Make the best crispy home fries that are tender on the inside and golden on the outside. All you need is a few ingredients, a skillet, and a bit of (mostly hands-off) time at the stove.
I never was one to frequently make home fries or hash browns until this method came into my life. There’s no pre-boiling the potatoes or oven needed, which means these potatoes really are something you could actually make in the morning.
Just cube the potatoes, chop some onions, and cook it all up in a skillet. While the potatoes cook, you can fry an egg or two to put on top. It’s a diner-style breakfast in the coziness of your own kitchen.
How to Make Crispy Home Fries
The key to making crispy skillet home fries that are tender on the inside and crisp on the outside is to steam them while they sear. To do this, you leave the potatoes in the skillet for a full 10 minutes, without stirring, and cover the pan with a tight-fitting lid. The lid ensures that heat and moisture are trapped inside while the potatoes cook. Then flip the potatoes and repeat the process on the other side. A few final minutes of cooking the potatoes with the lid off lets you keep an eye on them so that they get that perfect browning on all sides and don’t overcook.
This method is similar to the method I use to steam-roast potatoes in these Parmesan Roasted Potatoes.
To Peel or Not To Peel?
Either way works well. With this method, the potatoes will come out crisp and golden whether they have peels or not, so choose your preference.
Here’s all you need to make it happen!
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil - This gives the potatoes a savory flavor and helps them to crisp up in the pan. If you don’t have olive oil, any other oil you use for cooking will work.
- Unsalted Butter - Butter is essential for flavor and crispness. If using salted butter, reduce the added salt to about ¼ teaspoon and then taste the potatoes at the end and add more salt, if needed.
- Yukon Gold Potatoes - I have a slight preference for Yukon Gold potatoes here, but Russet potatoes will work (see below for the difference). You can also use baby or new potatoes that have been cubed or sliced into small wedges.
- White Onion - A small amount of onion will cook down with the potatoes and gives them that authentic diner home fry feel. You can skip this or use diced yellow onion. Just be sure not to dice them too small or they will burn. You need some good-sized onion pieces like those shown below.
- Kosher Salt and Garlic Powder - For seasoning. Be sure you use garlic powder not garlic salt.
Yukon Gold vs. Russet Potatoes for Home Fries
When making home fries in a skillet, Yukon gold potatoes will hold their shape better while Russet potatoes will break down a bit more. Both varieties will work well for making home fries.
See below for the difference in Yukon gold vs. Russet potatoes when cooked in the same size skillet for the same amount of time. (Yukon on top; Russet on bottom.)
More Breakfast / Brunch Favorites
- Brioche Baked Egg in a Hole
- Frittata with Asparagus, Bacon and Goat Cheese
- Herbed Baked Eggs
- Crispy Baked Cinnamon French Toast Sticks
- Lodge Cast Iron Skillet - I use this 10.5-inch cast iron skillet nearly every day. To keep it seasoned, just be sure to dry it well and rub it with some oil before storing it (this will prevent rust and keep it seasoned).
- Global Chef’s Knife - You only really need one chef's knife to use for everything and this is my favorite. I've had it for 7+ years. It's incredibly lightweight. If you, like me, are under 5'4", the 6-inch is a perfect size (if you're taller, get the 8-inch).
- Glass Mixing Bowls
Crispy Skillet Home Fries
- Large Skillet
- 2 tablespoon Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
- 2 tablespoon Unsalted Butter
- 1.5 lbs Yukon gold potatoes, cubed
- ½ cup Chopped White Onion (see note)
- ¾ teaspoon Kosher Salt
- ¼ teaspoon Garlic Powder (not garlic salt)
- Heat a large skillet (see note) over low-medium heat. (Note: on my electric range which heats from 1-10, I set the heat at 4 for these potatoes.)
- Add oil and butter and stir gently until butter melts.
- Add potatoes in a single layer and cover with a lid.
- Cook potatoes, covered, without stirring them, for 10 minutes (resist the urge to lift the lid and check on them - keeping the lid closed helps them to steam and get started cooking).
- Remove the lid and use a spatula to gently flip the potatoes. Add onions to the pan, scattering them over the potatoes. Cover again and continue to cook for 10 minutes more.
- Remove the lid and season potatoes with salt and garlic powder.
- Continue cooking potatoes, flipping them occasionally with a spatula, until potatoes are very tender, 5 to 10 minutes more (depending on the size of the potato cubes).
- Serve immediately. (Great with a fried egg on top!)