Make These Copycat McDonald’s Hash Browns (They’re TikTok-Famous!)

published Nov 23, 2021
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Credit: Nicole Rufus

I’m almost positive that the first hash brown I ever had was at McDonald’s. When I was a kid, any meal at McDonald’s was a special treat, but it was especially rare that we went to McDonald’s for breakfast. While their fries will always hold a special place in my heart, I’d argue that their hash browns are the real winner when it comes to fried potato delicacies. These days, you’ll probably only find me at Mickey D’s at around 3 a.m. after a night on the town, but I still think about those hash browns.

Luckily for me (and my fellow hash brown lovers), TikTok user SaucedUpFoods shared their recipe for copycat McDonald’s hash browns earlier this year. For me, the most signature feature of a McDonalds hash brown is the delicious crunch you get when it’s fresh from the fryer. It’s the sort of crunch you can hear from a mile away, and definitely what I’m on the lookout for in any copycat recipes. I decided to give SaucedUpFoods’ version a try; here’s how it went.

How to Make the TikTok Famous McDonald’s Crunchy Hash Browns

Begin by washing and peeling 2 russet potatoes. Cut the potatoes into large chunks, then parboil them for 8 minutes. Allow to cool, then use a box grater to shred the potatoes.

In a medium-sized bowl, gently mix the shredded potatoes with 1 egg and 1 tablespoon cornstarch. Line a plate or small baking tray with parchment paper and mold the potato mixture into 4 to 5 hash browns. Place the plate or tray in the freezer for 30 minutes to allow the hash browns to firm up.

Fill a frying pan with about 1/2 inch of oil and heat over high heat. Carefully add the hash browns to the pan and fry until they’re golden-brown, about 3 to 4 minutes per side.

Credit: Nicole Rufus

My Honest Review of the TikTok Famous McDonald’s Crunchy Hash Browns

I have two main takeaways from giving this recipe a try: These hash browns are delicious, and yet they don’t quite taste like the ones from McDonald’s. There’s something about the texture of the McDonald’s hash browns that’s hard to replicate at home (probably due to all the additives). McDonald’s also fries their hash browns in a vegetable oil with a “natural beef flavor” that they developed. So, while the McDonald’s hash browns are heavenly, they’re not exactly easy to replicate at home using pantry ingredients.

That being said, I think this TikTok version provides the next best thing. They were crispy on the outside and tasted super fresh. This was my first time making hash browns at home, and I definitely understand the hype. All in all, I would say they’re a perfect addition to any breakfast or brunch spread, and very easy to make.

4 Tips for Making the TikTok Famous McDonald’s Crunchy Hash Browns

  1. Add seasoning. These hash browns need salt at the very least, but you could also add some garlic or onion powder to boost the flavor a bit.
  2. Press your shredded potatoes. Using either a kitchen towel or paper towel, gently squeeze the shredded potatoes to remove as much moisture as possible. This will help maximize the crunchiness of the hash browns.
  3. Double, triple, or quadruple the recipe. Since hash browns hold up so well in the freezer, I would recommend making a large batch so you have them ready to go whenever the craving strikes.
  4. Give the air fryer a try. I haven’t tried it myself yet, but my instincts tell me these would work out pretty well in an air fryer as well.

This post originally ran on Kitchn. See it there: These TikTok-Famous McDonald’s Crunchy Hash Browns Are 100% Worth Making