Hash browns are not a typical dish here in Europe where I live. I actually never heard of hash browns before the era of YouTube. Me and my husband got very curious about crispy hash browns so we started to experiment with various recipes. I mean what’s better than a potato? A crispy potato, am I right? Or am I just obsessed with anything crispy?
I noticed there are a ton of variations on the classic hash browns recipe. Not only in terms of ingredients, but also in terms of size and shape. This recipe is my favorite so far and it happens to be the easiest as well. I also like the big thinner shape since that ensures the perfect crunchiness. You could make a thicker one, but there is a risk your hash browns will include some soggy potatoes and that’s not something I’m after.
How do you make crispy oil-free hash browns without burning it?
Yup, that was also my first thought. With the use of oil hash browns are in essence very easy to make, but this might be a bit different if you decide to use no oil at all. The way to go is to use a griddle, which is my favorite tool to create easy crispy hash browns. Alternatively you could use the oven, but I noticed the outside will burn a bit faster and the middle can stay soggy. And when left in the oven for too long, you’ll have one big potato chip. So it’s totally up to you, but I highly recommend a non-stick griddle.
Where do I find hash browns?
Hash browns are (or should) actually be only grated potatoes that are frozen and ready to be used. You should be able to find these in the freezer section in your supermarket. I can’t find them here where I live. And even if you are able to find frozen grated potatoes (hash browns), then make sure there are no added ingredients such as sugar (dextrose) or oils. If you don’t care about added ingredients then try whatever you can find, but your hash browns will (of course) not be oil-free anymore and they might need a shorter grilling time.
DIY hash browns
Since I’m not able to find frozen hash browns where I live, I make them myself. This sounds way more complicated then it really is. You only need to grate up organic potatoes, rinse off the starch, shake off any excess water (I don’t squeeze it dry with a dishcloth or anything like that), and grill the potatoes in a griddle, oven or a non-stick skillet until crispy. The skillet/non-stick pan version is the most difficult one to do without oil. You will need to stand by and maybe add water or stock to prevent from burning. The shape will also be different and probably more shattered due to all the flipping in between to prevent burning and to ensure both sides are baked. Like I said, a griddle is the best way.
To grate the potatoes you can either use a food processor with a grating disc. Or you can train some arm muscles and use a grater. I sometimes use a grater if I’m making a small portion hash browns and I’m too lazy to do the dishes.
When making hash browns from scratch you can add (and skip) whatever ingredients you like. I like to skip the sugar and oil, but I do like a good flavor. You could add to your grated potatoes some garlic powder and onion powder for example. I guess by now you know how much I’m addicted to onion powder…. I tried adding fresh onions, but that wasn’t a success. The onions brunt while the potatoes were still soggy.
I put the temperature of my griddle pretty high as it takes already quite some time for the potatoes to become crispy. The price for my rush that I need to pay are somewhat burnt edges. A lower (medium to medium high) temperature with more time will ensure you will not end up with dark edges. This may depend on your griddle or oven though. When in doubt, take your time and set the temperature a little bit lower.
After about 10-15 minutes I carefully open the griddle. Don’t take the hash brown off the griddle, and don’t flip it. Just make sure nothing is burning and close it again.
When your hash brown is done it’s golden brown and CRUNCHY! So crunchy that you can lift it in one piece. Transfer your hash brown to a plate and serve with whatever you like. I like to serve it as an omelet with veggies or as a ‘’pizza’’ crust with tomato sauce.
Tips for the most crispy hash browns
- After grating the potatoes, rinse them under running water. I always rinse off the starch when I cook oil-free. If you are using a griddle you don’t have to panic over how wet the potatoes are. Just strain the potatoes and shake of any excess water. Removing the starch is the trick to crispy oil-free hash browns.
- Flavors are important so experiment with that. Add garlic or onion powder to your grated potatoes (after rinsing them…). Or maybe you like some cayenne or paprika? Black or white pepper?
- Experiment with your roasting technique. A griddle is the way to go, but an oven can do the trick too. A non-stick pan is an option when you can stand by and when you don’t mind your hash browns to be shredded instead of square.
Hash browns are not a quick breakfast to prepare, but the wait for the griddle to perfect your hash browns to that golden crunch is so much worth the wait. We make this quite often in the weekend or for a brunch.
Have you ever made your own hash browns from scratch? If so, don’t forget to let me know in the comment section below and don’t forget to rate this recipe. Oh and if you make a photo tag #thegreencreator so I can see your golden crunchy hash browns in action.
- 4 medium sized peeled organic potatoes, this is about 650 grams (peeled)
- optional :¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- optional : ¼ teaspoon onion powder
- You can peel the potatoes first, which is what I do for this recipe.
- If you don’t peel your potatoes, scrub the potatoes clean first and rinse them.
- Preheat your griddle or oven.
- Take out your food processor or grater. Grate the potatoes with the biggest grate disc or on a large-holed cheese grater.
- In a sieve, rinse the grated potato well under running water. Drain and shake out any excess water.
- If you flavor the grated potatoes, transfer the grated potatoes to a bowl and toss it with garlic powder, onion powder and any other spices/herbs you like.
- Spread the potatoes over the griddle in an even (not too thin) layer. Let the potatoes roast for 20 minutes in the griddle. After that start checking every 5 minutes to see if your hash browns are ready (crispy and golden brown). Total grilling time is about 20-30 minutes.
- When done, serve the hash browns warm with some stir-fried vegetables or fresh greens.
Want to save these hash browns for later? Pin the recipe to your Pinterest board: