Home Fries at Home
How to Make Home Fries - make your own delicious fries at home that are tender and soft on the inside, slightly spicy, and crispy on the outside!
Home Fries at HomeJump to Recipe
I find the name “home fries” a bit ironic when I see it on menus because I don’t know too many people that actually make them at home.
They are found in diners and brunch joints across America, but it’s rare to find a good version in a home kitchen.
I think this could be because this seemingly simple side can go wrong pretty quickly. You can over-cook or under-cook the potatoes. You can burn them and still have the centers raw. You can easily under season the home fries.
And don’t even get me started with possible add-ins (onions, peppers, garlic, etc.)
Sometimes it’s just too much to think about before noon so people just skip them.
But this is it. The most basic and fail-proof way to learn how to make home fries in your actual kitchen. It’s far from hard, but there are a few little tricks that will guarantee success.
Prepping the Potatoes
Can you use Russet potatoes for home fries? Of course. But, I think they are actually a bit harder to work with because they have more starch and you need to peel them.
For me, new potatoes are about as good as it gets for home fries. You can leave the skin on and everything which makes them easier to prepare.
When it comes to size, I shoot for about 1/2-inch cube. BUT, there is no rule when it comes to home fries. I’ve had cubes, wedges, and slices. I would start with cubes though because they are easiest to work with.
If you throw your potatoes into a hot skillet now, you’re going to most likely be disappointed. It’s just too hard to control the cooking temperature.
Instead, I recommend boiling the potatoes so they are tender, but not mashed potatoes tender. Just simmer them in lightly salted water for around 6 minutes. That time will vary if you use a different size cut obviously, but it’s a good guideline.
Then just drain your potatoes and they are home fries ready to cook!
Seasoning for Home Fries
Like I said, there’s a wide world of add-ins that will work for home fries, but I like to keep it as simple as possible to start. Once you get the potatoes only version down, it becomes really easy to add a diced onion, garlic, or anything else you want because you’ll understand the timing of the dish.
For only potato home fries though, I like to use a heavy hand with the spice. For me, it doesn’t get better than seasoned salt, coarse ground black pepper, garlic powder, and paprika.
When you mix up the spice mix in the recipe, it’ll look like a lot for two pounds of potatoes, but you’ll want it all. A lot will stay in the pan.
How to Finish Cooking the Home Fries
You need a large, heavy skillet for this. A cast iron skillet is best, but any large skillet will work fine.
Add about three tablespoons of oil to the pan and heat it over medium heat. Don’t go higher than that on the heat or you’ll just burn the potatoes.
Then add the potatoes and try to spread them out in a single layer. It’s okay if there’s a little over-lap.
Here’s the hard part: Don’t touch it!
After the potatoes start to crisp a bit, you can start seasoning them. I like to add half of my seasoning now and then the second half closer to the end.
Let these cook for about five minutes and they will start to crisp up nicely on one side.
If you stir these too much, they will break down too much and you’ll end up with some strange home fries mashed potato mix.
Don’t worry about burning them. They will be fine. Just let them cook away and stir them every 4-5 minutes.
The actual cooking time now will depend on your heat, the potatoes you are using, and the size you cut them. Just don’t get in a hurry or you’ll just burn them unevenly.
Keep them on medium heat and just let them slowly crisp up and absorb that seasoning mix.
Mine cooked for about 18-20 minutes to get to the texture I liked. Then I seasoned them with the final dose of seasoning and they were looking really good.
What to serve with home fries?
To be honest, the only thing I like with my home fries (assuming they are really good) is eggs.
I don’t need ketchup or anything to cover them up. They are perfectly seasoned and delicious just like this.
But eggs. Yes. Eggs are a must.
- Want an alternative potato idea? Try these Fingerling Potatoes with Chive Pesto!
Storage and Reheating
Home fries are wonderful to make in advance. They store fantastic in the fridge for up to a week and you can reheat them in just a few minutes in a skillet with a drizzle of oil over medium heat.
Generally, this is how diners do it. They make huge batches and then just reheat them on the skillet to order!
Please, let’s bring home fries back to where they belong.
In your home!
Homemade Home Fries
- 2 pounds new potatoes chopped
- 1 teaspoon seasoned salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- In a small bowl, stir together salt, pepper, paprika, and garlic powder. Cube potatoes into about 1/2-inch cubes. You can leave the skin on.
- Bring a medium pot of salted water to a simmer. Add potatoes and boil until tender, about 6-8 minutes. Then drain potatoes.
- Add oil to a large cast iron skillet (or heavy skillet) over medium heat. Add the drained potatoes and spread them out over the surface of the pan. Let sit for five minutes.
- Stir potatoes once they are starting to crisp up a bit. Add half of the seasoning mix to the potatoes. Continue to let the potatoes cook over medium heat. Don’t over-stir them. Let them sit and get crispy.
- Keep cooking for 10-15 more minutes until the potatoes are nicely crisp. Add the rest of the spice seasoning near the end of cooking.
- Serve the potatoes while warm with eggs and ketchup if that’s your thing.
Did you make this?
Snap a photo and tag @macheesmo so I can see your work.
58 Responses to “Home Fries at Home” Leave a comment
I already brought them back. I use russet potatoes cubbed and I do not peel them and they turn out great. I do rinse them to help wash away the stratch and just like stated above you have to not touch the potatoes to often otherwise you will have potato mash. I am going to try this recipe as I have not used red potatoes this way before. I just may have to have breakfast for dinner tonight because these look so good!
Nice Rob. Yea… you can for sure use Russets. I just think they are actually a bit trickier to work with. Red new potatoes are easier if you’re a newbie to home fries. :)
Where I come from, the Philadelphia area, home fries are sliced potatoes not cubed allowing them to crisp nicely on the outside while remaining soft inside. Some chain restaurants in my area serve cubed home fries. These restaurants are to be avoided like the plague.
These look delicious & you have given me some handy tips! I love using red skinned potatoes & always like to keep the skin on :-) For me, the secret us time & patience.
Yes. time & patience is the key on these guys. :) Thanks for the comment Felicity!
No problems Nick, I LOVE your recipes & this one is making me hungry! I couldn’t figure out how to edit us to is though, sorry.
I use my refrigerated bacon fat for oil and yukon gold potatoes with skins. I also add bits of onion. Tried your red potatoes along with your spice mix , really liked the flavor.
Also go well in breakfast tacos!! How long do you think leftovers would keep? I would think you could heat/crisp them quickly in a toaster oven (or pan) for a weekday breakfast.
Oh they would keep for a week no problem at all. After that they would probably start to break down and get too mushy. I just actually had leftovers today from when I photographed this and it was fine after five days.
You sure rang the bell on this one. I thought I made good potato fries but you’ve changed my method for the better. thanks
I personally like my home fries extra-crispy — thanks for the tip on red potatoes, totally trying that next time.
We also tend to pre-cook them mostly done…I think that’s the real secret.
Once again great stuff
Will try the reds vs we usually use golds, always with skins on…
Your comment of better use is a cast iron skillet..
Looking to get a set… Is 8-10-12 the better sizes or go for the 15″ not 10″ TKS for your continued great recipes and comments
TKS again. Shelly (dad Gansie )
Hey Shelly, tough to say on sizes. I only have a 12 and an 8 inch and I frequently wish I had a slightly larger size, but never really need a smaller size. I think 15-12-8 would be a pretty stellar skillet combo, especially if you are cooking for 4 or more frequently. Good luck!
Take care of your trio. Be well
I love making home fries, and they’re an almost-every-weekend occurrence. I was in lock step with you right up until the spices and the “Don’t touch it!” rule. I admit, I sometimes fall victim to the “strange home fries mashed potato mix” phenomenon, and I’ve always added my spices at the beginning. Thanks for those two valuable lessons; I think you’ve solved my only two problems. Oh, but I do have to add…onions. Onions are also a most.
Oh man! Must make these soon! Thanks for the tips, I wouldn’t have thought to boil the potatoes first–that’s probably why mine were always crunchy. I wonder about making up a bunch, boiling them, and then freezing–that’s probably what they do for the kind in the store, don’t you think? That way you could save yourself a few minutes in the morning when the craving for something starchy and delicious hits. ;-)
Yea. I think that would work okay. Just make sure to cool down the taters before freezing or you’ll get a lot of condensation and probably some freezer burn issues. I would think it would work okay though!
Making the spuds right now! Sorry, no eggs… but I do have a flap steak marinated in Mojo.
I’m a little late to the is meal but when I make fried potatoes, I put the oil in pan, then potatoes, sauté for a minute and then add some water, not much, put on a lid and simmer until water has evaporated. Since the oil is already there, the potatoes go into fry mode until they are brown and crispy. When you sink your teeth into them they are so tender on the inside and crispy on the outside that they taste like “more.” Can you tell I don’t like to wash dishes?
This is exactly how I do my fried taters…I use bacon grease and oil combo..and onion powder, salt and pepper. Been making these since forever..so many decades I won’t tell.
Here we go again… this time with diced jalapenos.
The first run produced the best fried spuds ever. No fooling.
That’s pretty much the way I do it except for one big time saver–I do my potatoes in the microwave instead of boiling. Works a treat and I think they brown a bit easier because they have steamed in the jackets and haven’t taken on any extra water. As you suggest, I don’t do them ‘masked potato’ texture.
Good tip Kim! I’ve started them in the microwave also with good results!
these home fries are the best I ever made
I followed your directions using the red potatoes and spices they were delicious. Instead of making for breakfast I made for dinner with pork chops and baked beans. The family loved it. My husband went for seconds. Can’t wait to make them for breakfast with eggs.
Nice Patricia! So glad you liked them. Thanks for reporting back. ;)
My dad called these Hash Browned Potatoes. He would make these potatoes and mac and cheese to go with them, that was our meal. We lived on a farm and it made a good hearty meal. But we used Kenabec potatoes that we raised and fried them in good old bacon grease, the potatoes really absorbs the flavor of the bacon grease and they are so good, we also use bigger cubes of potato. This is the only supper meal he made that we did not eat meat with it. But you are right you do not want to over cook them in water, nor do you want to over stir them or they will become mush. You do not need ketchup with these. They are also good with sausage gravy or any white gray spooned over them. or just scooping up the yolk from a sunny side up egg. I just found your web site today and I can’t wait to try some of your recipes.
Thanks for the comment Debbie! Sounds like my kind of meal. Hope you find some good recipes to try out!
Great recipe. I worked in a dinner when I was younger and learned how to make home fries. We would parboil whole potatoes, cool them, and refrigerate in a container. Whenever a customer wanted home fries, we would cube one potato, season, and add whatever the customer wanted (peppers, onions, sausage, etc.) and fry in a little bit of bacon grease on the grill. I have made them like that ever since and it’s a real time saver. My family’s favorite is with peppers, onions, Italian seasoning, and sometimes with an egg and cheese added during the last couple of minutes of frying.
Can these be prepared the day or night before we need them? We do a Christmas brunch at my father’s house and I thought I could make them them the night before and just bring them along with us.
Absolutely Sue! I would just reheat in a skillet over medium-low heat or in a 350 degree oven until they are warmed through. Shoudl work great!
Been doing these for years, originally from Maryland, of course we use bacon grease, is there any other way, I think not! Salt, pepper, onions, garlic, and sometimes a shot of cooking wine, stove top boil potatoes, while cooking bacon, (yum), dump ready taters right in bacon pan,,, oh las las !! Keeping the faith !
Ps, almost forgot,,, paprika, ,, lots, and today,,, trying smoked paprika, will let you know
Thanks, this worked out really well. We’ll be making these again :D
Adding grated cheese to these works great, too. Then I eat them with sour cream. If I want to make a meal out of it, I’ll add a small can of pea’s or some diced asparagus.
Fantastic, made them today for the first time according to your recipe…fabulous taste!!
I made your recipe step by step and my family love it and it’s not easy to impress them we are puertoricans and we eat different stuff for breakfast but it was great and you are right the best way to go is with eggs thank you
Woohoo! So glad they worked out for you Barbara! :)
I have tried this recipe twice and loved it both times. I only used 2 potatoes and I all doubled the seasoning mix. It tastes amazin. I added chopped onions halfway though frying them. Also I used bacon grease. The recipe works very well. Ty
I came across your recipe yesterday and let me tell you, I finally made delicious fried potatoes! I have struggled with making them for years but last night they were perfect, thanks to you! Thank you for sharing.
I followed your recipe for home fries tonight and a layer of potato stuck to the bottom of the cast iron pan. I don’t cook potatoes often, my kids don’t like that all that much, but they do like the home fries from our favorite little grandma run diner down the street.
Any suggestions as to what I may be doing wrong to cause the potatoes to stick?
I used avocado oil.
What is seasonsed salt? Salt with MSG and all that awful stuff?
Hey Marie, here’s the brand I use. It doesn’t have MSG in it.
Thanks Nick. Just made these and they are AWESOME!! Great directions. Thanks!
After many failed attempts, I feel that I have finally stepped up my home fries game! Thank you :)
My college cubs sleep late on Holidays. But, that is when I crave a hearty breakfast. So, I’m making them under the watchful eyes of my silver lab. I added green onions and the spice mix half way through. Thank you
Sounds great. I am tired of the fries being hard in the middle. One question: Do you ever cover them while cooking?
Hey Ron, I don’t. If you cover them then you run the risk of them steaming which will ruin any crispiness on the potatoes. Good luck!
Thank you, I tried it today and they were sooooooooo much better than the way I was making them. Again, thank you!
Since 1 teaspoon of Lawry’s Seasoned Salt = 1,520mg of sodium, and I’d like to live longer than that, here’s an alternative that tastes great, and you can add salt if you want:
1 1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp tumeric
1/4 tsp onion powder
3/4 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp black pepper
This incorporates Nick’s great extra seasonings that are above. It eliminates all salt and sugar and cornstarch. We like it – hope you do too!
I substituted the paprika for cayenne pepper and they came out great! They had just the right amount of kick to them. They were delicious!
The only problem with this recipe is once you make them……you’ have to make them every time!, great recipe!great directions!JUST GREAT!
Made this several times and my daughters and I love it!
Thank you so much for this recipe/tutorial. The last few times I’ve attempted home fries I’ve ended up with “mashed home fries” and ended up using way too much oil for fear that they’d stick and burn. This time I used your recipe and they turned out perfectly!
Microwave, Faster and adds no water to potatoes, they’ll brown up faster
When l was in the Jersey area, they only had sliced homefries! I was very disappointed! I don’t like the texture. Grew up in Central New York with cubed and love them that way.