Griddle/Pan Fried: Home Fried Potatoes

Subject: Home Fried Potatoes
From: rosemary at (Rosemary Dean Mackintosh)
Date: 6 Nov 1995 20:03:10 -0500
I'm posting this for my dad. He's a great cook but he said he's never had a successful batch of home fried potatoes. Any suggestions?
From: dutchm at (Donald Martinich)
Date: 7 Nov 1995 07:08:35 GMT
I buy large baking potatoes but do not always eat the whole spud at a sitting. (Baked in the skin of course.) I wrap what is left and put in the ice box. When I get enough for a serving I slice into 1/4 to 1/2 inch slices, discarding the skin, and fry slowly in peanut or olive oil. It's one of the better ways to fry potatoes.
From: connally at (Kate)
Date: 8 Nov 95 12:19:33 EDT
You don't eat the skin? That's the best part! I often bake potatoes solely for the purpose of making home fries. They only way to get properly cooked home fries is to use precooked potatoes. I slice them (skin and all) and fry them in bacon grease (the only way to go!) and season them with mixed herbs, salt, pepper, garlic and onion powder. Yum!
From: scoward at (Susan Coward)
Date: 9 Nov 1995 16:01:42 GMT
While we're on the subject, next time you go camping, wrap some potatoes in foil, then bury them in the coals when you go to bed. When you wake up, your potatoes are ready to be turned into home fries. (Of course, only do this if you're using a fire ring -- not an open fire. The coals in an open fire should be thoroughly doused with water before going to bed!!)
From: shafer at (Mary Shafer)
Date: 8 Nov 1995 18:08:36 GMT
Salt the water you cook the potatoes in fairly heavily and don't rinse them. This has two purposes--it makes sure the potatoes are salted evenly and it draws some of the water out of the potatoes so that they're firmer and brown faster. (Actually, the latter reason is probably folklore, but the even salting is nice.)
From: Ken Burner (kb13+ at
Date: 7 Nov 1995 11:12:44 -0500
I've had the same problem. The best I can come up with is to use 1) leftover potatoes -- peel, cut up, boil them and store in a baggie in the fridge overnight. The next morning, cook them in 2) a well-seasoned iron (or non-stick) skillet in 3) bacon grease and 4) don't turn them too often so they have a chance to develop that crunch on the outside. For extra flavor, add a couple of bruised cloves of garlic to the water when boiling them.

I've tried different kinds of fats and oils, but nothing results in flavor and texture like the bacon grease.
From: commtec at (Commtec)
Date: 7 Nov 1995 13:10:20 -0500
I agree about 90%. What they really need in addition to all your [Ken Burner] great ideas is:

Small onion diced
Garlic diced and added to the pan
Paprika added to the potatoes in the pan until a nice pale red color appears.

I got this from a short-order cook about 38 years ago and have been making it for friends and family since then (especially for Sun. morning breakfast).
I never have any leftovers.
From: gator at (Jim Fayard)
Date: 8 Nov 1995 02:13:02 GMT
I usually cook this on the weekends.

6 med potatoes sliced thin then cut in half
1 large onion sliced med-thick then cut in half
garlic - to taste
salt - to taste
pepper - to taste
1/8 cup of water
1 T worchestershire sauce
iron skillet (because it retains heat so well)
one of those round pizza pans

Place oil, potatoes, onions, garlic, salt, and pepper in skillet. Cook over med heat and cover with pizza pan. Stir every 5 minutes or so. IMPORTANT!

3 minutes before the potatoes are done, mix the worchestershire sauce and water together and pour over the potatoes and stir. I use raw potatoes and it takes me about 30 minutes to cook. Get the person you cooked for to clean the skillet.
From: darnold at (Dede Arnold)
Date: 8 Nov 1995 14:29:50 GMT
This is how I make my home fries. We think they turn out pretty good (unless I'm having a bad morning--then I have a tendency to burn them).

Peel the potatoes and cut them in half, then slice them about 1/4" thick (when my husband *helps* cut the potatoes, he cuts them in half again. I don't because I really hate flipping them and if I leave them bigger I don't have as many pieces to flip).

Cover the potatoes with water and add any flavorings (I usually use just season salt and pepper, but you could also add garlic or any other spices you might find interesting). Cook them on high heat until they boil. Cook some bacon while the potatoes are coming to a boil (I've never tried to cook hash brown in anything other than bacon grease, sausage drippings might work, but I don't think butter would). I only let the potatoes cook about 5 minutes after they start boiling, then I turn off the heat and let them sit until I'm done with the bacon. You want the potatoes to be cooked enough so that they will no longer be crunchy, but if they are cooked too long they get mushy.

Put the partially cooked potatoes in the bacon grease and turn the heat up high (I use a gas stove so I'm not sure if you'd want to use the high setting on an electric stove or not). Once the potatoes are brown on one side, flip them over and let the other side brown (yes, I flip each individual potato). Let that side brown (it won't take as long as the first side).

This makes hash browns that are crispy on the outside, but still tender on the inside.
From: tamale at (tee)
Date: 7 Nov 1995 14:59:20 -0700
I can't guarantee that this is the definitive answer but it works for me. I used to have problems getting the potatoes to cook completely. I've developed some cardinal rules:

1. Use boiling potatoes (or red potatoes) and chill in the refrigerator overnight.
2. Use a non-stick skillet

The rest is just a matter of the amount of onions and/or garlic and spices you wish to add. I like them with a golden crusty cover....yumm!
From: Geri Rapp (doctoral at
Date: 8 Nov 1995 03:38:46 GMT
Home Fries -- one of my all time favorite foods!! I never have any left over, no matter how large the quantity and how few the folks. It takes 2 pans, but it's worth it.

One way** is to use "real potatoes" - scrub any kind of potatoes clean and no need to peel. Slice or chunk raw potato, and nuke very short time til softened. Meanwhile, in fry pan #1, saute a ton of onions in olive (or any cooking) oil, which will become really sweet. Not required, but a drop of sugar sprinkled over onions helps brown them and brings out flavor. Add cooked tatos to hot oil in fry pan #2. Can't be too skimpy with the oil. We're talking enjoyment, not health. Can sprinkle a little paprika over potatoes to encourage browning, and I love a lot of salt. Don't touch for a few minutes so browning and crisping will begin.

After a while, turn tatoes. Then put in cooked onions and salt and pepper. -- I'M HUNGRY!!!

** The other way is - now, don't yell at me -- sliced canned tatoes. Once they're cooked and all, I swear you can't taste any difference. Also, you can toss in a little parsley or dill or anything that strikes your fancy. Bacon pieces maybe. But personally, give me tatos and onions, nice and crispy and salty/sweet.
Sometimes, as an excuse to cook and eat my own home fries, I'll throw in an egg and call it a potato omelet.
From: rnoon at (Rhonda Noon)
Date: 8 Nov 1995 18:43:59 GMT

I agree totally, and I NEVER thought I would say this.....but the canned potatoes work quite well. This is a little treat I learned from my present hubby, as the thought of canned potatoes did not appeal to me in the least.

From time to time we serve breakfast in our office to honor a special occasion, and these have always been a big hit. My hubby taught me his secrets - to use lots of oil and cook for a long time on a lower temperature. I use tons of onions with diced green and red pepper. Lots of paprika and pepper is also a must - the spicier the hotter the better. Yummy....and you really CAN'T taste any difference.
From: stan at (Stan Horwitz)
Date: 12 Nov 1995 19:16:35 GMT
I am not sure how you and your dad decide whether or not your home fried potatoes are successful, but I like mine hot and moist in the middle with a nice crust on the outside.

Home fried potatoes are incredibly easy to make. You just boil or bake a few potatoes. Any kind of potatoes will do, but ones which hold their shape well during cooking (small ones with shiny skins) work best. Cook them until they're slightly soft when pierced with a knife. Slice them up, throw them into a hot frying pan with butter or margarine. Make sure the butter's melted in the pan first. Sprinkle whatever spices you want on the potatoes (I like to use paprika, salt, pepper, and garlic powder) then cover the pan with a tight lid and fry them on high heat for a few minutes. When the potatoes start to get a golden brown, flip them over so that the top sides can cook in the butter. I don't bother peeling the potatoes, but you certainly can if you want. Also, be careful because the hot oil can hurt you if it spatters onto your skin.
From: mrswordwvr at (Beth)
Date: 22 Nov 1995 18:17:32 -0500
If you've read any of my posts you'll know I'm a fan of Jacques Pepin, anyway, I saw him make home fries like this. . . .

2 large onions, chopped
10 red potatoes
salt & pepper
olive oil

Cover whole potatoes with water, bring to a boil, turn to medium and cook for 15 minutes or until they can be pierced with a fork. Drain, allow to cool enough to handle and cut in wedges leaving the peeling on if preferred.

Saute onion in small amount of oil until caramelized. In a separate pan, fry the potatoes, stirring and turning until they're nicely browned. Just before serving, add the onions, salt and pepper. I think he sprinkled rosemary, too but I'm not sure.
From: dsmith at (Melanie Smith)
Date: 23 Nov 1995 19:36:46 GMT
Well, I'm just a simply country girl and have never cooked my potatoes before cooking my potatoes (although I can see the advantage). I just cut them up into small pieces and fry slowly in cooking oil, add some salt and pepper. Yum!

To spice it up a little try cutting up (in pieces a little smaller than a quarter) potatoes, yellow squash, okra and white onion. Mix together with a little flour/corn meal mixture and lightly coat veggies. Then fry as usual. Yum, Yum!