My family loves hashbrowns. For years I could never make them well. They tended to either stick badly to the bottom of the pan or burn and not cook through, or well, just not turn out looking like the ones you get in restaurants.
Over the years we have found two awesome methods for making hashbrowns.
Tater Tot Hashbrowns:
1 bag of frozen tater tots
1 onion chopped
3 tbsp vegetable oil
In a large pan or skillet heat the oil over medium/medium high heat and add the onions and tater tots (I like to heat them up in the microwave for a few minutes until they thaw to reduce the cooking time). Cover and let thaw for about 5 minutes. Then using your pancake turner or a large spoon chop or crush the tater tots and mix around until the onions are cooked and the tater tots are smashed into small pieces. Season with salt and pepper on your plate.
This second one is a great way to use left over potatoes or even french fries. (Yes we bring left over french fries home from restaurants when we have a bunch left over.)
Leftover Potato Hashbrowns:
Chop potatoes or french fries into cubes. Heat skillet to medium high and add a few tablespoons of vegetable oil. Add potatoes and chopped onion. Fry until warm and beginning to brown. Season with salt and pepper if desired. This works best with thicker cut fries not the skinny ones.
If you don't have any left over potatoes or french fries you can cube a potato and heat it in the microwave until just done and then fry in a skillet.
I use my cast iron skillets to cook these. I love the cast iron because it holds the heat well and disperses it evenly.