Homemade hash browns in the Air Fryer are so easy to make by using fresh or frozen shredded potato, a little bit of oil, and a light seasoning of onion powder, salt, and pepper. They're perfectly crispy on the outside with beautiful golden color and no heavy grease. Once you make the switch to homemade hash browns, there is no turning back!
There's no deep-frying, no fillers, and these air fryer hash browns turn out perfectly crispy and golden every time. I mean, if there's ever been a reason to stop buying hash browns from the frozen food section, air fryer hash browns are it!
Potatoes are always a great side dish to complete any breakfast or brunch. Whether on the side of pancakes, bacon, and eggs or as a part of a skillet meal, it's something my kid orders anytime we eat at a breakfast diner. Especially when we're on vacation!
It's nice to be able to make them at home without buying the ones with all of the unnecessary fillers and ingredients I can't pronounce. The texture is amazing and they are so flavorful thanks to nothing more than a sprinkling of garlic powder, salt, and pepper. This simple side dish comes together so quickly and easily, you'll be looking for reasons to make them. And not just for breakfast or brunch, but for lunch and dinner too!
Why This Recipe Works
- They're an easy side dish for any meal, especially when you need a quick potato side dish.
- Hash browns are versatile and can replace all kinds of potato dishes.
- Way less grease than any deep-fried version.
- You can use frozen or fresh and they turn out great either way!
- Crispy golden shredded potatoes are simply irresistible!
Hash Browns Vs Home Fries
If you've ever ordered home fries at a diner and assumed you were getting hash browns or vice versa, you're not the only one who's made that mistake. Some people use the term interchangeably, but they are different, that's for sure.
Home fries are usually diced potatoes that are cooked up in a skillet with sliced onions or pepper. They're cubed, so the exterior gets nice and golden, especially if they're fried and the inside is soft, like a French fry.
Hash browns, on the other hand, are usually shredded potatoes that have has the excess water squeezed out of them to ensure a crispy texture. Some people enjoy them lightly seasoned as is and some people enjoy forming them into a patty (think McDonald's) with a bit of flour and egg for binding.
What type of potato should I use?
There are just so many types of potatoes at the grocery store. Which kind is best for hash browns? Well, it depends...
Waxy potatoes (New Potatoes, Red Bliss) are long or round in shape with thin, smooth skin. They are relatively low in starch and high in moisture. They hold their shape when cooked which means that the hash browns won't fall apart but they also won't get crispy either.
Starchy potatoes (Russet) are long in shape and have coarse skin. They are high in starch and low in moisture. If you're looking for extra crispy hash browns, use these potatoes. The only downside is that the hash browns will fall apart and they won't hold their shape.
In between potatoes (all-purpose, Yukon Gold) they have medium starch and medium moisture. They'll hold their shape and slightly crisp up.
For the best hash browns, I like a mix of both Yukon Gold and Russet potatoes but you can use just Russet potatoes, too. Soaking the shredded potatoes in water will remove some of the starch and will ensure that you'll have the crispiest hash browns.
- Shredded potatoes - You can use pre-shredded frozen (thawed) or grate them fresh yourself. Use Russet potatoes or a mix of Yukon and Russet.
- Seasoning - A bit of onion powder, salt, and pepper is all you need for this side dish. Slightly salty, lightly seasoned crispy potatoes are heavenly.
- Olive oil - Needed to coat the potatoes to avoid sticking to the air fryer but also to help the seasoning adhere to the potatoes.
How to Make Air Fryer Hash Browns
Step 1: Soak freshly shredded potatoes in cold water for 10-15 minutes to help draw out as much starch as possible. Drain the water and squeeze out any excess. Pat potatoes dry with a paper towel. If you're using pre-shredded frozen, soak them in water to thaw and then continue draining and patting dry.
Step 2: Season the hash browns in a large bowl with onion powder, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Mix thoroughly to combine.
Step 3: Grease the bottom of the preheated air fryer with oil, and fill the tray with shredded potatoes. Using your hands or a spatula, press them down evenly to shape the hash browns. Spray them with cooking spray and air fry them for about 16-20 minutes until golden brown.
Tips & FAQs
- Soaking the potatoes draws out the starch which is what you want in mashed and fluffy potatoes, not crispy hash browns. This works for any kind of potato you want to be crisped up (wedges, fries, chips, etc).
- Making sure to squeeze out as much water as possible will also help with texture. The less moisture there is, the less chance there is for creating too much steam.
- Don't spread your hash browns out too thick, otherwise, they'll have a harder time getting crispy. A nice even layer is best.
Easily! This recipe can be doubled, tripled, or more. It will take more time because you'll need to cook in batches, but it's doable.
Once you lay your hash browns down in the Air Fryer tray, it's important to make sure that they're in an even layer with even thickness. Thinner areas will cook more quickly and therefore potentially burn.
You can use anything from a little cayenne or chili powder for added heat, to smoked paprika for a smoky flare. A little garlic powder along with the onion powder might be nice too. Italian seasoning for a different flavor would be amazing.
No! Part of the beauty of this recipe is it's hands off once they're in the Air Fryer.
What to serve them with
What comes out of the air fryer, if they've stayed compact, will be one large hash brown. Cut it up into as big or as little portions as you need.
Serve alongside: Eggs, bacon, pancakes, waffles, breakfast sandwiches, burgers for lunch or dinner, or as a fun twist on fish and chips.
Enjoy on its own: with a variety of dipping sauces such as ketchup, garlic aioli, spicy mayo, BBQ sauce, ranch, dill, or whatever is your favorite.
Storing & Reheating
Store any leftover hash browns in the fridge for up to 5 days. They are best served and enjoyed immediately to get that initial crispy texture and they will lose that over time, but they'll still taste great!
To reheat and try to regain some of that crispy bite, place them back into the air fryer to warm through. You can also use a skillet on the stovetop or the toaster oven. If you're in a rush to reheat and aren't worried about texture, pop them in the microwave and you're all set!
Air Fryer Hash Browns
- Air Fryer
- 1 pound shredded potatoes (fresh or frozen), approximately 3 medium potatoes
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1-2 tablespoon olive oil
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Preheat the air fryer to 375°F.
- Prepare the potatoes:If using freshly shredded potatoes, soak the potatoes in water for 10-15 minutes to remove the starch (this will result in crispy hash browns). Then drain the water and squeeze out as much water as possible. Pat the potatoes dry with a paper towel.If using frozen shredded potatoes, defrost the potatoes by soaking it in water for a few minutes. Drain and squeeze out all the water. Pat the potatoes dry with a paper towel.
- Season the hash browns: In a large (dry) bowl, add onion powder, olive oil, salt and pepper to the potatoes. Mix well.
- Cook the hash browns: Grease the bottom of the air fryer tray with olive oil. Fill the air fryer tray with the shredded potatoes. Use your hands or a spatula to press down and shape the hash browns. Spray cooking spray on top of the hash browns. Air fry the hash browns for 16-20 minutes, until golden brown.
- Soak the shredded potatoes in water for at least 10-15 to remove the starch.
- Squeeze as much water out of the potatoes as possible. Use paper towels to dry the potatoes and the bowl.
- Evenly spread the layer of hash browns into the air fryer so that it all gets cooked evenly. Thinner parts will burn and thicker parts will not crisp up.