I didn't want this nugget of wonderfulness from Mikey to get lost in the shuffle so.....
the key to hash brown is patience and medium heat. and hell yeah they're tricky - thats why most breakfast jernts can't fix them for $#!+. I's so sick of getting crappy wormy hash browns when I order them.
anyways - the way I do them on a medium heated griddle oiled lightly I form a potato patty about the same size as my spatula blade maybe a half inch thick. as many of these as you need per person. salt pepper and a nice pat or three of butter on top. let fry for 6-8 min. LEAVE IT ALONE. slide the griddle pan or ci skillet to see if it'll slide freely. if so flip it. should be beautifully golden. salt pepper and butter this side. let brown for an additional 6-8 min. flip. again should be beautiful gold. you should have wonderful crispy outside melty soft buttery white inside.
that's really about it. mine come out perfect about every time. and I'm assuming we're talking shredded potatoes, not diced. w/ diced again the key is patience and medium to medium low heat. you can't rush things.