The Trick For The Crispiest Hash Browns We Wish We Knew Sooner

plate of crispy hash browns
plate of crispy hash browns - freeskyline/Shutterstock

Hash browns, dinner style, or more commonly, a beloved breakfast staple found in diners and fast food restaurants, are the poster child of salty, savory delectability. Whether you prefer the loose version served at eateries or the more casual handheld variety, these starchy delights offer a satisfying dose of carbs. Their subtly savory taste complements a wide range of breakfast mains, from the saltiness of pan-fried proteins to the sweet breadiness of pancakes or waffles and even the creaminess of scrambled eggs.

When you're looking forward to the breakfast staple or dinnertime side, there's nothing more disappointing than biting into your hash brown to find that it's less a delectably crispy, fried treat and more a soggy mess. The good news is that you can use a clever trick to get those hash browns perfectly crispy every time: adding weight to your hash browns as they cook in your skillet. Yes, weighing those browns down with another skillet — or similar item — is an infallible method of ensuring that the entire bottom of your potatoes cooks evenly and delivers that satisfyingly crispy texture that will upgrade your breakfast.

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Achieving The Ultimate Crispy Hash Browns

hash browns in a skillet
hash browns in a skillet - Stanley Kalvan/Shutterstock

There are a variety of tips for perfectly crispy hash browns, but achieving them starts with selecting the right potato varieties. For maximum crispiness, russet potatoes are your best bet. Their high starch content produces less moisture and makes them crisp up more easily than other varieties like Yukon golds. Wet potatoes will cook up soggy, so if you rinse them, it's imperative to squeeze out all excess moisture using a thin dish towel or cheesecloth before shaping your shredded potatoes into patties. You'll also want to keep your hash browns between ⅓ to ½ inch thick. They won't cook and crisp all the way through if they're too thick, so opt for a thinner patty.

But the real secret to delightfully crisp hash browns is in the frying method. You'll want to place your potatoes in your skillet in at least ⅛ inch hot oil (or bacon grease for additional flavor); then comes the critical part that adds all that extra crispiness to those browns — add some weight on top of your patty. Another pan of the same size is an excellent choice (though you may need to add some weight atop it to hold it down), but you can also use an iron grill press to provide the weight needed to create an even, crispy layer. You can skip frying and use a panini press or waffle iron for delicious results. And if you want to go old school, place a foil-wrapped brick on top.

Delicious Pairings For Those Crispy Hash Browns

bowl of avocado slices
bowl of avocado slices - Yana Dernova/Shutterstock

Crispy hash browns are an incredibly versatile side dish with a taste and texture that pairs well with various proteins and vegetables. Want to counterbalance all that delicious crispiness with a creamier topping? Try adding some avocado slices atop your hash browns — the avocado's mild, nutty flavor will pair beautifully with the starchy potatoes, especially when topped with a bit of salt and pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice for a pop of acidity, and the avocado's creamy texture will accentuate the crispness of those browns. If you'd prefer to go tangier and saltier, top those hash browns with a nice, salty cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese. If you prefer your cheese melted, pop your covered hash browns in the oven just long enough for the cheese to melt. The oven method will retain your hash browns' crispiness while adding a melty texture finish. And if all else fails, you can't go wrong with the classic partnership of hash browns and ketchup. Let that sweet, tangy sauce pair simply with your potatoes for a breakfast dish just about as classic as it comes.

Read the original article on Daily Meal