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Learn the tricks to making the best Homemade Hash Browns! This recipe for hash brown potatoes is a super simple breakfast side dish that will leave you craving those crispy shredded potatoes all day long.
Why We Love This Recipe
Sure you can buy a bag of frozen shredded potatoes to make hash browns with. I’ve done it and it was fine. Not great – just okay. I had to use way more oil than I wanted to get a crispy crust on the outside and the insides were gummy. Hard pass.
However, these crispy homemade potatoes are a thing of beauty! Crispy outside, tender inside, and the seasoning is just right. One bite and you’ll never go back to frozen potatoes!
They do take a little more prep than pre-shredded potatoes, but it’s oh so worth it when you take that first crispy bite. You have to grate the potatoes, rinse, drain, rinse, and dry. But these are going to be the most crispy and delicious hash browns you’ve ever had, and no deep fryer needed!
Ingredients For Homemade Hash Browns
Nothing fancy here friends. Just skillet fried potatoes seasoned right.
- Russet potatoes – Russet potatoes work best for this recipe. You can peel them first or leave the skins on like I did. Totally your call.
- Butter – real butter is necessary for getting those crispy edges.
- Salt & pepper – season as much or as little as you like.
- Cayenne pepper – for flavor, but totally optional.
How To Make Hash Browns From Scratch
- Start by washing and drying your potatoes. If you’re going to peel the potatoes, do that instead, but you can also leave the peels on.
- Then either grab a box grater or your food processor fitted with the grating disc attachment. Shred the potatoes and then transfer them to a large bowl of cold water to keep them from turning brown. Use your hands to stir the potatoes around in the water until it becomes cloudy, then drain and repeat.
- Dry the shredded potatoes on some paper towel lined baking sheets and squeeze out as much moisture as you can.
- Melt butter in a large skillet and add the potatoes and form them into a single layer patty. Season as you like with salt, pepper, and cayenne.
- Cook for 5 minutes until a golden-brown crust forms on the bottom of the potatoes. No messing with them before 5 minutes is up! Then flip the potatoes. I work in sections so I’m not trying to flip the whole thing at once.
- Add a little more butter and cook for 5 minutes until the potatoes are golden and crispy. Then serve them up ASAP!
How To Make Hash Browns Crispy
- Soak the potatoes – Soaking and rinsing the potatoes removes the excess starches. You need to fully submerge the potatoes, not just run water over them. Removing these starches will help prevent raw sections inside your finished dish.
- Drying the potatoes – Dry those bad boys out! Removing all possible excess moisture is the key to getting a nice crispy crust on your potatoes. Do not skip this step!
- Non-stick skillet – So your potatoes won’t stick to the pan while that crispy crust forms. A cast-iron skillet would be your next best option if you don’t have a non-stick pan on hand.
- No touching – Don’t mess with your potatoes while they’re frying. This lets the crust form and get that nice color. If you finish cooking and want them crispier, you can flip and cook each side once more for 3 minutes.
A heavy duty box grater will do the trick. If you have a food processor with a grater attachment, that will work too.
Excess moisture is the mortal enemy of crispy potatoes. Make sure to press out as much moisture as possible during that step.
You can use either butter or oil, or use both. I prefer butter because you get a really crispy exterior, more so than with just regular oil. If you’re trying to cut a few calories, use an equal mix of butter and oil.
These hashbrowns have just the right amount of seasoning and the cayenne adds a hint of spice. If you want some other options, here are a few ideas:
- Spices: For a little spice without the heat, add some garlic powder, onion powder, or paprika to your potatoes.
- Veggies: Chop up some bell peppers and onions and saute those for a few minutes before adding the potatoes to the pan. They won’t likely stick together as well, but they’ll be delicious.
- Bulk Them Up: Add some eggs and cheese to the potatoes before adding them to the skillet. Or, cook them in a waffle iron. Hash Brown Waffles are really quite delicious!
These crispy shredded potatoes are at their very best served freshly made. If you do happen to have leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3-4 days. Or store them in a resealable plastic freezer bag and pop them in the freezer for up to 4 months.
Reheat in a 425℉ oven until warmed through and crispy, or pop them in the air fryer for a few minutes. You can microwave them, but they won’t retain their crispiness.
More Breakfast Recipes to Try
- Loaded Breakfast Tater Tot Casserole
- Egg & Cheese Hash Brown Waffles
- Breakfast Sliders
- Easy Breakfast Cookies
Homemade Hash Browns Recipe
- 2 large Russet potatoes
- 1/4 cup butter divided
- 1 teaspoon salt divided
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper divided
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper divided
- Wash and scrub potatoes. Using a box grater or a food processor, shred the potatoes. (If you prefer, you can peel the potatoes before shredding them.)
- Place shredded potatoes into a cold water bath. Stir the potatoes until the water becomes cloudy. Drain the water and repeat.
- Spread the potatoes out into a single layer on a kitchen towel or layered paper towels. Pat the potatoes dry. Then wrap the towel around the potatoes and squeeze to remove any excess moisture. (Be careful if using paper towels, you don't want them to break open.)
- Place a large skillet over medium heat. Melt half the butter in your skillet. Once butter is melted and the skillet is hot, add potatoes spreading them into a single layer. Season with half of the salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper.
- Cook the potatoes for 5 minutes until a brown crust forms on the bottom. Flip the potatoes and cook for another 5 minutes. (I flip the potatoes in sections instead of trying to flip the whole thing at once.)
- Once the potatoes are browned and crispy, portion hash browns on everyone's plates and serve immediately. Repeat with remaining ingredients.