Cooling racks are affordable and easy to use, making them an essential kitchen tool for every home cook. The best cooling racks are made from sturdy stainless steel or aluminum, and have a secure design that creates airflow and prevents food from falling through.
There are two main types of cooling racks: those that are oven-safe and those that are not. Cooling racks that aren't oven-safe work great for people who love to bake, because baked goods only need to go on a cooling rack once they're out of the oven. Cooling racks that are not oven-safe also can have a convenient nonstick coating to keep particularly gooey baked goods from sticking to that rack, a feature that's missing from most oven-proof racks, as the coating can melt at high temperatures.
Cooling racks designed for countertop use come in a variety of shapes and sizes. If you plan on using your cooling rack to make crispy meat or vegetables in your oven, you'll need an oven-safe cooling rack, which sits directly on your baking sheet. Stainless steel and aluminum are the best materials for oven-safe racks, as they are both durable and can usually handle high temperatures. If you plan to make smaller items like french fries or tiny cookies, you'll want to choose a baking rack with a grid design, rather than just parallel beams, to prevent your food from falling through.
The other benefit of oven-safe cooling racks is that they can also be used to cool baked goods on the countertop, so they're especially versatile and good for people who don't have space to store multiple types of racks. While you'll find both oven-safe and countertop cooling racks that can go in the dishwasher, it's best to always check the brand's specific care instructions when buying a new one.
If you're ready to start making crispy cookies, oven-fried chicken, and so much more, check out this list of the best cooling racks.
1. A Versatile 2-Piece Cooling Rack Set
- Oven-safe: yes
- Material: stainless steel
- Dimensions: 10 x 8 x 0.75 inches
This versatile and oven-safe cooling rack set is made from stainless steel, and can withstand temperatures up to 575 degrees Fahrenheit. The 10-by- 8-inch design fits comfortably into standard toaster ovens, or both cooling racks can be set side by side on a half-size baking sheet for your oven. This cooling rack elevates food 3/4 of an inch, and the 1/2-inch grid pattern prevents even small items like cauliflower florets from slipping through. It can also be put in the dishwasher for easy cleaning.
One fan raved: “I love these cooling racks! I've had other thinner racks that just don't last well and get warped easily. Each spindle is thicker so they don't bend and warp when washing or using. I actually use these racks for baking food on rather than cooling food on. When I bake chicken/meat with some type of breaded coating I use these so the bottoms do not get soggy. These make make the bottoms are crispy just like the tops. Two of these rack fit perfectly on a standard cookie sheet. These are a great price and product. So happy I found these!”
2. This Space-Saving Cooling Rack That's Perfect For Smaller Kitchens
- Oven-safe: no
- Materials: steel with nonstick coating
- Dimensions: 15.9 by 9.9 inches per tier
Whether you're making a layered cake or enough cookies for a bake sale, this three-tiered cooling rack is a great way to cool a lot of baked goods and save countertop and storage space. Crafted from steel with a nonstick coating, it has three tiers, each measuring 15.9 by 9.9 inches, and it can be unlocked and collapsed for easy storage. This cooling rack is also an Amazon fan favorite with over 5,000 five-star reviews. It has a parallel bar design that's perfect for cakes, pies, and most baked goods. It also comes with a limited 10-year warranty, and while it's dishwasher-friendly, it is not oven-safe.
One fan raved: "I have limited counter space living in a NYC apartment and these are really helpful. I have not had issues with flimsiness described in other reviews. They're not super strong, if I wanted to bend them I probably could, but if you don't beat them up they're fine. I keep them stored in the original box, it takes some finagling to remember which way to stack them so they fit properly in the box but other than that they're good and do their job."
3. A Stainless Steel Cooling Rack That Comes With A Sheet Pan
- Oven-safe: yes
- Material: aluminum and stainless steel
- Dimensions: 17.95 x 1 x 13 inches
If you're also looking to add a great all-around baking sheet to your kitchen, look no further than this baking sheet and cooling rack set. The tray and rack fit perfectly together, and the sheet measures roughly 13 by 18 inches, which is the standard half-sheet size. The rack is made from stainless steel, so it is oven-safe and dishwasher-safe, and the baking sheet is made from aluminum for great heat connectivity. Note that the pan should be hand-washed, as running it through the dishwasher could cause corrosion over time. But both pieces are oven-safe.
One fan raved: “I ordered this pan strictly for baking bacon in it. I line the pan with aluminum foil and then cook bacon at 400 degrees from 18 to 25 mins depending on the type of bacon and such. It just melts in your mouth. The pan is so easy to clean. I put the grated part in the dishwasher and I hand wash the bigger part. Both parts can go in the dishwasher, but this is what works for me. It comes out clean every time. I have found myself using this pan for everything. When I bake I make the cookies or muffins on the pan and let cool on the grated part. Chicken, anything you are looking to bake and let the drippings fall works great on this pan. I am so glad that I purchased it.”
4. This Unique 2-in-1 Cooling Rack That You Can Also Use For Baking
- Oven-safe: yes
- Material: aluminum with oven-safe nonstick coating
- Dimensions: 13-1/2” x 16-5/8”
An innovative design from Silpat, this sheet has a perforated bottom, so it works as both a baking sheet and cooling rack. You can put this baking sheet in the oven for crispy cooking, or flip it over and use it as a cooling rack on your countertop. It is also made from aluminum with nonstick coating, and it's dishwasher-safe. It's designed to be used with a silicone baking mat, such as this nonstick Silpat mat, which makes clean up a breeze.
One fan raved: “Super expensive for a baking tray, but my god, it’s amazing. [...] I use this tray for baking bread, then I flip it over and let it cool on the same tray. So much easier than getting the wire rack and a separate tray. Only quibble is that this baking tray is expensive. But I guess the perforated design is new and hopefully will be more resistant to warping, and the quality of the metal feels pretty good."
5. A Round Cooling Rack That Doubles As A Serving Platter
- Oven-safe: no
- Material: copper-plated steel
- Dimensions: 13-inch diameter
This sleek round cooling rack is perfect for bundt cakes, pies, pizzas, and more. The steel frame is copper-plated, so it looks great as part of a table-scape, and it has a grid design, so you don't have to worry about any food falling through. It is not oven- or dishwasher-safe, but it can be hand-washed or wiped down for easy maintenance.
One fan raved: “Very sturdy, heavyweight and large enough for a 12” pizza. The feet are just a bit taller than a lot of less expensive ones for more efficient cooling. Plus, it’s gorgeous to boot.”