The Guide to Crispy Hash Browns

Homemade Crispy Hash BrownsThey are a must have in any diner. They are a must have in our house, and as a matter of fact, I made them for the kids for dinner tonight. They wanted seconds, so two batches of hash browns were in order. I think there is a real trick to great hash browns though, and everyone likes them a bit different whether they are mixed with bell peppers, or onions, or ham, or heck, even bacon. I like mine plain, and lightly salted.

Let me also state that you also have options here. Store bought frozen hash browns (Ore-Ida), or you can grate russet potatoes, that are peeled and cleaned. It’s your call. I often rotate between the two, and if you prefer to go down the russet route, just make sure you squeeze or push as much liquid out of them as you can. I am focusing on the Ore-Ida batch with this one.

Ingredients:

  • Frozen Ore-Ida hash browns
  • 3 tbsp olive oil, more for the “flip”
  • Salt, or Bacon Salt
  • Fresh cracked black pepper
  • Optional fillings; chopped ham, bell pepper, red onion, shredded cheese

Begin by warming the olive oil on a medium to high heat in a large skillet. Don’t let the oil get to the point of smoking. Add the hash browns. I fill the skillet, whether it be a small, medium, or large skillet (depends on how many I am feeding), as they will reduce, or shrink down a bit. So, here is my deal. Let them ride on medium high heat for about 5 minutes. With your spoon or spatula, shape the hash browns by pushing down the edges, forming a nice circle. You will also want to make sure that the hash browns are not sticking to the bottom of the skillet. You can do this by shaking the skillet, or by sliding your spatula under the hash browns.

Now there is a trick here and maybe it is just timing, but if you get paranoid, add about a tablespoon of more oil around the circle and on the top, lightly salt the top, then do the skillet flip. It’s all in the wrist, so don’t be scared to do this! Once flipped, reshape back into the circle, lower the heat, to low, and let cook for about another 5 minutes.

The oil on the top allows the hash browns to brown and crisp nicely, while at the same time preventing them from sticking. Salt the top again, add your pepper. Feel free to flip again after about 5 minutes to check the color on the other side. The goal is a golden brown. The shape should hold the flip in place so you shouldn’t have to reshape. Cook until your desired crispness and color.

Your outside should have a great crisp and golden color, while cutting into them should be nice, moist, and steamy.

Serve these with your eggs for breakfast, eat them alone, or if you were like me tonight, serve them with chicken tenders.

Big question is, is how do you make yours, or better yet, what do you put in yours?

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