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Feb 6, 2011 07:42 AM

Help me make the perfect home fries

On weekend mornings I like to cook breakfast. I've perfected every part of my breakfast menu except the home fries. I'd like to have cubes of potato that are crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside. However, every time I make them they stick to the bottom of the pan. I mean they REALLY stick!! The beautiful brown crust gets stuck and I'm left with cooked potatoes but no crispy exterior.

I'm using a cast iron skillet that's been seasoned and I don't have a problem with the skillet when preparing other things so I think it must be a technique issue. I've tried using different types of fat including bacon fat, duck fat, canola oil and butter but they stick no matter what. Has anyone else encountered this issue? Any advice? Thanks for reading and I look forward to reading your wise responses!

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  1. 1. Use par boiled potatoes cooked a day before.

    2. Preheat your skillet and fat before adding potatoes.

    3. Increase, or adjust the fat as needed.

    1. What works for me is using the diced potatoes cold from the refrigerator into oiled hot cast iron pan.

      The sticking your experiencing might be coming from the potatoes having too much moisture on them. Maybe try drying them off with a paper towel before putting them in the frying pan.

      Hate to say that when I say "well done" home fries at my golf club for breakfast I know they're deep frying them, but come out perfect for my taste.

      1. Hi all,

        I agree with what the others say.

        Also, you might be trying to move or turn them too soon. Give them a little more time to develop the crust.


        1 Reply
        1. re: I used to know how to cook...

          It's a funny thing, but yes turning them too soon can be a deal breaker.

          I find the best home fries come from leftover baked potatoes and maybe the reason is because there is hardly any moisture left in a baked potatoe.

        2. My skillet is always preheated and I've tried adjusting the amount of fat but I've never tried using par boiled potatoes. Also does the type of potato that I use matter? I've mostly used yukon there a better type for home fries?

          1 Reply
          1. re: chefematician

            Yukon golds are considered a good choice for frying potatoes, so I suspect that is not the problem. I believe the root of your dilemma is the personal taste....and that of others for any of the problems or preferences for the recommendations or suggestions you will receive. Potato choices for breakfast potatoes is highly regional. In the Northeast, general all purpose(medium starch is the most preferred....mostly russets from Idaho. although Long Island, NY is a prime source for (Eastern) potatoes, I rarely find them available in abundance retail or wholesale. As evident by the following link....low-high starch level potatoes all make home fries.

            My favorite hash browns are made by a place, John's Restaurant, in California. I was told they use Russets. They soak their raw spiral shredded potatoes in water. Maybe you could give that a try. I believe the water helps steam the potatoes and aids in their finished product. The Hash Browns have a perfectly browned crust. soaking in water removes the starch.

          2. this "from raw" is a great basic technique. i also recommend drying the potato slices or chunks off with a paper towel before putting in the skillet.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Emme

              I microwave the [cut] potatoes with a little bit of water instead of par-boiling them. Always works and doesn't introduce too much water in the potatoes. I think i saw this on some episode of cook's country....