Is it necessary to search for the best cooling rack?
Let’s put it this way, there are two main purpose for using a cooling rack:
- the main functionality is that it allows air to circulate under the baked goods that you’re putting on it to cool down
- the second purpose is to put it in an oven on top of a baking sheet to cook meat or vegetables on it
The high heat stored by those baked goods, like breads, can dampen the bottom, can make the crust turn soggy.
In the case of cookies, if they’re left on the baking sheet to cool down, they will continue to bake until the baking sheet has completely cooled down, which might make the cookies overdone.
Top 5 Best Cooling Racks
The absolutely amazing good news when it comes to searching for the best cooling racks is that the prices are pretty cheap in most cases.
There are two types of cooling racks:
- oven safe – is what you should be looking for if you want to place the rack on your baking sheet to make meat or vegetables
- not oven safe – most of us are totally fine with those that are not oven safe because we are looking for grids just for cooling our baked goods
You must also know that those who are not oven safe are the best for cooling because they also have a non-stick coating.
But if you want to use the same rack both in the oven and for cooling dishes then you need an oven safe best cooling rack.
Also, check out my third pick if you want to discover something really interesting.
1. Nordic Ware Copper Cooling Grid – Overall Best Cooling Rack
The cooling grid is definitely not made of copper. It’s actually made of steel.
The fact that it’s durable and it will support your baking goods for years to come is what makes it great.
It’s actually copper plated. I can’t say that I’m in love with that copper plated design but it definitely stands out.
There are actually different options to choose from when it comes to this best cooling rack from Nordic Ware:
- extra large – it might be one of the largest that’s I’ve come across, it measures 20 x 16 x 1 inches, it’s really big and impressive and it will work for both cookies and breads
- large – it’s the size of regular cooling rack, it measures 16.75 x 11.5 x 0.75 inches
- round – perfect for cakes and the cheapest option of these 4 options
- stack-able – these are 2 copper rack with snap-on legs, the most expensive option of the 4 but it’s understandable since you get 2 grids that can be used separately or together
For all these sizes they also have the non-stick option when it comes to colors. But I must admit that the copper plated aspects certainly seems appealing when comparing it with the boring non-stick design.
All these cooling grids from Nordic Ware are certainly not the cheapest best cooling racks but they’re of excellent quality and durability.
It might be worth paying just a bit more for top-notch quality. All should be washed by hand. And they are not oven safe.
2. Checkered Chef Cooling Racks for Baking – Best Oven Safe Cooling Rack
These are some of the most affordable cooling racks. You will get a set of two, no matter which size you pick. That’s a great deal.
They are also some of the most popular.
There are two sizes:
- 8 x 11.75 inches – they will fit perfectly inside a standard 9.5 X 13 inches quarter sheet pan
- 10 x 15 inches – made to fit in a jelly roll pan, which is smaller than half-sheet pans
They have multiple purposes since they can also go into the oven.
Besides that, they’re also made of stainless steel. They’re sturdy, no worries about warping.
They are dishwasher safe but I would personally wash them by hand to ensure that they remain perfect for years to come.
3. Silpat Cook N’ Cool Baking Tray – the Best Innovative Cooling Rack
I must definitely recommend this product.
I just love innovative products that can have multiple purposes.
Especially when they reduce the need for storage in the kitchen. I have a small kitchen, I understand perfectly that even the smallest purchase needs yet another space somewhere.
I also love products that are incredibly well made. That sometimes means a higher price but some are truly worth the extra dollars.
I consider the Silpat to be just one of those products.
It’s primarily a baking tray. An incredibly cool cooking tray. This must be the most beautiful best cooling rack.
It measures 13.5 x 16-5/8 inches. That’s an impressive size.
It’s made of aluminum. It goes without saying that it’s warp resistant. It’s also non-stick.
After stainless steel, aluminum is the best choice for cooling racks. Aluminum is very popular for loaf pans, as well.
The great thing about aluminum is that it heats evenly during cooking. That’s why it’s such a preponderant choice for all kinds of pans and cooking trays.
Instead of tiny squares, this baking tray has a perforated surface with very small round holes.
It’s a concept found in pizza pans, as well, used for even cooking on the bottom.
The addition is that thanks to that perforated surface, this cooking tray can also be used as a cooling rack. A very cool looking rack.
4. Wilton 3-Tier Collapsible Cooling Rack – Best Cooling Rack for Cookies
If you’re into the habit of baking multiple batches of cookies quite often, this collapsible best cooling rack might be what you need.
It’s really spacious and it will fit as many as 3 dozen cookies. I’ve never baked that much, for sure.
But it doesn’t work only for cookies. It works for loaves, cakes, and all kinds of baked goods.
The nice thing about this product is the collapsible design. It will ensure that these 3 racks won’t take much storage space when they’re not used.
The black color is also nice. And it has a non-stick coating.
Assembled it’s 10 wide x 16 inches tall.
Wash it by hand and dry it thoroughly immediately after. Then you can store it without worries.
If you don’t want to spend the money, just lay the cookies on paper towels until they’ve cooled down.
5.Tebery Cooling Racks Baking Rack – Best Value
Why do I categorize these ones as having the best value?
Because for an affordable price you get 4 best cooling racks that can also be used in the oven.
Who needs 4 cooling racks?
I’m pretty sure that not many people. You can keep just 2 and offer the other 2 as a gift to someone who loves baking.
Or you can keep 2 for cooling and 2 for oven use, keep them for separate use right from the start.
These are of impressive quality. They wouldn’t feature as my recommendation otherwise.
Tebery uses carbon steel for making them.
Their size is nice, too: 16 x 10 x 0.75 inches. They won’t fit in a quarter sheet pan but they are perfect for half sheet pans.
I love the 4 stable feet that each rack features. And the black design looks great. It also has a nonstick coating.
They’re perfect for cooling absolutely anything just as they’re very good in the oven. It’s win-win.
They’re dishwasher safe but I would wash them by hand, I wouldn’t want anything to happen to their nonstick coating.
Why You Should Get a Cooling Rack
Even those who are using a bread machine and they’re letting a bread maker do all the work still need to use a best cooling rack.
You don’t want to diminish the deliciousness of your breads by not letting them cool properly.
It will also preserve the crust exactly as it was when you removed it from the oven or from the bread machine’s pan. No steam to make the crust soft and slightly soggy. That’s awful and it ruins your whole work.
Who else would benefit from using cooling racks:
- people who love making cookies
- those who make cakes
- for cooling pies
- cooling racks are great for everything that it’s baked and requires cooling until it can be eaten or until it can proceed to the next step in the cooking process
- some can be used both in the oven and for cooling
What Makes a Good Cooling Rack?
- the most important feature: solid construction
- a solid metal construction ensures that it won’t get warped – that’s essential
- steel is the metal that you’re looking for
- aluminum is another material that works for making the best cooling racks
- large enough if you’re in the habit of baking a lot at a time
- multiple tiers cooling rack for cookies if large batches are your thing and you’re not only baking for yourself
Cooling Racks Substitutes
For cookies there’s a simple cooling rack substitute: use paper towels to let them cool down. The paper towels might absorb the excess fat, which is a plus. That’s a very useful substitute. They will just cool down a bit slower on paper towels, since air doesn’t circulate underneath, too.
For breads, the best substitute is to take them out outside because they’ll cool down a lot faster. But that works only if you’re living in a house not an apartment and it works better during colder months.
Another solution, although it’s not perfect, is to remove the baked products and place them on a cool baking sheet in order to cool the bottom faster.
I still think that getting a cooling rack is worth it.
In this case there are no perfect substitutes, like it is the case with substitutes for pizza stone, those are a lot.
I’ve offered you quite a few exciting options to choose the best cooling rack for your needs and preferences.