Whether you’re to replace an old cooling rack that isn’t working the way that it should be anymore or are moving into a new place and need a starter cooling rack, deciding which is the best cooling rack for you can be a challenge. There are hundreds of options on the market, and it’s not always easy to separate the great options from the mediocre ones. That’s why we wanted to take out the stress and share some of the top cooling racks here in one place.
In addition to sharing the 12 best racks for cooling today, we’ll also go into why you would want a cooling rack in the first place. We’ll share the key features to look for when buying one, so you can make the best possible decision. By the time you read through everything, you’ll know everything you need to know to add a cooling rack (or several!) to your kitchen.
The Ultra Cuisine Stainless Steel Wire Cooling Rack is a fantastic choice that offers a strong, wide grid and a one-inch height to fit into other cooking pans. It’s safe for oven use and fits inside cookie half sheets to prevent lopsided baking results.
Another top choice is the Wilton Excelle Elite 3-Tier Cooling Rack, which has tons of room for cooling cookies, cakes, and other dishes. It has a non-stick coating and lets you pile up on baked goods without taking up all your coveted counter space.
Table of Contents
- Quick Comparison: Top 12 Best Cooling Racks
- 1. Ultra Cuisine Stainless Steel Wire Cooling Rack
- 2. Wilton Excelle Elite 3-Tier Cooling Rack
- 3. Bellemain Cooling Rack
- 4. Checkered Chef Stainless Steel Cooling Rack
- 5. Spring Chef Stainless Steel Cooling Rack
- 6. Wilton Industries Perfect Results Mega Cooling Rack
- 7. Checkered Chef Cooling Racks for Baking
- 8. Wilton 3-Tier Collapsible Cooling Rack
- 9. Betty Crocker BC4422 3-Tier Cooling Rack
- 10. Ultra Cuisine Stainless Steel Thick Wire Cooling & Baking Rack
- 11. Goson Kitchen Stainless Steel Heavy Duty Metal Wire Cooling Rack
- 12. Fox Run 4698 Stackable 3-Piece Chrome Cooling Rack
- The Top Reasons That You Should Add a Cooling Rack to Your Kitchen
- Things to Consider When Buying the Best Cooling Rack
Quick Comparison: Top 12 Best Cooling Racks
This stainless steel wire cooling rack by Ultra Cuisine is an excellent choice for holding freshly baked food in your kitchen. It is made from durable materials with small holes and no-snag edges so that air can flow freely and quickly cool down your desserts. This cooling rack is also 100% dishwasher-safe, making cleanup a breeze.This rack can be used for baking, roasting, smoking, grilling and barbecuing as long as you don’t raise the temperature too high. It can fit flat inside of a large 13x18 inch cookie half sheet, as well, to prevent uneven cooking and baking. For those who want a top-notch option from a great company, this is one to watch.
If you’re a professional baker or an amateur who likes to make plenty of cakes and pies, the Wilton Excelle Elite 3-Tier Cooling Rack could change the way you use your kitchen for the better. It comes with three racks that stack on top of each other to take up little space while still cooling plenty of food at once. Each rack measures 15.9x9.9 inches and has a non-stick coating for easy release.
Wilton is a highly-regarded company that offers a variety of baking and cooking supplies, so you can expect excellent quality with these cooling racks. However, it is recommended that you wash the racks in warm, soapy water before you use them for the first time.
3. Bellemain Cooling Rack
The Bellemain Cooling Rack features more crosswire than most competitors, so you never have to worry about food falling through the cracks during use. It has a narrow pattern to prevent drooping and sagging while ensuring plenty of air can circulate. Unlike some models of cooling racks, this one has smooth edges that won’t snag clothing or skin to cause injuries or accidents.
Since this is such a durable choice, it can be used for all sorts of things beyond cooling cakes and cookies. It can even be used to hold a 10-pound pot of soup without warping or bending. If you’ve been wondering where you can find a cooling rack that can do it all, you now have a great place to start.
4. Checkered Chef Stainless Steel Cooling Rack
Are you looking for a high-quality baking rack? Do you need a cooling rack that you can count on for all the pies you make? With the Checkered Chef Stainless Steel Cooling Rack, you get both of these great qualities in one.
This cooling rack is specially designed to prevent crumbs from slipping through when cakes or cookies are cooling. Also, the racks are dishwasher-safe, so you never have to spend ages on cleanup. The materials are resistant to corrosion and rust for easy maintainence.
5. Spring Chef Stainless Steel Cooling Rack
Another excellent cooling rack that can double as an accessory for a cooking pan is the Spring Chef Stainless Steel Cooling Rack. It has no coatings or plating, so toxins and chemicals won’t end up in your food. These racks fit into 10x13 inch quarter sheet pans to help with your cooking when you want something crispy and delicious.
These racks are designed for optimal air circulation during use and can be cleaned up in seconds after you’re done. There are four feet on each rack to ensure the best results when baking or cooking. This is a versatile option that can be used for decorating, cooling, baking, roasting, or broiling sweet and savory dishes.
6. Wilton Industries Perfect Results Mega Cooling Rack
When you’re searching for an affordable cooling rack that is effortless to use, the Wilton Perfect Results Mega Cooling Rack is one you should consider. It offers a surface that makes it simple and straightforward to clean so you don’t need to spend too much extra time in the kitchen. This is also a lightweight model at only eight ounces, so transport is a breeze.
This is another cooling rack that can also be used in the oven, giving it an added layer of versatility. Use it to cool cakes, rest bread, or make broiled and baked dishes at every meal. The use of chrome materials also means it will last a good amount of time without extra maintenance.
7. Checkered Chef Cooling Racks for Baking
Our second choice from Checkered Chef comes in a set of two so you can always have a clean rack ready when you want to start baking. These cooling racks are completely oven-safe, so they can be used to bake chicken wings, bacon, or crispy chicken, too. The construction is designed to prevent warping and wobbling.While one rack is small enough for tiny pans, you can also use both at once for a quarter sheet pan for more significant recipes. On top of that, these racks are easy to clean and dishwasher-safe, so you won’t have to spend ages cleaning up after a meal.
8. Wilton 3-Tier Collapsible Cooling Rack
Are you someone who starts baking and then finds yourself unable to stop? The Wilton 3-Tier Collapsible Cooling Rack is designed for people just like you, offering several tiers to stack cookies or other small baked goods on. The three racks stack on top of each other so you can bake and cool up to three dozen cookies at one time.
The other great feature of this cooling rack is that it’s fully collapsible. Once you get done cooling your food, you can press it all together and store it in a small space. Those with a small kitchen will find this is one of the cooling trays that won’t take up too much counter space.
9. Betty Crocker BC4422 3-Tier Cooling Rack
With the Betty Crocker BC4422 3-Tier Cooling Rack, you get three levels of space for cooling while avoiding taking up your entire counter space. It works well for everything, from small items like cupcakes and muffins to large pies and cakes of significant weight. This cooling rack makes it easy to cool tons of foods while still giving you plenty of room to prepare other dishes.
Once you’re done making and cooling desserts, you can clean up the cooling rack and fold it up. It turns into a small, flat device that will fit easily into your cupboards, even if you have limited space. This is a dishwasher-safe option for days when you don’t feel like spending time doing much cleaning.
10. Ultra Cuisine Stainless Steel Thick Wire Cooling & Baking Rack
The Ultra Cuisine Stainless Steel Thick Wire Cooling & Baking Rack is a versatile kitchen tool made of high-quality components. It uses a grid wire design to prevent food from falling through when it’s being cooled after baking. It also includes two thick crossbar legs that go down the entire length of the rack for the best support without bending.
You can use this cooling rack in the oven at temperatures of up to 575 degrees Fahrenheit, which means it can be used to cook chicken, pork, beef, veggies, and more. Just stick it inside of a sheet pan, and it will help keep the drippings away from the meat for healthy meals.
11. Goson Kitchen Stainless Steel Heavy Duty Metal Wire Cooling Rack
This option from Goson Kitchen comes with two separate wire cooling racks. They come in a size of 8x10 inches and can be used in pans that are slightly larger. These pans are also simple to clean and dishwasher-safe, so cleanup is straightforward and easy.
There are six welded feet on each rack to support the weight of whatever you’re cooling, whether that’s a batch of cookies or a cake. These keep the rack almost an inch from the counter for fast heat ventilation. The cross-hatch style design of the holes on the rack also means you don’t have to deal with crumbs.
12. Fox Run 4698 Stackable 3-Piece Chrome Cooling Rack
The Fox Run 4698 Stackable 3-Piece Chrome Cooling Rack is a fantastic option when space is at a premium, or if you need to cool several dishes at the same time. Since the racks stack together, you can take up as little space as possible while making desserts for a crowd. Also, the racks can be used with sheet pans to bake meats or vegetables in the oven.
These racks are made of chrome, which is both lightweight and durable, making them easy to transport. They are also highly elevated, so you can be sure the bottoms of your dishes cool evenly and stay crisp.
The Top Reasons That You Should Add a Cooling Rack to Your Kitchen
Whether you prefer to cook, dabble in baking, or are continually making sweet treats in your kitchen, a cooling rack can make life a lot easier. Not sure whether it’s something you should invest in? We’ll go over some of the key ways a good cooling rack can make a difference in your kitchen.
Ideal for Amateur and Professional Bakers
As you might expect, a cooling rack is a great way to cool baked foods quickly. When baked goods stay on a cookie pan, they spend longer in contact with the hot surface. This can result in your desserts continuing to cook, even after they’re already perfect and ready to eat.
When you use a cooling rack, you can avoid this problem. This prevents baked goods from additional cooking by letting air circulate around your cakes or cookies, resulting in an even texture and a better flavor when you sit down to eat.
A Great Option for All Kinds of Cooks
Sometimes when you’re learning to cook, you may not know all the science-based aspects that can make or break a meal – even if you did nothing wrong. One of those things is the challenge of keeping food tasty and crispy after cooking, such as with chicken that has a marinade or other toppings.
You can cook chicken to a gorgeous crispness, but without a cooling rack, you might find it ends up sticky and soggy. The reason for this is because steam builds up during cooking and sticks around even as the chicken cools down to a temperature where you can begin eating. Without ventilation, the steam will turn into condensation and can ruin the crispiness of your recipe.
When you have a cooling rack, air can circulate fully around the food, which will also remove the steam. Without steam, there is less water in the air, so your chicken will stay juicy on the inside and crispy on the outside.
Can Be Used for General Kitchen Tasks
While cooling racks aren’t made for this purpose, they can also ensure that hot pots and pans aren’t placed on your counter, where they can lead to damage. When the heat is allowed to disperse, it will prevent issues that may be expensive to repair. These racks are also ideal for roasting, as a wire rack on top of a baking pan traps hot air and can make your food heat up faster.
Things to Consider When Buying the Best Cooling Rack
Everything from the material a cooling rack is made from to its size, coatings, and special features make a difference in how it works. However, some things are more important than others, depending on what you do in the kitchen. Here, we’ll share some key factors to pay attention to when you’re considering buying a cooling rack or two.
Size of the Cooling Racks
Having the right size of cooling rack is essential, and it should also fit into your oven if you plan to use the rack for cooking as well. If it’s too small, you may end up needing to use it several times, which can lead to additional burnt-on grease. This will mean you have to spend extra time cleaning the rack or even buying additional racks regularly.
However, if the rack is too large, it can take up all of your cabinet space and may not fit into your oven. Enormous racks may also be hard to store when they are not in use. This might mean you have to leave the rack on the countertop when it’s not being used, which wastes space that could be used for other kitchen appliances and tools.
Choice Between Designs on Cooling Racks
The two major types of cooling rack designs are grid and ladder. Those with a ladder design have bars that only run horizontally. The problem is that food can fall between the rails when using this type of rack. A grid design is more versatile and will prevent food from falling through onto the counter.
With the best grid designs, the openings will be around 3/8 of an inch. Larger holes can have the same issues as a ladder design, while those that are smaller may restrict airflow. To get the best baking and cooking results possible, air needs to flow around all parts of your cakes or other dishes.
Types of Coating on Cooling Racks
One of the most common types of coatings for kitchen pots and pans is PTFE, which is also known as polytetrafluoroethylene or referred to by the brand name Teflon. However, most people simply refer to it as a non-stick coating, which is a lot easier to remember. However, this is a chemical, and there is concern about whether using PTFE regularly is a safe practice or not.
Because of this, some cooks and bakers refuse to use items with this kind of coating, even though it makes it a breeze to lift cooked and baked items from surfaces. Some studies have shown that the coating is likely safe in environments below 662 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s uncommon to go higher than this during home cooking, so it’s likely low risk, but the decision is ultimately your own.
Cooking Racks and Materials Used to Make Them
In most cases, cooling racks will be made of metal, but there are a few made of wood or plated with chrome. Regardless of the material you choose, it’s essential that you check that it’s high quality, resistant to wear and rust, and won’t contaminate the food that you cook or bake.
The least likely options to rust will be made of stainless steel, which also happens to be the most straightforward material to clean. Chrome-plated steel is the next best choice since the finish is similar to stainless steel. Wooden racks are going to be the hardest to clean and care for while being unfit for things like cooking, as they cannot handle extreme temperatures. However, wooden racks are least likely to be chemically treated.
Cleanliness and Convenience of Cooling Racks
A cooling rack is created to make life easy, while also adding a desired amount of ventilation to your cooking and baking. Choosing an inconvenient cooling rack would clearly defeat the purpose of having one in the first place. To make sure the rack will be a help rather than a hindrance, always consider whether the cooling rack is easy to use, clean, and store.
Many of the top cooling racks are going to be dishwasher-safe, although most can also be cleaned easily with soap and water. However, the ones that have multiple tiers may be harder to clean due to the inclusion of moving parts. On the other hand, these work well for small countertops and can be folded and stored when not in use.
Having a coating on the rack can also make tidying up and cleaning a lot easier, but you should consider the negative aspects we mentioned earlier, too.
Thoughts About Cooling Rack Feet and Crossbars
Most of the racks on the market have four feet at a minimum. These should be high enough to allow proper airflow around the food. Those who plan to use the rack in the oven may want them to be higher, so they are raised up from the base of a baking sheet.
Some of the highest quality cooling racks will also have crossbars with feet to offer additional support to the rack. There are typically up to three crossbars, which provide extra support and strength to prevent warping, sagging, and bending while in use.
When it comes to storage, some feet allow for several trays to be stacked together. If you have limited storage space, keep an eye out for racks that will fit together nicely. If not, the racks should be stored in the pans you use them with for cooking to create more space.
Extra Features Included in Cooling Racks
Versatility is always something you should consider when buying a cooling rack. Many people use a cooling rack only for baked goods after they have been cooked, but others may want a rack that lets you cook marinated meat to a moist and crisp texture.
Most of the options listed here can handle extreme temperatures while also acting as a standard cooling tray. They can also be used to place hot pots and pans on while you are cooking. However, others are specially made for cooling baked goods, and you can usually see this reflected in the price.