The Secret to Homemade Hash Brown Potatoes…Take 4…Bingo


After last weeks monumental failure where my plate of hash browns ended up in the trash, I did what every normal mature adult would do under the duress of failure and started finger pointing.  Blaming everything in sight:

  • Denver’s high altitude somehow affecting potato chemistry
  • My elderly box grater
  • My cat who sat on the window sill staring at me during the whole process
  • Even though newly purchased, getting a bad batch of Crisco
  • And of course any blaming session wouldn’t be complete without including the husband

Then it dawned on me. I headed for the bookshelf to pull out my most trusted source, my first cookbook ever, Better Homes and Gardens.  Naturally I found instructions for hash brown potatoes. Use cooked potatoes. Did I mention that in the meantime Larry emailed me with hash brown plans that followed this same procedure? And did I mention that a month ago Vickie suggested that I cook the potatoes?


With that said, I heated up my cast iron skillet, added some butter and sprinkled in grated potatoes from one peeled russet that I had boiled in it’s jacket the night before and refrigerated. I grated in some onion, just like BH&G instructed, and browned up some really nice hash brown potatoes.  No starchy goo in sight. You can read the instructions in the photo from the cookbook above.


So there you have it, I guess raw potatoes just don’t work … at least not in my kitchen. Were they as good as Waffle House? No. Will I stop buying frozen hash brown from the grocery store? Probably not,  just won’t buy them as often.


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





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    • Lea Ann says

      Love it and totally agree. Thanksgiving meal is easy peasy compared to this hashbrown saga. Happy Thanksgiving Karen.

  1. says

    …and it seems like such a simple solution! They look really fabulous. My son eats hashbrowns for breakfast almost every morning…he’s my potato lover. I’m guilty of buying the frozen ones…I think it’s just laziness. But I made baked potatoes last night and have a couple left over, so I think I’ll keep the frozen ones in the freezer tomorrow morning and make some of these!

  2. says

    Congrats and I knew you would eventually win. I guess the parboil cooks out some of the starch. When I grew up, fried potatoes were cooked raw and home fries were parboiloed and I preferred the home fries, which is why I thought I’d do the same with hash browns. When I get home I’ll do the side-by-side comparison of fresh vs. frozen – even in the same pan at the same time. I’m sitting here in San Marcos Tx, about to get ready for a private horse riding show from two grandaughters down in San Antonio,

    • Lea Ann says

      So do you think the frozen you buy in the stores are cooked? Or maybe the chemicals bleed out the starch. :) I really look forward to your test, I love your side by side experiments. Have fun with the kids. Happy Thanksgiving.

  3. says

    BH&G is my go to cookbook too. That is where I find my pie crust recipe, vanilla custard and french fried shrimp recipes just to name a few. I am not surprised that this is where you found your answer. What a great looking breakfast.

  4. says

    I’m happy that you finally got some results that are acceptable. If I feel like making homemade hashbrowns I usually just cube up the cooked potatoes and not bother with grating them. I always like the texture better. Happy Thanksgiving, Lea Ann.

    • Lea Ann says

      I actually prefer cubed or sliced better myself. Now that the experiment is over, I doubt I shred very often. Happy Thanksgiving Cathy.

  5. says

    :-) !!

    I’m so glad you posted this. Even though the frozen ones are great to keep on hand, it’s just fun to have a great use for that leftover potato! I love my old cookbooks for stuff like this. I am fond of my Fannie Farmer cookbook because it was the only cookbook in our house when I was growing up and I used it any time I had a cooking question. I bought my own copy when I moved out on my own and it’s gone through more than one “repair” from being very well-used. Happy Thanksgiving, L.A.!
    p.s. cute napkins!

    • Lea Ann says

      Man would I love to have a Fannie Farmer. I’ve forgotten all about that book. Those napkins came from Tuesday Morning store. Cheee – eeep. Have a great Thanksgiving.

  6. says

    When I bake potatoes I always bake extra for hash browns (cottage fries) the next day. Or I cook them in the microwave. When I do shredded hash browns I cook from raw but I have a bowl of salted water that I soak them in first, maybe that helps. Of course I always fry them in bacon grease…can’t go wrong there.

    • Lea Ann says

      Thanks for stopping by and the comment. One thing I didn’t do while soaking the raw grated potatoes was salt the water. I keep a little jar of bacon grease in the fridge. Great for frying.

  7. Beth says

    Just discovered your blog and have bookmarked!

    A while back, I found a recipe… cube raw potato, put in dish with a pat or two of butter, cover and microwave until cooked. Then dumped in a preheated pan and crisp up to desired crispyness!

    Happy Day After Thanksgiving! :)

    • Lea Ann says

      Now that I’ve discovered that cooking the potato is the key, I can’t wait to cube and crisp. Thanks for stopping by and the comment.

  8. says

    These look fabulous! So glad you found my blog so I could find yours:) I know what you mean about the failures, can be so frustrating. I threw away two batches of fudge last week:) so glad you didn’t give up because these look delicious!

  9. philip feder says

    After working in restaurants the best way to use leftover pototoes is to make them into hashbrowns. A little secret is use a non stick skillet for them not to stick as you can control the amount of grease you want but still brown them nicely! Aren’t those classes nice at Sur La Table? I’m in Mexico on a r&d trip. I will cone back with lots of recipes and ideas.

    • says

      Thank you Philip. And where were you when I needed you? :) Thanks for stopping in and the comment. And yes, I love those Sur la Table classes. Can’t get enough. Sure wish I knew more about those recipes from Mexico.

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