Ina Garten's Game-Changing Method For Crispy Baked Potato Skin

The humble potato can be prepared in countless ways, as The Cavalier Daily demonstrates. It can be transformed into everything from fries to gnocchi. It can be mashed until it's impossibly creamy and rich. It can be served cold with all kinds of dressings as potato salad — the list goes on and on. One of the most classic ways to prepare potatoes, however, is the simple yet satisfying baked potato.

It's easy enough to get the soft, fluffy interior you want in a baked potato, as that's primarily just a matter of cooking it long enough and choosing the right variety of potato. (As Cookie + Kate explains, russet potatoes are a great choice; they're well suited to baking as they're high in starch and low in moisture). However, the challenge for many home cooks is to get that perfectly crispy skin that offers a delectable contrast to the soft interior.

Luckily, Ina Garten has a method you just might want to try out if you're trying to master baked potatoes with perfectly crisp skin. And it doesn't require any special ingredients — the staples used in her method are likely items you already have in your pantry and fridge.

The secret: A flavor-packed rub

You might drizzle a bit of oil onto your baked potatoes and half-heartedly rub it into the skin in an attempt to get that exterior perfectly crispy. But Ina Garten's method takes things a step further. To start, she recommends rubbing your prepped potatoes with olive oil. As she explains in a YouTube clip, there aren't any particular measurements needed — just enough that each potato will be well-coated.

The next step in her method, though, is the real game-changer. As explained in Garten's Food Network recipe, she blitzes a mixture of lemon zest, coarse salt, and fresh herbs together in a food processor until they're combined but not yet a paste-like consistency and then rolls the oiled potatoes in the mixture. As Garten explains, this creates an incredibly flavorful crust of sorts on the exterior (similar to crusting a piece of protein with some type of herb and salt mixture).

Though she finishes her baked potatoes with whipped feta, the flavors in the rub are versatile enough that you could pair this baked potato with just about anything. Several individuals who tried out the method wrote favorable reviews on the Food Network recipe, with one writing, "this is the best baked potato recipe ever! The potato is cooked perfectly and the skin is so crispy, flavorful and delicious. I will never make my baked potatoes any other way."