My favorite homemade Hash Browns are made with simple ingredients like shredded potatoes, butter, salt, and pepper, and are so easy to make. Learn how to make these awesome golden, delicious, diner-style crispy hash browns, and enjoy them with all your favorite breakfast sides including bacon and eggs.
Crispy Homemade Hash Browns
Here’s the thing – the best hash browns don’t come from a bag in the frozen section of your favorite grocery store (although, frozen tater tots are legit) or the diner down the street (at least not in my experience).
The best hash browns are actually made at home, with fuzzy slippers on your feet and bubbly, bottomless mimosas. OK, maybe not (always) that last part.
Anyway, these homemade hash browns are one-hundred percent worth the extra effort. They are completely phenomenal and a total breakfast game-changer.
Follow the tips below (please dry your shredded potatoes!) and you’ll have delicious, crispy, no-junk-added hash browns for the whole fam. You may even ask for seconds – I did!
What kind of potatoes for hash browns?
Russet potatoes – for best results, use low-moisture, starchy potatoes like the russet potato (the same type of potato that is used to make perfect baked potatoes and french fries). These are best for making crispy, non-soggy, hash browns. Learn more about the different types of potatoes in this article.
How to Make Hash Browns
1. Shred the potatoes:
After you’ve washed and dried your potatoes, you’ll need to shred them. Should you peel your potatoes before shredding them for hash browns? I find that it isn’t necessary, although you can if you want to. I don’t notice the peel after they’ve been cooked, plus it sneaks in some healthy vitamins and minerals.
To shred your potatoes, use the big holes of a box grater or a food processor then immediately transfer the shredded potatoes to a bowl of cold water.
2. Rinse, drain, and soak the potatoes:
Once all of the potatoes have been shredded and soaked, drain the starchy water. Fill again with clean (cold) water and use your hand to gently slosh around the shredded potatoes to remove any excess starch. Drain, and refill again with clean cold water. This time allow the potatoes to soak for 5-10 minutes.
Drain the potatoes in a large colander and dry thoroughly – remove as much excess moisture as possible (this step is super important to get crispy potatoes).
You can dry them with paper towels, a clean dish towel, or place them between a few layers of cheesecloth and gently squeeze out as much excess water as possible.
3. Cook in batches:
Divide the potatoes into two batches (unless you’re working on a large griddle-like surface). Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add 2 tablespoons butter and 1 tablespoon oil. Allow the butter to melt, swirling to coat the bottom of the skillet.
Spread the first batch of potatoes in an even layer over the bottom of the pan and season generously with salt and pepper.
Allow the potatoes to cook undisturbed for 4-5 minutes, or until golden brown on the bottom. Flip the potatoes in 3-4 sections, and continue to cook on the other side for 4-5 minutes, or until golden brown on the other side and cooked through.
Serve immediately with a side of ketchup and all your favorite breakfast additions including bacon, eggs, and sausage.
Recipe Tips for Crispy Hash Browns
- Use fresh (not frozen) potatoes. Use fresh low-moisture, starchy potatoes (like russet potatoes). These are best for making crispy, non-soggy, hash browns.
- Use a food processor – if you have one. If you have a food processor, and still know where you placed the shredding disc attachment, great! Use it. The food processor with its proper attachment creates longer, more uniform strands of potato, which helps make a difference in the overall quality of your hash browns. The hash browns in the images here were made with a potato that was shredded using a box grater.
- Rinse and soak the potatoes. Simple rinsing with cold water won’t do here. First, plan on transferring the shredded potatoes to a large bowl filled with cold water AS SOON AS they’ve been shredded. Have you seen potatoes (specifically russet potatoes) after they’ve been sliced, chopped, or shredded and left out for more than two minutes? They turn a nasty orangish rust color. Get them in cold water ASAP. Once all the potatoes have been shredded and soaked, drain the starchy water, refill with fresh cold water, slosh around a bit to remove any additional starch, and drain again. Finally, fill with water again, but this time allow your potatoes to soak for 5-10 minutes. This helps prevent your hashbrowns from being crispy on the outside, but raw in the center.
- Get them dry. This is the difference between crispy and mushy hash browns. Why is that? Imagine adding your shredded potatoes with a few tablespoons of water to your skillet. What will happen? They’ll steam. So remove as much of the excess water as you possibly can. I recommend drying your potatoes in batches for the best results. Next time I’ll probably even dry them using my salad spinner.
- Preheat your pan before adding the potatoes. Just like searing your favorite steak, it’s best to add the potatoes when the pan is already hot.
- Do not touch. And finally, please please do not touch your potatoes for AT LEAST 4-5 minutes after they’ve been added to your skillet. Crispy potatoes need time to crisp, right?
How to Freeze Homemade Hash Browns
You can easily freeze extra shredded potatoes for quick and convenient hashbrowns at a later time. To do this, follow the instructions outlined in the recipe card below stopping after the potatoes have been shredded, soaked, and dried thoroughly. Next, spread the potatoes out over baking sheets in a thin, even later, and transfer to the freezer. Freeze for about 1 hour then remove from the freezer and transfer to freezer-friendly ziplock bags. Freeze for up to 3 months.
How to Serve Hash Browns
Hash browns are typically served with breakfast foods like bacon, breakfast sausage, and eggs, but they are also delicious with “traditional” main course entrees like steak or creamy smothered pork chops.
Have you tried making this homemade hash brown recipe?
Tell me about it in the comments below! I always love to hear your thoughts. And tag me #theforkedspoon on Instagram if you’ve made any of my recipes, I always love to see what you’re cooking in the kitchen.
Homemade Hash Browns
- 3 large russet potatoes - (approximately 2 pounds)
- 4 tablespoon butter
- 2 tablespoon olive oil - or vegetable oil
- salt and black pepper - to taste
- Wash potatoes under cold running water and gently remove any dirt using a potato or vegetable scrubber. Dry well.
- Fill a large bowl with cold water. Set aside. Shred potatoes (peeled or unpeeled) with the big holes of a box grater. You may also use a food processor, if available. Immediately transfer the shredded potatoes to the bowl of cold water.
- Once all of the potatoes have been shredded and soaked, drain the starchy water. Fill again with clean (cold) water and use your hand to gently slosh around the shredded potatoes to remove any excess starch. Drain, and refill with clean water, this time allowing the potatoes to soak for 10 minutes.
- Drain the potatoes in a large colander and thoroughly dry the potatoes, removing as much excess moisture as possible (this step is crucial for crispy potatoes). Dry them with paper towels, a clean dish towel, or place them between a few layers of cheesecloth and gently squeeze out as much excess water as possible.
- To cook – Divide the potatoes into two batches. Heat a large skillet (a non-stick skillet or cast-iron skillet) over medium-high heat. Once hot, add 2 tablespoons butter and 1 tablespoon oil. Allow the butter to melt. Swirl to coat the bottom of the skillet.
- Spread the first batch of potatoes in an even layer over the bottom of the pan and season generously with salt and pepper. Gently press down on the potatoes with a spatula to flatten, encouraging potatoes to brown evenly.
- Allow the potatoes to cook undisturbed for 4-5 minutes, or until golden brown on the bottom. Flip the potatoes in 3-4 sections, and continue to cook on the other side for 4-5 minutes, or until golden brown on the other side and cooked through.
- Serve immediately with a side of ketchup, if desired, and all your favorite breakfast additions including bacon, eggs, and sausage.
(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and specific brands of ingredients used.)