crispy baked hash browns

For his birthday breakfast, my younger son requested potatoes, sausage, eggs, toast, and orange juice.

Normally, I make baked hash brown potatoes for breakfast since they’re so easy, feed a crowd, and can be made ahead of time: whole potatoes, boiled and peeled, and then grated into a large pan with lots of salt and drizzled with copious amounts of browned butter. But this time around, I wasn’t in the mood for cooking ahead.

So the morning of, I made baked hash browns with raw potatoes. They weren’t nearly as complicated or time consuming as I thought they would be and the wow-factor was pretty enormous.

(Excuse the abbreviated post. I’ve been writing all morning, and, apparently, I have no words left.)

Crispy Baked Hash Browns

4-6 potatoes
oil or fat (I used an ample amount of olive oil and bacon grease)
lots of salt and black pepper

Peel and grate the potatoes. Place the grated potatoes in a bowl of cold water. Stir in some salt and let sit for a few minutes. The cold water soak keeps the potatoes from turning brown and going limp, and the salt adds flavor. Drain the potatoes, squeezing out all the excess water.

Liberally oil two large, sided baking sheets. Now’s the time to use pans that brown well, not the pans that produce anemic-looking baked goods. Sprinkle the grated potatoes over the pan in a thin layer—no big clumps. Salt heavily. Black pepper is optional.

Bake the potatoes at 400 degrees on the bottom oven rack, one pan at a time. After about 10 minutes, or when the potatoes look like they’re getting a good brown on them, pull the pan from the oven and flip the potatoes. Bake the potatoes for another 5-10 minutes or until they are good and crispy.

Serve hot, with ketchup.

This same time years previous: timpano!, a horse of her own, the quotidian (2.9.15), gourmet chocolate bark, dear Mom, to read, chai-spiced hot chocolate, and facing facts.


  • Lana

    I put cut apples in salt water and they can be stored in the fridge for at least 5 days without browning so I suspect the salt does the same for the potatoes. I had never thought to put potatoes in salt water when making hash browns. I am sure they look more appetizing that way.

    • Jennifer Jo

      Oh yes, I should've explained! The cold water keeps the potatoes from losing their bright, white color and going limp. The salt (I imagine, I hope) soaks into the potatoes, adding more flavor. I've read that cold water baths are important in the french fry making process, so I just transfered that to these oven hash browns.

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