Griddle/Pan Fried: Potatos - Grated/Hash Browns

Subject: Potatos - Grated/Hash Browns
From: BMA (barry at
Date: Sun, 19 Apr 1998 09:40:24 -0700
I'm looking for a recipe and some advice.

I really love the grated, fried (I assume) potatos you get in diners that are usually called "hash browns" and come with breakfast. However, when I've tried to make them at home, including using a recipe in Joy of Cooking, they come out soggy and limp, no matter how long I cook them, not crispy and well-cooked like in the restaurant. (They also stick to the pan horribly)

Does anyone have a recipe for these?

Also, does it matter what kind of potato you use? I've tried new potatos and baking potatos, both turned-out equally bad. Joy of Cooking calls for "mature potatos", but I have no idea what they're talking about.


From: Bob Y. (rdyoung at
Date: Sun, 19 Apr 1998 15:35:32 -0500
I don't believe this. I just spen umpteen minutes typing out the recipe for Rösti, which are the Swiss version of hash browns and when I went to paste it, it was gone.

What you do is shred the potatoes, put them in a clean tea towel and squeeze out the moisture. Some People add shredded onion, which is good. Worst comes to worst, by Ora Ida frosen hash browns or even some of the ones which come in convient patty shape. Hey, for frozen, they're not that bad.
From: BevMann (bevmann at
Date: Sun, 19 Apr 1998 22:45:17 +0200
Start with a very hot pan for crispy potatoes...
From: brawny at (Bill)
Date: Sun, 19 Apr 1998 20:47:06 GMT
I use grated parboiled potatoes....I think they are the best. Kinda like OraIda...which had to be cooked somehow before freezing... maybe blanched?
From: dweller at (Doug Weller)
Date: Mon, 20 Apr 1998 20:39:28 GMT
Bob Y. wrote:
>orst comes to worst, by Ora Ida frosen hash browns or even some of the
>ones which come in convient patty shape. Hey, for frozen, they're not
>that bad.

I thought Ora Ida pretty good stuff.
From: May's Pearls of Wisdom (veckerts at
Date: Sun, 19 Apr 1998 16:38:52 -0700
Do you rinse them in cold water to get rid of some of the starch?
From: ericp at (eric pearson)
Date: Mon, 20 Apr 1998 00:14:15 GMT
The easy way is to get Ore-Ida or Simply brand frozen/refrigerated hashbrowns and follow instructions. However, I have made them from scratch. I use large white (not baking) potatoes. The secret is probably a light oil (I use peanut or corn) and a relatively high temp. Also, they need to be cooked uncovered or they will be limp.
From: dutchm at (Donald Martinich)
Date: 20 Apr 1998 07:28:11 GMT
It's hard to tell what your problem is. Russets (baking potatoes) are usually sold in the mature state and are my choice. I sometimes rinse them and sometimes dry them but not always and it does not seem to make a major difference. I use a cast-iron skillet but any even heating frying pan should work. I have tried hotter and cooler temperatures with equal success. I am generous with my cooking fat. When the potatoe "pancake" is in the pan the fat level is about half way up the "cake". I have recently used butter (inspired by eating at Morton's) which has to be kept at moderate temperatures with very crisp results. I also do not heap them in the pan in a big pile like diner cooks. I cook them at the same thickness at which they will be eaten(1/2 to 3/4 inch). That's why I have been using the word "cake". Give it a try.
From: Sue B. (bastiani at
Date: Mon, 20 Apr 1998 01:30:09 -0700
Oh goody! I can finally help someone. I grew up in greasy spoons!!! My mom always boiled a big pot of good russets, then peeled them (don't peel them the same as when they are raw, just catch the peeling between the knife and your finger and pull). Then, you grate them and fry them. Kinda of spread them in a good cast iron skillet (add a little onion if you like) let them get good and brown and flip. Yummmy... Flip them somemore whilst mixing them around if you want more brown bits. PS..I think yours were limp and stuff cause they were fried raw...
From: Jen Cox (jencox at
Date: Mon, 20 Apr 1998 11:01:10 -0500
So how long would you boil the whole potatoes? Are they fully cooked?
From: Sue B. (bastiani at
Date: Mon, 20 Apr 1998 23:32:56 -0700
Yes, you boil them till your fork goes in easily, just like when you are going to mash them. Then let them cool...put them in the fridge even.
Unless you are really hungry...then you will burn your fingers, but hey! if you you're hungry....... BTW, we did a whole pot for the restaurant, but you can do a just a few depending on how many are eating. I mean I knew you knew that, but just in case?
From: zmtor at (Zmtor)
Date: 21 Apr 1998 17:17:46 GMT
By the way, lot's of times we *bake* several potatoes at a time (even nuking them in the microwave is fine) and keep them in the frig. Trim the skin and shred. Makes great fried potatoes.


PS: If you bake them in foil, leave them in the foil and the skin usually just slips off later.
From: Sprout (jtcpl at
Date: Mon, 20 Apr 1998 16:28:05 -0700
Thank you, Sue...from a bystander with the same question, just too timid to ask it (re: fried taters....mine are always turning out wimpy, too...)

Must run and try new tip!!
From: rosella at (Rosella Chavez)
Date: Tue, 21 Apr 1998 14:22:04 +0100
Part of the problem may be steam being created while frying the hash brown. Do not fry to many at once, 1 1/2 - 2" thickness is about all I would do at one time. Get the cooking oil nice and hot, add potatoes and season, adjust heat, do not over stir, wait until they are a nice golden brown on the bottom and turn once like a pancake (you may need to turn a section at a time), cook over ~ medium heat until the second side is a golden brown. If the heat is the right temp. the shreaded potatoes should be cooked through at the same time that they are a perfect med. gold color. DO NOT COVER as this creates steam and a soggy, limp potato.