Learn the secret to making the best Hash Browns that are crispy on the outside and tender in the center. An easy recipe for homemade skillet hash browns for the perfect breakfast side dish.
On the weekdays, we stick with super fast make-ahead breakfasts like Overnight Oats, but on the weekends we take a slower pace and fire up the stove to cook everything from Eggs to Crepes. If you are looking for some new favorite breakfast recipes, this crispy Hash Brown Recipe is a must-try. It pairs well with nearly every breakfast menu.
The Best Hash Brown Recipe
My sister Tanya is the person that made me love homemade hash browns. They were the best I’ve tried and her secret? Plenty of butter. It adds incredible flavor and crisps up the outside forming a crust that crackles lightly when you bite into it. I took it a step further and added bacon grease (yes, save that bacon grease the next time you make Bacon in the oven). Wow, it makes wonderful hash browns – better than any restaurant version.
Ingredients for Hash Browns
- Russet Potatoes – these are the classic choice for hash browns because they crisp up nicely
- Onion powder – adds onion flavor without any burnt onion taste
- Oil or Bacon grease – using bacon fat from baked bacon adds even more flavor to hash browns.
- Butter – infuses the potatoes with rich flavor, improves browning and crisping
- Salt and pepper – simple seasonings are all you need for potatoes
How many potatoes should I use?
The key for perfectly cooked hash browns is to keep the hash browns to about 1/3 to 1/2-inch thickness in the pan, otherwise, they won’t crisp up and cook through properly. Here are the guidelines we follow:
- 10-inch skillet: use 1.25 kg potatoes
- 12-inch skillet: use 1.5 kg of potatoes
- Griddle: use 2 kg+ or enough potatoes to keep the potatoes about 1/3-inch thickness when the potatoes are spread out over the surface.
How to Make Hash browns
- Prep potatoes – peel and grate potatoes on the large holes of a box grater (use safety gloves to protect your hands). Transfer potatoes to a bowl lined with cheesecloth. Wrap the potatoes tightly in cheesecloth and squeeze to get out as much juice as possible. Sprinkle potatoes with onion powder and stir to combine.
- Preheat skillet – place a large non-stick or cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Once the skillet is hot, add oil and butter.
- Add potatoes – spread the potatoes in an even layer in the skillet, about 1/3″ thick. Sautee undisturbed for 6 minutes or until the bottom is golden brown and crisped.
- Season – sprinkle the top of the potatoes with salt and pepper to taste.
- Flip hash browns – cut the hash browns in half or in quarters using a pizza cutter to make it easier to turn them over. 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 which will melt under the hash browns. Sautee another 6 minutes and serve until golden brown.
How to squeeze water out of potatoes
Removing the excess water is critical to getting the crispiest hash browns. Here are some methods to try. The cheesecloth method is the quickest and easiest.
- By Hand: Squeeze fistfuls of potatoes over a colander to get as much liquid out as possible then transfer to a paper towel-lined bowl and pat dry with paper towels.
- Cheesecloth: Place potatoes into a cheesecloth and squeeze out or wring out as much water as you can.
- Tea Towel: follow the same method to wring out liquid as a cheesecloth. Keep in mind potatoes can stain a towel so use one you don’t mind messing up.
- Potato ricer: This is my least favorite and I think it’s easier by hand, but you can squeeze out the water in portions using a potato ricer.
You want to give the potatoes a chance to sizzle and crisp up before you flip the potatoes. Just keep an eye on them to ensure your heat isn’t too high and avoid burning potatoes. Otherwise, it isn’t necessary to stir the potatoes, just flip them halfway through cooking.
I have tested this with fresh chopped onion and the onion tends to scorch on the skillet and there’s a hint of burnt flavor. Adding onion powder provides enough onion flavor without the burning issue. You can add fresh chives as garnish afterward if you want even more onion flavor.
Russet potatoes are the most common potatoes for hash browns. They crisp up better than waxy potatoes. That being said, you can still make delicious hash browns with Yukon gold potatoes if that is what you have on hand.