Mom’s Hash Browns

Hash browns sold in your local grocery store or served at a diner might be cubed pieces of potato. In my family (and at Denny’s), hash browns are shredded or grated.

Hash browns are one of the first things I remember making on my own for dinner (along with pancakes) while my mom was gone at class on weeknights getting her bachelor’s degree while I was growing up. Back then I could eat an unusually large amount of hash browns. I’m talking pans and pans full. Looking back on how I ate as a child, I’m sure I should have been obese. Luckily sports balanced that out for me.

My mom made her hash browns recently when she was out here for a Mother’s Day visit. I never get sick of hash browns. I could eat them for every meal. As it turns out, I still have a huge appetite for hash browns. Some things never change.

Warning: these hash browns are so good, if you feel like eating your feelings, you might sit down and eat the entire pan yourself.

Now I would never do that. Would I? OK, that’s exactly what I had for dinner tonight. An extra-large pan full of hash browns. The entire pan. I know that sounds grotesque and if you’re picturing me and the way I talk about food and how much I eat, you’re probably picturing me as 500 lbs. I’m not 500 lbs nor am I really overweight, per say – who doesn’t think they could lose a few pounds, though I probably should be. I did gain four pounds recently – which I contribute to my healthy appetite.

But really, I digress. These hash browns are so good you just can’t stop eating them! I swear it will happen to you too if you try this recipe.


  • 7 or 8 red or new potatoes (you can use russett potatoes (approximately 1 lb. or any potato of your choosing, of course)
  • ½ red onion, optional (I use yellow onions when using brown potatoes)
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 3 T. bacon grease, vegetable oil or shortening or butter (use more or less oil for your preference)


  1. Grate potatoes and onion using a cheese grater, place in a bowl. I don’t bother peeling potatoes for this recipe nor for hardly any other recipe that calls for potatoes either.
  2. Squeeze out as much moisture as possible from the potatoes – this will help decrease the moisture/make the hash browns less mushy. I’ve read you can use a potato ricer to do this task. I took individual bunches of potato and onion and squeezed with my hands over the sink. But then again, I don’t mind mushy hash browns.
  3. Heat oil, bacon grease, etc in a large or extra-large nonstick pan over medium high heat. When the oil in the pan heats up to the point of shimmering, add the grated potato/onion mixture, spreading them out on the bottom of the pan.
  4. Sprinkle some salt and pepper on the potatoes. After a few minutes, lift up one edge of the potatoes and see how done they are. If they have fried to a golden brown they are ready to flip. Use a large spatula to flip the potatoes over all at once, or divide the large potato cake into halves or quarters and flip.
  5. Continue to cook until they are golden brown on the bottom. Note: if you have a really thick layer of potato you might want to stir the mixture around a bit in the beginning letting it brown for a bit, then breaking up and stirring, to ensure that your potatoes are getting some pan time. Once you feel that the potatoes have begun to get nice and browned you can pat down against the bottom of the pan and let it sit until completely browned all over, then flip and repeat.

Recipe rating: 

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