Crispy Hash Browns

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.

Crispy Hash Browns Recipe

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

Ingredients

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  • 3 Tbsp olive oil, canola oil, or grapeseed oil
  • 1 lb Russet baking potatoes, peeled and grated
  • Salt and pepper

Equipment needed:

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

Method

1 Heat 3 Tbsp of oil in a large frying pan on medium high heat.

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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.

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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.

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139 Comments

  1. Bosko

    Rinsing the grated potatoes of loose starch in several changes of water before drying helps as well. This works with virtually any “compromised” (i.e., cut or peeled) potato recipe, but especially those that involve frying. When the potato is compromised individual cell walls are opened releasing starch within that makes the recipe mushy, pasty, and starchy. How to cook potatoes for mashing without rupturing the cell walls is another story…

    Thanks for the tip! ~Elise

  2. daniel

    Cook’s Illustrated offered a great tip for getting the moisture out of shredded potatoes in a recipe for Potato Pancakes: places the shredded potatoes in a mesh collander, let them sit for a few minutes, then press down on them to get as much moisture out as you possibly can. Do this over a bowl, and you’ll end up with quite a bit of liquid, from which some potatoe starch will settle out of – it’s similar in feel/look/consistency to that toy you can make out of water + cornstarch. Scrape the strach out of the bottom and re-incorporate it into the potatoes. Works great!

    Good to know if you don’t have a ricer, thanks! ~Elise

  3. Caitlin

    I got so excited about the potato ricer that I bought one yesterday after reading your very funny yet usefull blog entry on hash browns. Unfortunately I didn’t read the instructions that well and ended up breaking the ricer because I tried to squeeze whole raw potatoes through 1 milimeter holes!! Now its totally bent!! Duh! Anyway, I think I’ll print out the recipe next time.

    Yikes! ~Elise

  4. Gavin

    I have a question about your HashBrowns.
    1) Have you ever made hashbrowns with the peals still on the potatos? Is there anything wrong with that? I thought since the skins contained a lot of the nutrients of a potato it was better to leave them on.
    2) If you do leave the skins on, do you know a good way to prevent the dicoloration? They all turn a bit… purple (using Russet potatos at least).

    My wife and I love hash browns in the morning, but we have moved to using the frozen stuff for ease of use. I would like to get back to making fresh but I wasn’t sure about the peal… leave it on and ignore the color, or take it off at the expense of some nutrition.

    Thanks, I just found your site and I am excited about exploring your thoughts.

  5. Pat

    I used our new potato ricer to try out your hash brown recipe last night. Instead of being predictably mushy, the hash browns turned out nice and crispy, and my family loved them.

  6. Tim

    Are you actually pressing the grated potatoes through the ricer? Or just squeezing water out? It seems like it would just further mangle the already-shredded potatoes.

    Just to squeeze the water out. ~Elise

  7. Jo

    I just tried this recipe and I managed to get the same crispiness you speak of by just squeezing out the potatoes with several paper towels. You can’t just blot them…you have to squeeze them in your fist. Use several paper towels so that you can get the majority of the juice out. It was my first time making hash browns and they came out flavorfully perfect.

  8. alek

    Funny story … and yes, crispy is the way to go with hash browns. Have you tried in a George Foreman Grill – that’s how my mom makes hash browns … and they don’t come out mushy! ;-)

    Hi Alek – no, I’ve never tried this in a George Forman Grill. Innovative approach I must say. ~Elise

  9. Atom-x

    Thanks Elise for the tip. I’ve been the proud owner of a potato ricer since I was a teen. (I was a fanatic kid when it came to riced-potatoes!) Although I haven’t found too many uses for one of the most obscure piece of hand-held kitchen gadgetry next to a sausage-maker.

    I’ll have to try partly-concentrating my spuds to see how it works.

    Gavin asked if you can leave the skins when making hash browns – I’ve done it before and they taste great.

    If you want to make sure your potatoes don’t turn colour, you can grate them directly into a large pot of cold water in which you have added a few tablespoons of vinegar (or lemon-juice or pretty much any edible acid). The acid keeps the PH high enough that bacteria won’t start munching on your food before you do, as well as natural oxidation.

    Happy munchin’

    - Atom-x

  10. Marcos Baca

    Wow thanks for the recipe. I am 14 years old and everyone gave me props for breakfast. Thanks!

  11. jet

    Thanks for the tips!

    Gavin — your potatoes are turning PURPLE not so much because of the skin but because grating the potatoes are releasing sugars which will oxidize if you let them sit out too long. You need to grate, dry, and throw in the pan without delay!

  12. Mrs. Mallya

    I tried hash brown today for the first time using your recipe and it turned out really well! Thanks a ton. My husband loved it. And I scored some points ;)

  13. Jonathan

    I’m a bit late to this page, but seeing as it’s the first hit on Google when searching for “hash browns recipe”, I thought I should add my experience anyway. I made hash browns today for the first time, and they turned out great; cooked through, crispy on the outside and very tasty. I didn’t use a potato ricer, but instead I gathered up the grated potato in a clean dish towel, sort of like a giant wonton, and twisted and squeezed to get the moisture out. It took a little effort, but it worked perfectly.

  14. rob_s

    How would you add onions to this recipe? Saute on their own and server over? Mix in raw before frying? I love onions with my hashbrowns. Thanks!

  15. Vic

    Are you cooking raw potatoes or previously boiled potatoes?

    Note from Elise: we are using grated raw potatoes.

  16. allan

    rob_s – try chopping the onion and then microwaving them in a covered bowl until they are just transparent, then add them to the spuds !

    cheers,
    al.

  17. nick

    My teenage son asked me to make soem hash browns one Sunday morning so I had to make-up my own recipe. I grated the potato (which were wet-I’m getting a ricer this week though!) then finely chopped some red onion and put them both in a bowl to mix well.I then spread this mix out evenly across a chopping board to the season as follows (means the seasoning is evenly spread in the mixture): white pepper, onion salt and a small amount (1/2 tsp) Garlic (dried garlic ground from grinder-dispenser but would use fresh or Garlic granules or Garlic salt ), with some parsley and couple of sprinkles cayenne pepper.I then return the seasoned mixture to the bowl to incorporate the seasoning. I spread out the mix on the board to shape the servings into rectangles so they are just the right depth.When the oil is hot enough I use a spatula to place them in the frying pan to cook.The come out very tasty indeed, and my son devours them.

  18. Vicky

    I just found these old hash brown posts, but I have the best solution of all: Grate the potatoes with potato grater (has bigger holes), rinse them off in a colander and SPIN DRY them in a salad spinner! Works like a charm.

  19. lacey

    I make these often! I do not have a ricer so I grate them with my food processor (peels on) and let them sit in a colander while I use paper towels to squeeze them every once in a while. Before cooking, I lay them all out on a paper towel and blot the top again. They are pinky-purple when I drop them into the oil, but they lose that color as soon as they start to cook. I salt and pepper them before I flip. Yummy!

  20. Jerry Purcell

    If you live near the Mexican border or travel to Mexico, buy a tortilla press and use this to press out the water. You can put a lot of pressure on whatever is in the press. They are very cheap to buy. Some Mexicans make a press from wood which works just as well.

  21. Andrew Fuchs

    Another way to get dryer crispier hash browns is to bake the potatoes the night before and then just grate them with a cheese grater. It’s much better than using fresh potatoes.

    • Douglas Rees

      My late Irish grandmother (Irish are experts with potatoes) always used the left over baked Potatoes for hash browns next morning. She made similar fried patties from other vege’s too. Not to be confused with “Bubble and squeak !!!” These re cooked items were wonderful.

  22. Allison

    This recipe is awesome with eggs and bacon. The potato ricer is genius.

  23. Ariadna

    Since I live in Mexico, I do have a tortilla press… it’s made of metal. I’m thinking, you’d have to press the potatoes using towels or something, right? Anyway, I’m happy to have found this recipe, because the only time I’ve “made” hash browns, I (stupid me) had no idea I had to press out the liquid, so they came out HORRIBLE. Now that I found this, I’ll try again. Thanks a lot!!
    PS: I’d rather try the potato ricer, though. Too bad I don’t have one, and I don’t know if they are sold in Mexico.

  24. Carol

    WOW – thanks to everyone for all the great info!! Ariadna – you’re not the only one that had no idea water needed to be pressed out of potatoes…. seems so logical, I can’t believe I didn’t know that either! I made some hashbrowns for my kids this morning (by special request) and they turned out great! I don’t have a potato ricer (yet) so I used a combination of paper towels and my hands to get ALOT of the liquid out. Thanks again for all the posts/advice, I appreciate the education!!!

  25. mike

    You can also place the shredded potatoes in a strainer and press on them with a plastic bowl, then use paper towl and repeat with your hand.

  26. carol

    Fast and easy hash browns. I put two potatoes in the microwave for 1 1/2 minutes, let cool down and put in fridge to cool. This takes all the moisture out of the potatoes. Grate on large side of grater. I coat the bottom of 8″ pan with canola oil and small amount of butter to add flavor to pan. Heat and add grated potatoes, salt and pepper, brown and turn. You will be amazed at the results. Quick and easy.

  27. Kevin

    Fantastic recipe! My wife had never had hash browns before so when I made them for her she loved them, however, I was always disappointed because they were oily amd mushy. Problem solved! Hmmm and I always thought the water in the potato helped them cook. Anyway, living on Guam we are VERY LIMITED on fancy kitchen gadgets like a ricer, so I employed my 2 young boys to “help dad in the kitchen” I sliced the potatoes with a madolin (sp) and them put them in a paper towel which was placed in a larger towel. I wrapped the ends of the towel around 2 dowels and told the boys to twist it hard!! They had a blast and got all of the water out. Best hash browns ever and it made a wonderful family activity! Thanks again for the recipe.

  28. Sally

    I made really yummy hash browns the other day… in a grill press thingy (the one made by the ex boxer). Grated the potato with the skin on (I like the skin) – squeezed out the water in clumps in my hands (it was just me eating ;) ) & sliced up some onion into it, adding salt & pepper. Wiped the surface of the grill with olive oil & let it do its stuff! mmm crispy with caramelised onion flavour & a healthy alternative to frying.

  29. Sally 2

    I grate the potatoes and pile them on a cloth towel, gather up the edges of the towel and “wring” the liquid out. I do the same with loose-pack frozen hash browns. Works like a charm and makes a huge difference in the finished dish.

    I’ve used paper towels, too, but really prefer using a cloth towel.

  30. David Evans

    On uses for the potato ricer: my sister used to use hers for making spaetzle, the south-German dumplings. Make a batter rather than a dough, then squeeze through the ricer directly into boiling water. When they float back to the top, skim and fry in lots of butter.

    Mmmmmm… nice with a pork and mushroom stew with cream…

  31. Hallie

    Wow, just this weekend I was looking at the potatoes that I made my boyfriend and was thinking these are so mushy. I wonder how to get my hash browns crispy. So here is my answer. I now have to go to the store and buy a potato ricer. Thanks so much! I think you saved my relationship. Now he’ll never complain about mushy Sunday morning potatoes again!

    Make sure that you get a sturdy model. The first ricer my father bought he bent the handle of and had to take back. Doesn’t help that he has hands of steel, but he did make a point to me about making sure the ricer model was strong. ~Elise

  32. nicole

    You can flip them by sliding the whole thing onto a plate and then “dumping” it back into the pan, or you can slide it onto a plate, put a second plate on top, flip and slide back into the pan.

  33. Lydia (The Perfect Pantry)

    Absent a potato ricer, Julia Child’s method of squeezing through an impeccably clean purple towel seems to work well, too. Just twist and twist the towel to concentrate the potatoes in a ball, and then the more you twist, the more water comes out.

  34. Terry Tyson

    Try this for a quick breakfast. After preparing the potatoes. Use an Electric Sandwich press that makes triangular shaped sandwiches. Spray with some cooking spray and fill the cavities with grated potatoes and close. When the steam slows or stops you have some amazingly crisp Hash Browns. You can also use a Panini Press. You never makes sandwiches with either of these devices so use them to make Hash Browns.

  35. Sunny

    Atom X: I originally purchased my ricer to take all the moisture out of frozen spinach. Works like a charm. Then I used it to make my mashed potatoes. Great smooth texture. But now I will try it for this wonderful receipe of hashbrowns. My husband and I both like them really crispy. Thanks for the receipe Elise.

  36. howie

    I work with hash browns everyday; the best hashbrowns are made with day old baked potatoes which are nice and dry. That’s what you want. A little oil in a hot pan you’re all set. Oh and you’ve got to grate those spuds.

  37. Sharon

    My husband has always made the best hash browns, as far as I’m concerned. He uses left-over baked potatoes..or he grates raw potatoes and spreads the shreds on a plate and cooks them in the microwave for a few minutes (about 5 min in our microwave) to dry them out and partially cook them. Then, and this is the best thing of all, is that he cooks them on the griddle of our stove in a puddle of BUTTER. When the bottom is done, he puts a couple of thin slices of Butter on the top of the potatoes, and a hearty sprinkle of Lawry’s Season Salt ( NO substitution tastes as good),
    and flips the potatoes over to cook the top
    till it is nice and crispy. Another healthy sprinkle of Lawry’s Season Salt, and a dallop of sour cream…. Heaven on a Plate… So, so good. Crispy, buttery, salty….what could be better. My favorite breakfast item for almost 32 years! I don’t even order Hash Browns at restaurants anymore because even if I order them Extra Crispy, they invariably dissapoint.

  38. Maria

    I read a tip on squeezing the moisture from frozen spinach that might work here. Put the potatoes in a tea towel to squeeze out the moisture.

  39. Francie

    I made these last night and DH said they were the best hash browns he’d ever eaten. Thanks for the tip!

  40. K9srCool

    If you really want to get the water out of shredded potatoes take a clean kitchen towel (NOT TERRYCLOTH), lay out the towel, spread the shredded potatoes parallel to the length, fold over both sides and twist (over the sink). I never imagined that potatoes held so much water.

  41. Christie

    Thanks for the great recipe. I will be getting a potato ricer this weekend. I remember Martha Stewart once saying that the best mashed potatoes are made with a potato ricer so now I’ll have two reasons to buy one!

  42. Wheeler

    These hashbrowns look great, thanks for posting the recipe despite the strife it caused in your family.

    Strife? Nah, this is everyday pleasant conversation around here. ;-) You’re very welcome. ~Elise

  43. Lori

    Hi Elise,

    As I was reading this recipe tonight, I thought, “Wow, this is really weird… that is EXACTLY how I make hash browns.” It seemed like deja vu… your parents’ bickering about the proper moisture-removing technique, you sneaking out of the room… and then… Duh! That’s exactly how I make hash browns because I had already adopted your recipe. Two years ago. My ricer thanks your dad for giving it another purpose than just making mashed potatoes. And my family thanks your family for the delicious recipes and memorable stories.

  44. Sophie

    I’ve used the tea towel/dish towel method for squeezing the moisture out of grated potatoes many times.
    You just have to make sure you put the towel straight in the wash or purplish stains appear on the tea towel.

  45. jk

    To add to the strainer idea, you can also salt them, and let the potato sit in the strainer over a bowl. This will help get the water to come out of the potatoes. I particularly like this when I make sweet potato hash browns.

  46. Traci @ Soup of The Day

    I made this yesterday. I was great! Boy, the ricer really was an easy way to get the water out. Great idea that was. I used the food processor to grate the potato though. I’m lazy like that.

    I love my potato ricer. The brand I have is Browne. It’s got really strong handles (so you can’t bend them) and they’re really long, so you have leverage on your side, and you don’t have to be Superwoman to use it. And you don’t even have to peel the potatoes for mashed potatoes, just boil them whole then cut in half and put in the ricer. It spits out all the potato, leaving the skins behind (which I eat!)

    For the hash browns, only the water comes out, not the potato.

  47. Ken

    When making hashbrowns you can leave the skin on your potatoes. Another way to get the extra moisture out of you grated potatoes is to put a couple of paper towels on top of a regular hand towel and cover them with a second paper towel the use a rolling pin to press out the extra moisture.

    A rolling pin is a great idea, thanks! ~Elise

  48. Todd

    I use red potatoes and leave the skins on. It’s my 8 year old son’s favorite breakfast. I’ve always simply squeezed the excess water out with my hands so I’m anxious to try the ricer. Thanks for the tip!

  49. Karin

    Thanks so much for the great idea and way to make crispy Hash Browns. I have been looking for a good recipe for over a year. My dad makes German Potato Dumplings and they also need to be squeezed out. He sewed together two tea towels into a bag and put the grated potato in that and just twisted the bag till it was really tight and kneaded it to squeeze out more and more. This is an extreme I know but what I’m getting at is that for a small amount you could put it in a tea towel pull it together and twist it tight squeezing the water and starch out. Don’t throw the starch away. You can use it to thicken gravies. You clean it tipping out the water when the starch has settled, adding fresh water and stirring it all up and letting it settle again. Keep this up till the starch is white and the water clear, finally tip the water out and let it dry.

  50. ccrock

    My hubby uses an old cotton t-shirt and squeezes the water out that way. It works well. He then incorporates some shredded onion and egg and makes potato patties and fries them in oil and it is my FAVORITE!

  51. Michael

    I’m at my wits’ end with these buggers. For years, I’ve struggled with the perfect hash brown, to no avail. After trying this dry-potato technique, they did indeed lose their mush, but they either sat in the pan for ages doing nothing or seared black, sticking to the pan. How quickly should each side be browning, about? 10 minutes? Less? More?

    Sounds like your pan needs to be hotter before you put the grated potatoes in, and if it’s sticking, you need more oil. It does take several minutes per side, maybe close to ten, depends on your pan, how much potato and how hot the pan is. ~Elise

  52. Nina Wilson

    Thanks for the fantastic ricer tip! Has anyone used sweet potato, or kumera, in their hash browns? I would like to as they are low GI….I also load mine up with garlic…soooo good :)

  53. cabezon

    I use a micro-fiber towel to squeeze out my potatoes. They are strong and won’t lint. I tried this time to make my hash browns thinner. I may have to get a job at waffle house to perfect this.

  54. Jen Ingram

    This recipe was fantastic! I made ‘brinner’ tonight (breakfast for dinner) and looked this recipe up. When I asked my husband if he wanted ‘crispy hashbrowns’ he said, “*Crispy* hashbrowns? Yeah, sure!” He seemed a bit skeptical I could manage it (both our moms do their hashbrowns Southern style by slicing the potatoes thin and frying them with onions and egg which make them mushy and, frankly, not good but people here like it that way. Not us, but others) but when it came out picture perfect he gorged himself on them.

    I don’t own a ricer so I used the paper towel method. It uses a lot of paper towels, and it’s a little messy, but if you squeeze, squeeze, squeeze it works well. Next time I’ll use the strainer method and save a few trees. I’m going to look up potato ricers though. Thanks for the great recipe! One note to folks trying this: definitely use an iron skillet. Per my husband, it adds flavor you just can’t get from stainless steel.

  55. Bonnie

    Oh my gosh, my family loved these! No more mushy hash browns here. I have had a ricer for years and used it for mashed potatoes and homemade applesauce, but never thought to use it for hash browns. What a great idea!

    Now my ricer is constantly on hand for fresh hash browns. Much, much better than frozen or restaurant hash browns. I suggest if you don’t have a ricer to go ahead and invest in one. They are not that expensive. Think of the money you’ll save on paper towels plus help the environment along the way! :-)

    Thanks for this awesome recipe and the funny story too!

  56. George J

    Thanks so much Elise for your funny story and the great hash browns recipe and technique. The particular reason I wanted perfect hash browns was for the following dish I offer to you in return. On a bed of hash browns lay a slice of smoked salmon, on that spread some steamed spinach, on that place a poached egg and top it off with a light sprinkle of mature cheese and serve.

  57. Ann

    I just made these hash browns and they are delicious! I squeezed the potatoes dry in paper towers a few times. Then I added some shredded cheddar cheese, garlic powder, salt and pepper to the potatoes.

    The cheddar melted and became crispy too. Absolutely delicious!

  58. Mat

    I just made these myself. Took me three tries to get it right, but they finally came out perfect. First time, I tried paper towels. Got the taters dry, but then couldn’t separate the toweling from the spuds. Grated up some more, this time using cheesecloth to strain. That worked really well. Admittedly, I’ve got big strong hands, though, so I can see where others might really appreciate the mechanical advantage of the ricer. But I didn’t have the pan hot enough. Third time was the charm. Good thing taters are cheap!

  59. Anna

    What is a potato ricer actually for? Is it just for this or is there some sort of purpose for it ?

    One usually uses a potato ricer to press through cooked potatoes for making mashed potatoes. We rarely use it that way, we mainly use it to press the water out of freshly grated potatoes. ~Elise

  60. Melissa

    I tried this because I love hashbrowns, and I have a lot of potatoes right now. I don’t know what I did wrong. No I did not use a potato ricer or whatever (I dont even know what that is, never heard of one before this). I didnt think of using a strainer or a colander or anything. Instead I took my grated potatoes and in small amounts, pressed a paper towel against them. I put the oil on the pan, and followed the directions to a tee….

    I ended up with grey clumps of tasteless potato pieces. And then I burnt my tounge trying to eat them 2 hours ago, and the tip of my tounge still has no feeling… I dont think I’ll try this ever again. I dont think I’m even going to eat hashbrowns for quite some time.

    If you do decide to try making them again I suggest that 1) you squeeze out more moisture from the potatoes, 2) spread them out more thinly on the pan, 3) cook them longer or on higher heat so they can brown properly, 4) make sure you add enough salt and pepper to them, and 5) wait until they cool a minute or two before attempting to eat them. ~Elise

  61. Roland P Michaels

    The ricer tip was great and worked very well. Also used it to make potato pancakes, creamed spinach,Thanks for the tip.

  62. Chef Al

    If you do not have a potato ricer, use a colander, rinse througly then dump onto a terry cloth dish towel. Roll the dish towel up and wring it out tight. Way easy and dry!

  63. Will T.

    OH MY GOODNESS! I’ve been trying to fry hash browns with the water in it for years, and I always failed! I just tried this recipe and boy it made a whole difference. I’m surprised at how many people like me didn’t know that you had the squeeze the juices out! Next thing on my list is to learn how to make kettle style potato chips!

    Thanks Elise!

  64. Worthley Burbank

    A ricer is a good idea. Rinsing then wrapping in a paper towel and squeezing the water out works well. But why olive oil? Duck fat, or butter with a touch of bland cooking oil to prevent burning is not so Mediterranean on the taste buds.

  65. Rabia

    How do you get the potatoes to stck together in the pan?

    If you follow the recipe as indicated, they just do. Make sure the layer of potatoes in the pan is thin. ~Elise

  66. Tom Laws

    “Salad Spinner!”

    So many uses besides salad.

    Rinse the shredder potatoes and spin the water out.

    Fry your own perfect tortilla chips and spin the excess oil out too.
    (try different brands of tortillas, some are way better)

  67. ash

    Crispy hashbrowns are are favorite! We have tried many ways, but the salad spinner is what works the best. It truly gets the moisture out.

  68. Ting Lau

    Thanks so much for giving out the secret!

    Ting

  69. Gabbie

    My husband always orders hashbrowns when we go out for breakfast but I’ve never made them. So since I had one leftover baking potato sitting in the pantry, I thought I should give it a try. The use of the ricer really clever and, to me, less messy than dealing with a dishtowel. My hashbrowns turned out great! Thanks for the recipe!

  70. russell

    Awesome! I used a metal strainer and grated the potatoes fine. I rinsed them in water real good then press them into the strainer until there was little water. Then I put them in hot oil about 1/8″ deep, no more than that. They were delicious.

  71. Di

    You can also squeeze out moisture with a cheesecloth (or an old linen, I used a cut-up piece of an old pillowcase since the fabric was thin enough) by placing the grated potatoes in the middle of the cloth, grabbing the edges and twisting to make a bundle and then squeezing out the “juice” as best as you can!

  72. Austin J. Peters

    Great recipe. I seem to remember a passage from an American story (Mark Twain??) about a boy watching his mother prepare potatoes for hash browns. She spread the grated spuds on a plate, sprinkled on salt and placed another plate on top. Then she turned the whole hollow side down and placed a filled kettle on top for weight. After a while a lot of water had dripped out. This is exactly as I saw a Greek woman do with cucumber for tzaziki.
    Ancient lore?

  73. sunny

    DELICIOUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  74. Emily

    Forgive this possibly silly question, but using a ricer doesn’t squish the grated potatoes through the holes or break the grated bits into tiny smushed pieces?

    Using a potato ricer on raw grated potatoes just squeezes the liquid out of them. ~Elise

  75. kristi

    The glorious hashbrown continues to elude me. I made these tonight but I too had problems getting them to stick together. I tried in the non-stick pan as well as the bigger iron skillet. (Does it make a difference?) Also it may not have been hot enough. Next time!
    (Would you ever try adding a binder? Egg, flour?)

  76. Edorovio

    Here in Switzerland we boil the potatoes the day before until they are half cooked but still pretty firm and let them cool in the fridge over night. The next day we grate them and fry them in butter or a butter/oil blend very slowly and for a long time. They get very crispy that way. It also helps if you use a heavy cast-iron frying pan.

  77. Terri

    My mom taught me a simple trick keep instant mashed potatoes on hand. They are great for thickening soup and stew, but I found if my potatoes are still watery I throw in a dash of instants which absorb the moisture. Seeing they are potato it will not change the flavor either.

  78. Brendan

    DEFINITELY use an iron skillet or a teflon coated non stick black skillet, NOT stainless steel. While I love stainless steel for most things, something about the stainless steel makes it not brown nearly as well. You just end up with a patty blackened on the outside and mushy on the inside, not cooked how you want it.

  79. Courtney Henslee

    The ricer is, indeed, a fabulous invention. However, I think it is important to note that we are all capable of squeezing moisture out with our own two hands. I have been eating the most heavenly hash browns made by my best friend of three years.

    She grates the potatoes. Holds them in a clump in her bare hands and rinses water through them over the sink. She then squeezes out all possible water over the sink and deposits them onto a plate, moves onto the next reasonable sized clump, and so one.

    I love kitchen gadgets, but I also love a bargain!! I think that we should always let each other know when a gadget makes life into a piece of cake in the kitchen, but we’ve also got to educate on what can be done for free :-)

    I am now going to purchase a potato ricer for my best friend!!

    Wooden Spoons and Revolution
    Courtney Henslee

  80. Rendra Basuki

    Hi,

    I love to experiment with cooking. One day my wife put the peeled potatoes into the fridge since she forgot to cook. Then at night my tummy went hungry and I took one of the peeled and fridged potatoes and ran it through a grater. Guess what, the moisture is actually gone after the potato was put inside refrigerator. And surprisingly I got a crispy hash brown although I did not mean to make one. :P

    Anyway, I still did not get the right taste of my experimented cooking. The idea was to combine hash brown and egg. To make a hash egg or something. The taste of the egg overcame the hash brown. I could barely taste any hash brown in the egg.

    Here is my cooking story:
    2 eggs stirred and then cooked together with cooked hash brown. The hash brown itself was a big chunk of potato about 3 inches in diameter grated medium size.

    I put aside some hash brown to taste it. It was ok, but after combining with the egg and put some ground pepper, the egg overcame the hash brown. Maybe I should put only half egg. Any comments?

  81. andrew

    These hash browns are great! I used garlic salt instead of salt and a little bit of minced onion and cheddar cheese. Fantastic.

  82. Nalini

    Wow! Tried these tonight with a ricer and using a cast iron pan. They were great. I didnt have Russet potatoes and just used small creamer potatoes (I wanted to try it that bad!) and still no probs! Thanks!!!

  83. Laura

    OK, my husband pronounced these “the best hash browns I’ve ever eaten.” MAJOR husband points! *Thank you*!

    My technique, not having a ricer, is to put the shredded potato in a clean dish towel and twist them over the sink. Then, I put them on the floor (folding a clean section of cloth under the wrapped ball so it doesn’t touch the floor), put a cutting board on them, and stand on the cutting board, move around a little bit. This removes almost all of the moisture. Fry ‘em in olive oil.

    Result: the lightest, fluffiest, crispiest hash browns ever! Thanks again!

  84. Lulu

    I followed the recipe exactly as is. It turned out great !! I am pregnant and I have been craving hash browns and tried lots of ready made ones, but this recipe is the best and made the lightest Browns ever.. Thank you for a great recipe..

  85. DANA LEONG

    Thanks a million. Your years of hash brown experience has made my day! Many more time of entertaining and impressing guests to come! =P

  86. Bella

    Will this potato ricer thing work if I have already boiled potatoes and cooled them in the fridge overnight? I grated some of them this morning, which was alright, I suppose, but the potato ended up crumbling a bit (russet potatoes, of course). They were mushy, ’cause I didn’t rid the moisture. I’m scared that if I use the potato ricer that I’ll end up with mashed potatoes, since they’re cooked already.

    Yes, you will end up with mashed potatoes if you use a potato ricer on already cooked potatoes. This recipe requires grated raw potatoes, not cooked. ~Elise

  87. dawn

    I made these by shredding the potatoes in a food processor and then squeezing them in a towel. I used both the George Foreman and a regular frying pan on the stovetop. I found the frying pan worked best. After they were done browning, I turned the heat off, and topped them with cheese, covered with a lid, and voila! They were the right amount of crispy, greasy, salty, cheesy goodness! I also topped with sour cream. So good!

  88. Sheila

    I loved your family “debates” Thank you, I needed that!

    Thank you again, and this time it’s for the wonderful Birthday Present you gave me with this post. You have solved my “mystery hash brown potatoes problem,” of the past 52 years!

    I’ve always been a pretty good cook, since I started cooking when I was about 10 years old, but for the life of me, I just could NOT get hash browns right.

    NOW I KNOW WHY!!!

    I’m 62 today, and I FINALLY know how to make them the RIGHT WAY!

    Bless you and your family for this wonderful news.

    Tonight we will have the best Hash Brown Potatoes we have ever had.

    Sheila
    PS I must also confess that I do like them gummy too. BUT…. Crispy is SO much better!

  89. Dave

    It seems that the potato ricer is one of the great mysteries of the modern world. I’ve owned one for years, and I found this recipe by searching for other uses for it. I usually use it for mashed potatoes. It’s a great kitchen tool that more people should know about. It makes the fluffiest mashed potatoes. Comment after comment starts with, “Well, I don’t have a potato ricer…” I suggest to other readers that they actually go out and get a good potato ricer. Until people actually try this device, they don’t know what they’re missing!

  90. Rich

    To one of the first posts up there. There is nothing wrong with leaving the peels on the potatoes. Add a tiny amount of salt and stir in a bowl after done drying, and it will help blend the skin and meat of the potato together for consistency and cooking purposes.

  91. Steve

    I like to grate my potaotes the night before and place them in the refrigerator for the next morning’s breakfast. However, I find they turn purple looking. How can I stop the grated hash brown potatoes from turning purple after I’ve removed the excess moisture?

    Sounds to me like they are oxidizing. Have you tried grating them into water, covering the dish, and then in the morning squeezing out all of the moisture? ~Elise

  92. melissa

    These hashbrowns were great. Try adding some cayenne. I will definitely make these again.

  93. Xander

    I followed your directions for my first time ever making hashbrowns. They were fantastic! Thank you.

  94. MrobD

    Been working on this for a while now… First, spend the 7 bucks and get a ricer… best kitchen purchase ever. Second, grate, rinse, press in ricer as described above. Third, and this makes a difference, after the ricer I zap the spuds in the microwave for about a minute per potato before frying. This gets even more moisture out and “par cooks” them as well. Season to your liking. Finally, forget the spatula stuff. Take a chance and go for the pan flip! The kids love the drama.

    Great suggestion! I hadn’t thought of using the microwave for the inbetween step, but I can see how it would make a difference. ~Elise

  95. Marie

    How about boiling the potatoes first? I believe that is how the Swiss do it and they have a national hash brown recipe they call ‘roeschti’. I don’t know all the ins and outs, but I believe they cook them first till you can just pierce them with a fork and refrigerate over night. That is what I do and only then do I grate them. It takes a little more time up front but they brown up much much faster, taste better and are a lot drier. Also I don’t have to peel them that way, it just comes off as I grate or rice them.

  96. Millie

    I love crispy hash browns! I use a food processor (takes method takes only seconds) to shred/grate 2-3 peeled Russet potatoes. I let them soak for a few minutes in a little water with a teaspoon of vinegar right in the bowl. Then I use a salad spinner to dry them off. I have a ricer, but prefer this method since it requires less effort. It works marvelously. I used to waste paper towels squeezing them and the towels are ok, but now they come out of the spinner loose and dry. Spread them on a plate and microwave for 1-2 minutes. It par cooks the potatoes a little. Place the potatoes in a heated iron skillet with about 2 Tablespoon of oil. Season with salt and pepper. Cook on medium-high for about 8 mins. I flip them on the same plate I used to microwave them. Then just slide them right back in the pan. Cook another 8 mins or until golden brown.

  97. Amy

    I just made these and they were the best I’ve ever made. I didn’t have a potato ricer so I spread the grated potatoes out on a clean tea towel (dish towel), then laid another across the top. I then rolled them up and twisted, literally rang out the liquid over the sink. It worked a charm, and I was amazed how much liquid comes out of 3 potatoes. I also used duck fat instead of oil (I hear goose fat is even better) due to the higher temperature at which it burns. (Better also for the taste, but not better for my waste line I’m afraid.)

  98. FredShoey

    Love this recipe and all the ideas about great hash browns. I usually cook in a nonstick skillet with some cooking spray. Have recently found that a few dabs of butter on top, before the first flip, and a bit of salt tastes yum. Too much butter and it gets too greasy. Just a little bit of butter gets the aroma and flavor that is a winner.

  99. Jennifer Williamson

    I love this recipe. My question is, I have been lucky to get six bags of potatoes and I have always wanted to make a big mess of hash browns and freeze them for later use. Should I cook them first then freeze them or should I freeze them after the moisture is out, onion and seasoning is added and I form them into the nice rectangular shapes?

    I really liked the idea of the sandwich maker or panini pan, does that actually work?

    Hi Jennifer, I honestly don’t know the answer (to either of your questions). For the first question, you might try it both ways and see what works best. For the second question, I think at least one person has commented that a panini pan works for them. At least one other has mentioned using a George Forman grill which is similar to a panini pan. ~Elise

  100. SaltIsYum

    Great tip.

    For what it’s worth, after I pressed them through my colander, I put the shredded potato pieces into a dry bowl and salted them thoroughly. Then, after waiting about 10 minutes, even more water had come out. I carefully poured that additional water out of the bowl. This resulted in even drier potatoes.

  101. Eric Kincaid

    Put your shredded potatoes in a shallow bowl, then put a matching bowl on top and squeeze them together over the sink to get the water out.

  102. Norman Adams

    I’ve been cooking hashbrowns in my restaurant for years and I boil the potatoe until they are tender pour water off let cool then peel the peeling comes off easy then shred and grill very good potato only take 1 to 2 min. to brown

  103. Tim Hoffman

    Does anyone have experience using hash brown rings. I googled these stainless rings and found them to be available from commercial restaurant suppliers in 4″, 5″ and 6″ diameters. For years I noticed the line cooks at Waffle House would corral the shredded potatoes inside round metal rings. When they appeared on the plate in front of me, they formed a tight crispy patty. Not sure this does anything for the flavor but the presentation is nice!

  104. Steve

    One thing I have noticed after years of frying – you can’t make good restaurant style hash browns on a nonstick surface. you need a grill or cast iron. Something about the nonstick creates a dry but not crispy crust that is unappealing. Has anyonew else noticed this phenomenon?

    Depends on the surface. Newer non-sticks sear better than ones made 5-10 years ago, in my experience. ~Hank

  105. jimena

    hahaha i ate crispy hashbrowns today for breakfast they were delicious and i made them all by myself

  106. Brent

    I see this recipe is about 6 years old…but I just tried it today. Never too late to give credit where credit is due.

    Simple and the results were fantastic. I pressed the water out of 3 shredded potatoes with muscle and paper towels–it was not taxing.

    I seasoned the oil with my beloved Tony Chachere’s Creole salt and that was about it. I eat hash browns out of the bag all the time…now I’ll never go back. Thanks.

  107. grego

    For grated hashbrowns, I add salt to the raw grated potatoes and let it sit for 10 minutes or so. This draws the water out and I will pat it down with a paper towel.

    For chopped hashbrowns, I will usually parboil or microwave potatoes before cooking.

  108. lewis

    Another way is to spray the grated spuds with oil, clump them in your hands, not too tightly and brown them on a heavy, shallow aluminium or iron pan, pre-heated to about 350f

  109. Nicole

    We keep our ricer with the playdoh toys since we use it so rarely… the kids love playing with it… and I know where to find it when I need it :) Great idea by the way… I may have to wash out the ricer and try it!

  110. Pompi

    Rubbing in about 1/2 tsp of turmeric powder per potato after shredding and before frying them helps with the browning. But I have a question, what would happen if I spread out the shredded potatoes on a cookie sheet and nuked them for a while before frying them? Does that help with the crispiness?

    By “nuking” them do you mean microwave? If so, I don’t think that will help much, but who knows? If you put them in the oven, which is drying, then yes, I think that would help to get them to brown better. ~Elise

  111. Ami Shah

    Great tip.

    For what it’s worth, after I pressed them through my colander, I put the shredded potato pieces into a dry bowl and salted them thoroughly. Then, after waiting about 10 minutes, even more water had come out. I carefully poured that additional water out of the bowl. This resulted in even drier potatoes.

    I completely agree with this tip….it also works on cabbage and cucumber…but as on now will try hash browns!!

  112. CapnStarch

    Best Hash Brown recipe ever. I don’t understand why your Dad didn’t tell your mom about it.

  113. sonia

    These are so delicious! We didn’t have a rice and just ended up squeezing out as much water as we could with our hands. That and the trick you mentioned of not laying them to thickly in any one place in the pan created some great results. Great recipe!

  114. KC

    It might just be me – but, Hash browns *must* include onions and peppers. If you don’t, you are just making fried potatoes not hash browns!

  115. Marydelia

    I tried it your way first but they wouldn’t stick together (I used the potato ricer), then I added an egg white & they came out amazing.

  116. Adrienne

    I make these all the time! I love them. I don’t have a potato ricer so I used a old clean can to use as a makeshift ricer. I realized when i was draining kidney beans that I could use it as a ricer of sorts. It worked really well!

  117. Terri

    I’ve read some awesome suggestions on this site. They all have similar preparations. ONE THING that I also do with hashbrowns is put them in the “freezer” after they are shredded, washed with cold water in a collander, and squeezed of starch and water thoroughly–whether by hand, towel, paper towels, or Ricer. Now, freezing uncovered shredded potatoes in an uncovered bowl will give you some extra “CRUNCH” when frying. Similar to Ore-Ida’s Frozen Hashbrowns–THEY “Quick-Freeze” theirs. Of course, we cannot do that. This basically works the same way.

    Now, I have read about adding onion salt–I’m trying this morning for more added flavor OR try some Creole Seasoning (since I’m Louisiana Born now living in Kansas City) for added spice.

    I love the Artisan ways! Believe me–these major food manufactures got their recipes from the “old” generation–they just added some newer technology of preservation! HAPPY COOKING!! ;-)

  118. Daniel

    I just love the dialogue preceding the recipe. It makes me laugh – which was certainly worth a visit to the site.

  119. skinner

    A Trick I learned from my mother is to shred the potatoes, place them in a towel, (she used an old, clean bath towel) fold it over and place it on the floor and walk on it… Granted she was close to 300 lbs, but I weigh just under 200 and it gets them plenty dry, if you are under 120-130 lbs you may need to jump. :-) It takes no special tools and quicker than a ricer…

  120. Phillip Hunt

    Hi Elise, When visiting friends in Switzerland, they made me some Rosti. Hildigard’s method was to boil peeled potatoes evening before day of use (cooking to still firm). Then she put them in the fridge over night. The next day she grated the cold firm potato into bowl. She used butter in pan (unsalted). The rest was same as usual. It was moist inside and yet crispy on outside very nice!

  121. Zeke

    Thanks for the recipe, I’ve struggled to make these, but today was a success. My daughter, who had already finished breakfast, tried one and said, “Mmm, yummy!”, and proceeded to go back for more a couple times.

    I used the teatowel method and it worked really well as my ricer is plastic and I didn’t think it would survive the process!

    For the second lot I did I added finely sliced Garlic and Chilli… Woohoo, fantastic!

  122. SHINLA

    You can also take the potatoes after grating and squeeze them in your hands to remove excess liquid. Give each handful two or three squeezes. Works just and well as a potato ricer and definitely better than paper towels!

    You must have strong hands. ~Elise

  123. M arilyn

    I followed this recipe this morning for the first time. The hash browns turned out great, really great. My husband loved them. I have a ricer, so I was able to squeeze out all the water from the patato. They were really crisp.

  124. Amanda

    This is a great recipe! I used sweet potatoes with the skins on, and they turned out incredibly crispy and delicious. I wasn’t sure about sweet potatoes for hash browns, but it’s really tasty!

  125. JD

    I also put the shredded potatoes in a dish towel, roll it up, and ring out all the liquid I physically can. The dish towel must be washed after that as it will discolor from the potato starch but it works quite well if you don’t have a ricer. You will never get out as much water with just paper towels. I also put mine on a plate, cover with plastic wrap, and microwave 3-4 minutes just to be sure the potatoes are cooked through before browning them in a pan.

  126. Pamela Simon

    I just tired this recipe today and it was wonderful. I had always tried to make hash browns before and either they were to mushy or I used way too much oil, so they tasted just like oil and no potato flavor. I do not have a ricer but I did use my citrus squeezer it worked out great. I just had snowball size potato balls spread them out on some paper towels and then put all of the potato in the pan. They turned out great!

  127. Sian

    I found this recipe on Saturday and thought I’d give it a try. Improvised a bit by adding raw grated onion, and kumara (New Zealand sweet potato) to the grated potatoes. Squeezed moisture out of everything first and then mixed it all up. They were really yummy!! But all my fiance’s effort in squeezing the moisture out made me think I might try Carol’s suggestion next time of popping the potatoes in the microwave for a minute and half first to get rid of most of the moisture. Great recipe and great to see comments still being added for a total of six years!! Wow!

  128. Art

    No ricer, use your orange or lemon juice squeezer. Fill it with the shredded potatoes, squeeze, then add more to achieve critical mass a squeeze hard. You will be surprised o see how much liquid comes out. Then go ahead and use the paper towels.

    Great idea, thanks! ~Elise

  129. Jesse Gardner

    It’s Christmas day at the Gardner house, which means I do the cooking.

    I didn’t have a ricer, but I put it in a mesh colander with a brick on top while I finished grating the rest of the potato. I did a bit of hand-squeezing as well as paper-towel drying and I got a really nice crisp. I also added some Old Bay seasoning which really punched up the flavor.

    Thanks for the tips, Elise!

  130. iansmous

    A salad Spinner works awesome, I soak them for about five minutes in water, with a little walt. Then spin the water out of them.
    great blog btw

  131. Mike in Indiana

    Wow! I love how this thread has been going since 2005! Great tips here. I find that the “kitchen towel method” works just fine for de-moisturizing (is that a word?) my hash browns before cooking. I did find an old kitchen utensil on eBay that I love love love. It’s called a Mouli. Get one!

  132. Christina

    What about using a tortilla press to squeeze out excess water…? Or a rolling pin with potatoes in between two wash cloths… ?

  133. Ian McGreggor

    Have you ever heard of anyone steaming and shredding the potatoes the night before? I don’t know where my mother heard the idea, but she would slightly steam the potatoes and shred them the night before. After she shredded them, she would put them on a plate, cover them with wax-paper, and they were ready to put in her big iron skillet the next morning. I’m not sure what the benefit in steaming and shredding them the night before was, but they always seemed to turn out perfect when she cooked them the following morning….Thanks

    Well that’s a new one, good idea, thanks! ~Elise

  134. Chrystal

    I grated my potatoes with a large hole grater…put them in a mesh colander. Pressed a lot of water out of them. But to me they still felt too wet. So I grabbed my hair dryer. Put it on high and cool and for 2 minutes turned the colander regularly until they no longer felt super wet.

    When I fried them I was so happy with the quality. They were definitely the best hash browns I had ever made before.

    If you don’t have a ricer and don’t want mushy browns….just pull out a hair dryer and treat the potatoes. Weird huh?

  135. Kim

    This recipe is fantastic! I don’t have a potato ricer and the thought of putting all those grated potatoes through a garlic press seemed daunting, so I just used my brute strength and squeezed the moisture out of them with my hands in small batches. Worked like a charm!

    Thanks for demystifying the art of hashed browns for me! :)

    Hi Kim, sounds like you got a good workout! For the record, you don’t actually squeeze the raw potatoes through the ricer, you just squeeze them in the ricer to get the liquid out. ~Elise

  136. Sandra Fowler

    Okay so I don’t have a potato ricer and, in an attempt to be green, don’t use paper towels.

    After a moment or two of woeing over not being able to make non-mushy hashbrowns – I got an idea.

    I spread one clean towel (folded in quarters) on the floor, dumped the grated potatoes (which I prepared using my food processor) on top of the first towel, placed a second clean towel on top and then stood on the towels.

    Now I’m not a physicist, but I’m pretty sure I weigh more than the force used in a potato ricer.

    Either way, worked fantastically.

    Now to get the excess potato off my towels…

  137. Jean Collins

    I used my salad spinner to remove the moisture and it worked great!

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