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Hashbrowns

Some tips on how to make diner style hashbrowns at home.

BLOG POSTINGS > Everyday Meals

Hashbrowns

by zirbirt

I used to try to make hashbrowns from scratch, but always messed them up. One of my biggest problems was that I tried to shred the potatoes and patty them up like a burger. This led to some oddly cooked, oddly colored hashbrowns, that all too often weren't very enjoyable.

A while back, I learned how to make diner style hashbrowns and that changed everything. So, over the weekend, as I was preparing brunch for my family, I decided I would grab the camera and share the method with you.

Hashbrowns

2-4 medium potatoes (I prefer russet)
salt and pepper
2 Tbs butter

Pan Prep

Before I do anything, I start by heating my griddle. You can use a large frying pan or a griddle.. the most important thing, however, is to get it good and hot. Since I am using my cast iron griddle, this means heating it over medium heat for about 10 minutes.

If you have an electric griddle, that is fine also, just make sure it gets good and hot before you put anything on it.

Heat is really important with hashbrowns, I don't mean turn the potato black kind of heat, but enough heat so the sizzling action starts right away and continues. The idea is to brown the outsides quickly and evenly. The entire cook shouldn't take more than about 5 minutes.

Potato Prep

I need to shred the potatoes first (after I clean them of course). To do this, I can use a food processor, but I prefer the old box grater. Mine has slightly larger holes which makes my strands just a bit bigger, giving me a better texture.


Now, you might think the prep is done and I'm ready to cook. I know I used the think that, but there is one small trick that will drastically change the way your hashbrowns will turn out... It's called pressing.

I pull out a tea towel and drop all my potatoes in a pile in the middle of the towel. I then lift the corners and twist, so all the potatoes form a ball in the bottom of the towel.

Then I twist and squeeze (over the sink). All the extra juice from the potatoes will be extracted. You will be amazed how much juice comes out.

Once squeezing doesn't produce very much juice anymore, open up the tea towel and your potatoes are ready for cooking.


Cooking

I drop 2 Tbs of butter onto my heated cook surface, and let it melt.. until all the butter is melted and it starts to bubble.

Then I spread my potatoes all over the cook surface and apply a generous amount of salt and a few grinds of pepper.

Once it starts cooking, I use the tip of my spatula to spread the potatoes out, and move them around. Eventually, I start turning the potatoes. I do this in small groups, just by putting my spatula under it, and flipping. After turning, I continue to move them around a bit using the tip of the spatula.

I don't constantly move them, but I do every so often.

I move them around because it helps promote even cooking, it prevents any of the potato from sitting in the middle and not getting cooked, and it really helps make the final product crispy and delicious. As you cook, the potatoes will get more and more brown, you just decide when they look about right to you.

This can be messy work. I always end up with several shreds of potato on my stovetop. I could use a high sided pan, and that would help prevent it, but I do enjoy using my griddle... so I just accept the mess.

Once the hashbrowns appear to be to your liking.. simply transfer them to a plate and enjoy.


zirbirt
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