Best Tools for Baking: Grid-Patterned Cooling Racks

A cooling rack is not a glamorous thing, by any means. But I’ve had reason to thank my lucky stars for these grid-patterned wire cooling racks again and again. They’re worth their weight in gold.I used the same two thrift-store wire cooling racks for years. These were the kind with rows of evenly-spaced parallel wires, and I was constantly frustrated with them. Delicate cakes would sag between the rows. Fresh-baked breads would end up with creases in the bottom. Cookies being shuffled from baking sheet to cooling rack would slip through the spaces and break.

Enter the grid-patterned baking sheet. The wires are woven together fairly tightly, allowing air to flow through but also supporting delicate baked goods. Breads are crease-free. Cookies don’t slip through. They’re just awesome. The first time I used them, I think I heard angels singing.

Many companies make a similar style of baking rack. Mine are basic chrome-plated racks that I picked up at a restaurant supply store. I’ve also seen ones with non-stick coating and am thinking of picking one up for this year’s holiday baking-a-thon:

Chrome Plate Steel Wire Cooling Rack, $13 from Amazon
Goldtouch Nonstick Cooling Rack, $13 from Williams-Sonoma
Nonstick Cooling Racks, $5 - $13 from Sur la Table

Do you like these cooling racks, too? Or do you have another style you prefer?

Related: Five Essential Baking Tools: Pans

(Image: Emma Christensen)

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