The best recipe for cast iron skillet home fries. No need to worry about undercooked potatoes or burned onions with this simple, foolproof method.
❤️ Why you’ll love this recipe
- Foolproof. Pre-cooking the potatoes is super easy and guarantees you’ll have the perfect blend of soft interior and crispy crust.
- Tasty. No more flavorless and boring potatoes. We’ve got plenty of seasoning in this recipe.
- Versatile. You can serve these at any meal, not just breakfast.
- Potatoes. Russet or Yukon Gold are best. They hold their shape.
- Vegetable oil. Best for really browning something without scorching it.
- Butter. Delicious.
- Diced onion. Any kind is fine.
- Salt, pepper, and cayenne
- Large (10-inch or more) cast-iron skillet
- Stiff spatula
- Sharp knife
- Microwave safe dish for precooking the potatoes
Step by step
Step one: precook the potatoes and onions
As we’ve discussed, the first step is to precook the potatoes. Just dice them up, place in them in a microwave-safe dish, and microwave on high for 5-7 minutes. You want them tender, but still holding their shape.
While that is happening, you can cook the onion. Add the butter to the skillet and cook the onion on medium- low for about 5 minutes, until translucent. Remove the onion to a small plate.
Step two: brown the potatoes
Turn the heat to medium-high and add the vegetable oil.
Place the diced potatoes in the skillet in a shallow layer. Don’t start stirring and flipping right away! Let them brown. Once one side starts to brown, you can flip. Add the seasonings and the onion back in, and keep turning until they are browned to your liking.
Step three: add the onions and seasoning
Add the onions and seasoning, then serve.
👩🏻🍳 Expert tips
Everyone loves home fries, but a lot can go wrong when making them at home. The most common culprits are undercooked potatoes, burnt onions, or just a total lack of flavor.
The first problem, undercooked potatoes, is easy to deal with. This recipe starts with pre-cooked potatoes. This might seem like it’s more work for you, but it’s definitely easier. When you start with the potatoes already cooked, all you have to think about once they move to the skillet is how browned you want them. You already know they are soft inside.
You must use both oils. Vegetable oil is the best for browning the home fries because it won’t smoke the way butter will. That means you can turn up the heat a little higher to brown them . But of course, butter has the most flavor. That’s why sautéing the onion in the butter works so well, because you remove it all before you fry the potatoes.
There are two ways to precook the potatoes, which both work just fine. You can bake them ahead of time, or dice them and microwave them in a shallow dish.
You can add just about anything to this recipe. Here are some ideas:
- Crumbled, cooked bacon
- Diced fresh jalapeños, added with the onion
- Fresh herbs, especially chives
- Garlic salt or fresh garlic
- A pinch of cayenne pepper
- Fresh green or red bell pepper (sauteed with the onions)
- Cajun seasoning
📘 Related Recipes
- A well-seasoned cast-iron skillet is a joy to work with. Try my recipe for beeswax and grapeseed oil seasoning balm.
- Green beans with bacon are a delicious side dish in your skillet.
- Brussels sprouts also get perfectly browned and crispy in cast iron
- And even baked beans are great in your trusty skillet!
You can use any heavy-bottomed pan. You might need a little more oil, depending on how sticky your pan is. (But cast iron is especially nice for being able to turn up the heat and getting nice browning on your food.)
It’s up to you! I don’t. But peeled potatoes are definitely prettier, if that matters to you.
📖 THE RECIPE
The Best Home Fries in a Cast Iron Skillet
- 1½ lb potatoes scrubbed clean (4 medium), about 4 cups of diced potatoes
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- ⅓ cup minced onion
- 2 tablespoon butter
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- pinch cayenne pepper
- Cook the potatoes separately before you begin. You can either use leftover baked potatoes, or dice the potatoes and microwave them for 6 minutes on high.
- Heat skillet over medium low heat and add the butter and onion. Cook until softened, translucent, and beginning to brown. Remove the onion t0 a small plate and set aside.
- Increase the heat to medium high and add the vegetable oil. Place the cooked potatoes carefully in the skillet. Allow to brown before turning. Flip and brown on the other side. Add the cooked onion along with the salt, pepper, and cayenne. Continue to cook potatoes until they reach desired level of browning. Serve immediately.