How to CookPotato

A Guide to Crispy Potatoes, Based On What Sort of Crispiness You’re Looking For

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Choosing your favorite crispy potato is like, well, choosing your favorite crispy potato. It's impossible! There's so much possibility for crunch, so much adaptability, so much willingness to be dunked and dipped and topped with whatever sauces and spreads you desire.

But, there are also times when one kind of crispy potato is probably more suitable than another. Take, for example, you need to serve a ton of people and want something you can slice into wedges (hi, rösti) or maybe individual potato pancakes are more what you're searching for (we see you, latkes).

Here are a bunch of crispy potato options. We think you'll find exactly what you're looking for:


How to Make Latkes Without a Recipe
How to Make Latkes Without a Recipe
Variegated Spiced Latkes

Variegated Spiced Latkes by Sagegreen

Persimmon Latkes

Persimmon Latkes by QueenSashy

If you want something that can be crispy or creamy (which depends on a lot of factors, like how thick the latkes are, how much matzo meal or flour is added, and what sorts of binders are used) and something you can eat several of, latkes are for you. Also, if you’re cool with shallow frying. (If you haven't made latkes before or just want to watch something cool, check out this video.)


Potato Rösti

Potato Rösti by Alexandra Stafford

Rosti with Gravlax, Caper Berries and Horseradish Cream

Rosti with Gravlax, Caper Berries and Horseradish Cream by thirschfeld

If you want a giant, pancake-like potato fritter you can cut into wedges, with a crispy outside and a soft, almost melting interior, go rösti.

Hash browns

How to Make (the Best Ever) Hash Browns Without a Recipe
How to Make (the Best Ever) Hash Browns Without a Recipe
Sweet Potato Maple Hash Browns

Sweet Potato Maple Hash Browns by Kendra Vaculin

Salt and Vinegar Hash Browns

Salt and Vinegar Hash Browns by fiveandspice

If you want to shred some potatoes, throw them into a pan, and get them all crazy crispy, consider hash browns. (Also, if you're a fan of ketchup, which hash browns demand to be served.) It’s worth noting that, being pan-shaped, hash browns are somewhat in the style of a Swiss rösti—but generally hash browns are thinner and therefore more crispy all-around. (Whereas latkes are personal portion-sized and need to be cooked in more oil.)

Patatas Bravas

Patatas Bravas
Patatas Bravas

If you want deep-fried (!) hunks of potatoes, make patatas bravas. This Spanish tapas dish is made by first boiling potatoes in salted water until tender, rubbing them dry, then deep-frying. As for the toppings, this varies by city: In Burgos, patatas bravas are covered with a tomato-based sauce. In Valencia and Catalonia, the potatoes are coated in a sauce made from olive oil, vinegar, and spices and served with aioli.

Home fries

If you want a bunch of bits (or cubes or wedges or slices) of crispy potatoes (either unpeeled or peeled) that get thrown into hot skillet, you need home fries. Serve alongside an omelet, as they're intended to be.

Pommes Anna

Sweet Potatoes Anna with Prunes
Sweet Potatoes Anna with Prunes

If you want a fancy-looking dish of thinly sliced, layered potatoes that calls for a very, very large amount of melted butter, Pommes Anna is the answer. It may crisp up a lot or a little on the bottom, depending on your pan and oven and how thin you can get potatoes.

Potato Chips

Blue Cheese Potato Chips

Blue Cheese Potato Chips by Catherine Lamb

Homemade Potato Chips

Homemade Potato Chips by Lara

If you want something you actually can’t stop eating, get yourself (or make!) some potato chips.

Tater Tots

Hand-Formed Parmesan Tater Tots
Hand-Formed Parmesan Tater Tots

If you want little cylinders of deep-fried, grated potatoes that, again, fall into the category of things you won't be able to stop eating, you need tater tots. If you want to buck tradition and excess oil, you could opt to bake your tots. The ketchup on the side is, however, not optional.

French Fries

Patricia Wells' Fake Frites
Patricia Wells' Fake Frites

If you want something… uh, do you really need an explanation of when to make French fries?

Tell us: Do you have a favorite crispy potato?

Tags: Fry, Tips & Techniques