If you have ever tried to make hash browns, you may have figured out that unless you did it just right, hash browns can be a little tricky to make. Following is a recipe and some tips on how you can make delicious hash browns very quickly and easily.
Here’s What You Need:
As many potatoes as your stomach will allow, or my choice of about 4 cups, shredded.
Approximately a tablespoon of either vegetable oil or butter per hash brown
4-quart sized bowl of ice water
Colander, spatula and skillet
First, shred the potatoes. Immediately after shredding, place the potato strips in the bowl of ice water for a few minutes. After letting the potato strips soak, put them in a colander and thoroughly drain and squeeze out as much of the excess water from the potatoes as you can.
Heat the vegetable oil or butter on medium heat until very slightly browned and warm. Then, evenly scatter about a handful of potatoes in the skillet to make a “patty” and press it down firmly with a spatula. Continue cooking on medium heat for about 8 – 10 minutes. After the underside looks like it has browned, very carefully flip it and continue cooking the other side for about five minutes or until it looks golden brown. Remove cooked hash browns, repeat with the remainder of your shredded potatoes adding enough oil or butter to lightly cover the bottom of the skillet again and enjoy.
Idaho russet potatoes work best and the high amount of starch helps the strips stick together.
Do not precook the potatoes. Uncooked potatoes stick together better.
Cast-iron skillets work best when making hash browns, but a stainless steel skillet will also get the job done.
You can either peel the potatoes before shredding them or leave the skin on. I peel, but it depends on personal preference.
Vegetable oil or butter are the two best options when browning hash browns. Melted, very slightly browned butter gives extra flavor and color. Again, it’s up to personal preference.
You can buy the frozen, pre-shredded potatoes (let them thaw and drain excess water) if you don’t feel like using real, fresh potatoes.
Do not try to stir the hash browns or flip them until the underside looks like it has turned a nice golden brown, and after the 8 – 10 minutes time. The edges should start to look crispy. Also, do not cover the skillet with a lid because that will produce too much steam and the hash browns won’t come out very crispy.
Avoid salting or peppering the hash browns until they’re cooked. Salt will dry the strips out and pepper will give you a bitter taste if it burns.
Once you have cooked your hash browns, there are loads of toppings you can add to jazz them up, or have them just the way you like them. Some of the toppings you can add include sauteed mushrooms, onions, shredded cheese, diced ham, sour cream, salsa, jalapenos, or any other ingredient that sounds like it will tickle your tastebuds. Feel free to experiment with different toppings to continue on the quest to find the ultimate hash brown.