Talk about a budget-friendly, delicious breakfast -- these Homemade Hash Browns are a perfectly crispy accompaniment to any breakfast!
When John and I first started dating, he was enamored with many things from the South, Waffle House being one. Every time we'd head South to visit my folks, he'd always want to eat there, and all I could think about was how different an experience Waffle House would be years later, stone-cold sober at 11 am on a Saturday. I think I have only let us eat there a couple of times since, but I now regret that decision because time away from the South means I miss some good ole comfort food -- like Waffle House hash browns.
These are the homemade kind -- and they're so crazy easy you won't need those frozen hash browns anymore. These hash browns require just Russet potatoes and a couple of ordinary spices and can be made in about 15 minutes total. They're also a slightly healthier version because I've subbed out vegetable oil or canola oil for olive oil and soak up excess olive oil with a paper towel right before serving.
How to Make Homemade Hash Browns
First, shred, wash, then dry your potatoes.
Using the largest holes of a cheese grater, shred your peeled potatoes into small pieces. Then place the shredded potatoes in a bowl and rinse with water. This will wash the excess starch from the potatoes. Then, working in small batches, squeeze the potatoes as dry as possible with paper towels. This will ensure the potatoes get crispy and not mushy.
Second, add your spices.
Mix salt, pepper, and garlic powder in with the potatoes to give the potatoes additional flavor and interest.
Last, pan fry potatoes on medium to medium-high heat.
You'll place the potatoes in an even layer in a non-stick or cast iron skillet over medium to medium-heat (I fry with the stove on a 6-7/10) with olive oil. Use a spatula to flatten the hash browns a bit so they start to brown. Don't touch them for 2 minutes once the potatoes are flattened. Then mix them up and flatten potatoes again. Do this a couple of times until your hash browns are nice and brown and stick together. Flip over one more time to ensure the other side also gets crispy.
How to Shred Potatoes for Hash Browns
Use the largest holes of a boxed cheese grater. This will be the perfect thickness for your hash browns.
Tips to Ensure Crispy Hash Browns
No one likes mushy hash browns. Here are some quick tips to ensure yours become golden and crispy:
- Rinse, rinse, rinse. Don't skip this step. Potatoes have tons of starch, which need to be rinsed off as much as possible to achieve peak crispiness.
- Squeeze as much liquid as possible out of your shredded potatoes before adding the spices. This also ensures they don't get mushy. You will likely have to use several paper towels.
- Use olive oil. Olive oil has a smoking point of around 410˚F, so it's a good option for cooking over medium to medium-high heat to get the hash browns crispy.
- Let the potatoes be. After you flatten the potatoes a bit, let them crisp up. The more you move them, the less they're going to crisp and brown.
Copycat Waffle House Hash Browns Options
If you're not from the South, you may not know this, but at Waffle House, there are numerous ways to order your hash browns. The AJC even has a whole guide dedicated to hash browns options. If you're unfamiliar, here's a cheat sheet of just some of the most popular ways you can spice up your hash browns (all of which are easy to do at home):
- Smothered -- sautéed with onions
- Covered -- melted slice of American cheese on top
- Diced -- grilled tomatoes on top
- Chunked -- chunks of smoked ham on top
- Peppered -- jalapeños for added spice
Smothered and covered was always my personal favorite. What's yours?
Homemade Hash Browns
- 2 medium-sized Russet potatoes, peeled
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- Grate peeled potatoes on the largest holes of a cheese grater. In a bowl or fine mesh sieve, rinse the grated potatoes with water. Remove any access water from bowl. In small batches, dry potatoes as much as possible with paper towels. Place rinsed and dried potatoes in a bowl and toss with salt, pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder.
- In a large non-stick or cast iron skillet, heat up olive oil on medium to medium-high heat (I like mine at a 6/10). When olive oil is hot, add potatoes and spread them around in an even layer. Press them down a bit so the bottoms will begin to brown. Don't touch them for 2 minutes.
- After 2 minutes, mix hash browns up again, then spread them out evenly and allow them to cook without touching them for 2 minutes. Continue to repeat until all of the hash browns are brown and begin to stick together. Flip them over one more time to ensure the other side also gets crispy.
- Placed cooked hash browns on a paper towel-lined plate to soak up excess oil. Serve hot!