What is the secret to good hashbrowns?

@whywiki (6070)
Canada
June 15, 2009 4:14pm CST
I was at a restaurant in town here a few weeks ago and had the best hashbrowns in years. They had onions and corned beef in them. They were fabulous. Of course I tried to copy them at home but that failed. I can never seem to get my hashbrowns to crisp and brown the way I like them. Is there some secret that I am unaware of to making the perfect hashbrowns? If so what is this secret?
1 person likes this
5 responses
• Canada
15 Jun 09
It depends on what you like. I like to boil the potatoes first, but not until they're soft. They have to be firm. Then I fry them in equal amounts of butter and oil. If I'm adding onions, I heat the oil and butter, get the onions soft, and then add the cut up potatoes. I have the feeling, though, that it's a matter of individual taste. The way I do them, they brown easily, and there's a nice, crunchy texture.
@whywiki (6070)
• Canada
15 Jun 09
That is how I like them! Crunchy and brown. I think my problem was not cooking them a bit first or cooking them too much! I can't wait for the weekend to try some!
1 person likes this
• Canada
16 Jun 09
I hope you enjoy them this weekend. I've never tried them with corned beef, but I have tried them with cut up bacon. Once in awhile, I like to make them but instead of frying onion, I get the potatoes browning after a quick boil, then, just as they're about done, I add about a handful of frozen peas (they have to be frozen, or they're too soft), and some canned (drained) pearl onions. Tastes good and looks pretty, too. I think I'll try them with corned beef this weekend.
@whywiki (6070)
• Canada
16 Jun 09
That sounds really good to me. Peas are my favorite veggie!
@theonerm5 (365)
• United States
15 Jun 09
I don't know the secret to good hashbrowns but I can't think of a time when I ate them and didn't love them. I really like hashbrowns!
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@whywiki (6070)
• Canada
15 Jun 09
I love them too and always have them when at a cafe for breakfast.
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@matersfish (6311)
• United States
16 Jun 09
I'm reading a lot of the "boil first" method for hashbrowns. To me, those are home fries. And what you ate sounds like just hash. I have a great recipe for straightforward hashbrowns. They're super simple, quick to cook, and you don't need a gallon of bacon grease (although I'll still use bacon grease just to shock people :P) I take (for a single serving) 2 medium-sized russet potatoes. They're the oval-shaped brown ones -- mostly known as baking potatoes. I'll rinse them well, cut out any bad spots, and shred them with the skins on. If your potatoes have a lot of starch, they won't be light and crisp and brown. So I like to rinse the shredded potatoes in a drainer (colander) and then pat dry with a paper towel. I then use a good nonstick skillet and put it on medium-high heat. I'll toss some butter in (don't let it burn) to get brown and bubbly. Meanwhile, I'll put my shredded dry potatoes into a bowl, mix in 1 egg, some salt and pepper, some Cajun seasoning (I like the spice), and onion powder. Shredded onion works well, too, but the powder is just simpler for me. I'll then form some biscuit-sized rounds -- like patting out hamburgers -- and drop them gently into the skillet. Once there, leave them alone for at least 5 minutes. Then turn over gently and do the same on the other side. This is creating the crust. Then I'll drop the heat down to medium and give them 5 more minutes on each side. I've used green onions, cheddar cheese, bacon bits, sausage, etc, in these hashbrowns before. They come out light, crisp, and really tasty. My favorite part about them is that they actually taste like potatoes! So many places serve hashbrowns or home fries that lose their identity.
@whywiki (6070)
• Canada
16 Jun 09
I never thought about adding egg in them that is a good idea to keep them together. I tried the grating and cooking before but I was too impatient and they were a bit raw. But I shall try again!
• United States
16 Jun 09
Yeah, my method takes a little bit of time to do the actual cooking. If you're in a hurry, it's time to use those precooked suckers and slide 'em around in some bacon grease! :D ... There's definitely nothing wrong with that at all. ;) Hope you get the perfect hashbrowns!
@nova1945 (1614)
• United States
15 Jun 09
I like my hashbrowns crisp too and not all restaurants bother to do that. In some of them the potatoes are barely cooked. I find the best way at home is to flatten the pile of hashbrowns out and then let them cook on medium high heat until they brown before turning them over at all. If they are turned over too often and too soon they tend to just get hot and do not brown correctly. I sometimes add onions and/or bell peppers chopped up.
@whywiki (6070)
• Canada
16 Jun 09
I think part of my problem is I don't let them cook long enough before turning them over. I think there must be a fine art to this.
@tdemex (3547)
• United States
15 Jun 09
Your probably not gonna like it, I come from the old school. My mom always saved the bacon grease when she fried bacon, so I learned to do that, I always make my hash browns with butter and bacon grease, I'll mince up yellow onion, shred my potatoes, add a little flour, salt and pepper! Everyone loves em! tdemex
@whywiki (6070)
• Canada
16 Jun 09
My mom used to save the bacon grease too. Sometimes after she would take the bacon out of the pan she would fry bread in the fat. I guess that kind of cooking is frowned on these days, but it sure was good!