Making Hashbrowns from Scratch?

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It's been around for ages and there are thousands of methods... What's the secret to getting grated ones crispy? What's your favorite way to do it? Do you keep it simple or embellish with red peppers? Why do mine never work?
 
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Hot Fat!!!
I add onions and Tony Chachere's season salt.
If the potatoes are grated I grate the onion.

I also take leftover baked or boiled potatoes and chunk them saute with onions sometimes red bell peppers and tonys.

Enough hot fat makes them crisp...
 
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after you grate your potatoes, let them sit in a bowl for 15 minutes... then place them in a colander and rinse them well...squeezing out all the moisture so they are as dry as possible......as shroomgirl said hot fat and be patient. If you have any bacon drippings or duck fat go for it. The key to success is dry potatoes and hot grease
cc
 
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I use the same trick that i use for french fries, after shreading the slices of potato, i soak them in warm water for 10-15 minutes and then squeeze them dry with some paper towels. Removing the excess starch seems to be the seceret for getting crisp and golden hash browns
 

phatch

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I've always just wrung them out immediately. They shed enough liquid that the surface starch is removed. Haven't tried letting them sit. As has been so sagely mentioned, dry potatoes, hot grease and pan. Don't move them until they have browned.

One more trick. Don't mash them together. The uneven surface seems to help the potatoes brown and the visual of separate strands of potato is very nice compared to a pressed cake.

I'm partial to cooking them on well seasoned cast iron.

Phil
 
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If you're talking a small quantity like you'd use at home, I have two methods. The first is to bake large potatoes (a little less done than you'd serve), then let them cool in the fridge overnite. Grate them with their skins and mix with finely julienned onions. Plop them on a hot, lightly oiled griddle (cast iron works well), then drizzle plenty of hot oil over the top. Most of the oil will work it's way out of the hash, so they won't get too greasy. If you use an electric griddle you may have to carefully move them around to keep them on a hot spot. So long as you wait til they crust, you can move them gently without breaking them up.

My favorite way, though, is to use raw potatoes. Grate them, then lay them out on a dishtowel. Roll it up and wring it out really well. Makes a bit of a mess, but it'll get all the excess moisture out. Toss them in a bowl and mix them with onions and a little salt & pepper. Stir in half an egg yolk (or a whole one if you've got a lot of potatoes- it really takes very little), then from into balls a bit larger than golf balls. Flatten into thick patties. I then fry them in 1/8 - 1/4 of canola oil in an electric skillet. That'll get nice, golden cakes/browns that crisp beautifully, yet still retain that fresh potato taste.
 

pete

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Can't really add much to what everone else said. Dry potatoes, and plenty of oil, but I can't stress enough that you need to be patient. Don't play with the potatoes. Once you set them in the pan let them sit for awhile to develop the crust. You can do everything else right, but if you play with the potatoes too much they will get soft and mushy without ever setting a crust. I am a lover of very crispy hash browns and I have found that a medium-high heat works best. That way you can develop a nice thick crusty layer without burning your potatoes.
 
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