Do This To Keep Hash Browns From Sticking To Your Frying Pan

The potato can be transformed into countless different dishes, including the ever popular breakfast food hash browns for a crunchy and comforting addition to your meal. Originally known as "hashed brown potatoes," the crispy, chopped-up spud began appearing on menus as early as the 1890s, according to Barry Popik, and has now become a staple on diner menus across America.

The recipe for cooking up a plate of Waffle House-grade hash browns at home is relatively simple — grate up a few potatoes and season with salt, pepper, and any other spices you'd like to take your taste buds on a ride. However, there are a few crucial steps in the methodology of making the dish so it crisps up correctly without sticking to the pan along the way, starting with rinsing you shredded potatoes to remove some of the excess starch, per Bon Appétit. After their bath, the outlet says you'll also want to remove as much moisture as possible before cooking. Our Everyday Life suggests the best way to do this is by tamping them between paper towels. This step is key to achieving the satisfying crunch that can make or break your hash browns.

A cast iron skillet is best for making hash browns

While a non-stick pan seems to ensure right in its name that food won't stick to it during the cooking process, Our Everyday Life argues that a cast iron skillet is actually the best tool for making hash browns. A properly seasoned cast iron skillet does a better job at giving potatoes the picture-perfect golden brown color and ideal level of crispiness, not to mention that the coating on a non-stick pan can wear off over time, causing a build-up of food residue that can lead to sticking.

Michigan State University says you can be sure your cast iron skillet is preheated to the correct temperature by doing the pop and sizzle test with a few droplets of water. If the water immediately vaporizes, the pan is too hot. If it puddles up, Our Everyday Life explains that the pan is not hot enough. Ideally, you're looking for the droplets that sizzle and "balls up in the pan" as an indication that it's at the right temperature for your hash browns to slide clean onto your plate.

After adding some butter, vegetable oil, or bacon grease to your preheated pan, it's time to toss in the potatoes. Patience is your friend here, as you do not want to flip the hash browns too early. Watch closely for the bottom of the potatoes to transform into a beautiful golden brown color — typically an eight to 10 minute process, per Our Everyday Life — to again avoid any sticking before crisping up the other side. Enjoy!