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.