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Home Fries -- do you parboil, or go raw?

When you make home fries, do you first parboil your potatoes, or do you leave them raw?

I actually got into a (sort of) heated discussion with another cook about whether the potatoes should be first parboiled.

I'm in the raw camp.

What say you?

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  1. Home fries are fried from cooked potatoes.
    Raw fries are fried from raw potatoes.

    It is not a question of right or wrong, each is a different preparation

    1. Ipsedixit,

      I'm with you. Home fries starting out with raw potatoes are moister and have more flavor. Of course, they're more trouble to make, since you have to cook them longer and adjust the heat to get the inside cooked before the outside gets burned, but you are rewarded with better flavor and a better texture.

      1. Maybe you should refer to this as oven fries to avoid the argument over home fries.

        FWIW I do oven fries from the raw.

        1. In my opinion. parboil makes better home fries and hash browns.....I like my potatoes(like french fries) well done and browned. Parboiled potatoes crisp up much better than cooked from raw, and I do not find them as starchy and hard.....as is often the case when I try to make potato pancakes with shredded raw potatoes.

          1 Reply
          1. re: fourunder

            I'm with you - I prefer par-boiled potatoes. I, too, like them crispy (but with soft centers) and I love the black bits. This is just how my grandmother made them - which is perfection to me. :)

          2. raw, tried parboiling them once, they were a mess.
            Actually if I need to cook them, I'll bake the potatoes first.

            1. For special occasions or when I'm up early and in no particular rush, I agree that low and slow from raw is definitely satisfying-- but most of the time, I toss 'em in oil and nuke 'em a bit first to so I can fry them hot enough to get crispy and brown without worrying about them cooking all the way to the middle. If I do them from raw, I let them sit for a minute or two after slicing, so that some starch collects on the surface and fries up a little crisper (This might be pure superstition, though, and unfortunately makes them stick more if your pan is prone to sticking)

              1. Parboil first. Raw takes forever and I don't think it's any better. Of course, you guys may just have better potato technique than I do!

                1. Raw in fairly small cubes of yukon golds, lots of evoo, sliced or diced onion, and plenty of salt. I cover them at first to help them cook through, and flip them a few times. Then I take the lid off and brown them well, adding more oil as necessary to help prevent sticking and to keep them moist. The onion gets carmelized and permeates the potatoes. They are really good.

                  3 Replies
                    1. re: lynnlato

                      You know, I should add some butter. I only use good evoo because at various times a couple of family members have been mostly vegan, so for my own sanity I've made a few dishes meat and dairy-free. Currently, my only challenge is making sure I have some veggie options for my son, since everyone is eating dairy. Yay!

                      1. re: bear

                        My grandmother always used butter. I gotta keep it real for her. LOL

                        But more recently I've been using bacon fat. It has a higher smoking point than plain ole butter and let's admit, its delicious. :)

                  1. parboil
                    though lately i've used the MW (which is really still parboiled, just from the inside out)

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: thew

                      Hmm, doesn't the microwave make the potatoes rubbery?

                      1. re: ipsedixit

                        no. not at all

                        just don't overcook them in there

                    2. I always do potatoes raw, whether they are "home-fried," oven-roasted or otherwise cooked. I don't do deep fried, so that is another story from my perspective, but for pan-frying or oven-roasting, you do NOT need to par-boil first. In my experience, it's a function of the fat you are using to cook them, time and heat. You can make perfect pan-fried potatoes in a cast iron skillet, enough butter, and cubed or quartered or diced potatoes, using a "french" method. Cube/peel/cut your potatoes and make sure they are DRY. Heat your oil or oil/butter or just plain butter until heated well. Put in the potatoes and let them sear for like 10 minutes on med heat. Turn them and sear well on other sides. Contintue to turn until they are as brown and crispy as you'd like, maybe 30 to 45 minutes. They come out perfectly crisp and brown on the outside, and tender on the inside. Why bother with par-boiling?

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: DanaB

                        because you can cook them with less fuss and less tending than the way you describe

                        1. re: DanaB

                          Thanks for mentioning the cast iron pan, I love the crust that creates. The butter is key, as well as letting them sit undisturbed. Ok now I need to go make some.

                        2. Actually, it is possible to make home fries without par-cooking the potatoes, but the texture will be more chewy, and the cooking time is longer and it can be harder to prevent burning to the potato pieces. Home fries can be from diced, chunked, wedged or sliced potatoes. Home fries are also made as the name suggests as a simple homemade potato dish, that can be made even by people with modest cooking skills as a meal or a snack. Nothing complicated about home fries.

                          I make mine with small diced white potatoes from the raw cooked till dark brown in vegetable oil using my well seasoned cast iron skillet. Seasoned up with adobo, pepper, and add in some plain or seasoned bread crumbs and or cornmeal for some extra crunchiness! They always turn out great!