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Are white potatoes the right type for hash browns? I guess not as I couldn't get them to adhere, without using eggs or flour etc.

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    Do you know a specific name? There are a lot of kinds of white potatoes. At the very least, were they waxy or starchy? (See for example cooking.stackexchange.com/a/54322/1672 or cooking.stackexchange.com/a/637/1672.) – Cascabel Sep 21 '16 at 17:11
  • I'm just wondering: did you rinse the potatoes? Many people do, and rinsing takes away excess starch, preventing potatoes from sticking. I've had bad luck using white potatoes for hash browns, but the ones that always work for me are Yukon Golds or German Fingerlings. – Shalryn Sep 22 '16 at 16:14
  • @Shalryn - fingerlings for hashed browns? Eeek! They are too precious a commodity in my neck of the woods for that. :D Speaking of which, it's about time for me to harvest my fingerlings grown via "potaotes in a bag".... – PoloHoleSet Sep 22 '16 at 16:48
  • @ Andrew Mattson - Look up the "stacked tire" method of growing potatoes. Just spray the inside of the tires with silicone sealant to prevent chemical leaching. You should get enough fingerlings that you don't have to skimp. :) I'd explain more, but I think this might not be the place for it. – Shalryn Sep 24 '16 at 0:39
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I'm assuming you're talking about shredded style hash browns. I'm not sure how much potato variety affects the outcome, as I tend to buy yellow potatoes (as they can typically be used either for roasting or mashing, so I don't have to think about how I'm going to use them in advance). I'm also more likely to make 'home fries' style hash browns, but I did a bit of research & testing for my pancake demonstration

Most recipes for this style call for soaking the shreds in water to remove the starch, then wring them out in a dish towel or similar. You can get sometimes get better adhesion if you don't soak them, but still wring out as much water out as you can.

If you're making latkes, you'll want a bit of depth to the oil, but generally 1 to 3 tablespoons of oil or butter is enough for hash browns, depending on how large of a surface you're working with.

Make sure the crust is nice and brown before flipping. Also, make sure that you're flipping it over in chunks suitable for your spatula size (either divide it up into quadrants or similar if coating the entire pan; or make individual piles only slightly larger than your spatula). If the potatoes drank up all of the oil when cooking the first side, it's generally a sign that the heat is too low and you might need to add some more (before you flip, so it has a chance to heat up)

The exact temperature to cook at depends on how much you're trying to cook at once, how fast your pans recover after putting the food in, and how thick of a layer you're cooking. (you want to make sure that the middle is cooked before you've burned the outside; if you're having problems with this, you can also par cook the potatoes in a microwave first).

If your pan/burner combination has a particularly slow temperature recovery, you might want to get the oil up to shimmering before you put in the shreds, but you typically aim for a little lower than that.

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Use big brown ones or small golden ones but skip russet potatoes. Those are best for mashed potato recipe.

Edited: Comment Added

For perfectly crisp hash browns waxy variety(potatoes) works well. Use long shreds of potatoes to get them stick together. It works for me!

  • Are you suggesting waxy, starchy, or somewhere in between? There are a lot of kinds of potatoes, and color and size don't really narrow it down. (Also, small potatoes sound like a pain to shred for hash browns...) – Cascabel Sep 22 '16 at 6:06
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    Interesting. I've seen stuff suggesting that the Russet is good for hashed browns, because they are starchy and that works well with pan frying. I use Yukon Golds for mashed, myself. – PoloHoleSet Sep 22 '16 at 16:46
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    Yeah, this is a bit surprising: Joe recommended a middle ground between starchy and waxy, and I've seen tons of recipes saying to use russets (which are starchy), so I wouldn't have expected you to say waxy is best. – Cascabel Sep 22 '16 at 20:07
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    Ah. The question was how to get the potatoes to stick together better, so I assumed you were suggesting that waxy ones stick better than starchy. Now it sounds like you're saying everything sticks equally well? – Cascabel Sep 23 '16 at 1:23
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    @SaurabhCooks thank you, the variable of shred length is interesting, I haven't considered that before but it does sound plausible – ericcartman Oct 4 '16 at 19:37

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