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Best Cooling Racks To Crisp Things Up
Although cooling racks are never top of the list of “essential” kitchen tools, these versatile racks can prove to be an extremely useful addition to your kitchen. If you’re somebody who lays out cookies on the counter to cool or tries to manually “air out” roasted veggies, this is a must-have for you.
Most cooling racks are designed in a way that they can double as baking or roasting racks, making them a truly versatile item. You can crisp up vegetables, chicken, meat, and bacon in the oven on it or simply put out freshly baked goods to cool down on this rack. Cooling and baking racks are usually made from stainless steel or aluminum for heat conduction and durability. They also come in different designs and styles. Picking the right one from numerous choices can get tough. So, to help you with that, we’ve put together a buying guide and some of our favorite suggestions for the top cooling racks in 2023.Show contents
How to Find a High-Quality Cooling Rack: A Buyer's Guide
Here’s a comprehensive buying guide for cooling and baking racks.
Features to Look Out For
You will need to keep the following considerations in mind:
Cooking racks come with non-stick coatings that can either be PTFE or Teflon. Both of these coating materials are super durable and make sure that the food doesn’t stick to the bars. From the two coating materials, Teflon may get a little toxic at high temperatures. It is a safe choice if you’re getting the rack just for cooling food items or low-heat cooking.
Some cooling racks may also be covered in ceramic coatings that can withstand heat better and prevent food from getting stuck. You can also find racks with silicone coatings that are not generally oven safe but really easy to lift food off of.
Cooking racks are made from a variety of materials including chrome coated wood, aluminum, and stainless steel. The most durable and safe materials for these racks are commercial-grade materials that make sure the rack doesn’t warp or bend over time. Stainless steel cooling racks need more maintenance than other kinds as they are prone to rust.
While on the other hand, aluminum is a professional baker’s choice due to its efficient and even heat conductivity. Wooden cooling racks come plated with iron, chrome, or steel to make them more non-stick.
Another important consideration is the size of the rack. Since ovens nowadays are not one-size-fits-all, the standard size is a little less relevant. Measure the interior of your oven if you plan to use it for baking and roasting so you know what size racks to look for. Also, consider the kind and sizes of pans and dishes you’d be using with it.
Choosing the size also involves considering the number of people you cook for. If you make small batches usually, a smaller model might be preferred instead of a larger one that hogs up storage space unnecessarily.
Cooling racks come in two kinds of styles: ladder or grid. Ladder cooling racks have bars running horizontally only while grid cooling racks have bars in both directions. Grid style creates a hatch-style look overall.
Both these designs offer sufficient air circulation to prevent soggy food items placed on them. But from the two, grid-style racks are the clear winners as it prevents food from falling through or losing shape and form.
What Can I Use a Cooling Rack For?
Here are a few things you can do with a cooling rack besides cooling cookies on it:
When roasting juicy meat like chicken thighs or steaks, you can toss in vegetables under the cooling tray so they can soak up drippings and get a nice flavor. You can put vegetables like sliced zucchini, eggplant, cannellini beans. and greens there.
Smoking fish or meat
As smoking meat requires a lot of air circulation, a cooling rack is the perfect tool for this job. You can simply place the meat on it without a pan or pot and put the rack on the smoker.
Cooling racks can be used to crisp up breaded food. You can place any kind of food on this rack and put it in the oven for a few minutes to give it a nice crunch factor.
You can use a cooling rack to make oven-dried tomatoes or dehydrated apple rings. The heat diffusing properties will prevent scorching by keeping food items above the bottom of the pan.
Another use of a cooling rack is to make crispy bacon. The racks allow fat to drip off as the fat renders and gives you more plentiful, crispier bacon than you would make in a pan.
What Makes a Good Quality Cooling Rack?
Here are a few factors:
- Solid and durable construction offers good support for weight endurance.
- It should prop the grid by at least 1.5 or 2-inches off the countertop for good air circulation.
- The appropriate size that will fit the oven (if it is oven-safe) or your baking and cooking needs.
- Comes with multiple layers or tiers for large batches and multiple uses.
- Prefer metal cooling racks if you will be using them in the oven.
- It should have a design that can accommodate all pans and plates you will be using.
- The construction material should not be prone to rust, wear, or warping.
Tips to clean cooling racks
A few tips are:
- Clean the rack after every use.
- Always spray the rack before you use it to prevent food from sticking.
- Use a soft brush to scrub off any stubborn food particles.
- Use baking soda and vinegar to get rid of stains and residue.
- Soak the rack in soapy water overnight if there’s a lot of thick food residue stuck to it.
Here Is the Top Cooling Rack of 20231– Best OverallCheck On Amazon
This oven-safe grid wire rack is made from durable stainless steel that is ideal for cooling and cooking. It comes with the standard 8” x 11 ¾” size to fit almost all cookware sheets and ovens. This rack is ideal for making oven-baked goodies but can improve your cooking in countless ways. You can pop it on a baking sheet, let fried food crisp up, or rest meat from the grill for a few moments before you plate it.
Moreover, the grills are wide apart to allow sufficient airflow for quick cooling, but not so wide that food will fall through. The perfectly spaced grid design pattern doesn’t let food fall through while offering nice air circulation. It’s constructed in a sturdy structure that will last you a long time, so no worrying about it warping or wobbling over time!2– Runner-UpCheck On Amazon
This cooking rack is made from steel with a non-stick coating to prevent sticking. This stacked cooling rack is ideal for cooling down cookies, cakes, and so much more. You can cool up dozens of cookies as there is ample space and ventilation. Further, the steel rack has a large capacity but takes the minimum possible storage space. The rack can collapse down into a single layer and can be stored super easily.
Moreover, the non-stick coating helps in quick clean up and easy release so there’s no hassle with cleaning. The best part is that you won’t have to grease the grills before putting the baked goods on them. The heavy-duty steel construction allows a quick and even heat distribution so there are no hot spots or “grilling.” You can use each rack separately as well as stack one or two layers according to your need.3– Honorable MentionCheck On Amazon
This cooling and roasting rack is made from commercial-grade 304 stainless steel that can be used for grilling, roasting, baking, BBQ, broiling, and drying out fish, meat, vegetables. The rack is covered in no toxic materials or artificial coatings. This rack can be used for cooling down pots, desserts, meat, or used like an air fryer as well. It’s oven safe and can handle up to 575-degrees Fahrenheit.
Moreover, multiple welds allow you to rest around 45lbs at once on this grid, and the extra welds make this product super durable. The rack has a perfect support design engineered to prevent warping, wobbling, and bending. The three cross support bar design makes sure that the grill cooling rack has 1-inch height that allows space for air circulation. The ample airflow is perfect for quick cooling of cakes, brownies, cookies, and much more.4– Also ConsiderCheck On Amazon
This rack is great for cooling down cakes, cookies, bread, and pies with its great air circulation and even cooling design. The food rack can also be used for air frying by safely putting it in your oven. This rack comes with a nice mesh grill design that aids in better air circulation around the food on the tray. You can use this cooking tray rack for crisping up fries, chicken wings, breaded cutlets, onion rings, and lots of other dishes.
Furthermore, this rack can fit inside a standard 13 x 18 inch half sheet pan so you can bake healthier food items with less fat. The 100% high-grade 304 stainless steel construction is constructed in a three-cross bar design that supports the rack from sagging, wobbling, and shaking. It can support a good amount of weight and the heavy-duty reinforced design doesn’t let delicate food fall through.5– ContenderCheck On Amazon
This cooling and baking rack is made from food-grade stainless steel that is rustproof and extremely durable. The thick grid design is capable of providing sturdy support to all kinds of food and bears a good amount of weight without bending or breaking apart. The four support feet underneath and the two cross bars come together to give this rack the required strength and balance.
Further, this cooling rack is safe for use in dishwashers and it won’t fade or wear away. If you did want to handwash this cooling rack, It’s also super simple to clean by hand with its airy grid design. The unique cooling design with supporting feet raises the tray up by 0.6-inches for excellent air circulation, which makes food crispier and cooler quicker. The grid spacing is appropriate enough to not let any food change its shape or fall through.
People Also AskedQ: Can I put the cooling rack in the oven?
A: It depends on the construction. Some racks are designed to double as roasting and baking racks as well. Check the manufacturer’s instructions about oven safety.Q: How do you transfer cookies to a cooling rack?
A: Let the cookies sit on the baking sheet for a few minutes to settle. Slide them off it with a spatula and put them on the cooling rack gently.Q: What else can I use a cooling rack for?
A: This kitchen tool can be used to place cooked food fresh out of the oven to cool down, reheat cooked food, baking or roasting, or for drying out dishes.Q: What is the best material for cooling racks?
A: The best cooling racks are made from aluminum or stainless steel.