If you want to produce high-quality baked goods, you'll need a wire baking rack. Using a baking rack to cool your goodies will help in making items that look and taste perfect. A baking rack is part of every baker's toolbox and is essential if you need to bake in bulk or bake items that need to be packaged soon after they're baked.
Back to Basics
A wire baking rack is made up of closely spaced wires, usually arranged in a grid pattern. Wire baking racks are designed to sit on a flat surface like a countertop or table. A wire baking rack has small wire feet that elevate the flat rack slightly above the surface it is placed on.
How They Work
Wire baking racks are also called cooling racks because they are designed to help baked goods cool quickly and evenly. When freshly baked items are placed on a cooling rack, the items can cool evenly because the steam and heat are able to escape from all surfaces of the item, unlike when items are left to cool in the pan they were baked in.
Why It's Important
When baked items are left to cool inside the pan they were baked in, they tend to become soggy because the steam can't readily escape from all surfaces of the item. When the steam can't escape, the moisture is absorbed into the baked item. Cooling racks also help speed up the cooling process. The faster cookies and cakes cool, the sooner you can frost them.
A rack that has parallel wires only works well for larger items, such as cakes or muffins. If you cook smaller items, like cookies, racks with a square pattern support the edges better, especially cookies you've cut out in intricate patterns. Buy several racks so you can easily bake several batches of cookies, cakes or cupcakes without running out of room.
Wire Rack Types
Most wire baking racks are rectangular, but you can also find round ones. While traditional baking racks are made of metal, racks made of wood or other heat-resistant materials, like chrome-plated steel, can be found at specialty baking stores. When shopping for a wire cooling rack, choose one that is labeled nonstick. While most cooling racks are single tiered, you can also find multitiered racks.