Waffle Iron Hash Browns Recipe

A crunchy outside and silky smooth inside, all without having to fuss over a pan.

Waffle-iron hash browns on a plate with sunny side up eggs.

Serious Eats / Julia Estrada

Why This Recipe Works

  • Squeezing the liquid from the potatoes helps them crisp up quickly.
  • The waffle iron cooks the hash browns on both sides simultaneously.
  • The direct high heat of the waffle iron crisps up the outside while leaving the inside silky smooth.

Serious Eats is no stranger to what's become a mission in my life: breaking down the waffle iron's sad and unfair label as a unitasker. And the Internet is no stranger to waffled hash browns. There's the Tater Tots version, of course, and Smitten Kitchen has done potato latkes (close cousins to hash browns) in the waffle iron.

Using the waffle iron to make hash browns means you get a beautiful crunch on both sides, with a silky smooth potato interior. And you get all of this without having to flip the potatoes or fuss over them in the pan.

You may never make hash browns any other way again.

Finely shredded potatoes cooking in a waffle iron.

In my book, I include a recipe for hash browns with rosemary, but the version I present here is stripped to its bare essentials—just potatoes, salt, and pepper.

Yes, as waffle-iron recipes go, this is not the most complex. But I'm starting with the basics, because that's the best way to show that the waffle iron is for more than just waffle batter.

There are a handful of considerations when making hash browns in the waffle iron. One of the same critical techniques for making stovetop hash browns applies here: squeezing the moisture from the potatoes. Potatoes that aren't squeezed will be too wet to crisp up satisfactorily. (You can reserve the liquid from the potatoes and add some of it in place of water to bread dough; the potato starch will make the bread softer and moister.)

One other consideration is that the cooking time will depend on how finely your potatoes are shredded and the temperature of your waffle iron. Some waffle irons have temperature controls and some do not. Don't rely solely on the suggested cooking times in the recipe here—they're just approximations. You'll need to peek inside and remove the hash browns whenever they're golden brown and cooked through, whether that's a few minutes before or after my suggested times.

Once you've mastered this basic recipe, try playing with flavorings, like shredded onion, spices (smoked paprika would be good), and herbs like the rosemary I mentioned above.

October 2014

Recipe Details

Waffle Iron Hash Browns Recipe

Prep 10 mins
Cook 40 mins
Active 10 mins
Total 50 mins
Serves 4 servings

A crunchy outside and silky smooth inside, all without having to fuss over a pan.


  • 2 russet (baking) potatoes, about 10 ounces each, peeled and shredded

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 2 teaspoons unsalted butter


  1. Preheat waffle iron. If it has temperature controls, set it to medium.

    A closed waffle iron on a counter.

    Serious Eats / Julia Estrada

  2. Squeeze shredded potato with a towel until it’s as dry as possible.

    Shredded potatoes being squeezed in a dish towel, with excess liquid running off into a metal bowl.

    Serious Eats / Julia Estrada

  3. In a mixing bowl, combine shredded potato, salt, and pepper.

    Drained shredded potato mixed with salt and pepper in a metal bowl.

    Serious Eats / Julia Estrada

  4. Using a silicone brush or paper towel, carefully grease both sides of waffle iron with butter.

    The open waffle iron being greased with butter with a red silicone brush held by a hand.

    Serious Eats / Julia Estrada

  5. Pile shredded potatoes into waffle iron, over-stuffing it a bit, and close lid. (The pressure of the lid will compress the potatoes and help them emerge as a cohesive, waffled unit.) Cook for 2 minutes, then press down on lid to further compress potatoes (be careful: lid may be hot).

    The open waffle iron with the shredded potatoes placed inside.

    Serious Eats / Julia Estrada

  6. Continue cooking potatoes for 5 minutes longer, then begin checking them: They are ready when potatoes are golden brown all over, about 1 to 2 minutes longer. Serve hot with eggs or any other breakfast foods.

    Cooked waffle iron has browns inside of the waffle iron.

    Serious Eats / Julia Estrada

Special Equipment

Waffle iron


The liquid squeezed from the potatoes can be reserved and used in place of water in bread dough to yield a softer, moister loaf. The times given are approximations: The actual cooking time will depend on the specific waffle iron you have, and the size of the grated potato shreds. Be sure to peek inside the waffle iron and remove the hash browns whenever they're browned outside and fully cooked within, regardless of whether that takes more or less time than the recipe states.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
155 Calories
2g Fat
31g Carbs
4g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 155
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 2g 3%
Saturated Fat 1g 6%
Cholesterol 5mg 2%
Sodium 177mg 8%
Total Carbohydrate 31g 11%
Dietary Fiber 3g 12%
Total Sugars 2g
Protein 4g
Vitamin C 12mg 59%
Calcium 28mg 2%
Iron 2mg 9%
Potassium 785mg 17%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)