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Old 11-26-2013, 07:36 PM   #1
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How to make great hash browns

You know when you go to a restaurant for breakfast and the hash browns are great? Crispy on the outside, soft on the inside. Every time I try it at home it ends up soggy and not crispy or soft. Just...soggy. How do you reproduce restaurant hash browns?


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Old 11-26-2013, 08:06 PM   #2
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Just had some for our breakfast dinner. Grate peeled russets on a box grater. Sprinkle lightly with salt and let sit for 5 minutes. They will discolor some, but thats ok. Take a clean kitchen towel and use it to squeeze the liquid from the potatoes. Add fresh ground pepper. Use a combination of bacon fat and canola or vegi oil for frying. Heat to medium high in a saute pan. Add drained potatoes and fry until browned on one side. Using a plate of appropriate size, flip potatoes onto the plate and slide back into pan on uncooked side. You can either finish on the stove top or, if pan is oven safe, finish in the oven which has been pre-heated to 425 F.

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Old 11-26-2013, 08:40 PM   #3
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If you know you're going to make them ahead of time, and have the time , pre-cooked potatoes make excellent hashbrowns. That's what they use in the restaurants to get that fluffy interior and crispy outside that you're looking for.

Steam, bake or microwave whole unpeeled potatoes until almost fork tender, take off heat and let cool, shred, and fry in a hot pan with just a little oil. Golden crispy outside and light on the inside.
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Old 11-26-2013, 09:01 PM   #4
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I tried them in a waffle maker after seeing on pinterest and they came out great.
grease up the iron with butter and then put the hash brown on and close it up.
They came out crispy outside and soft inside.
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Old 11-26-2013, 09:34 PM   #5
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I prefer to use cooked potatoes, cooled, box grated. When you make bake potatoes, stick a couple more in for extras for hash browns.

Heat a (preferable) cast iron pan medium hot. If you don't have CI, a non stick pan works good too. Add oil, I like peanut oil, any veggie oil works or bacon grease. When the oil shimmers, add the potatoes, and spread evenly. A thicker layer rather than a really thin layer is better if the potatoes are already cooked. Walk Away. Leave them Alone. Do not hover over the stove. Do Not Touch. After some 4-5 minutes, check under a corner. Once they have browned, do the plate thing and tip them out. Add a little more oil. Invert the potatoes back into the pan and cook the other side. I like to put a couple gashes with the spatula across the top while the 2nd side cooks to release steam. I like hash browns a little drier. The insides should finish so they are almost creamy in flavor or texture. Tip them back out on a paper towel lined plate if there was too much oil, and blot up any excess oil on the top, if there is any.

After while you will learn how many swirls oil to put in the pan so they are "just right".

My Favorite breakfast diner chef runs a swirl of oil across the tops of his potatoes after he lays them on the flat top, then a 2nd swirl of oil while he holds the taters up using a big spatula when flipping them. I tried for years to make good hash browns. So I tried to strategically sit at the counter when possible and watch him work. I don't do the oil topper at home on the un-cooked side. I don't think it's necessary. And rarely if ever do I have to blot up extra oil when served at the diner. He's got the touch we all wish we could achieve.
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Old 11-26-2013, 10:32 PM   #6
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My parents owned a restaurant. We would boil the potatoes (a bit undercooked, but cooked enough--not sure how to explain that!), let them cool, peel them. Grate them, shape and layer between waxed paper, and put them in the walk-in fridge overnight. We cooked these on the flat top but I make my hash browns this way and cook them on a CI griddle using a bacon press to flatten them. They are perfect everytime. What kind of potatoes do I use--depends on what I pull out of the potato bin in the cold storage room.

I also will freeze the patties and in the morning bake them in the oven from frozen for about 20 minutes if I have s/thing else going on in the oven or panfry them from frozen. Works for me.
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Old 11-27-2013, 02:45 PM   #7
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I squeeze the excess water out of the shreds with a rice press.

It's amazing how much water squeezes out.
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Old 11-27-2013, 04:54 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by kbreit View Post
You know when you go to a restaurant for breakfast and the hash browns are great? Crispy on the outside, soft on the inside. Every time I try it at home it ends up soggy and not crispy or soft. Just...soggy. How do you reproduce restaurant hash browns?
Just wondering, do you mean hash browns or home fries?
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Old 11-27-2013, 06:01 PM   #9
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Most of the restaurants I know of use dehydrated shredded potatoes. They are soaked (often overnight in cold water, in the cooler) and then fried on the griddle with an embarrassing amount of oil. The trick is to drop them onto the griddle in a nice tight pile, fry until brown and then flip them only once. I'm not a fan of prepared foods, but these give the best result imo and taste wonderful. You can enhance them with a bit of slivered onion ;)

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