The Basics of Cooking Hash Browns

Making the perfect hash browns at home.

If there's one breakfast item that I love, its the hash browns. Restaurants always seem to perfectly cook hash browns. Whenever I try cooking hash browns at home, I always get browned and soggy hash browns. My home cooked hash browns are never the same as in the restaurant. In fact, my historic attempts at making hash browns have been so bad that for awhile I gave up on making hash browns. But now that I've done a bit of research, I know the secret to why my previous attempts at home cooked hash browns didn't turn out delicious.

Why My Hash Browns Suck?

When I first attempted to making hash browns, I faced many more challenges. At the time, I didn't own any many fancy tools. And some of the instructions I heard from friends only emphasized keeping the grated potatoes dry before pan frying. So I used my handheld grater, carefully patting the grated potatoes dry as I was grating. After a few minutes, I noticed the potatoes beginning to turn brown and un-appetizing. What's worse, I figured it might improve when I began to cook it. Instead, it became one big mess.

I was a disappointment, since a handheld grater takes a lot of energy and effort.

The New Tools I Used to Simplify the Hash Brown Recipe

The days of using the handheld grater are long gone. I did not purchase any of these items specifically for hash browns, but ended up simplifying the hash brown process.

  1. KitchenAid RVSA Slicer/Shredder Attachment - I got handed down a KitchenAid Stand Mixer, but my wife had always used it for her baking projects. It wasn't until recently when I need to grate many dikons that I decided to look into purchasing this grater. And it was amazing. It's no different for grating potatoes. What would have previously taken 10-15 minutes now takes 2-3 minutes. And there's no chance that I'll grate a part of my finger off!
  2. Salad Spinner - I clearly purchased this for washing salad, but this is perfect for the Hash Brown recipe, and you'll see why below. There isn't any particular brand that's better than the other, and the hash brown recipe won't require the spinner portion. Instead of pouring out the water, all that's needed is to life out the inner mesh part to dump out the water.

Other Hash Brown Notes

Hash browns are simple, once you know how to make it. Having failed at it, then succeeded, here are some notes for first timers:

  • The key is to soak the grated potatoes in cold tap water to remove all the starch. Swish it around with your hand. The first time, do many rinses to make sure you get all the starch out. In your final rinse, the water should be mostly clear.
  • If you're going to make a lot of hash browns, try to get the first batch of grated potatoes going on the stove, as it does take 5-10 minutes per batch to pan fry. While its frying, you can grate and water rinse more potatoes.
  • I haven't tried it yet, but hash browns seem like a good breakfast food that can be made in a weeks worth sized batch for the perfect grab and go breakfast.
  • If you plan on making eggs, you'll want to time your eggs by putting it onto a pan when your hash browns have been cooking for at least 5 minutes.

Hash Brown Video Instructions

https://youtu.be/LA_UgRxWsnw

Best Hash Brown Recipe

Ingredient

  • Russell Potatoes
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Paprika
  • Butter

Instructions

  1. Grate the potatoes into cold water.
  2. Rinse the grated potatoes in cold water until the resulting water is mostly clear.
  3. Melt some butter on a non-stick pan on medium heat. When the butter is melted and hot, it's ready for the next step.
  4. While the butter is melting, take the rinsed potatoes out and pat dry with a paper towel.
  5. Put a thin layer of the grated and rinsed potatoes into the non-stick pan. Make sure not to overload your pan with potatoes.
  6. Taste with salt, pepper, and paprika to your desired level of taste.
  7. Flip the potatoes as you feel necessary. I find that on medium heat, it takes around 10 minutes for the potatoes to cook through. Depending on how you like it, some prefer to finish it in the oven.
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