Howson, 22, struck with his left foot, right foot and head in 15 second-half minutes as Leeds hit back from four defeats in their five previous league matches.
But the Leeds-born midfielder said: "The way I swung the ball in with my right foot to complete the hat-trick was my highlight.
"This is my first hat-trick since I was 15 or 16, the first as a senior professional. I count it as a real achievement.
"But when all the fuss and bother dies down, by far the most important thing is the result. We needed to bounce back after losing 4-0 at home to Cardiff."