I tried Ina Garten’s trick for easy and delicious hash browns, and they were impressively golden and fluffy

A gray waffle maker with less hash browns, which are cooked and golden. plus ina garten's face in a bubble in the upper left corner
I tried Ina Garten’s waffle-maker trick for crispy hash browns. Michael Loccisano/Getty; Chelsea Davis for Insider
  • I tried Ina Garten’s trick for making delicious hash browns in a waffle iron.
  • I preferred the panfried hash browns since they came out thin and evenly crispy.
  • Garten’s potatoes turned out fluffy and golden but less consistent in the indents.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Hash browns are always a crowd-pleaser, so I had to try Ina Garten’s trick for making the “easiest and most delicious” batch using a waffle iron.

I compared the typical panfrying method to the celebrity chef’s waffle-maker one, so read on to find out how this simple cooking tip stacked up.

I initially followed the recipe on the bag of Ore-Ida shredded hash browns

A hand holding a red bag of Ore-Ida frozen hash browns in front of a white and black stove
I used a bag of Ore-Ida frozen shredded hash browns. Chelsea Davis for Insider

I heated some oil in a pan on medium-high heat before adding a little less than half the bag of shredded hash browns. I then used a fork to break up the frozen block into a single, even layer.

A black frying pan full of uncooked, shredded hash browns on a white stove
I made sure to cook the potatoes in one layer. Chelsea Davis for Insider

Once defrosted, the potatoes quickly began to fry.

After seven minutes, I added a small splash of oil and sprinkle of salt, then flipped the whole layer over in one, perfect swoop.

I let the potatoes cook for another seven to eight minutes until the other side was golden brown and crispy.

Overall, the cooking process was simple and relatively hassle-free.

These hash browns came out thin and crispy

A white plate full of cooked hash browns, which are a nice golden color
These hash browns came out the way I like them. Chelsea Davis for Insider

I finished the batch of hash browns with a little more salt and pepper and served them with ketchup and ranch.

The hash browns were deliciously crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside. I prefer mine thin and crunchy, so these came out to my liking.

I moved on to Garten’s waffle-iron trick

A waffle maker full of uncooked, shredded hash browns
I was worried I added too much to my waffle iron. Chelsea Davis for Insider

Garten recommends slathering your waffle iron in butter and placing about 1/3 cup of shredded hash browns into each quadrant.

Since I have a different waffle maker, I added a little less than half of the bag of shredded potatoes into the preheated iron and hoped for the best.

Although I worried that I had overstuffed the waffle iron, I was able to gently close it.

After letting the potatoes cook for about six minutes, I rotated the iron and cooked the other side for the same amount of time.

These hash browns were pretty good but less consistent

A white plate with the hash brown waffles, which are a nice golden color
These hash browns were fluffier than the panfried ones. Chelsea Davis for Insider

The hash-brown waffle was easy to make and delicious, just as Garten said it would be.

The insides were creamy and had a great soft, pillowy texture, and the outside was uniformly browned. The divots weren’t quite as good though and a bit disappointing.

A gray waffle maker with less hash browns, which are cooked and golden
I tried making a batch with less potatoes. Chelsea Davis for Insider

I tried the trick again to see if it would come out better using less hash-brown mix, but the pieces didn’t stick together very well and it ended up being more like a pile of potatoes than a waffle.

I prefer to make my hash browns the traditional way but still enjoyed Garten’s method

Even though both methods get the job done, Garten’s trick is much more fun and novel.

The hash-brown waffle was like a carnival snack – I actually pulled it apart with my hands to dip it in the sauce. The outside was golden and evenly crispy and the inside was creamy and almost fluffy.

But the indented spots weren’t quite as golden and it was hard to tell when the batch was cooked enough, whereas I could easily check if the hash browns were ready in the pan.

Also, I could turn up the heat to get the hash browns crispier in the pan, but the iron’s single temperature made for a more uncertain cooking time.

It really comes down to whether you like your hash browns thin, crispy, and smashed, or if you prefer them a bit thicker and fluffier on the inside – in which case, you should use the iron.