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How to Cook Hashbrowns

Start your day on the right foot and level up your lunch and dinner by learning how to cook hashbrowns! Depending on the cooking method and recipe, you can enjoy hash browns not only for breakfast but any time of the day.

Typically, hash browns are known as a breakfast recipe made with finely chopped potatoes, fried in hot oil until browned. However, as time has passed, the recipes evolved, and different preparations and cooking methods also became popular.

Nowadays, aside from chopped, some of the most popular hash brown variations include shredded, cubed, and patties or cakes. No matter which of these hash brown variations you want to try, I’ll help you learn how to cook hashbrowns so you can enjoy and devour your favorite potato dish in more ways than one!

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Pin showing the title How to Cook Hashbrowns

How do you crisp hash browns? 

If you are a potato lover, it’s not surprising if you want to learn how to cook hashbrowns. They’re deliciously brown, buttery, and crispy. Plus, they go so well with anything — from eggs to beef, caramelized onion, sausages, cheese, sauces, and more!

But of course, it’s not a secret that hash browns can also easily go wrong if you’re not careful. Instead of being crispy and delicious, your hash brown can end up pale and mushy. That’s why this guide is here to help! 

I’ll debunk all the secret methods on how to cook hashbrowns that are not only tasty but crispy as well. Whether you already have a bag of frozen hash browns or you want to start from scratch by making fresh homemade hash browns, I’ve got you covered.

How do I cook frozen hash browns?

Frozen hash browns come in different styles: shredded, cubed, and patties. They are highly preferred by many because they’re effortless to cook. You don’t have to go through the process of cleaning, peeling, and shredding. 

Shredded frozen hash browns are known to be the most versatile among the varieties. Some brands also offer unsalted ones which are best to use for any kind of recipe. Aside from simply frying them in butter, you can also use shredded frozen hash browns to make fritters, patties, casseroles, and even soups and breakfast pizzas.

On the other hand, cubed frozen hash browns can be both crispy and soft at the same time. Hence, they are a great option for skillets and casseroles too.

Lastly, frozen hash brown patties are also popular because they are convenient and so easy to cook. Made with a mixture of seasoned julienne cut potatoes and onions, frozen hash brown patties are crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside. 

Hash browns may come in different varieties but they can all be cooked effortlessly using an air fryer

Should I thaw frozen hash browns before cooking?

Yes! Like any other frozen food, it’s highly recommended to thaw frozen hash browns before cooking. If you cook hash browns right after pulling them out of the freezer, they may end up unevenly cooked, soggy, or mushy.

Thawing frozen hash browns before cooking will allow you to drain excess moisture which makes them soggy. You can safely and easily thaw hash browns in the refrigerator overnight or in the microwave for several minutes.

When thawing using the microwave, get a microwave safe plate and line it with paper towels first before scattering the hashbrowns in a single flat layer. Once done, cover the top again with paper towels and place it in the microwave.

Use the microwave’s defrost setting for about 30 seconds (or more depending on the amount of hash browns). If they are not completely thawed, you can microwave them again for about 10-15 seconds. If your hash browns are especially watery or soggy, dab them with paper towels before cooking or using them in your recipe.

How to make hash browns stick together?

Shredded hash browns are often fried in skillets in a round shape. However, it’s not a hidden fact that it’s not easy to flip because chances are it will fall apart. So how to cook hashbrowns that stick together?

The excess water in the potatoes is the primary reason why hash browns do not stick together. Hence, drying your hash browns before cooking, whether frozen or freshly shredded is a must.

Plus, remember to cook the hash browns until they are well cooked and crispy enough before flipping. Flipping the hash brown too early will cause them to fall apart.

If you make homemade hash browns, the size and shape can also be one of the reasons they don’t stick together. To make sure that the potatoes are shredded evenly use a shredder, cheese grater, or food processor so the pieces are all uniform!  

how to cook hash browns

How to cook hashbrowns in a frying pan:

There are different ways to cook hash browns. You can use an air fryer, oven, and frying pan to make crispy hash brown. If you want to cook hash browns in the frying pan, you can take note of these tips to make sure that they will not only be tasty but oh so crispy as well.

After thawing the frozen hash browns and making sure that they’re dry enough, heat a frying pan or a large cast iron skillet on medium high heat. Then add three tablespoons of oil or butter. 

Once the oil heats up or the butter has melted, spread a thin layer of hash browns evenly on the pan. Make sure that it’s only about 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick or else it will be too thick to be crispy. 

Season the hash browns with salt and pepper and cook them for about three to five minutes until the bottom is crispy or it has turned golden brown. You can flip the whole thing using a large spatula or divide it into halves or quarters before flipping.

When the other side turns golden brown, your hash browns are done!

How to cook hashbrowns in the oven:

Cooking hashbrowns in the oven is actually pretty easy, easier even than cooking them on the stove. It does not require stirring, and it’s up to you if you want to flip them.

To start, line a sheet pan with parchment paper or foil and spray it with oil or butter flavored cooking spray. Dump the hash browns on the lined sheet pan and spread them out evenly and thinly. 

Place them in the oven and bake for 25 to 30 minutes until the top is cooked through and the bottom is brown and crispy. If you want to brown both surfaces, you can also bake it in a preheated oven for 15 minutes on the bottom rack and flip them and bake for another 15 minutes. 

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What is the best way to cook hash brown patties?

McDonald’s style frozen hash brown patties are popular because they’re ready made, available in many grocery stores and online. Plus, they only need to be cooked for a little bit and can be cooked frozen. 

On the other hand, if you only have shredded hash browns, you can also quickly and easily whip hash brown patties. Just mix them up with eggs, flour, and salt. To level up the recipe, you can also add cheddar cheese, garlic powder, paprika, and chives. 

You can cook hash brown patties in the oven, stove, or microwave just like how you typically cook patties. If you want the easiest and the fastest way, cook your hash brown patties on the stove using a skillet.

Start with preheating the skillet to 375 degrees with butter or oil. Once heated, scoop about three spoonfuls of your hash brown mixture and flatten with a spatula. Each side of the patties needs only about three to four minutes to cook, so they will be ready in a flash!

How do you cook dried hash browns?

Aside from frozen and fresh homemade hash browns, you can also find dried hash browns online and at grocery stores. They are more convenient to store in the pantry and ideal to bring for backpacking and camping trips. 

Dried hash browns come in boxes with preparation instructions but I’ll share them with you here to give you a little heads up. 

To cook dried hash browns, start with pouring equal amounts of hash browns and hot water (140°F to 160°F) into a bowl. Choose a bowl with a lid because you have to cover it and let it stand for about 12 minutes before you drain the hashbrowns.

After draining, preheat a nonstick skillet with two spoonfuls of oil in medium high heat. Fry the hash browns for six minutes and don’t forget to stir them every two minutes. As easy as that, you have your hash browns ready to enjoy!

Best way to make homemade hash browns:

Getting store bought hash browns is certainly easier than making homemade hash browns. However, in case you have lots of potatoes on hand and you want to put them to use, why not, right?

There are two famous and easy ways to make homemade hash browns: using fresh potatoes and using precooked potatoes.

First things first, you have to remember that whichever method you’ll use, your choice of potato will also affect the outcome of your hash browns. If you want crispy hash browns, Russets and Idaho are the best options but if you want to make sure that they’ll stick together, you might want to consider using Yukon Golds.

  • To make hash browns using fresh potatoes, start by rinsing or scrubbing your potatoes. Once they are cleaned, you don’t have to peel the skins. 
  • Second, prepare a bowl of cold water. The cold water helps remove excess starch for a crispier result and also prevents the potatoes from browning or graying. 
  • Proceed with grating the potatoes. To make the process easier, use a shredder or food processor
  • Once done, immediately put the grated potatoes in the bowl of cold water.
  • After at least 15 minutes or more (let it sit overnight to get the best results) remove the potatoes from the water. Use a clean kitchen tea towel, potato ricer, or lemon squeezer to squeeze out excess moisture.
  • After making sure your potatoes are dried enough, they’re now ready to work with!

How to make hash browns from boiled potatoes:

Using parboiled potatoes when making hash browns can be a lot faster and easier. They do not only reduce the cooking time but also make the process simpler as well.

  • To start, clean and scrub the potatoes with water but don’t peel them.
  • After cleaning, place the potatoes in a large pot with water and salt and let boil for 10 minutes. 
  • When done, drain the water, rinse the potatoes in cold water, and peel them.
  • The parboiled and peeled potatoes are now easier to grate with a shredder or food processor.
  • Once grated, you can now use them in your favorite hash browns recipe!

Keep in mind that unlike the first method using fresh potatoes, parboiled potatoes do not need to be soaked in cold water because the salted water already dehydrates the potatoes during boiling. 

How to freeze hash browns?

Whether you use fresh potatoes or parboiled potatoes to cook hashbrowns, you can easily freeze them for future use. 

If you’ve used the parboiled method, allow the grated potatoes to cool down first. On the other hand, if you’ve used fresh potatoes, make sure that they’re dried enough. 

To prevent the shredded potatoes from clumping, spread them into a large baking sheet in a single layer. Place them in the freezer for about one to two hours, until the potatoes are completely frozen. 

Transfer the frozen shredded potatoes to a freezer safe ziploc bag or an airtight container. These homemade frozen hash browns are safe to consume for up to three months and can be thawed in the refrigerator before use!

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