Baking rack vs cooling rack: Surprising facts you must know

  • By: Emma
  • Date: October 16, 2022
  • Time to read: 5 min.

When it comes to baking, there are a lot of different tools that you can use to help you achieve the perfect bake. Two of these tools are cooling racks and baking racks. Both of these tools serve a purpose, but they can also be used interchangeably depending on what you need.

And if you are interested in a ‘baking rack vs cooling rack’ comparison, here is a breakdown of the differences between cooling racks and baking racks and when you should use each one.

Baking rack vs Cooling rack

Baking racks are used to cook food in an oven while cooling racks cannot be used in an oven. Baking racks can tolerate up to 600 degrees Fahrenheit while cooling racks can resist up to 300-500 degrees Fahrenheit. Baking racks have a coating of stainless steel which is far more durable than the iron chrome coating of cooling racks.

Type of rackTemperatureCompositionCoatingNon-stick CoatingOven safe
Baking rack550-600Stainless steelN/ANoYes
Cooling rack300-500Iron/ AluminumChromeYesNo
Table 1. Baking rack vs cooling rack. A comparison of features.

What are cooling racks and why are they important?

A cooling rack is a metal grate that is used to cool baked goods. It is important to use a cooling rack because it allows air to circulate around the food, which prevents it from getting soggy. Cooling racks are also useful for drying wet dishes and for cooling hot foods before serving them.

The difference between a cooling rack and a baking rack

A cooling rack is a metal rack with legs that is used to cool baked goods. A baking rack is also a metal rack with legs, but it is used to bake goods. In addition to the abovementioned differences, a cooling rack has wire mesh, while a baking rack does not.

Wire mesh allows air to circulate around the food on a cooling rack, which helps to cool the food more quickly. Baking racks do not have wire mesh, so they are best for foods that do not need to be cooled quickly or for foods that will be cut or frosted after they are baked.

What are baking racks and why are they important?

Baking racks are often considered the same as cooling racks, but they are not. Backing racks are specialized racks that can resist high temperatures and are meant to cook food inside an oven.

Baking racks are used in the oven to cook food at a temperature lower than it would be if the food was placed directly on a baking sheet.

Baking racks are typically made of metal and have a flat surface with spaces between each bar so that air can circulate around the food being baked.

Under what circumstances a cooling rack and baking rack should not be used interchangeably?

When it comes to baking and cooling racks, there are certain instances where one cannot be used in place of the other. For example, a cooling rack is not meant to withstand high heat, so using it in the oven is not advised.

Additionally, a cooling rack typically has wider spacing between the wires than a baking rack, meaning that smaller items could fall through. Finally, cooling racks are not always flat – some are curved in order to better accommodate cakes or other desserts.

Can you bake chicken on a cooling rack?

Technically yes, but it’s not recommended. Cooling racks are not designed to withstand high temperatures, so they may warp or melt if placed in a hot oven. Additionally, the wire mesh of a cooling rack is much finer than that of a baking rack, so chicken skin is more likely to stick and tear when cooked on a cooling rack.

What can I use instead of a baking rack?

Here are some easy-to-find items that can be used if baking racks are not available at the time of baking:

  1. Oven grates: Oven grates make great substitutes for baking racks. Simply place them on top of your baking sheet and you’re good to go!
  2. Wire cooling racks: Wire cooling racks can also be used as makeshift baking racks. Just make sure to put them on top of a Silpat or parchment paper to prevent sticking.
  3. Cake stands: Cake stands make great substitutes for baking racks when making cakes or cupcakes. Simply place your cake or cupcakes on the stand and let them cool completely before frosting or serving.

Why does my cake stick to the cooling rack?

When cakes are baked, they produce steam which can make the bottom of the cake sticky. If this steam is not allowed to escape, it will condense on the surface of the cake and cause it to stick to the cooling rack.

To avoid this, allow your cake to cool for a few minutes before placing it on a cooling rack. This will give the steam time to escape and prevent your cake from sticking.

Do you put parchment paper on a cooling rack?

Parchment paper is only necessary if you’re trying to avoid having your food stick to the cooling rack. If that’s not a concern, then feel free to skip the parchment paper!

Do you need a cooling rack for cupcakes?

If you want your cupcakes to have a perfectly flat top, then you will need to use a cooling rack. The cooling rack will help the heat escape evenly from the top of the cupcake, resulting in a flatter top.

However, if you don’t mind a slightly domed cupcake, then you can get away with not using a cooling rack.


So, how would you describe ‘baking rack vs cooling rack’? A cooling rack is a metal rack with legs that is used to cool baked goods, like cookies and cakes. A baking rack is a metal or wire rack that is used to bake things on, like chicken or potatoes. Cooling racks are typically larger than baking racks.

It is important to know that you cannot use a cooling rack inside an oven as cooling racks can’t resist the high temperatures inside an oven.


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