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How to Make the Perfect McDonald’s Hash Brown

Ever craving a hash brown, but don’t want to go all the way to the drive thru? These hash browns are the perfect solution for you!

Credit: Famartin/Wikimedia

You’ve just woken up. Perhaps it’s seven a.m. and you’ll be on your way to work soon. Or maybe it’s eleven, and you had a wild time last night with some friends and a bottle of tequila.

Whatever time you’re waking up, imagine you’re craving a hash brown. But not just any hash brown, no, you want the greasy golden goodness of a McDonald’s hash brown.

Digg’s Ethan Chlebowski tested a ton of different recipes before finding the perfect one. He shows us how to make a perfect copycat McDonald’s hash brown at home!

This recipe makes about six 100-gram hash browns.

Firstly, you’ll want four or five medium russet potatoes. Peel them and then rinse.

Grate the potatoes into a big bowl. Chlebowski says russets are the way to go, because they’ll yield a hash brown with a “fluffy interior and crisped edges.”

Next, lay out a clean towel and spread your grated potatoes on it. Pick up the four corners of the towel and bring them together so you have a sack.

Twist the towel, squeezing as tight as you can, and wring all the water out of the potatoes. This will make sure the potatoes get nice and crispy.

Lay the towel flat again, and spread the potatoes around. Let them chill while you go to the stove. Heat about two inches of peanut oil over medium-low heat. Bring the oil to around 93° Celsius.  

Put your potatoes in your pan and bring the oil back to around 93° Celsius. Let the potatoes cook for around six minutes, stirring occasionally.

Chlebowski tried doing this in both oil and water, and found cooking the hash browns in oil a lot crispier.

When the timer is up, take the potatoes off the heat and pour them into a metal strainer with a metal bowl underneath. You can strain the oil in your metal bowl so that you can reuse it.   

To season the potatoes: sprinkle a large pinch of salt and add 8 grams of cornstarch (this will help the structure stick together). Mix all that together.

Lay parchment paper over a sheet pan. Chlebowski recommends packing the potatoes in a small dish and then shaping them on the pan. This will help them stick together and make it easier for you to shape that classic McDonald’s style hash brown.

When you’ve shaped them all, put the hash browns in the freezer for two hours, or until completely frozen through.

If you want to save them for later, you can store your hash browns in the freezer for 2-3 months. Or, you can get to cooking!

Credit: Modktsvu 900/Wikimedia

From Chlebowski’s experimenting, he found that deep frying makes the yummiest hash browns, shallow frying is the quickest way, and baking seems best for bulk orders.

For each style, don’t defrost.

To deep fry: Place about an inch of oil in a pot and heat it to about 176° Celsius. Carefully drop your hash brown in the oil, then fry until golden brown (about 5-6 minutes).

Once they are golden brown, transfer to a cooling rack and sprinkle with salt.

To shallow fry: Use a cast iron and place enough oil in the skillet to cover half the hash brown’s height. Bring the oil to 176° Celsius and lower the hash brown down. Cook about two minutes, until it’s starting to brown, and then flip. When the other side is browned, flip each side one more time.

To get even browning, baste the hot oil over the hash brown with a spoon (like you would a steak). This takes about 6-8 minutes.

To bake: Preheat the oven to 232° Celsius and add a thin layer of peanut oil on a sheet pan. Place the sheet pan in the oven for about five minutes. Take your hash browns out of the freezer and put them in the oven. Bake about 10-15 minutes. Take them out and flip.

Cook another 5-10 minutes until they are crispy and brown.

So, there you have it! A Mickey D’s hash brown whenever you want it! Enjoy!

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