How to Make Hash Browns in 15 Minutes

Updated on January 23, 2017
One potato's worth of hash browns in a standard-sized frying pan.
One potato's worth of hash browns 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 to our carbs some protein and/or fat (yes, really). This can be accomplished by adding to your hash browns a few slices of cheese or a fried egg.

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 - medium sized holes, hand held for holding over the frying pan.
This is the kind of grater you need - medium sized holes, hand held for holding over the frying pan.

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. It's frugal and healthy too.
  2. While the pan is preheating, select a medium to large potato. Scrub it (takes 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 at right. 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 ... no tall piles, no lonely bits at the edges. This will help it to cook evenly. Then 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. 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 take longer.

Questions & Answers

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      • Jennifer Mugrage profile imageAUTHOR

        Jennifer Mugrage 

        16 months ago from Columbus, Ohio

        Alun, thanks for the feedback. I've found that my Hubs with "How To ..." in the title tend to do better.

        If you have prepared potatoes, you are way ahead. Happy eating!

        Eric ... Very punny, you!

        I might know why the recipes you saw called for soaking. If potatoes are grated ahead of time and not cooked right away, they oxidize and turn pinkish/reddish, which is not very appetizing. Perhaps the soaking step was meant to prevent that. It could also be to infuse them with a salty flavor, if they are soaked in salt water. Thanks for the visit!

      • Ericdierker profile image

        Eric Dierker 

        16 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

        Foolish me, I believed that you needed to soak the grated potato over night. Isn't it grate to have non-processed earthy foods. Excuse me while I go cook some.

        (yes grate is right)

      • Greensleeves Hubs profile image

        Greensleeves Hubs 

        17 months ago from Essex, UK

        Do you know what first attracted me to this? The 15 minute tag. I'm one of those people who believes that if I'm cooking, then the meal should take less time to prepare than it does to eat! :)

        The other thing I like is the simplicity, because I'm also one of those people who can't fathom out how to use two pans at the same time. So just one main ingredient in one pan suits me fine. Having said that, I may add a little bit of variety as well as the egg, such as fried tomato or - as Kyriaki suggests in another comment - cheese.

        My potatoes usually come ready cut, chipped etc, but you may actually have tempted me to go out and buy some real-life intact potatoes complete with skins!!! Thanks for that, Alun.

      • Jennifer Mugrage profile imageAUTHOR

        Jennifer Mugrage 

        17 months ago from Columbus, Ohio

        Thanks for the comment, Kyriaki. Let's go eat some spuds!

      • Kyriaki Chatzi profile image

        Kyriaki Chatzi 

        17 months ago

        Love, love, love hash browns!

        I usually twist things up by adding (what else?) cheeeeeeeese.

        This dish is a rockstar, no doubt. :)

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