Ina Garten’s waffle iron hash browns wowed our testers with crisp, crunchy outsides and creamy insides. Almost like a latke without the grease or mess, these beauties only require potatoes, an egg, some onion, butter, and salt. Plus that waffle iron that’s been waiting for its time to shine.
There’s a lot of mystery around making hash browns at home—they’re often soggy or undercooked or bland. This ingenious method from Ina Garten serves up perfectly crisp potatoes that are cooked through and taste like actual spuds, not grease. Top with anything you desire—applesauce, sour cream, a fried egg—or just a sprinkle of salt.–Jenny Latreille
Ina Garten’s Waffle Iron Hash Browns
- Waffle iron
- 1 1/2 pounds (2 large) russet (baking) potatoes* peeled
- 1 medium (7 oz) yellow onion
- 2 tablespoons (1 oz) melted butter plus extra for the waffle iron
- 1 extra-large egg lightly beaten
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 250°F (120°C). Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Preheat a Belgian or standard waffle iron on medium-high heat.
- In a food processor fitted with the grating disk, grate the potatoes. (You can also grate them on the large holes of a box grater.)
- Transfer the potatoes to a clean kitchen towel and spread them out. Working quickly, roll the towel up like a jelly roll. Press firmly to squeeze out any moisture but not so hard that you break up the potatoes.
☞TESTER TIP: A nut milk bag also works nicely in place of the kitchen towel for squeezing out excess moisture.
- Dump the potatoes into a large bowl. Grate the onion the same way you grated the potatoes, spread it out on the kitchen towel and squeeze out the moisture.
- Add the onion to the bowl. Add the butter, egg, flour, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and mix with a fork.
- When the waffle iron is hot, brush both sides generously with melted butter. Place a generous 1/3 cup of the potato mixture on each of the four waffle divisions, spreading it out with a fork.
☞TESTER TIP: If you are using a round or American-style waffle maker, aim for about 3/4 cup of the mixture per waffle.
- Cook until the potatoes are browned and crispy, 6 to 10 minutes, depending on your waffle iron. Move the potatoes, browner side up, to the prepared baking sheet and keep warm in the oven, for up to 30 minutes, while you prepare the next batch.
- Repeat with the remaining mixture to make eight hash browns. Arrange on a platter, sprinkle with salt, and serve hot.
*How dry do my potatoes have to be for hash browns?Well, to put it gently, probably more dry than you think. As Ina Garten herself says, you have to be gentle so as not to tear the strands of potato. But we'd also like to add that you don't want to be so gentle that you end up with soggy hash browns. One of our testers used a paper towel and a salad spinner to great effect. Proceed gently but firmly—you're the boss here, not those wet spuds.
Recipe Testers' Reviews
Disclaimer: I knew this was Ina Garten's recipe before testing, as I own the cookbook it's from. While that did mean my expectations were higher than normal, the Barefoot Contessa's recipe delivers and works as written. I may draw an issue with the naming (the egg/flour/onion makes them more a latke than a hash brown) but the flavor is there and they were delicious to eat.
I tested these Ina Garten's waffle iron hash browns in a round, American-style waffle maker (rather than the Belgian pictured above) and had great success using the medium-high setting for 9 minutes per waffle, using a generous 1/2 cup of mixture per round waffle, spreading it out each time before closing the lid. The waffles were crispy and the potato cooked all the way through. We ate ours with applesauce, sour cream, black pepper, and chives and they made a great breakfast. I can only imagine how good they would be with a sunny-side-up egg on top. I can't tell you how well they reheat, because there were no leftovers, and that's a sign on its own.
Advice: The side that is face-down in the waffle iron will fill in and look the best and should be the "presentation side"...so plan for that side to be face up when you serve them. The only change I'd make is using a little less onion next time since my onion was rather large.
It was "breakfast for dinner" at my house tonight and these Ina Garten’s waffle iron hash browns were a hit! They were a bit more time-consuming than I expected but I did appreciate that they could be warmed in the oven until serving. They very much have a latke vibe, without all the grease of frying which I absolutely loved! We ate them with bacon, eggs, and ketchup—a perfect diner meal!
What a lovely change from your everyday hash browns or potato pancake. These Ina Garten’s waffle iron hash browns tasted like a cross between hash browns and a good potato pancake. What I presented to my family for Sunday Brunch was a plate full of golden brown crispy hash brown waffles. And it didn't take them long to clear that plate. I know this sounds like a lot of work for waffles, but they were charming on the plate and according to my family the size didn't matter, they tasted great. I can't wait for my grandchildren to come by so I can make this again for them.
After grating the potato and onion, I cheated a bit and put the gratings into a fine-mesh sieve to drain while getting the other ingredients prepared, wrapped them in a tea towel, and spun it in the salad spinner. It was so much faster than wringing things out and the shredded potato and onion came out in nice dry shreds. Mixing the batter only took a few minutes since everything was in place. I only have a small 4" waffle iron so it was going to take a while to cook them all since I can only do 1 at a time. I kept the cooked ones warm in the oven and each waffle only took 6 to 8 minutes to cook provided I didn't overfill the little well.
This is a brilliant way to make hash browns. I loved that it was easy and doable. I don't think I have ever made hash browns before, but I already have plans to make these Ina Garten’s waffle iron hash browns again. The finished results were excellent, potatoes were perfectly browned and crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, and completely exceeded my expectations. I'm also quite happy to have yet another use for my waffle maker, courtesy of Leite's Culinaria. Previously, I learned to use my waffle maker for grilled cheese, which we still do on a regular basis. We served our hash browns with grilled brats.
Originally published June 06, 2021