The Baking Sheet and Cooling Rack Combo That Actually Fits Perfectly Together

updated May 5, 2021
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Credit: Joe Lingeman

There are certain things in life that are just better together — and a baking sheet and cooling rack are two of those things. Together, the combo is ideal for cooling cookies or loaves of bread, draining foods post-deep frying, and making extra-crispy oven-cooked bacon and the best baked chicken wings.

Annoyingly, not all baking sheets and cooling racks work well together. Some cooling racks are too big or small, leading to an unstable surface or an un-maximized amount of space (neither of which are ideal! ). Lucky for you, I have the best baking sheet-cooling rack pair — one that fits perfectly together and is super-durable, so it’ll be with you for years.

Let’s start with the baking sheet: the Nordic Ware Natural Aluminum Baker’s Half-Sheet. Without a doubt, this is my favorite baking sheet. (And that’s saying a lot, considering I’m a professional gear tester!) It’s totally warp-resistant (none of that popping sound you’re used to hearing when a baking sheet’s in the oven, which creates an uneven surface), heats evenly, and browns food beautifully. It also has substantial walls that are easy to grip onto, even with oven mitts on. I use mine nearly every day, whether I’m doing prep work, baking, roasting, grilling, or cooling.

As for a cooling rack, the Nordic Ware’s perfect match is this one by Checkered Chef. This wire rack fits like a dream in the sheet pan, with no wobbling or sliding around. It has four feet for stabilization and its grid pattern ensures great airflow and enough support for small and/or fragile cookies. And its durable stainless steel construction means that it’s dishwasher-safe and rust-resistant. In fact, in the couple of years I’ve had mine, there’s not a speck of rust on them. (Some discoloring, yes, but no rust!)

Credit: Riddley Gemperlein-Schirm
A perfect match.

I’m also a huge fan of Nordic Ware’s quarter sheet pans — and, yes, Checkered Chef makes quarter-sheet cooling racks that fit those, too! So, go ahead, buy ’em. Your cookies, cakes, bacon, and breads will thank you.

Do you have a favorite cooling rack? Tell us about it in the comments!