The debate usually begins like this.
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.)
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. Here’s how dad makes his hash browns.
- 3 Tbsp olive oil, canola oil, or grapeseed oil
- 1 lb Russet baking potatoes, peeled and grated
- Salt and pepper
- Large frying pan (at least a 9" diameter bottom)
- Potato ricer
1 Heat 3 Tbsp of oil in a large frying pan on medium high heat.
2 While the pan is heating, squeeze out as much moisture as you can from the grated potatoes. It's easiest to 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. If you don't have a ricer, use paper towels to squeeze out as much moisture as you can from the grated potatoes.
3 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, no more than a half inch thick. Sprinkle some salt and pepper on the potatoes. 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 spatula 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.