Originally Posted by Mr_Dove
any suggestions on how to keep hash browns from turning out bad? Mine usually either turn out mushy or they stick to the pan and burn.
Onions and red peppers are my favorite additives.
I have heard that giving the grated potatoes a saline bath will wash of the starches (making them less likely to be sticky) and also firm up the potato a bit.
I'm no expert but here's how I make shredded hash browns.
Put a medium scrubbed potato in tepid unsalted water and bring to a boil, then simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes. Cool under running water and peel, then shred on box grater. Grate 1 or 2 strokes of a halved onion on top of the potatoes. Add salt & pepper, mix up with fingers and form into a thin patty. Heat a pan with some butter and oil. Use a spatula or bench knife to transfer the potato to the pan. Cook about 5 minutes on one side, flip and cook 3 or 4 on the other.
Starting with tepid water, not adding salt to the water and simmering fairly briefly all help to keep them from being mushy. Using a red or Yukon gold would also help but I use small russets. As far as sticking goes, expect them to stick, especially to stainless steel, but don't fuss with them. After a couple minutes they'll get unstuck and there will be a great golden crust on the bottom. If you try to move them during that first minute or so that great crust stays on the pan.
If I'm going to add peppers and onions I cube the potatoes after simmering, saute the peppers and onions in separate pan and add them to the crispy diced potatoes. I've never been able to get the potatoes crispy and the other veggies cooked right in one pan at the same time.
If I'm not going to boil the potatoes first then I put the raw shreds in a bowl in the sink under a slow stream of running water until the water in the bowl is clear. Then I refrigerate the bowl with potatoes covered with water. for an hour or maybe even overnight. Then I dry well with a towel and cook as above. I think it's a lot harder to get them right this way, and have cooked the bottom on the stove and the top under the broiler.
Again, I'm not a chef, just an old guy livin' off his own cookin'.