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Old 01-13-2012, 09:23 AM   #11
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I use butter, freshly shredded potatoes (yukon gold), and my 6 inch griswold cast iron pan to make perfectly round, and golden has browns for my wife. If I'm making hash browns for both her and I, I use the 8 inch wagner CI pan. Another key to good hash browns is to not pile the shredded spuds too thick, so that the inside will be done when the outside is golden. And season while cooking with salt, maybe a touch of turmeric (optional), pepper, and a little paprika, or cayenne pepper. Season with your tastes in mind. The frying is what browns them.

I haven't tried it, but would think broiling them carefully would work very well with hash browns. Pan fry just enough to give the dish a little oil on its surface, transfer to a baking sheet, shape, and place under the broiler. That should elliminate them soaking up too much oil. I haven't tried this technique, but I don't see why it wouldn't work wonderfully.

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Old 01-13-2012, 09:23 AM   #12
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I bet a lot of diners and such start out their hash browns with dehydrated shredded potatoes. I've seen the product, they often come in a carton, like a big milk carton and they add water to rehydrate them. I am willing to bet that there are ingredients meant to "improve" the product.

I bet between the dehydrated potato (no need to fry long enough to fully cook potato) and a rippin' hot grill, that's how they achieve the golden brown crispy potatoes.
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Old 01-13-2012, 09:29 AM   #13
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Another thing diners often do is put a weight on the cooking potatoes to ensure maximum contact with the hot grill surface. You can buy cast iron ones either round or rectangular in shape with a wood handle.
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Old 01-13-2012, 09:43 AM   #14
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for hash browns, home fries, and for any other fried potatoes i like bacon grease or duck fat best. this is one of those rare instances in which butter comes in a distant third. oh, and also for pan frying sauerkraut or cabbage....:)
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Old 01-13-2012, 10:16 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by vitauta View Post
for hash browns, home fries, and for any other fried potatoes i like bacon grease or duck fat best. this is one of those rare instances in which butter comes in a distant third. oh, and also for pan frying sauerkraut or cabbage....:)
Don't some parts of the middle east use chicken fat? I think they call it Schmalls. I know it browns chicken skin to a glorious golden brown color.

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Old 01-13-2012, 10:24 AM   #16
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Fat encourages browning. I find butter to be an excellent choice.

It's really simple. Dry shredded potatoes, fat, adequate heat and weight on top. I'd guess the diners, drive-ins and dives that make great hash browns stick with vegetable oil or butter rather than other, less common fats.
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Old 01-13-2012, 10:57 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chief Longwind Of The North View Post
Don't some parts of the middle east use chicken fat? I think they call it Schmalls. I know it browns chicken skin to a glorious golden brown color.

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Schmaltz !!
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Old 01-13-2012, 10:59 AM   #18
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[QUOTE=Caslon;1095289]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Addie View Post
If you have ever watched a cook in a diner /QUOTE]

Making those kind of golden hash browns in about 15 minutes is what I'm going for. I will use fresh or frozen, whatever gets me there to enjoy with a Breakfast Jack (egg ham and cheese on hamburger bun).

I might quicken up the hash browns by pan frying Ore-Ida Shredded Potato Patties. Gonna see how that goes. I might nuke em a bit first, or thaw them. I realize those ARE precooked, not just blanched and frozen.


Ore Ida sells frozen loose hash browns in addition to patties.

I use them sometimes; they are pretty good. But then tater tots are one if my 4 food groups.
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Old 01-13-2012, 11:37 AM   #19
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I have never been able to make perfect hashbrowns from scratch either (at least not with raw potatoes). I think the real 'secret' is to use par-cooked potatoes as mentioned earlier. I also think my box shredder doesn't create as large of a shred as the commercial, pre-shredded potatoes. I tend to just buy the frozen shredded (loose) potatoes which I think must be par-cooked and maybe even coated with a little oil before frozen. I have often wondered if (but have never tried) tossing shredded potatoes with a tablespoon or so of oil before dumping them in the pan would help (rather than putting the oil in the pan).
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Old 01-13-2012, 11:47 AM   #20
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Moisture is one of the problems. You might want to try squeezing your grated potato in cheesecloth to squeeze out moisture, and/or dry the grated potato by wrapping in a clean cloth towel (instead of paper).

Does anybody else add grated onion to their potato? I know it won't be hash brown potatoes any more but I like mine this way, up to 50:50 onion:potato. The onions have a lot more moisture so that's how I came up with my moisture reduction ideas mentioned above.
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