7 Tips for Perfectly Crispy Hash Browns Every Time
There are two schools of thought when it comes to hash browns. For some, the perfect hash browns are made by frying diced potatoes and onions in a skillet until the potatoes are relatively crispy on the outside and still creamy on the inside, and for others, hash browns are all about the crunch — shredded potatoes fried to golden-brown perfection with just barely a hint of fluffy potato left on the inside. If you’re a crispy hash brown aficionado, there are a few things you should know before you make these delicious fried potatoes at home.
There are certainly pros and cons to both styles of hash brown. The version made with diced potatoes has a nice balance of textures (you can get a decent crust on the outside of the potatoes without losing the soft, fluffy interior) and flavors (often, this style of hash brown is cooked with diced onions, which add a sweet and savory note to the dish), but they can quickly become soft and soggy thanks to the extra moisture from the onions and the steam that gets trapped in the pile of diced potatoes on your plate.
While shredded potato hash browns lack a noticeably light and creamy texture under their crisp outer crust, they more than make up for the monotony in texture with a crunch that’s difficult to achieve in a diced-potato hash brown. If you use the right potato and the right set of techniques, these hash browns fry up golden-brown and with the perfect amount of crackling crust every single time. And, since they use little more than starchy potatoes, a neutral-flavored cooking oil (like canola), and some salt, they’re easy to make whenever the super-crunchy-hash-brown craving hits.
If you’re ready to whip up a batch of these crunchy fried potatoes at home, here are a few tips to know.
Choose the Right Potato
When it comes to really crispy hash browns, choose a starchy potato instead of a waxy one; it will crisp up much better. Avoid varieties like Yukon Gold or red-skinned potatoes and opt instead for high-starch russet or Idaho potatoes.
Shred the Potatoes
There are different schools of thought when it comes to cutting the potatoes for hash browns. Though some prefer diced potatoes, the crispiest hash browns are the ones that are made with shredded potatoes. If you’re going for maximum crunch, shred your starchy potatoes on a box grater (using the largest holes) rather than dicing them.
Kristie Collado is The Daily Meal’s Cook Editor. Follow her on Twitter @KColladoCook.