Homemade Hash Brown Potatoes


I had a brief email exchange a few days ago with Larry over at Big Dude’s Eclectic Ramblings about making homemade hash brown potatoes. I blame his sense of disinterest and the inconclusive outcome on the fact that I caught him on a morning  he was distracted by the task of tearing his house apart to find horseradish for a Cajun Bloody Mary.  Larry, I’d have to admit, I agree with your priorities in this case.


Anyway, it all started with a reference in one of his posts about Waffle House  hash browns, which in my humble opinion are are about the best on earth. Then it led to a mutual agreement that it would be great to learn how to make them as good as Waffle House turns out.  Wouldn’t it be fun to have hash browns “all the way” (aka scattered, smothered, covered, chunked, diced, topped, peppered and capped) at home?

I tried to make hash browns at home years ago, only to end up with a soggy odd product. Hash brown potatoes purchased from the freezer section in the grocery store are really good, so I’ve never mastered the art of home-made.


Here’s where Google enters into the story.  I Googled  “perfect homemade hash browns” and here are some of the results I found.


  1. Peel and shred Russet potatoes.  Lay the shredded potatoes in a towel and twist the towel tight to remove as much moisture as you can.  Fry
  2. Peel and shred Russet potatoes. Press in a potato ricer to remove moisture. Fry.
  3. Peel and shred Russet potatoes, place in a colander and rinse several times until water runs clear.  Fry.
  4. Purchase them packaged from the freezer section at the grocery store.  Fry.


For breakfast this morning, I decided to try option 3.  I used the small setting for match stick slices on my mandolin and sliced up two peeled potatoes. I placed the slices in a bowl of cold water for about 10 minutes.  I drained them in a colander and then rinsed them for about 15 seconds. I then placed them between two paper towels and gently pressed them to wick away the moisture. In my trusty cast iron skillet, I heated vegetable oil over medium heat until hot then tossed in the potatoes. Lowering the heat a bit, I cooked until browned on one side, about 7 minutes and then turned them over for an equal browning. I salted the potatoes on each side while cooking. When they were done, I drained them on paper towels and then nestled them next to bacon, lettuce, tomato sandwiches for our Sunday breakfast.


The verdict:  These were absolutely delicious, but certainly not the result I was looking for. They were more like shoe string potatoes. Even though they didn’t seem overcooked by any means, they were hard to eat with a fork. Actually it was easier to eat them with your hands. They were tiny little French fries.


Back to the drawing board for now.  Any thoughts? Suggestions? Do you make homemade?  Have you ever had Waffle House hash browns? If so how do you like them?  Larry have you made hash browns yet?


Hash Brown Potatoes…They’re What’s for Breakfast.




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  1. says

    Tiny fries sound just delicious in themselves. I would be very happy with this meal. My guys love crispy hash browns to the point that they drive me a bit crazy because one time out of ten I seem to get them just right. The other nine times I suggest they go to Waffle House.

    I’m ready to make tamales when you are. You just let me know when and where. I’ve thought about giving them to my friends for Christmas. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t love tamales.

    • Lea Ann says

      Yes Karen, those tiny fries were really good.

      Well good, because I’m very serious about making them. And I’d like to make a large batch. Let’s talk.

  2. says

    You beat me to it. I went to the local store today to buy some Ore Ida so I could do a comparison, but all they had was the cubed ones, so I’ll try another store. My suggestion for yours is use the large holes of your cheese grater to make them as the mandolin makes them too large. They still look delicious as does the BLT. Thanks for the shout out.

    • Lea Ann says

      I agree, My box grater is like a hundred years old so I was afraid it would mangle the potatoes. See my reply to Toni … I’m thinking food processor. And yes they were DEEElicious. Just not hash browns.

  3. says

    I love hash browns but never make them. I wonder if you made them using a device I found recently (I used it to cut green papaya for a green papaya Thai salad on my blog) if that would not make the potatoes a more hashbrown size? It is almost like grating them but they’d have more substance than if grated. I admire your attempts to make them!

    • Lea Ann says

      I’m going to try my box grater next time Toni. I noticed the wheel on my food processor has the same size holes and if I can find the little attachment that goes on the wheel, I’ll use the food processor. My box grater is a hundred years old, I’m afraid it would mangle the potato.

  4. says

    Although hash browns are one of my favorite foods in the world, I tend to make home fries instead of hash browns when we have them because I think they are easier.

    I noticed in your google results that everyone dried them to remove the moisture. I would have thought the moisture (starch) would have held them together (which you might want in hash browns and not want in french fries). We boil our cut up potatoes in salted water until just done, drain well, and saute with onions and whatever else you want in them until they are our desired degree of crispness. Sorry to say in the diet prone world, the more “grease” used the better they crisp up.

    I suggest you keep trying Lea Ann. Testing is the best part and who could resist testing hash browns over and over until you get them right?

    • Lea Ann says

      Thanks Sam. And I’m like you, I tend to make the larger pieces of potatoes, either wedges or slices and also boil them before frying. Boiling them does remove some of the starch though, doesn’t it?

      I am going to keep trying. Stay tuned. :)

  5. says

    We like hash browns with onions. I haven’t made them in years but one thing I remember…they have to be crunchy.
    Your shoestrings look nice and crunchy, Lea Ann, so I would have been happy to see those on my plate!

    • Lea Ann says

      I was very happy to see those on my plate … I was hungry! I agree about the crunchy, but I also like them a little soft in the middle.

  6. says

    I’m afraid I’ll be no help. Like you, my hashbrowns always turn out mushy unless I fry them in a ton of butter. Hmmmm – maybe that’s the trick. Anyway, keep trying and I’ll be watching. Who doesn’t love diner hashbrowns!

    • Lea Ann says

      I am loving that Canadian bacon and cheese idea. I couldn’t find the little pole attachment that holds that grater, or I would have used my food processor. I’ll check out those potato pancakes. Thanks for the link.

  7. says

    Okay, I’m loving the tiny fries concept – and seriously, is there such a thing as a bad fried potato?? :-)

    I supposed a hash brown might work better as a grated potato and now I’m going to have to do some experimentation to weigh in on this.

    My latest obsession has been the tricolor baby potatoes from Costco, sliced thin with the mandolin and then fried crispy. We had an entire meal of these with a salad the other night. The salad was to make me feel less guilty about having fried potatoes for dinner but dammit, I miss fries!

    The hashbrown saga has begun . . .

    • Lea Ann says

      You are absolutely right … there is no bad fried potatoes. :) Costco can come up with some of the best darn potatoes. I’ll have to look for them next time I’m there. Love the fried potato and salad idea. So simply divine. Yes, the hash brown saga has begun. Larry’s to blame. :)

      • says

        I just thought of an idea. Whenever I bake potatoes, I make extra so Dana can use one for his breakfast the next day. He cubes them and fries them up crispy and perfect in no time since they’re done inside already. They are divine. It might be worth a try to grate one, but it might be too crumbly.

    • Lea Ann says

      I didn’t use the box grater because it’s so darn old I thought it would mangle the potatoes. Guess I’ll give it a try Joumana.

  8. says

    one of those incredibly simple dishes that seems to require a ton of practice to get right. i gave up long ago. think you need a cast iron pan, and we have a glass top stove, so that ain’t gonna happen. cheers!

    • Lea Ann says

      I’m going to practice until I get it right Steve. As always thanks for stopping by and the comment. And stay warm!!!

  9. says

    I just recently started making my own from scratch. I peeled and grated small white potatoes. I let the shredded potatoes rest lightly pressed between paper towels for 30 minutes. Then I seared them on a hot cast iron pan. They came out pretty close to what I get at IHOP with crispy edges.

  10. says

    wow…sounds scrumptiously tasty…irresistable cliks..
    first time here..love your space..
    interesting posts with nice presentation..
    Am your happy follower now..;)
    do stop by mine sometime..
    Tasty Appetite

  11. says

    Hmmm…hash browns, or bloody Marys…I’m not sure which tops my list of priorities but both are truly amazing things. Those hash browns look awesome!


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