The Trick to Getting the Crispiest Breakfast Potatoes Ever

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Want breakfast potatoes that are velvety-smooth on the inside and extra crispy on the outside? Here's the secret.

There’s nothing better than a pile of crispy hash brown potatoes. There’s something so satisfying about the breakfast potatoes you get at a good brunch spot. Don’t worry: You don’t need to go out to eat to get them! For almost four years, I ran a farm-to-table breakfast restaurant. Over the years, I definitely learned a few things about making those breakfast potatoes memorable!

I’d love to teach you how to make crispy hash brown potatoes at home because they’re actually super easy. There’s a secret technique that guarantees your hash browns will be velvety and smooth on the inside and extra crispy on the outside. Try your restaurant-quality breakfast potatoes alongside one of these 27 healthy breakfast recipes for a complete breakfast feast!

The secret to crispy breakfast potatoes

It really boils down to one thing: par-cooking your potatoes to remove excess moisture. You see, a potato is about 80 percent water. The rest of the potato is composed of starches, which is what makes them caramelize beautifully in a hot pan. If the water gets in the way, though, you’ll end up steaming your potatoes. That makes them mushy instead of being crispy and wonderful. If you’re more partial to baked potatoes, heat them up with this technique. 

The easiest way to remove the excess moisture starts with wringing out your shredded potatoes. Place them in a piece of cheesecloth (or a tea towel) and twist it like there’s no tomorrow. This will remove most of the moisture but not all of it. Here’s where the secret technique comes in: Place them on a paper towel–lined plate and cook them in the microwave on high for two minutes. That’s it! Of course no one said you had to confine your perfect potatoes to the morning hours. Combine these potatoes with one of our 6 favorite breakfast-for-dinner recipes any time of day for a delicious meal!

If you don’t have a microwave, you can boil your potatoes for two minutes—just make sure you wring them out super well afterward. After that, it will be easy-peasy to crisp them up to perfection when you add them to a hot, oiled cast-iron pan. They should only take about two minutes a side since you’ve already cooked them in the microwave.

When you’re done, your potatoes will taste like a restaurant-quality side dish. Whip up brunch in no time at all by trying one of these 16 quick and easy breakfast recipes that are ready in ten minutes or less.

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Lindsay D. Mattison
Lindsay D. Mattison is a professional chef and a food writer. After graduating from Cascade Culinary school, Lindsay became the Executive Chef at Jackson's Corner in Bend, OR, from 2013 to 2016. Her genuine passion for food and sustainable food practices led her to find the farmer in herself. She lives in Durango, CO, where she enjoys the trials and errors of small plot farming. Lindsay is currently working on a cookbook that teaches home cooks how to craft beautiful meals without a recipe, tentatively titled "The Art of Bricolage: Cultivating Confidence and Creativity in the Kitchen."