Crispy Hash Browns

Breakfast and BrunchQuick and EasyVegetarianPotato

Best Hash Browns Ever! These crispy Hash Browns are perfectly crisp and oh so delicious. Learn the tips and tricks on how to cook hash browns, and how to make hash browns extra crispy. You can't go wrong with this method!

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

Dad’s Homemade Hash Browns

My father, being of the solid German stock that he is, is naturally a connoisseur of all things potato. In particular, he loves nothing more than very crispy, shredded homemade hash browns for breakfast with his eggs.

Now, there are many ways of frying up potatoes for breakfast, and I think we do all of them.

But the shredded variety of hash browns holds a special place in his heart (mine too!) and for that reason, he has mastered the way to make them extra crispy.

Crispy Hash Browns (Dad) vs. Mushy Hash Browns (Mom)

He explained his approach to me one day, while my mother was in the room and couldn’t help but overhear:

ME: Dad, how do you make your hash browns turn out so crispy?
DAD: Use a potato ricer. It’s the only thing I’ve found that really gets the moisture out of the potatoes. The trick to these hash browns is to get rid of as much moisture as possible before cooking them.
MOM: I always used paper towels to press out the moisture.
DAD: Your hash browns are mushy.
MOM: I made this family hash browns for forty years and you never complained. They’re perfectly fine.
DAD: They were mushy.
MOM: You ate them!
DAD: Yes I did. And they were mushy.
(and the debate continues as I quietly leave the room.)

Crispy Hash Browns

Mom’s hash browns are mushy. Tasty, edible, yummy, but still mushy. They aren’t as good as dad’s, and that is just a fact.

How to Make Crispy Hash Browns

The trick to great, crispy, shredded hash browns is to squeeze as much of the moisture out of them as you can!

Then you need to make sure you are using enough oil, the pan is hot but not so hot as to burn the potatoes, and you spread the shredded potatoes out in an even, thin layer, the thinner the better.

What follows is my dad’s way of making hash browns that turn out perfectly crispy and absolutely delicious.

Crispy Hash Browns Recipe

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  • Prep time: 5 minutes
  • Cook time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 3 Tbsp olive oil, canola oil, or rice bran oil
  • 1 lb Russet baking potatoes
  • Salt and pepper

Special equipment:

  • Large frying pan (at least a 9" diameter bottom)
  • Potato ricer

Method

1 Peel and grate the potatoes: Peel the potatoes and grate them using the large holes of a box grater.

2 Squeeze out the moisture: Squeeze out as much moisture as you can from the grated potatoes. An easy way do this with a potato ricer, using it much like you would a garlic press, except you don't force the potatoes through the ricer. You just press out the moisture.

Work in batches and only fill the ricer half-way with the raw grated potatoes.

If you don't have a ricer, wrap the raw grated potatoes in a clean kitchen tea-towel and squeeze it until you have squeezed out as much moisture as you can. Work in batches to make it more manageable. Note that the potatoes can sometimes stain a cloth towel, so use one that you don't mind showing a bit of wear.

You can also use sturdy paper towels to squeeze out the moisture, though they don't work as well as cloth or a ricer.

3 Heat oil in pan, spread out grated potatoes: Heat 3 Tbsp of oil in a large frying pan on medium-high heat. When the oil in the pan heats up to the point of shimmering, but not smoking, add the grated potatoes, spreading them out along the bottom of the pan.

The potatoes should not be too thick in any one place, a 1/4-inch to a 1/2-inch thick.

Sprinkle some salt and pepper on the potatoes.

4 Flip the hash browns: After a few minutes, lift up one edge of the potatoes and see how done they are. If they have fried to a golden brown they are ready to flip.

Use a large metal spatula (or two spatulas) to flip the potatoes over all at once, or divide the large potato cake into halves or quarters and flip.

Continue to cook until they are golden brown on the bottom.

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Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

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196 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  • Mike R.

    I parboil before shredding. Works that way too.

  • Felicia

    Finally I made some decent hash browns!

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • Dave

    It’s easier to simply shredded potatoes and do a quick parboil then pat dry shredded potatoes. The trick is to remove the starch potatoes become very sticky with excess of starch. The Little bit of water that’s left in the pan just steams off very quickly in a hot pan.

  • Brenda

    Looks good. Need to try them thanks.

  • Valerie

    Ok a bit confused. The recipe calls for potatoes. Does not say to cook them first. Yet several comments from others say to microwave the potatoes, cool, and then grate them. Why? Thx.

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