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How to Make Hash Browns in 15 Minutes

Jennifer loves innovating in the kitchen and sharing tips and tricks with other food-lovers.

One potato's worth of hash browns looks like this in a standard-sized frying pan.

One potato's worth of hash browns looks like this in a standard-sized frying pan.

Why Hash Browns?

Do you like hash browns? I do. They are a good savory item for your breakfast, giving you an alternative to sugary options like cold cereal. Sometimes, when you are craving something salty, they are just the thing. And at 15 minutes, they don't take much longer than toast to prepare.

It's true that with the research on carbohydrates being bad for us, potatoes have fallen out of nutritional favor. However, they are surely not as bad for you as refined sugars (e.g. toast with jam). Also, according to recent research, we can avoid the spike-and-crash effect on our blood sugar by adding some protein and/or fat o our carbs (yes, really). This can be accomplished by adding a few slices of cheese or a fried egg to your hash browns.

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Finally, unlike bread, grits, sugar, and cereal, potatoes grow right out of the ground. This is a huge point in their favor. Being a less refined food, they are much less likely to be bad for you. I await future research that proves me right.

This is the kind of grater you need. It should have medium sized holes.

This is the kind of grater you need. It should have medium sized holes.

How to Make Your Hash Browns

  1. Start preheating your frying pan on medium-high. Add a pat of butter or whatever you like to use for grease. Extra points if you use strained, reserved bacon fat that you've been saving.
  2. While the pan is preheating, select a medium to large potato. Scrub it (takes about 10 seconds) and peel it (perhaps another 30). You can skip the peeling step, but the hash browns will cook up faster if you don't leave the skin on.
  3. Take a food grater with medium-sized holes, like the one pictured above. Hold it over the hot frying pan and carefully grate the peeled potato directly into the pan. Careful not to grate your fingers! You may end up with a small piece of potato that you can't grate without hurting yourself—toss that in the pan too.
  4. Once the potato is grated into the pan, use your spatula to distribute the shredded potato so that it evenly covers the pan. Make sure you leave no tall piles and no lonely bits at the edges. This will help them to cook evenly. Sprinkle it with salt, seasoned salt, or whatever you like.
  5. Let it fry for 5 to 10 minutes, depending the amount of potato and the hotness of the pan. Meanwhile, make your coffee.
  6. When the hash browns are cooked to a brownness that you like, flip them over (if you're lucky, the whole mass will flip over at once, as it did here). Cook for perhaps another five minutes on the other side.
  7. Your hash browns are ready to serve! If you want to fry an egg after this, let the pan cool for a few minutes. Potatoes cook at very high heat, and you will burn your egg if you immediately use the same pan (as I found out the hard way).
  8. If you cook a larger amount of hash browns, the cooking time will be longer.

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