How to Make Perfect Hash Browns

The perfect hash browns

In these dark, cold days of November, we are still eating produce from the garden. We have a bucket of potatoes and a bag of onions in the pantry and a few green peppers hanging on in the crisper drawer. And one of the best ways to use these ingredients for any meal of the day is hash browns.

Mmm … hash browns for breakfast served with bacon and eggs. Hash browns for lunch with spicy Greek yogurt dip and a fruit salad. Hash browns on the side for dinner with a protein and a green salad or – my favorite – breakfast for dinner.

We make a lot of hash browns around here and have come up with a near flawless process for making the best hash browns. With the holidays coming up and lots of opportunities for brunch ahead, I am sharing my secret for the perfect hash browns.

 

The more potatoes, the better

Potatoes on a scale

Plan on at least a half-pound (250 grams) of potatoes per person. More is better than less; you aren’t likely to have any leftovers, they are that good.

 

Step one: Prep the vegetables

Ingredients for the perfect hash browns

For every two servings of hash browns, use one pound potatoes (about three medium), half of a medium onion and half of a green bell pepper.

Cut the vegetables into chunks of roughly the same size.

 

Must-have equipment

For this next step, I recommend that you invest in a heavy duty rotary grater.

I have a vintage Moulinex julienne grater, which are hard to come by these days, but Amazon offers this nearly identical version by Westmark of Germany (affiliate link):

Westmark 11712260 Schnitzel Mouli Rotary Grater, One Size, Gray

You also will need a clean flour sack towel, like these towels found on Amazon (affiliate link):

Daily Chef Flour Sack Towels

(See my affiliate disclosure below.)

 

Step two: Process the vegetables

Making the perfect hash brownsCenter the rotary grater over the towel. Load the vegetable chunks and grate using the coarse grater setting.

Making the perfect hash browns

Gather the towel around the grated vegetables and, at the sink, squeeze out as much of the liquid as you can.

Making the perfect hash browns

 

Step three: Cook the hash browns

While you are squeezing the liquid of of the potatoes, heat two tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.

Add the potatoes to the skillet and season well with salt and pepper. Using a spatula, toss the potatoes until all pieces are coated evenly with oil. Spread out in a single layer but do not pack down. The key is to keep the potatoes pieces as separated as possible so they get nice and crispy.

Making the perfect hash browns

Cook the potatoes over medium heat, flipping and separating the potato pieces as they brown.

Making the perfect hash browns

Cook for 20-30 minutes until the potatoes are crispy and brown, occasionally flipping and separating the potatoes. They won’t need your constant attention, so use the cooking time to prepare the rest of the meal.

How to make perfect hash browns

 

I heart potatoes

I heart potatoes

I always said that if I ever was stranded on an island and could take only one kind of food with me, I would take the potato. It’s so good cooked so many different ways.

Read my homage to the potato here.

What’s your favorite potato dish?