Cooking racks are an essential item in the kitchen. They allow you to cook large amounts of food at once while freeing up space on your stovetop. However, if you were wondering whether or not cooling racks are oven-safe, you may be surprised to find out that they are not! Read more to learn about why this is and how it affects your cooking routine.
What Is A Cooling Rack?
A cooling rack is a small, usually metal grate that is used for air circulation under baked goods. This allows the surface of the food to dry out, which helps prevent skin from forming and also crisps up bread or pastries. Cooling racks are fitted with the standard parallel bars spaced about one inch apart, but some can be found with square or diamond-shaped grids as well as those made of stainless steel mesh rather than metal bars.
Candy apples and other recipes call for cooling racks so they will not stick to each other as they cool down after baking in the oven. Many recipes also require a cooling rack so that steam can rise upwards and away from them as they cool on a wire rack.
What Is A Cooling Rack Used For?
A cooling rack is used to allow heat and steam to rise upwards from foods in order for them to cool. This keeps condensation from forming, which can give baked goods a soggy texture. By placing food on the rack to cool, you are allowing air to circulate all around it without being obstructed by the food itself thus allowing for faster evaporation.
Are Cooling Racks Oven Safe?
Yes! Cooling racks are made to go in an oven so they can be used for air-drying items or catching pieces that have fallen off during cooking. They are safe to use on the top two rack positions and will not melt or deform from the heat of the oven. They should never be placed on a baking sheet, as this can warp and ruin them. Be very careful though when removing anything that is hot off of your cooling rack because it will give off steam as well as stay fairly hot for about an hour after coming out of the oven.
As long as you remember to use it on the top two racks and never place it over a baking sheet, your cooling rack should serve you well for many years to come. A cooling rack can help prevent stuck pieces of food from ruining your meal and also allows excess glaze to drip off instead of getting absorbed into whatever you are cooking at that time. It is a simple and easy-to-use piece of equipment that does not cost much but can make a big difference when cooking.
How To Tell If Cooling Rack Is Oven-Safe?
Let’s get started. How can we tell if a cooling rack is oven-safe? Here’s the method:
- Check to see whether your cooling rack is anti-stick coated. If you want to clean a cooling rack that isn’t non-stick, stainless steel or uncoated metal would be the best choices. However, they aren’t safe to use in the oven. Because of heat, the coating may melt and crack, potentially causing food poisoning! Choose anything made of metal that doesn’t have a coat on it.
- Then, to ensure that the baked goods do not shift between the wires, use a cooling rack with wire grids rather than a parallel pattern. The grid pattern causes baked items to slide along the wires. For greater support, I suggest opting for the grid style option.
- Finally, you must locate a cooling rack that will fit within your sheet pan. This is why you must always stock up on cooling racks of different sizes. The most efficient kitchen is one that is adaptable. Keep this in mind!
How To Use A Cooling Rack
Many recipes call for the baked good to be placed on a cooling rack before serving. When air-drying, place the food in an open area so that everyone can see it while it cools down at the same time. A cooling rack is also perfect for when glazing items like donuts or pastries. During baking, these items are generally flipped over, allowing them to cook evenly. While they are still hot though, they will absorb excess glaze if left without being transferred to a wire rack. Using a cooling rack allows steam to rise upward instead of down onto your finished product. This keeps the glaze from getting absorbed into whatever you are cooking and ruining its appearance when plating up for serving guests or enjoying yourself during a meal.
A cooling rack is also perfect for putting into the oven to catch drips or crumbs that may fall off of your food while cooking. And during baking, the edges of a pan usually get scuffed up and can cause damage if moved directly from it to another surface. Placing a piece of parchment paper or wax paper on top before placing your food helps reduce this risk as well as allows you to simply lift the cooked item out using the added protection without needing to scrape anything off first.
Cooling Rack Care Instructions
Having a good cooling rack in your kitchen is essential for preparing homemade baked goods, but if properly cared for they can last a long time and be an exceptional value. Cooling racks can be washed in your dishwasher or with a mild soap and water solution, but never with any type of abrasive scrubbing pad. Some people mention that they have successfully used a lemon half dipped in baking soda to remove tough food stains from the surface of their racks. If you choose this method please make sure to be very careful not to damage any part of your rack by rubbing too hard.
The bars of a cooling rack will usually have some space between them which is why most sauces or liquids drip down through them when resting meat on top of it. However, if you wish to line the bars with pieces of foil for easy cleanup after broiling something fatty, just make sure that you crumple up the foil on the inside of the rack so that it does not interfere with its ability to allow steam from fat or water from a dish below to evaporate when in use.
Cooling racks heats up very quickly and reduces the effort needed to clean any baked items that may have gotten stuck to them by just using a knife. They also help ensure that excess glaze is evenly distributed over large pastries such as donuts instead of getting absorbed into them during cooking. Being able to add such an item to your collection will save you time and energy in many ways.
Any baked item can be placed on a cooling rack after cooking so excess glaze, steam or wetness has somewhere to go instead of staying on the food you just cooked. You can use them during baking as well by placing parchment paper or wax paper down before adding your ingredients for extra protection without having to scrape anything off first. Using your cooling rack properly is very simple, inexpensive and will make life easier for you in most cases.