The Best Crispy Hash Browns

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Posted November 7, 2023 by: Admin #Kitchen

Discover the secret to crafting the ultimate Hash Browns – crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. This straightforward recipe for homemade skillet hash browns will elevate your breakfast experience.


Weekdays call for quick and easy breakfasts like Overnight Oats, but on weekends, take your time and treat yourself to a hearty breakfast spread that includes Omelettes and Crepes. If you’re on the hunt for new breakfast favorites, these crispy Hash Browns are a must-try. They complement any breakfast menu perfectly.

Crispy hash browns in a skillet served with bacon.

The Best Hash Brown Recipe

My sister Tanya introduced me to the world of homemade hash browns, and hers were the best I’d ever tasted. Her secret ingredient? A generous amount of butter. This not only adds an incredible depth of flavor but also creates a crispy outer crust that delicately crackles when you bite into it. I took it a step further and incorporated bacon grease (don’t forget to save it the next time you bake bacon). The result? Hash browns that surpass any restaurant’s version.


Hash browns garnished with chives

Ingredients for Hash Browns

  • Russet Potatoes – ideal for achieving crispy hash browns
  • Onion powder – imparts onion flavor without any burnt aftertaste
  • Oil or Bacon grease – using bacon fat from baked bacon enhances the flavor
  • Butter – infuses rich flavor and promotes browning and crisping
  • Salt and pepper – simple seasonings for perfect potatoes

Ingredients for homemade hash brown recipe with russet potatoes, onion powder, butter, and oil

How Many Potatoes Should I Use?

To achieve perfectly cooked hash browns, it’s essential to maintain a thickness of about 1/3 to 1/2-inch in the pan. Here are our recommended guidelines:

  • For a 10-inch skillet: use 1.25 lbs of potatoes
  • For a 12-inch skillet: use 1.5 lbs of potatoes
  • For a griddle: use 2 lbs or enough potatoes to maintain a 1/3-inch thickness

Pro Tip: When preparing hash browns, use a non-stick pan or a seasoned cast-iron skillet to prevent sticking.

How to Make Hash Browns

  • Prepare the potatoes – peel and grate them using the large holes of a box grater (wear safety gloves to protect your hands). Transfer the grated potatoes to a bowl lined with cheesecloth. Wrap the potatoes tightly in the cheesecloth and squeeze out as much juice as possible. Sprinkle the potatoes with onion powder and mix well.
  • Preheat the skillet – place a large non-stick or cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Once the skillet is hot, add oil and butter.
  • Add the potatoes – spread them evenly in the skillet, creating a layer that’s about 1/3″ thick. Sauté without disturbing for 6 minutes, or until the bottom is golden brown and crisped.
  • Season – sprinkle salt and pepper to taste over the top of the potatoes.
  • Flip the hash browns – cut the hash browns in half or in quarters using a pizza cutter for easier flipping. Flip, then season the second side with salt and pepper.
  • Drizzle more oil or bacon fat around the edges and dot the corners with butter, allowing it to melt beneath the hash browns. Sauté for another 6 minutes or until golden brown. Serve promptly.

Step-by-step guide to making skillet hash browns

How to Squeeze Water Out of Potatoes

Removing excess water is crucial for achieving the crispiest hash browns. Here are several methods you can try. The cheesecloth method is the quickest and easiest:

  • By Hand: Squeeze handfuls of potatoes over a colander to remove as much liquid as possible. Then, transfer the potatoes to a paper towel-lined bowl and pat them dry with paper towels.
  • Cheesecloth: Place the potatoes in a cheesecloth and squeeze out or wring out as much water as possible.
  • Tea Towel: Follow the same method as with cheesecloth to wring out the liquid. Note that potatoes can stain a towel, so use one you don’t mind getting dirty.
  • Potato ricer: Although less preferred, you can use a potato ricer to squeeze out the water in portions.

Crispy potato hash in a skillet

Common Questions

Should I Stir Hash Browns?

Allow the potatoes to sizzle and crisp up before flipping them. Keep a watchful eye to prevent burning, but stirring is not necessary until the flip. Simply flip them halfway through cooking.

Can I Add Onions?

While fresh chopped onions can scorch on the skillet, causing a hint of burnt flavor, adding onion powder provides ample onion flavor without this issue. If you desire more onion flavor, garnish with fresh chives after cooking.

What Are the Best Potatoes for Hash Browns?

Russet potatoes are the most common choice for hash browns due to their superior crispiness. However, you can still create delicious hash browns using Yukon gold potatoes if that’s what you have available.


Hash browns made with Russet Potatoes

Serve Hash Browns with

Hash Browns are a beloved breakfast side dish. They pair wonderfully with:

  • Peel and grate potatoes and transfer to a bowl lined with cheesecloth. Use the cheesecloth to wring out as much liquid from the potatoes as you can (or squeeze out water with fistfuls and pat dry with paper towels). Sprinkle potatoes with onion powder and stir to combine.
  • Heat a large 10-inch cast-iron skillet or nonstick skillet over medium heat and once it’s hot (but not smoking), add 1 Tbsp oil or bacon fat and swirl in 1 Tbsp butter.
  • Add potatoes and spread in a single layer about 1/3” thick. Let potatoes sauté undisturbed for 6 minutes over medium heat or until the bottom is browned and crisped up (If it darkens too quickly, reduce the heat).
  • Sprinkle the top with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Flip the hash browns. Sprinkle again with salt and pepper on the second side. If the hash browns don’t flip easily as a single disk, use a pizza cutter to cut in half or quarters then flip individual pieces.
  • Drizzle 1 Tbsp oil or bacon fat around the edges and dot the edges with butter. It will melt under the hash browns. Sauté without stirring for another 6 minutes or until the potatoes are golden brown and crisp on the second side. Remove from heat and serve garnished with chives.

How many potatoes to use:

  • For a 12-inch skillet = 1.5 lbs of potatoes
  • For a 10-inch skillet = 1.25 lbs of potatoes
  • For a griddle = use enough potatoes to maintain a 1/3-inch thickness

NEXT: Fettuccine with Creamy Zucchini Sauce

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