Josh Ozersky's 3-Minute Hash Browns

April 13, 2016

Test Kitchen-Approved

Author Notes: Ozersky recreated the hash browns he loved at Waffle House, and wrote proudly and prolifically about his technique in Esquire, Food & Wine, Rachael Ray, eHow, and more. This version of the recipe is adapted slightly from his post on the blog My Last Supper (February, 2012).Genius Recipes

Serves: 1, or 2 if you really like that other person

Ingredients

  • Potatoes (about 1/2 medium potato per person)
  • Salted butter
  • Kosher salt
In This Recipe

Directions

  1. Take a big pan, sizzle some salted butter in it, and just when the foaming subsides, coarsely grate an unpeeled potato over it on the large holes of a box grater. The potato, unmolested will still have all its starchy essence and the flavor that conveys. Do it sparingly, so that you see as much pan as potato; don’t pile it up anywhere. Ozersky used a 12-inch skillet and rarely did more than half a medium potato at a time. (Alternately, you can grate the potato on the side if you need to brace the grater against the counter, then sprinkle in your latticework by hand.)
  2. Once the potato hits the pan, salt it. The reason you want there to be so much space is to give the steam somewhere to go. Potatoes need to shrink and shrivel, concentrating their taste down and replacing their water with precious fat. They can’t do that if they’re being jammed in next to each other like the crowd at a Motorhead concert. Give them room and let them bind with each other as the starch comes out. Amazingly, the shreds will form a latticework snowflake of starch, butter and salt.
  3. Once this happens, slide it out of the pan in one motion onto a plate. Then flip, salt lightly again and cook for another 15 to 20 seconds. Then eat! (Alternately, you can flip in a couple pieces with a tin, sturdy spatula.)
  4. Repeat as necessary.

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Reviews (20) Questions (0)

20 Reviews

Fred R. November 9, 2017
I tried it....crappy, flaccid hash browns. I put this in the same category as 10 minute caramelized onions...if you don’t have the time to do it right, don’t do it.
 
Karen November 9, 2017
If you use too much oil/butter that will happen. Also your pan has to be very hot so the potatoes crisp up. I do mine now in the oven because I can't eat fried food that they potatoes come out dry and crispy. Just shred the potatoes on box grater squeeze out any liquid from the potatoes add salt and pepper and a little oil if you prefer put them on some parchment paper lined cookie sheet and put in a 450 oven. Very good.
 
Karen November 9, 2017
If you use too much oil/butter that will happen. Also your pan has to be very hot so the potatoes crisp up. I do mine now in the oven because I can't eat fried food that they potatoes come out dry and crispy. Just shred the potatoes on box grater squeeze out any liquid from the potatoes add salt and pepper and a little oil if you prefer put them on some parchment paper lined cookie sheet and put in a 450 oven. Very good.
 
Alain R. November 9, 2017
For those asking question, you can see Josh Ozersky's YouTube video describing this:: It's a short, 3-minute video.<br /><br />https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WH1zXtuw7Ao
 
Fred R. March 27, 2017
It seems to be beneath editors to follow a thread, and answer honest questions. The New York Times will publish a five years old recipe, which has been republished two or three times, containing a half dozen errors or hard-to-understand points so noted in the comments, without any attention paid. If someone takes the time to comment, the publisher should show some courtesy by responding. I know, I know, you don't have the time to clean up a mess. Sad!
 
JohnGo March 27, 2017
Another vague F52 recipe. How much butter? Not stated. How hot should the pan be? Not stated. Why salted butter? Not stated. My first attempt was burned butter and way too salty. Will try again.
 
Kathy L. November 9, 2016
Grated over a plate, microwaved for 2 minutes, then added to hot pan with plenty of room. Worked great, nice and crispy. It come out starchier than normal hash browns, but some people like that, like In and Out french fries. <br />Genius? Definitely.
 
Cammie October 2, 2016
what kind of potato is best for these hash browns?
 
LisaD August 13, 2016
Made this tonight with sweet potato. Although it didn't behave exactly as regular potatoes would have, it was absolutely delicious.
 
Jorge August 7, 2016
DO NOT LIKE YOUR SITE you seem to have some great recipts and information but must sign up for your site any site I have to join to get the recipte I consider not reasonable why can't one just print it without jumping through hoops
 
Beth May 29, 2016
I finally made an account just to comment on this recipe. It is so DELICIOUS and easy! I was skeptical at first, but it's like magic when all of the hash brown pieces coalesce in the pan. And way faster than rinsing potato shavings and mixing with eggs and flour etc.
 
cynthia |. April 19, 2016
I made this over the weekend and it was everything I dreamed of, especially as a Waffle House lover now living 90 miles away from the nearest one. SO happy. Thank you so much for always unearthing the best recipes, Kristen! And a belated thank you to Josh Ozersky for this wonderful recipe.
 
Karen April 18, 2016
My recipe calls for grating a potato in a bowl then add salt, pepper, one beaten egg and panko to bind. OMG the best hash browns ever. Just put the mixture in a large skillet with a little oil and brown on both sides. Then get into serving pieces. Delious
 
Nancy April 17, 2016
1/2 potato at a time, or 1 serving at a time? it would take many frying pans to serve 4 at once.
 
Karin B. April 17, 2016
Why salted butter? As a European I remember a time in the US when that was all one could buy. We had to eat that on our toast along with percolated coffee. I thought we had grown past that.
 
Rhonda35 April 17, 2016
Easy and delicious - a truly genius recipe!<br />
 
Fred R. April 17, 2016
Not a good idea at all. Just tried to grate a potato while holder it over the pan. Pieces flying all over the place and the wrist takes a beating. Just put the grater on your cutting board, squeeze the product in paper towels (removing water)...still takes about seven minutes total, but you get perfect hash browns. Rachael Ray...duh.
 
alme April 17, 2016
"Alternately, you can grate the potato on the side if you need to brace the grater against the counter, then sprinkle in your latticework by hand."
 
Frank April 17, 2016
WOW! Just made this. So simple and yet so perfect. Why have I been beating my head against the wall OR using frozen hash browns when I haven't had to. Thanks
 
Jessie E. April 14, 2016
"Like a crowded Motörhead concert"? RIP Lemmy. I always over crowd and I will try not to next time.