HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >


Home Fries-- Stuck to the pan!!

I'm not a fan of nonstick cookware, don't use it. Tried to make some pan fried potatoes, cut up some Yukon Golds into 1 1/2 inch chunks, heated up some olive oil and spices in a stainless pan and threw them in. But after a few minutes, they started to stick to the pan. The outcome was a burnt mess. Tried little amounts of water, no help. The potatoes need a good while to cook what's the secret of great homefries without burning? Thanks!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I would say the secret is to use a different pan. No matter what kinds of potatoes I am making--home fries, french fries, hash browns, etc., I always use a cast iron pan. Just my $0.02.

      1. re: fourunder

        yes, water?

        my b/f has a pan that everything sticks to, but other than that... heat the pan. heat the fat. don't be afraid of using enough fat to "fry" the food. when the oil is shimmering, add the potatoes. but not too high a heat. let the crust form before trying to move the potatoes.

      2. You can start with chunks of cooked potatoes or thin slices of raw potatoes, but you can't start with big chunks of raw potatoes. I use duck fat and mildly boiled potatoes in 1/2 inch slices, low heat at first, then I up it at the end for a quick brown crisp, cast iron pan.

        1. Those are some big chunks. I cut mine into 1" chunks, maybe even a little smaller. You'll have to use a lot of oil if you're not using cast iron or nonstick.

          1. I NEVER use stainless for any sort of sauteing. NEVER. Only for sauces.

            For pan-fried potatoes I would have gone with a cast-iron pan or - huge gasp - non-stick.

            1. SS and raw potatoes are a source of great frustration unless you are willing to use enough oil for the potatoes to basically float.

              1 Reply
              1. re: escondido123

                I understand a willingness to not use a cheap nonstick for potatoes--you may have trouble browning them--but cast iron or a Le Creuset cast iron/enamel nonstick is great for potatoes. You still will have trouble cutting them that large, though. if you want chunks that size, you need to either pre-cook the potatoes (boil or bake then cool completely and cut) or make much smaller pieces.

              2. I toss them with olive oil and salt and bake at 425. I almost always use cast iron but they've turned out in other pans. If they stick just let them rest for a few minutes before removing. I usually do wedges and turn them half way through so two sides get really brown and crunchy and the insides are soft and creamy.

                1. I agree with the other posters, these are cooked in cast iron at my house.

                  1. Cast iron and some sort of fat. I prefer duck fat.

                    Starting with raw potatoes will take a while. No matter the size, I par-cook them. Boil the whole potatoes until just tender, let them cool (this can be overnight), cube and fry. Peeling them is optional, but some people prefer it.

                    1. I've had good luck with foods not sticking by heating my empty stainless steel frying pan over medium heat for 3 minutes, then adding oil and letting that heat up before adding food. It helps to let the food develop a nice crust on the bottom before attempting to move it. I also use parboiled potatoes for home fries.

                      1. After you cut your potatoes, soak them in cold water for about ten minutes, to let the gluey starch leach out. Rinse them off, dry them, and fry 'em up over medium heat. They shouldn't stick like that again.

                        Better yet, cut them, boil them, rinse them, dry them, and fry them on very high heat.

                        1. We cook potatoes & onions or what others would call home fries all the time; I don't always use cast iron and still have good luck doing it. I start by using a little oil (bacon grease, canola, olive, etc of your choice), not a lot but just enough to coat the skillet. Heat over medium low temperature to start; add the potatoes and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to ensure even cooking. Increase the heat after 10 minutes to medium or med-high depending on your cooktop and continue to cook, stirring occasionally for another 8-10 minutes or until fork tender.

                          1. Use about half inch of room temp. oil and room temp potatoes. Don't rinse them bc you're just adding what you don't want........oil and water don't mix. Toss them with a bit of corn starch or tapioca flour. Turn up heat to med. LEAVE THEM ALONE! don't 'play with them. When one side is golden brown around the edges turn them over carefully. DON"T PLAY WITH THEM! When the other side is done remove and put on PT's. They ought to separate then.

                            1. I use a stainless steel pan all the time for home fries. I first make sure to heat the pan over medium heat before adding the oil. After a couple of minutes I add the potatoes. I think the other key is not to touch them for several minutes until they get a little skin to them.. But I think the main secret is the way the pan is used...

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: andieb

                                Was the oil hot? This is important.

                                Also, normally home frys are cooked first and then browned / carmelized in the cast iron pan. You can boil them or in a pinch cook in the microwave.

                                I would never add water - it's impossiable to brown them until the water burns off.

                                When I make my home fries I have a log of bacon ends (often called seasoning bacon) - I'ts at your local grocery (or just add a few lardon's of bacon). I lob off a half an inch or so, render the fat than add the taters and onions etc.