I’ve tested many different methods for making Hash Browns, and this is how to make wonderfully crispy shredded potatoes from scratch, that aren’t gummy or mushy.
There is no better breakfast side for pairing with eggs and bacon than hash browns, if you ask me.
There are a lot of bagged hash brown products in the freezer section, but I’ve always been a stickler for making them from scratch (and yes, I’ve tried several different brands of those bagged hash browns).
In my opinion, they don’t taste nearly as good as hash browns made from scratch, with fresh potatoes.
And so long as you have a food processor with a shredding blade, it’s so quick to prep the potatoes anyway.
How to Make Hash Browns:
As an overview, hash browns are made by peeling and shredding russet potatoes, soaking and rinsing them, then cooking in a skillet.
Shred the Potatoes:
I have handheld shredders, but nothing is easier or faster than using the shredding disk on a food processor.
If you don’t have a food processor, get one! This is the newer model of the one I have (affiliate), I’ve owned it for 10 years and I use it nearly every day of the week.
Peel 3 russet potatoes and quickly shred them with the disk:
Hold the Shredded Potato in Water to Prevent Browning
Immediately move the potatoes to a big bowl of cold water, to keep the potatoes from browning. The water will be a bit murky and foamy from all the starch:
Rinse the Excess Starch Off
Drain and rinse the potato shreds well with cold running water:
Soak for 10 Minutes to Pull Out More Starch
Put the shredded potato back into a bowl of fresh cold water, and soak for 10 minutes, to allow more starch to come out of the potatoes.
Do you really need to soak for 10 minutes?
YES!! I tested simply rinsing the starch off, and the hash browns turned out much more gummy. So plan ahead to have that 10 minute soak.
Drain and rinse the potatoes again, and squeeze out as much water as you can with your hands.
Towel Dry the Potato for Superior Crispiness
Transfer the potato shreds to a kitchen towel. Wring out any water you can, and press the potatoes well, drying them as much as possible.
The potatoes will not brown until the moisture has cooked off, so that’s why it’s really important to get rid of as much water as possible before cooking.
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, and melt 2 tbsp of butter:
Butter gives hash browns that classic flavor, but you can use other types of fat if you’d like.
Bacon grease and ghee are good alternatives.
Add the dried potato shreds to the pan in a single layer, making sure you don’t overcrowd the pan:
Depending on how many people you want to feed, you may need to have two skillets going at the same time.
Let the potatoes sit for 4-5 minutes without stirring or flipping, until the bottom has turned golden brown:
Then you can stir the potatoes and continue cooking for another 15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes or so, until the potatoes are tender, and crisped and browned on most sides:
Serve the hash browns promptly, as potatoes tend to become less tender when they’re cold, and you want to keep them crisp as well.
Here’s How to Cook Bacon in the Oven for a hands-off way to have bacon ready to go while you’re tending to the potatoes.
Sometimes I also like to add these Hash Browns to my Breakfast Burrito. Enjoy!
More Savory Breakfast Recipes:
Hash Browns FAQ and Tips:
Storing leftovers: Leftovers keep well in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Freezing: You can freeze this recipe for up to 2 months. Store in an airtight container so the potatoes don’t dry out.
Reheating: You can reheat in the microwave, but they won’t be crispy like when you made them. If you want to re-crisp them, cook in a nonstick skillet for about 10 minutes.
- 3 russet potatoes (2 pounds), peeled
- 8 tbsp butter divided
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- Using the shredding disk of a food processor, shred the potatoes and immediately put into a big bowl of cold water in between shredding batches, to keep the potatoes from browning.
- Rinse the shredded potatoes in a colander, then put back into a big bowl of cold water. Soak for 10 minutes, then drain and rinse again.
- Squeeze as much water from the potatoes as you can with your hands, then transfer to a kitchen towel and wring out the potatoes even more, soaking up any moisture that you can.
- Unless you have a really large skillet, like 14", I recommend using two nonstick skillets to cook (I use a 10" and a 12"). Heat each one over medium heat, and melt 2 tbsp of butter in each pan.
- Split the shredded potatoes between the two pans, and season each batch with 1/4 tsp salt, and 1/8 tsp black pepper.
- Let the potatoes sit in the pan for 4-5 minutes, without stirring, until the bottom has browned, then start tossing the potatoes around to start cooking the other side.
- Add another 2 tbsp of butter to each pan, and cook for an additional 15 minutes, stirring/flipping every 5 minutes or so, to continue cooking and browning the hash browns.
- Do a final taste test for seasoning, and add more salt and pepper as needed. Serve the hash browns promptly, while warm. Enjoy!
Nutrition is estimated using a food database and is only intended to be used as a guideline for informational purposes.