Wire Racks for Baking
A wire baking rack is a rack made of closely spaced wires, usually arranged in a grid-like pattern. Wire backing racks are designed to sit on a flat surface like a counter top or table. A wire baking rack has small wire feet that elevate the flat rack slightly above the surface that it is placed on.
Function: 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 are allowed to cool evenly because the steam and heat are able to escape from all areas of the item, unlike when items are left to cool in the pan they were baked in.
Significance: When baked items are left to cool inside the pan they were baked in, they tend to become soggy since the steam can't readily escape from all areas of the item. When the steam can't escape, the moisture is absorbed into the baked item. Cooling racks also save a baker time as they help to speed up the cooling process. The quicker cookies and cakes are cooled, the quicker they can be frosted.
Expert Insight: When using a cooling rack, place wax or parchment paper on the rack before placing your baked goods on it. This will help to prevent the baked goods from sticking to the rack and will offer additional support for delicate baked items.
Types: Most wire baking racks are rectangular in shape but round baking racks are available. While traditional baking racks are made of metal, racks made of wood or other heat resistant materials like chrome plated steel can be purchased from specialty baking stores. When shopping for a wire cooling rack, be sure to choose one that is labeled nonstick. While most cooling racks are single tiered, multi-tiered or stack-able racks are also available.