoes Should I Use?
For this recipe, I used good ‘ol classic Russet potatoes. They’re the most commonly used potatoes for making french fries…soft in the middle and crunchy on the outside. Exactly what we want in our hash browns.
You can also use other starchy potatoes, though, like Idaho and Yukon gold. They’ll also give you that perfect soft/crisp combination. Waxy potatoes (like fingerling, creamy, and some reds) have too much moisture and are better suited for boiling or making potato salad.
Why You’ll Love My Hash Browns Recipe
- It uses starchy potatoes that are soft on the inside and crispy on the outside
- The shredded potatoes are thoroughly dried, so they’ll cook up crispy instead of soggy…no one likes soggy potatoes
- Cooking the hash browns in butter (instead of oil) adds a deliciously rich flavor
- You can make hash browns in patties or loose shredded
- I’ve included lots of additions and toppings suggestions so you can really make these hash browns your favorite way!
3 Simple Ingredients (per serving)
- 1 c shredded potatoes
- 1-½ Tbsp butter
- Salt and pepper
To Peel Or Not To Peel?
This is completely personal preference. I choose not to peel my potatoes because I like that extra earthy flavor of the potato skin. But if you want to peel your potatoes first, go right ahead!
How To Shred Potatoes For Hash Browns
There are two methods you can use to shred potatoes for hash browns – cheese grater or food processor. I tried both:
Cheese grater: Using a cheese grater was a bit of work and I had to be careful with my fingers, but it resulted in nice thin strips of potato. Tip: While grating, when the potato gets too small to hold, stick a fork into the potato and use it as a handle to continue grating. Hold the fork close to the base (or the tines) and slide the potato up and down the length of the grater.
Food processor: Depending on the size of your potato and the food processor feeder tube, you may need to slice the potato into large chunks first. Using the top cutting blade, place the potato in the feeder tube and press down with the “pusher.” This step is really important. The first time I tried, I didn’t use the pusher, and wound up with tiny little shreds of potato. Then, after using the pusher, I got nice long strands instead (due to pushing the potato down onto the blade).
All in all, I found that both methods worked equally well. While the food processor did work much more quickly and my fingers were safely away from any sharp blades, there was more clean-up to do afterward (washing all the food processor parts vs washing a simple cheese grater). So, the choice is yours, whichever you prefer.
How To Make Hash Browns Crispy (aka Rinsing And Drying Potatoes)
Possibly the most important step in making deliciously crispy hash browns is removing some of the starch (you’ll be amazed at the water color!) and then to dry them well, so they crisp up nicely.
While some may tell you to soak the shredded potatoes for up to 10 minutes…I tend to be a bit impatient in the kitchen. I placed the shredded potatoes in a bowl and filled it with cool water, then immediately drained them. I repeated this process about four times, for a grand total of about 2 minutes.
Once the water starts draining clear, place your potatoes in a mesh sieve, just to drain off any excess water, then place them on a clean kitchen towel.
This is where you’re going to need a bit of muscle. Twist the towel around the shredded potato (as in the photo below) and twist and squeeze to get rid of as much water as you possibly can. Do this several times until you can’t possibly remove any more water, or your arms are about to fall off…whichever comes first.
Now that the potatoes are dry, you can see that they’re nice and fluffy, ready to become crispy buttery hash browns. Dry potatoes will make your hash browns crispy.
Hash Browns Recipe
Heat 1-½ Tbsp of butter in a pan over low heat. The butter should sizzle a bit, but not turn brown. Once the butter has melted, place a large handful (or about 1 cup) of shredded potatoes in the center of the pan. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
How To Make Hash Browns Stick Together
Press down lightly on the top of the potatoes with a spatula, to flatten it just slightly. Then don’t touch it. After about 5 to 6 minutes, when the bottom has firmed up, sticks together, and is lightly browned, flip it over and cook for another 4 minutes, to get your hash browns crispy on both sides.
Loose Shredded Hash Browns
The same as above, melt 1-½ Tbsp butter in a pan over low heat. Once the butter has melted, place a large handful (about 1 cup) of shredded potatoes in the pan, and add salt and pepper to taste. Stir them around every minute or so, lightly browning all sides. Make sure to keep everything in a thin layer, though, touching the bottom of the pan. This technique will take about 6 minutes.
Hash Browns and Eggs
Once your hash browns are ready, crack an egg in the same pan.
Cooking your egg in the same pan will let it soak up all that buttery, potato-ey goodness into your egg as well! How sweet is that! I love sunny side up eggs, but make your eggs however you like them best.
Top your hash browns with the egg and enjoy!
- Ketchup – What’s good for french fries is great on hash browns
- Hash brown cheesy potatoes – Add your favorite melty cheese to this hash brown recipe for a savory treat
- Smoked salmon, sour cream, and chives – A super refreshing and light breakfast
- Sausage gravy – A country-style creamy sauce over hash browns and maybe an egg too? Oh man….
- Salsa – Spice things up with a refreshing tomato and chili salsa to get your day started strong
- Curry powder – Sprinkle a little Indian spice over your hash browns
- Sauteed onions – Cook some onion slices at the same time as your hash browns, they’ll saute nicely in the butter
- Ham and mushrooms – Cut ham and mushrooms into small cubes and saute right in the same pan
Fun Facts About Hash Browns
- The original name for hash browns was “hashed brown potatoes”
- According to Wikipedia, the word “hash” is derived from the French word “hacher” which means to hack or chop. This means hashed browned potatoes literally translates to “chopped and fried potatoes.”
- Hash browns probably started as Rösti from Switzerland in the 1500s.
- The first use of the words “hash browns” in the US was some time in the mid to late 1800s.
- Although hash browns were served in fine hotels and restaurants in NYC in the 1890s, today they’re better known as a popular diner side dish.
Finally, this interesting hash brown tidbit from history:
30 November 1892, Indiana (PA) Progress, pg. 7: Mrs. Rorer gave her audience a shock the other day while lecturing at the Health and Food Exhibition in New Haven, Conn., by prophesying dire disaster as a result of indulgence in “hashed brown potatoes.” She had visited insane asylums, she said, and found that many of the inmates had been addicted to the use of potatoes fried after being boiled. Ergo, potatoes cooked in this way appear to produce insanity.
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How to Make Hash Browns (crispy, buttery hash browns recipe)
- 1 c potatoes, shredded
- 1-1/2 Tbsp butter
- Salt and pepper
- Place shredded potatoes in a bowl and fill with cool water, then immediately drain. Repeat this process about four times, until water runs clear.
- Place potatoes in a mesh sieve, just to drain off excess water, then place potatoes on a clean kitchen towel.
- By twisting and squeezing the towel, squeeze out as much water from the potatoes as possible; repeat several times.
- Heat 1-1/2 Tbsp of butter in a pan over low heat.
- Add 1 c of shredded potatoes to pan and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Press down lightly on top of potatoes with a spatula, just to flatten it slightly. Then don't touch it.
- After 5 to 6 minutes, when the bottom has firmed up, sticks together, and is lightly browned, flip it over and cook for another 4 minutes.
Variation: Loose Shredded Hash Browns
- Follow same steps as above, but instead of pressing the shredded potatoes into a patty, stir them around every minute or so, lightly browning all sides, making sure to keep everything in one thin layer. This technique will take about 6 minutes.
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