I have wanted to recreate McDonald's style hash browns for years and I have finally done it. It took a bit of testing but this is the recipe and method that I have found gives the best, tastiest, crispiest hash browns. Several other hash brown recipes opt for grating your potatoes and while this lends to a hash brown that is more foolproof (there is less chance it will break apart while frying), I tend to miss the tiny cubes of potatoes you get in McDonald's hash browns. Check this recipe out if you want to indulge yourself in a perfectly fried salty nugget of potato when having a homemade brunch or keep reading if you want to impress friends and family next time you offer to cook breakfast or brunch for them. Instructions are detailed in hopes of helping you along this process. It is time-consuming and yes, a lot more effort than getting frozen hash browns from the grocery store but it is worth it. When you get that first whole hash brown out of the oil and into your mouth, you will be so pleasantly happy and proud of yourself.
Crispy Hash Browns 18 Steps
Wash, peel and dice your russet potatoes. Dice them finely so they are are smaller than 1 centimetre cubed. It is better to dice them too small than too large. If they are diced too large, you risk the chance of your hash browns not holding together when you fry them.
Place your diced potatoes in a bowl of water so they do not turn brown (oxidize) as you dice.
Rinse your potatoes after you are done dicing and use a strainer to help you.
In a large saucepan, add 2 1/2 tablespoons of neutral oil. Place your diced potatoes (water drained) in the saucepan and fry on medium heat, stirring the entire time so potatoes do not brown or form a crust.
Add salt to potatoes and stir in. Start with 1 teaspoon and add more later if necessary.
Cook for about 5 to 7 minutes until potatoes are tender but not cooked. You can taste for salt at this point as well. They should taste just underdone when you bite into them.
Take potatoes out of pan, place them in a bowl and let cool for about 2 minutes and add 6 to 7 tablespoons of cornstarch.
Mix the cornstarch into potato cubes well until it is evenly distributed.
Try and squeeze some of the cornstarch coated potato into your hands and form into a ball. It should stick together and not crumble apart. If it is crumbling apart, it is likely that potatoes were cut too big, potatoes are not cooked enough or there is too little cornstarch.
If it is crumbling apart, add 1 tablespoon more cornstarch and 1 tablespoon of water to add moisture.
Place parchment-lined baking sheet on a work surface. Form your hash browns with your hands, pressing them into your palms with your fist and pressing them onto the parchment paper forming a rounded rectangle. You can make your hash browns as thin or thick as you want but they should be not be thinner than half an inch. Even when done correctly, hash browns will still be delicate so use spatula (or very carefully use fingers) when picking them up.
Place your formed hash browns in the fridge for about 10 minutes while you prepare your hot oil.
In a deep pan, add enough oil so you have about 2 inches of oil in your pan.
Heat oil until it is 350°F or until the end of a wooden spoon bubbles when placed into oil.
Carefully, using a spatula, take your hash browns off your baking sheet and place them into the hot oil about 3 at a time. Immediately, when you place them in the oil, run the spatula beneath it to make sure it does not stick.
Fry for about 5-6 minutes or until deep golden and crispy on the outside. Flip half way through frying so both sides cook and brown evenly.
Place cooked hash browns on a paper towel lined rack and let drain.
Finish with flaky salt and enjoy your crispy hash browns at your next brunch! They are phenomenal! Like McDonald's hash browns but better!