Cooling racks: Mastering the Cooling racks in Your Kitchen

Cooling racks: Mastering the Cooling racks in Your Kitchen

When it comes to baking and cooking, cooling racks might just be the unsung heroes of the kitchen. Often overlooked, these simple yet incredibly effective tools play a crucial role in ensuring your baked goods come out perfect every time.

Whether you’re an amateur baker or a seasoned chef, understanding the ins and outs of cooling racks can take your culinary creations to the next level. This article covers everything you need to know, from what cooling racks are to their advantages and disadvantages, and even which companies offer the best products. So, let’s get started!

What is a Cooling Rack?

Cooling racks are essentially wire racks designed to allow air to circulate freely around baked goods, promoting even cooling. Typically made of metal, these racks come in various shapes and sizes, catering to different baking needs. The design features a grid pattern that supports your baked items while letting air pass through from all sides. This process prevents sogginess and helps maintain the texture and structure of your baked goods.

How Cooling Racks Are Used

Cooling racks have a variety of uses in the kitchen. Here’s a rundown of the most common ways they’re utilized:

1. Cooling Baked Goods

The primary use of cooling racks is, of course, to cool baked goods. After pulling cookies, cakes, or bread out of the oven, placing them on a cooling rack allows air to circulate, ensuring they cool evenly and quickly. This is essential for maintaining the texture and preventing condensation from making the bottoms soggy.

2. Glazing and Icing

When you need to glaze or ice your baked items, cooling racks come in handy. Placing your cakes or cookies on a rack allows excess glaze or icing to drip off without pooling at the bottom, ensuring a smooth and even coating.

3. Crisping Foods

Cooling racks can also be used in the oven to crisp foods. By placing a rack on a baking sheet and laying your food items on top, you can ensure that heat circulates around the food, resulting in a crispier finish. This method is great for making crispy chicken wings, fries, or roasted vegetables.

4. Decorating

For decorating tasks, cooling racks provide a stable surface. Whether you’re sprinkling powdered sugar or adding delicate decorations, a cooling rack can help you achieve professional-looking results.

Advantages of Cooling Racks

Cooling racks offer several advantages that can enhance your baking and cooking experience:

1. Even Cooling

One of the biggest benefits of using a cooling rack is the even cooling it provides. By allowing air to circulate freely around your baked goods, cooling racks prevent condensation and ensure that your items cool uniformly.

2. Prevents Sogginess

Cooling racks help prevent the bottom of your baked goods from becoming soggy. The elevated design keeps your items off the hot baking sheet, allowing moisture to escape and maintaining the texture of your baked goods.

3. Versatility

Cooling racks aren’t just for cooling. As mentioned earlier, they can be used for glazing, crisping, and decorating, making them a versatile tool in the kitchen.

4. Saves Time

By promoting faster and more even cooling, cooling racks can save you time in the kitchen. This means you can move on to the next step of your recipe or start enjoying your delicious creations sooner.

Disadvantages of Cooling Racks

While cooling racks offer many benefits, there are a few potential downsides to consider:

1. Space

Cooling racks can take up quite a bit of space, both in your kitchen cabinets and on your countertops. If you have a small kitchen, finding room to store and use them might be a challenge.

2. Cleaning

Cleaning cooling racks can be a bit of a hassle. The grid design can trap crumbs and bits of food, making it necessary to scrub them thoroughly after each use.

3. Material

Not all cooling racks are created equal. Some cheaper models might warp or rust over time, especially if they’re not made from high-quality materials. Investing in a good quality cooling rack can prevent these issues but may come at a higher cost.

Companies Offering the Best Cooling Racks

Several companies are known for their high-quality cooling racks. Here are a few that stand out:

1. Wilton

Wilton is a well-known name in the baking industry, and their cooling racks live up to their reputation. They offer a variety of sizes and designs, ensuring you can find the perfect fit for your baking needs.

2. Nordic Ware

Nordic Ware is another trusted brand that produces durable, high-quality cooling racks. Their products are known for their sturdiness and longevity, making them a great investment for serious bakers.

3. USA Pan

USA Pan offers cooling racks that are both durable and affordable. Made in the USA, their products are built to last and are perfect for both amateur and professional bakers.

4. OXO

OXO is famous for its innovative kitchen tools, and their cooling racks are no exception. Featuring a non-stick coating and a sturdy design, OXO cooling racks are easy to use and clean.


Cooling racks might not be the flashiest kitchen tool, but they’re certainly one of the most important. From ensuring even cooling to preventing sogginess, these versatile racks can make a significant difference in your baking and cooking outcomes. While there are a few potential downsides, the benefits far outweigh them, especially if you invest in a high-quality product from a reputable company. So, next time you’re baking, don’t forget to give your cooling rack the credit it deserves!



1. What are cooling racks used for?

Cooling racks are primarily used to cool baked goods, but they can also be used for glazing, crisping foods in the oven, and decorating.

2. Can I use a cooling rack in the oven?

Yes, many cooling racks are oven-safe and can be used to crisp foods by allowing heat to circulate around them.

3. How do I clean a cooling rack?

Cleaning a cooling rack can be tricky due to its grid design. Soaking it in warm, soapy water and using a brush to scrub the grid can help remove trapped food particles.

4. Are all cooling racks the same?

No, cooling racks come in various sizes and materials. High-quality racks made from durable materials like stainless steel are less likely to warp or rust over time.

5. Which companies offer the best cooling racks?

Some of the top companies known for their cooling racks include Wilton, Nordic Ware, USA Pan, and OXO.