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Have you ever had a bad experience with hash browns? If you’re like most people, the answer is probably yes. Many people have a negative impression of crispy hash browns because they’ve only ever tried those frozen, maybe pre-seasoned bags, and weren’t impressed. But that doesn’t mean you can’t make them yourself at home! Making crispy hash browns is actually super simple, especially if you follow this recipe. These ones are a perfect side dish for any meal and take about 20 minutes to make. If your idea of good hash browns starts and ends with the kind from the freezer bag then this article is for you.
If you’ve ever ordered breakfast at a diner or a brunch at a fancy restaurant, you’ve probably come across a potato dish alongside the pancakes and eggs. The most common form of this dish is hash browns, which are shredded potatoes fried until crispy. You can also find variations with baked potatoes or potatoes smashed to the consistency of home fries. Hash browns can be topped with any number of ingredients and are a staple in brunch restaurants all over the world. While there’s no strict definition of the different types of hash browns, it’s clear that crispy hash browns are the most common. Crispy hash browns are made by shredding potatoes, then frying them until they’re crispy with edges that are almost burnt. It’s usually made with a mix of potato and either onion or bell pepper.
There are a few different ways to make crispy hash browns, but the easiest is probably using a food processor. Start by peeling potatoes (or using pre-peeled) and shredding them through the medium shredding disk. If you don’t have a food processor, you can use a box grater or a knife. Add the grated potato to a clean dish towel and wring out as much water as possible. This is a tip that applies to all potatoes, as the water is what prevents them from crisping up. Place the rinsed and dried potato in a mixing bowl and mix with salt, pepper, and any other spices you want. You can also add chopped bell pepper for added flavour and texture. After that, heat a large pan over medium heat, add a generous drizzle of oil, and cook the potatoes for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they’re crispy and browned. You can also bake them in the oven at 400F for about 20 minutes, turning once halfway through.
The secret to making a crispy hash brown is to let its water evaporate. This allows the hash brown to brown and crisp up without burning. There are a few ways you can do this, but the easiest is to wring out the water from the grated potatoes. You can do this with a clean dish towel and a bit of elbow grease, or you can use the spin cycle on your washing machine. Another trick is to add a bit of cornstarch to the potatoes while they’re cooking. This will help draw out water and make the hash browns extra crispy. One last trick is to use a pan with a lid. While this limits the amount of heat that can get to the potatoes, it’ll also trap the steam inside and help the water evaporate.