Crispy Homemade Hash Browns

secret to crispy hash browns

I find nothing more satisfying than a large breakfast on the weekend.  The only problem was that I had never learned how to make hash browns from scratch.  We always just bought them, frozen, in bags from the grocery store.  When I did think of making them, all I could imagine was that you had to peel a potato and grate it like you would a block of cheese.  I had no interest in doing that!

But the call of fresh hash browns was enough for me to learn, especially since I have been eating more carbohydrates in an effort to raise my metabolism.  There’s a simple trick to getting really crispy hash browns, and I’ll share it with you today!

Hash browns, eggs, quiche, frittatas, toast, fresh juice, pancakes, waffles, fruit, you name it.  That my kind of breakfast!  Throw a little lacto-fermented ketchup on these babies and you’re good to go.  Plus, when you eat a big breakfast you get the benefit of extra energy and a roaring metabolism.  Win win!

PUFA and Conventional Potatoes:  Have you ever read the ingredient list on a bag of frozen potatoes?  From fries to tater tots to hash browns, the story is always the same: vegetable oil and potatoes.

Vegetable oils are industrial by-products.  We were never meant to consume canola, cottonseed, soybean, grapeseed, or other oils in the quantities that we do in processed foods. We were meant to have saturated fats, like coconut oil and butter.

Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) are also the perfect mechanism to disrupt our omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acid ratio balance.  Industrial vegetable oils are almost always PUFA, which are inherently unstable and may cause health problems.

Which brings me to: it’s a good thing hash brown are a lot easier to make than I thought!  Fry them up in ghee or expeller-pressed coconut oil.   Enjoy crispy potatoes with breakfast to raise your metabolism for the day, no PUFA in sight!

So What’s the Secret?  Squeezing out the water from the potatoes!  You have to press out the extra moisture from these shredded potatoes in order to get them really crispy.  It’s the same principle as squeezing the water out of zucchini for fritters, or patting meat dry so it can get a nice brown sear.

Equipment Needed:

Note: Make sure you use expeller-pressed coconut oil for this recipe, since regular unrefined coconut oil will taste and smell like coconut.  Expeller-pressed coconut oil has a nice neutral taste, perfect for these savory kinds of dishes.  Alternately, you can use ghee, which won’t burn like butter when used for frying.

Crispy Hash Browns

6 large russet potatoes, peeled and halved to fit through feed tube of food processor
coconut oil or ghee (buy expeller-pressed coconut oil here, how to make ghee here)
salt and pepper to taste (buy unrefined sea salt and organic pepper here)

  1. Lay out a large kitchen towel, and set aside.  In a food processor fitted with the large shredding disk, process potatoes until they are completely shredded.  Remove from the food processor and pile in the center of the kitchen towel.
  2. Gather the corners of the towel together and twist to seal and grab firmly.  Over the kitchen sink, twist as hard as you can manage, squeezing out as much of the water from the shredded potatoes as possible.  Unwrap.
  3. In a large cast iron skillet, melt ghee or coconut oil over medium-high heat.  Cook about half of the shredded potatoes in the skillet for 5-10 minutes, until golden brown.  Season generously with salt and pepper. 
  4. Using a spatula, flip the potatoes over to brown on the other side.  Season the other side with salt and pepper as well, adding more ghee or coconut oil to the pan if needed.
  5. When both sides are golden brown, remove from the skillet and serve.  You can save extra hash browns in the fridge, as they reheat very well.

This post is a part of Fat Tuesday, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Allergy Free WednesdayThe Mommy Club, Simple Lives Thursday, Full Plate Thursday, Pennywise Platter, Fight Back Friday, Fresh Bites Friday, Friday Food Flicks, and Monday Mania.

PAID ENDORSEMENT DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog.


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  1. Tonya Scarborough says:

    Also, you can put the shredded potato into a bowl of salt water. It takes the starch out so that they don’t turn gray and mushy. I just squeeze the water out with my hands and put them straight into the pan for cooking.

    • Tonya, how long do you leave them in the salt water?

    • This is the way to do it. Or even easier, you can just rinse the potatoes until the water runs clear. Drain in a strainer, heat up your pan and throw em in. You don’t even have to pat them dry!

  2. I could eat big breakfast meals all the time. I love the stuff! I always get so disgusted by the ingredients in frozen potatoes. It’s needless. I’m glad to finally know the simple trick to a good crispy pan of hashbrowns. Thanks for sharing at Allergy-Free Wednesdays! We hope to see you back again next week.

    ~Michelle, AFW Hostess

  3. I always thought that you had to cook the potatoes before you shred them, but you don’t?

    • Nope! That’s what I had wondered too, and it seemed like a pain to do it that way. Just shred them fine and/or make sure the layer in the skillet is thin enough, and they cook right through no problem. I was very glad to find all that out!

  4. Mike F says:

    To really get a nice golden brown look you should cook them at a lower temp for about 20mins each side. I know it’s a pain but much worth it!

  5. I love hash browns. Once I have gotten a lot more recovery with the GAPS diet I’d like to try them again. I insert a step in between shredding and squeezing that helps pre-digest the complex carbs which are so difficult for our guts to handle. I soak the shredded potatoes overnight in warm water, celtic sea salt, and whey or other ferment liquid. At least 8 hours, more if I have the time.

  6. Melanie Kampos says:

    I pre made these once for a camping potluck breakfast & boy they were a hit! Thanks for the tip about squeezing out the water. The second time I made them they weren’t as crispy. Now I know why. I must have forgotten to get out all the water out. Real good tasting w’ piima or sour cream or creme fraiche. FYI don’t use your favorite tea towels as the potatoes will discolor them.

  7. Mary English Eck says:

    That’s why you bake an extra potato the evening before. Grate the tater, grate tiny amount of onion, mix. Fry in oil and a pat of butter. Flatten out as you would a hamburger. Peek under & turn once. Plate it and enjoy. No muss, no fuss.

  8. Greetings! This is my 1st comment here so I just wanted to give
    a quick shout out and tell you I really enjoy reading through your posts.
    Can you recommend any other blogs/websites/forums that go over the same
    subjects? Thanks a ton!

  9. melanie says:

    I added lots of grated potatoes to a potato pancake mix (egg added) :)))) Yummy!!!!!!
    I also tried leftover mash potatoes + egg, and it worked too!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Looks like fake ones, but they taste GREAT!!!
    I think the moisture gets absorbed in the mix and or mash potatoes. Try it you’ll love them!!!!!!!!!
    Swell Mel:)

  10. I’ve never make hash out of a raw potato. This time of year when we have new potatoes, I always boil extra when I cook them for a meal and refrigerate the leftovers. The next day, just chop them up a bit (skins and all for new potatoes) and saute with real butter in a pan. Add salt and pepper. They’re great!

  11. Can i make a hash brown mix and then freeze it to use at a later date, or do i cook the hash browns and then freeze them and just reheat later

  12. Yum these sounds absolutely delcious. Thanks for sharing.


  13. A salad spinner is a much easier way to remove the liquid from raw grated potato.

    You can also use a potato ricer to simultaneously squeeze out the water and form them into perfect circles.


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