Centrihome.com is fully supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our website, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

Baking Rack vs Cooling Rack: What You Need To Know

Are you a baking enthusiast who is confused about what to use between the baking rack and the cooling rack? This might be because of the racks’ physical appearance and ability to perform the same functions.

Luckily, this article will highlight the differences between a baking and a cooling rack. Similarly, you will find out why many chefs prefer having more baking racks to cooling racks. This will, in turn, help you make an easy verdict on what rack to use at any given time.

What are Baking Racks?

These are wired trays for placing pastries or vegetables for easy baking in the oven. Many baking racks are made from stainless steel and aluminum, which are highly resistant to heat, prevent rust buildup, and for easy cleaning. The stainless steel racks are the most preferred as they are heavy-duty compared to aluminum ones which get scratched easily.

The primary purpose of baking racks is to raise the food to allow enough air circulation to prevent dampness. On the other hand, a baking rack can also function as a cooling rack in case you have an extra pair. This is because the baking rack from the oven is already hot and will continue cooking the food.

What Are Cooling Racks?

Cooling racks are handy after you are baking your favorite foods. It would help to raise the racks slightly above to allow quick cooling of the baked foodstuffs. Additionally, the racks must have close-fitting wires to prevent moisture buildup on the bottom of the baked goods to enable free air circulation.

Many cooling racks are constructed from iron, stainless steel, and aluminum, while others come coated with non-stick materials. While the coated non-stick cooling racks are easy to clean, they wear out over time due to extreme oven heat.

Can a cooling rack be used in place of a baking rack? Yes, although you must check whether the cooling rack is oven-safe. For instance, the non-stick cooling racks do not fit in the oven as they tend to wrap up when exposed to high temperatures.

Pros of Baking Racks Vs. Cooling Racks

Shopping for either baking racks or cooling racks tends to confuse any customer. This is because the racks might look similar and deceptive. Therefore, it is good that you get equipped with factors that will help you in the selection as outlined below.

Material Construction

Most baking racks feature heavy-duty rust-free stainless steel construction, which is more long-lasting than light iron cooling racks. Besides, aluminum racks are also gaining recognition credit for their excellent high heat tolerance rate hence bringing better outcomes when cooled.

Many manufacturers are developing solid stainless steel cooling racks to couple up for baking purposes to counter the above narrative.

Multipurpose usage

As discussed above on the material construction, baking or cooling racks are nowadays made to serve the same purpose. Many baking and cooking racks are from stainless steel, thanks to their sturdy and high-temperature resistance nature.


Most baking and cooling racks are circular or rectangular shaped. The baking racks may come in a single tray or multiple trays for easy food sorting. Additionally, the various tiers in cooling racks help to cool more food and save on the work surface space.

What’s more, some baking racks feature a tubing or hollow construction to give you variety when making different shapes of pastries.

Lastly, before purchasing any cooking rack, determine if the size or shape can fit nicely into your oven. This can also be helpful when it comes to minimizing storage space. Moreover, you can opt for stackable or collapsible racks for increased convenience.


One thing you should keep in mind when looking for bakery items is quality. A quick search from the shops will show that most baking racks are more highly priced than the cooling racks. Nevertheless, you won’t regret bagging a high-quality item that will serve you for a long time.

Cons of Baking Racks

Whereas baking racks seem to gain more prevalence, they still have downsides that should not be overlooked.

Material Construction

Although baking racks are supposed to be durable, rust-resistant, and easy to clean, they need proper care to bring out their effectiveness.

The main advantage of all baking racks is that they are safe to be put in the dishwasher. In contrast, some chrome-coated and non-stick cooling racks are not dishwasher safe, as they will rust in the long run.


You should pay strict attention when cleaning the tubed or hollow-shaped baking racks, no matter how tightly sealed they look. This is because they will, in time, develop cracks which will lead to dirt buildup, making them unsanitary for use.

When it comes to cooling, you should use a baking rack that is rectangular or circular shaped to achieve more surface area.

Multipurpose usage

Although the baking racks can serve as cooling racks, you can’t just use the same rack from the oven for cooling food. This means you must have multiple baking racks to achieve multipurpose functionality.

Baking racks or cooling racks which one to choose?

As a professional chef, or home cook baker, you might still wonder what to use; baking racks vs cooling racks? No need to worry; as highlighted in this article, you can use either rack. Most importantly, the type of material, shape, functionality, and cost should stand out before you purchase the racks. What matters most is you choose baking or cooling racks that satisfy your needs.

Generally, the wires that make up the tiers of the racks should be firm, non-flexible, and thick to offer maximum support for delicate foods. Moreover, the wires should be closed to prevent small food items from slipping through.

Notably, a cooling rack or baking rack doesn’t need to be interchangeable. Cooling racks can be put in the oven only if made with heat-resistant material. Likewise, the durable make of the baking rack makes it easy to cool your baked delicacies. Therefore, you must choose which baking or cooling rack to use before using the oven.