Its 6 legs stand 1 inch tall for better air circulation and faster cool-down times. Dishwasher safe, with a stainless steel construction that inhibits rust. Oven-safe up to 575° F.
The 3/8-inch squares of the grid can sometimes trap small food particles and be tough to clean.
Appealingly polished, copper-plated wire mesh. Diameter of 13 inches works with Bundt cakes, layer cakes, and other baked goods. Legs provide good clearance for air circulation.
Not designed to be used in an oven. Must be hand-washed.
The 6 legs are 1 inch tall for quick cool-downs. Oven-safe up to 575° F, it doubles as a roasting grill, and the stainless steel construction prevents rust. Dishwasher-safe.
Food can get stuck in the tight grid, and sponges may snag on the wire edges.
This nonstick design sets up easily to cool a full batch of cookies in a cramped kitchen. Despite its collapsible design, it boasts a sturdy construction.
3-inch clearance between tiers may not be enough space for cake layers. Smaller cookies may slip between the bars.
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Whether you bake for a living or just in your spare time, there may come a day when you realize the quality of your baked goods isn’t quite what you’d like it to be. You finish baking, and as the cookies cool, they become soggy and fall apart. You don’t understand why.
It may be because you need the right cooling rack.
The purpose of a cooling rack is to elevate your baked goods on a grated surface, allowing air to circulate and cool the goods from all angles. With a cooling rack, the condensation that collects beneath your baked goods will no longer be stuck there with no way to escape. Thanks to grates and elevation, they get the airflow they need.
Rather than choosing from dozens of cooling racks and hoping you find a good fit, read through our buying guide on cooling racks for tips and tricks on finding the best. In addition to our expert advice, we supply the details about our favorite cooling racks on the market for your consideration.
Almost any cooling rack available will feature a grid design. This is because a grid allows for air circulation that encompasses the entire baked good. The question then becomes, what size of grid spacing is appropriate for the type of baking you do?
Choose a cooling rack with tight grid spacing if you work with smaller items: candies, chocolates, or cookies. That way, none of the baked goods will ooze or drip through the grid.
If you work with bigger items, such as pies and larger pastries, you may want to choose a cooling rack with larger grids. Larger spacing means enhanced airflow, which allows for quicker and more thorough cooling. Keep in mind that larger items can also do well on a tighter grid spacing because the weight will be distributed more evenly.
It’s essential to map out your available counter space before purchasing a cooling rack. Each rack is a certain height and takes up a certain amount of space. Measure your available counter space and the distance between the counter and the cabinets. Choose a cooling rack based on that.
Some cooling racks come with adjustable feet. It’s easier to tailor these racks to your available space than those with a predetermined height. Find out before you buy by reading the specs on any cooling rack you’re considering.
Another type of cooling rack comes with multiple tiers. You may or may not be able to remove some of these tiers. If you’re considering a multi-tiered rack, measure first to be sure it would vertically fit your space.
Check that the cooling rack is dishwasher safe if you’re hoping to clean it in the dishwasher. The type of material it’s made of may preclude it from being washed in extreme heat.
If you don’t use a dishwasher, this is another good time to take note of grid spacing. Tiny grid spaces catch food particles and are more difficult to clean by hand. A normal sponge may not be the right choice here, as it could snag the wire edges. However, a wire or metal brush can be used to clean out those small spaces with ease.
Cooling racks aren’t only for baked goods. They can also be used for cooling pizzas, slices of freshly fried bacon, and any other number of foods. Basically, if a food item has a stable bottom, you can cool it on a cooling rack.
Cooling racks can also be used to improve the quality of other foods you bake in the oven. For example, you can use a cooling rack to soak vegetables in meat broth. Simply suspend the cooling rack with the meat on top of it over a dish of vegetables. The fat and grease will drip off and infuse the veggies with delectable flavor.
You can also try baking potato chips or kale chips on a cooling rack in the oven. The suspended chips will become crispier because of the increased exposure to the oven’s heat.
The stability of a cooling rack is often linked to the material it is made of. However, design may be a factor as well.
Heavy-gauge stainless steel cooling racks are the sturdiest choices, supporting the heaviest baked goods, such as multi-layered cakes. Regular stainless steel cooling racks may be slightly more rickety and unable to support a heavy pie or cake. Likewise, a multi-tiered cooling rack may be slightly less stable than a single-tiered rack due to its multiple shelves.
A cooling rack that is top-heavy will most likely be more wobbly than one in which the weight is focused toward the bottom. Cooling racks with diagonal shelves are also more likely to wobble.
The lowest price you can expect to pay for a cooling rack is around $10. If you want something in this budget range, choose a light stainless steel cooling rack with just one tier. These tend to range from $10 to about $15. A multi-tiered rack will be slightly more — about $15 to $20.
A heavy-gauge stainless steel rack will be more stable and durable. Therefore, it will also cost more — most likely $25+. If you’re considering the purchase of a multi-tiered rack, remember that you may be able to buy multiple single racks for about the same price.
Decide if you’d like your cooling rack to be oven-safe. Some bakers choose to cool their items in the oven on a cooling rack. If it’s safe for oven use, the packaging should state this clearly.
If you want to stabilize your cooling rack even more, purchase small rubber pads to prevent the legs from sliding on your countertop.
Stainless steel is one of the best cooling rack materials because it is durable and resistant to rust.
A. Yes, technically you could, but your baked goods won’t cool properly. The point of a cooling rack is to allow airflow and circulation around the entire baked good. Cooling on the countertop will not only make a mess, it will also prevent your baked goods from being the best they could be.
A. No. This inhibits the circulation of air around your baked goods. The grid in the cooling rack is designed to ensure the baked goods receive proper airflow. Tinfoil or wax paper would block airflow and render the cooling rack useless.
A. Yes. It’s recommended that you purchase several cooling racks for different types of baked goods or entrees. Some dishes, like pot pies and loaves of bread, can be cooled efficiently using a cooling rack, but be sure the rack you use can support the weight of the item being cooled.