It’s a little misleading to call it a cooling rack since they are good for so much else. What they basically do is find a way to evenly distribute heat so that it spreads around and doesn’t remain with the baked goods right out of the oven.
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Hence, it can also be used in combination with a rimmed baking sheet to circulate heat within an oven. Whatever the case may be, it’s indispensable when you’re baking and can help you bake all sorts of things such as cookies, glazed sweets, and cakes, etc.
Some chefs even use their cooling racks in order to dice avocado for chunky guacamole and crumble hard boiled eggs.
One thing that you have to watch out for when buying cooling racks is that they’re really hard to clean. If you’ve cooked a nice greasy roast, you’ll have to really scrub to get everything off.
However, modern technology has provided us with great finishes on the modern cooling rack, so it’s resistant to rust and is thus dishwasher safe.
If they are chrome plated, however, it’s not a very good idea to put them in with your dirty dishes. You can just pour some dish soap on to a rimmed baking sheet and invert the rack, so the food loosens after the liquid soaks in. You can then gently scrub in the direction of the wires.
You should keep in mind when shopping for cooling racks that they have different temperature limits, and depending on how hot your oven goes; you should find a rack that you can keep inside the oven.
Hence, we recommend going for one which is oven safe up to 500 F.
If you want something more heavy duty, then you’re probably broiling food, and that requires resistance to temperatures over 500 F.
Flat Cooling Racks
The flat cooling rack is the most common of all the cooling racks. It’s rectangular or square and sometimes even circular with feet on edges of the grid so that it’s raised above ground level. The wires making up the grid are thick and sturdy and non-flexible.
These racks have multiple tiers with 4 inches in between them for clearance. They allow you to cool more things on a reduced work surface. There are even stackable ones with multiple tiers as well.
This one doesn’t have a wire grid and instead just has metal bars. They’re meant to act as support for entire trays.
Bread Cooling Rack
These cooling racks are often made of wood, and instead of a grid, two pieces of wood are joined by many pieces of thin dowelling. They are raised higher than normal cooling racks, so they allow the bread to cool a little more quickly and prevent soggy bottoms.
The Best Cooling Racks You Can Buy
Tebery 4 Pack Cooling Racks
This is a great value pack of four cooling racks which are painted black. It has durable steel construction and a very narrow grid pattern for equal heat distribution. There are four stable feet for each rack that can raise each rack above the work surface and keep the counter air circulating from underneath.
This ensures proper cooling.
Furthermore, the surface of the rack is nonstick and cleans quickly with nonabrasive cleaners or scrubbers. These are great cooling racks for cookies and pies and cakes.
Checkered Chef Cooling Racks
You can use these for either cooling or cooking. The stainless steel construction and the lack of artificial coatings make sure that these racks are great for oven baking. You can bake almost anything including oven baked bacon on these.
The large size of the rack allows for cooling cakes and cookies and bread as well as grilling or baking ribs. Since the racks are constructed out of stainless steel, there’s no chance of them warping and breaking due to the heat.
P&P Chef Cooking and Cooling Racks
This multi-tier setup of cooking racks is great for baking multiple dishes for a buffet. You can have the entire family over and serve them a smorgasbord via this multi-tiered cooking rack. The rectangular rivets allow for a great fit for an electric cooker and instant pot as well as a slow cooker and air fryer.
You can turn the saucepan into a steamer and your casserole dish into a roaster as well as your baking tray into an oven crisper.
Mrs. Anderson’s Baking Half Sheet Cooling Rack
The half sheet cooling rack from Mrs. Anderson is great for baking bread and cookies as well as for roasting vegetables and cooling dishes and pans. Due to the perfect spacing between the wires, there is better airflow, which results in faster cooling time.
Veggies, fries, bacon, and whatever you decide to bake are all baked to perfection.
The cross wire weave can hold smaller items very securely so whether you’re baking pastries or cookies, you won’t have to worry about them falling through the gaps. The reinforced frame also easily supports heavier baking pans and casseroles and is dishwasher safe, so it is easy to clean up.
Ultra Cuisine Wire Cooling Rack
It’s made from professional grade stainless steel and isn’t made like other cheap racks which are just iron coated with chrome. You can use it in the oven up to 575 F for baking, roasting, grilling, smoking, and drying.
Cooling racks are some of the most useful accessories you can buy for the kitchen since they’ll help you in multiple situations – whether you’re a baker or a fryer. They’re just there to regulate air flow, and they do it very well.