The Reason Why McDonald's Hash Browns are the Best 

McDonald's is the place to go for cheap, tasty fast food. If you're on the go and are looking to find lunch for under $5, McDonald's is there for you. Many people love McDonald's for their juicy Big Macs, chicken McNuggets, McGriddles and egg McMuffins. However, their hash browns are one of the most delicious menu items, and we've finally figured out why!

Although McDonald's French fries and chicken nuggets are tasty, their crispy hash browns are amazingly addicting and not to be overlooked! McDonald's serves all-day breakfast, meaning that you can enjoy its tasty breakfast menu items no matter the time of day. Everyone can agree that the hash browns are perfectly golden brown, soft inside with a crispy exterior. However, no one can put their finger on how McDonald's breakfast hash browns can be so perfect.

McDonald's Hash Browns Secret Ingredient

However, we've figured out the secret, and its all about the ingredients. Originally, McDonald's fried their French fries and hash browns in a combo of beef tallow and cottonseed oil. However, this led to high levels of saturated fat in these items, so McDonald's decided to switch it up for a healthier alternative. In 1990, they started frying their fried potato items in vegetable oil to avoid the saturated fat in beef tallow.

Although this was healthier, McDonald's then noticed that the French fries and hash browns weren't nearly as delicious without the beef flavor. To remedy this, they added natural beef flavoring to the oil. This natural beef flavor is made with hydrolyzed wheat and hydrolyzed milk, and it recreates the beef flavoring without actually using beef. Knowing this helps to understand the ingredient list of our favorite breakfast food!

The ingredients listed in McDonald's hash browns are potatoes, vegetable oil (canola oil, soybean oil, hydrogenated soybean oil, natural beef flavor [wheat and milk derivatives]*), salt, corn flour, dehydrated potato, dextrose, sodium acid pyrophosphate, and extractives of black pepper. The natural beef flavor- from wheat and milk derivatives- is the special ingredient that makes them so good.

Until the potatoes are fried, the McDonald's hash browns are made just like any other brunch hash browns. They start as whole russet potatoes, which are put into a grater that slices them into strips. Then, these grated potatoes are blanched in cold water, and then dried and sliced again. The chef mixes them with salt, black pepper, corn flour, and potato flour. Then, they're shaped into the snackable pieces we all know and love and are put into the fryer with the vegetable oil and beef flavoring mixture.

How to Make Your Own!

Fortunately, you don't have to go all the way to McDonald's to enjoy their amazing hash browns! This copycat hash brown recipe by Ethan Chlebowski is just as yummy as the real deal. For your own McDonald's style hash browns, follow these directions. Put a dash of ketchup on and you're good to go!