If you want really crispy, crunchy hash browns, you’ll need to know these 7 tips.
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.
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.
If you want really crispy, crunchy, golden-brown hash browns, you need the driest potatoes possible. Start with a starchy, low-moisture potato (like the russet variety), shred it on a box grater, and then wrap the shreds in cheesecloth or a clean kitchen towel and twist the cloth until you’ve removed as much of the water as possible.
Cooking hash browns at the right temperature plays an important role in making them crispy. If you add them to the skillet when the cooking oil is too hot, they’ll burn before their interiors are fully cooked. If you add them to the skillet when the cooking oil is too cool, the hash browns will take a long time to cook, will absorb too much oil, and won’t get crispy. For best results, add the potatoes to the skillet as soon as the oil starts to shimmer.
The potatoes will cook most evenly if you press them into an even layer in the pan. As an added bonus, this ensures that a maximum amount of surface is exposed to the oil, where they can cook up to crunchy, golden-brown perfection.
As soon as the hash browns are done cooking (about 2 minutes per side), move them to a paper towel-lined plate for a minute to help remove some of the excess oil. Just be sure you don’t leave them on the plate too long; if you do, steam will become trapped between the hash brown and the paper towel and the potatoes will start to get soggy.
Crispy hash browns are best served as soon as they’re done cooking. If you’re in a real pinch, you can place the cooked hash browns on a sheet pan in a 200 degree F oven to stay warm until they’re ready to be served, but the sooner you serve your shredded hash browns, the better their taste and texture will be.