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Old 05-26-2013, 06:52 AM   #1
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Homemade hash browns are always gummy and bad

So I've tried to make fresh shredded hash browns a few times in the past and they've always turned out sticky, gummy, and raw tasting no matter how I prepare or cook them.

I've even tried washing them for like 15 minutes straight in warm/cold water before I cook them and they still taste and feel like I poured corn starch on them. They're so gummy, and they taste raw even though they're clearly about to be burned.

Now, give me a bag of pre-shredded ones from the store and I can make the best hash browns that most people have ever had. But when I use my own potatoes, it's horrible. They're russet potatoes. Bad choice?

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Old 05-26-2013, 07:00 AM   #2
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Do you squeeze the bajeezus out of them? I think that is the key. You need to get as much water out of them as you can. And you should use a lot of oil. Give them a quick stir to even out the pile in the pan and leave them until they brown underneath, then flip them like a pancake. All in one piece.

That is how I would do it, anyway...
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Old 05-26-2013, 07:03 AM   #3
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Yeah. I wash them until my arms are about to fall off to get the starch out, and then put them on a towel or paper towel to dry them too. I'll go try my method one more time since potatoes are practically worthless. Just in case I'm remembering wrong.
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Old 05-26-2013, 07:03 AM   #4
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Are you using already cooked ones and then shred them or raw and the shred them ?
I have made them both ways.
Raw I put into cold water then when ready queeze water out with a towel before putting in hot pan
The most thing is making sure your pan it HOT. I always use my cast iron pan.
once pan is hot I add butter once melted then I put in the potatoes spread them out and then don't move them. peek and see if other side has brown and then flip them don't stir them . I cut into them to make serving sections and flip sections cook until brown Uncovered - Hope this helps
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Old 05-26-2013, 07:05 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by letscook View Post
I put in the potatoes spread them out and then don't move them. peek and see if other side has brown and then flip them don't stir them . I cut into them to make serving sections and flip sections cook until brown Uncovered - Hope this helps
We've got a bingo! Not moving them is the key, methinks. If you keep moving them as they cook through, they will essentially become mashed potatoes.
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Old 05-26-2013, 07:07 AM   #6
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Forgot I don't use all oil as it tends to give them a grayish color I use mostly butter with a little oil added to the butter, plus the butter gives them added flavor
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Old 05-26-2013, 07:10 AM   #7
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Interesting. I always have use oil when attempting to brown potatoes. I don't want to risk burning butter when getting up to those temps. Will try it next time and see what you mean...
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Old 05-26-2013, 07:14 AM   #8
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Adding the oil to the butter prevents that burning.
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Old 05-26-2013, 07:29 AM   #9
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So they actually worked this time... Of course I take the time to ask this question and they're magically perfect all of a sudden *rolleyes*

Thanks anyway.

Edit: Mmmm... Tasty. I'm going to regret the fact that they soak up oil like a sponge in about 15 minutes.
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Old 05-26-2013, 08:57 AM   #10
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I have better luck with cooked, cooled, then shredded russet potatoes. I use peanut oil. Heat cast iron pan to med hot. Add oil, when it's shimmering hot add potatoes. OR, I usually add oil when the pan gets turned on. The oil heats as the pan warms to temp. Haven't really seen a difference. With a turner flatten out or distribute the potatoes evenly. Then leave them alone until it's time to turn them over. If making a lot, then I tip them out on a plate and turn them topside down back in the pan after adding a little more oil for the 2nd side.

I have made hash browns from raw potatoes, I think I like mine cooked a little more done in the center. Which is why I prefer to use previously cooked potatoes. Now cubed or sliced fried potatoes, I cook using raw potatoes. Funny, one would think since these are thicker cuts I would feel the same about achieving that degree of doneness in the middle feeling. They get cooked done just fine, and with cubes, I worry them a lot in the pan, shaking and turning, and they don't turn to mush. SLiced fried taters I cook in one layer in batches and leave them alone until the bottoms are brown.

I don't know where the oil goes. I don't want to know. I pretend it evaporates druing the cooking process and doesn't end up a little in every bite. I suppose you could tip the potatoes out on a paper towel lined plate and dab the topside to remove excess oil before plating and serving.
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