Hash Browns vs Tater Tots (Ultimate Comparison)

Hash Browns vs Tater Tots (Ultimate Comparison)

Hey there, fellow culinary enthusiast! As you embark on this delectable journey through our articles, be prepared for a tantalizing adventure. Each click on our links could unveil delightful discoveries, possibly igniting your culinary creativity and, who knows, possibly adding a dash of sunshine to my day with a little commission from affiliate links. In other words, we sometimes earn a commission from partners listed. It's a win-win culinary rendezvous!

Potato is a versatile vegetable that is used as a main ingredient in two tasty recipes. Yes, you guessed it right – hash browns and tater tots. But the question is – are they same?

Hash browns vs. tater tots

Hash browns and tater tots are different in the recipe but similar in taste. Both the hash brown and tater tots tastes spicy. But the main difference comes in origin and appearance. Hash browns are flat cake-like shapes, while the tater tots are round and smaller.

Here is a short answer to your question. But if you want to know more, follow along with the article.

Let’s dive right in!

Brief Comparison 

Hash browns and tater tots are some of the finest and tastiest snacks ever. They are a great way to start the day.

They are both made from potatoes, and their recipe is astonishingly similar. But even then, there are differences between them.

Are the differences significant? Or are they just two very similar dishes that look a bit different? 

Here we shall talk about how the tater tots and hash browns differ.

Let’s see a quick comparison table to see the main differences:

AttributeHash BrownsTater Tots
Discovery Year18901953
AppearanceFlat, cake-like shape. Small and round
Commercial StateHash brown is a general name. Has no commercial attachmentA proprietary name owned by inventor company Ore-Ida

This table provides a glance at the main differences. But if we dig into this, there is much more to know.

So, Let us discuss this further in detail about this topic.

Hash Brows vs Tater tots – Detailed Comparison 

From the table, we can see that the differences between the two aren’t as subtle.

Tater tots and hash browns have very similar recipes but different tastes. But the origin and intentions were very different.

Both are fantastic breakfast items. Most places sell them in frozen packets that you can fry at home anytime. 

But what are the differences? Here we will see and analyze the factors behind them.

Origin And Invention

Hash browns are a prevalent breakfast food in the United States. But its origin needs clarification.

Hash Browns

Hash brown can be made from discarded potatoes that didn’t make it into the french fry cuts. That’s the reason they are less prevalent than french fries.

Hash browns were served in the finest hotels as breakfast from the 1890s.

Food author Maria Parloa first used the term “hash brown or hashed browns” in 1888. There were also citations of using hashed brown potatoes and other iterations during that time.

The earliest notes found on processed hash browns date back to 1956.

In the case of tater tots, it was a much more recent discovery.

Tater tots were invented in 1953 by the American food company Ore-Ida. 

The founders of Ore-Ida F. Nephi Grigg and Golden Grigg were trying to find ways of using the leftover potatoes from french fries. They cut up the potatoes and add seasoning, sending them through holes and slices of pieces of that mixture. 

That’s how tater tots were born. Ore-Ida, a Heinz subsidiary, trademarks the name tater tots.


The most visible difference between the two is in their appearance. There is also a difference in preparing them too.

Both of them are made from grated potatoes.

If you plan to prepare some tater tots or hash browns, you can choose a good grater. That will make the whole experience a lot easier.

Hash browns generally are flat and in cake shapes. They can be round or square. 

Nowadays, hash browns are used as patties in breakfast burgers. They consist of hash browns and eggs. 

Their flat cake shape allows them to be seared in a pan. 

From the pan-searing, they get their golden color. That’s one reason they are called hash browns.

Tater tots are visually round. Although sometimes they can be cylindrical too.

They are mainly mashed, then the seasoning is added and fried in rolled shapes. 

They are small and circular, which makes them easier to fry deep.

Commercial Factors 

Hash browns and tater tots are both very famous. They are consumed by millions of people all over the world.

But hash brown is a very general term. No one has the trademark for the term “hash browns.” So the name doesn’t necessarily refer to a single company.

Hash brown recipe has been reinvented, modified, and sold by many companies over the years.

As for tater tots, they are owned by Ore-Ida. The term tater tots have become a general term to refer to this dish. But it is patented by the company.

Tater Tots

Other companies might make tater tots varieties, but they have different names. 

There are also tater tots variants made of vegetables.

And all the business done under the tater tot name goes to one company.

Our Verdict

Tater tots and hash brown are unmistakably some of the most loved dishes. 

They are both great foods. But the tater tot has a bit better originality than hash browns. 

Hash browns are now prepared and served by many fast-food chains. They all have different ways to prepare and make them. Everyone has their favorite version of it.

On the other hand, Tater Tots belong to Ore-Ida. There are also lots of varieties made by other companies. But it is easily distinguishable.

As for usage, hash browns are more versatile than tater tots.

The shape of hash browns allows them to be used in a different style. Also, a hash brown portion is more presentable than tater tots.

These two variations of the potato are similar to each other taste-wise.

If you want a light snack, it will be easier to get a bag of tater tots and fry them. 

And if you want to make a breakfast burger, you should grab a pan and sear some hash browns for a tasty burger.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are tater tots called different in the UK than in the USA?

Yes, tater tots, like most other food items, have a different name in the Uk. Tater tots are called Potato Croquettes in the Uk.

What kind of potatoes are best for hash browns?

Russet potatoes are the best choice for making browns. Mainly starchy potatoes are great for hash browns. Red new potatoes have a higher moisture level. That makes them hold their shape better. And they don’t develop the crispy and crusty edges of the hash brown.

What is the origin of the name Hash Brown?

The word ‘Hash’ is derived from the French word “hacker,” which means to hack or to chop. And the brown is attributed to its golden brown color after searing. So, hash browns mean chopped and fried potatoes.


We have reached the end of our discussion. Hopefully, you understood how to choose between hash browns vs. tater tots.

Both are equally enjoyable food; hopefully, you can come up with a new idea to make them even better.

Until then, best of luck!

About The Author

Scroll to Top