Can you put a cooling rack in the oven? (+3 things to consider)

In this article, we will answer the question “Can you put a cooling rack in the oven?”, and what are some foods you can prepare with a cooling rack?

Can you put a cooling rack in the oven?

Yes, you can put a cooling rack in the oven. But not all of them are intended for oven use. Do not make guesses, instead, look for the label and make sure It says ‘Oven-safe’ before using a cooling rack in the oven. If you cannot find the label or insert, there are other ways to tell If the cooling rack is oven-safe or not.

If your cooling rack has a coat of polytetrafluoroethylene, It should never go near the oven. Polytetrafluoroethylene or PTFE is frequently used in nonstick kitchenware due to its non-stick properties. 

A common example of PTFE-based products is Teflon. Anything that is coated with Teflon is just not meant to be used in the oven. Teflon, when subjected to high temperatures, warps, and melts and makes your food unsafe for consumption If It leeches into it.

What is a cooling rack?

The cooling rack is probably the hottest kitchen device. It can serve multiple purposes other than just cooling off your piping hot baked products right out of the oven. All the functions of the cooling rack shall be discussed in the article below. 

One of the most common roles of a cooling rack is to promote air-circulation across the baked goodies to prevent condensation and consequently sogginess. This is the reason why you get crispy crust in your cookies and bread.

Wood-based cooling racks are often used by bread bakers. Metal-based cooling racks are strong and do not easily warp. Lately, cooling racks coated with chrome and other substances are becoming the talk of the town. 

Because It prevents the baked goods from sticking to the surface of the rack. A cooling rack consists of a criss-cross arrangement of metal wires and can either be square, circular or rectangular in shape.

Foods you can prepare with cooling racks 

Smoke your favorite meat

Meats like beef and salmon etc can be easily smoked using a cooling rack. You do not have to invest in fancy equipment for this purpose. 

The space between the criss-cross structure of the rack promotes circulation which is what’s needed for smoking.

Grilled meat

The criss-cross arrangement of metal wires of the cooling rack is what makes It perfect to grill any type of meat including beef or salmon. 

The wire is what gives the meat the charred grill marks. Grilling break down the protein and the end product is packed with a variety of new flavors.

Oven-dry your fruits and vegetables 

You can literally dry any type of fruit or vegetable using a cooling rack that is oven-safe. Drying concentrates the flavors and the end product is a very gummy or chewy, rather thin and flavorful product. Instead of buying dried fruits or vegetables from the market, make yours at home.

For better basting 

When roasting thighs or steaks, place a tray with the vegetables and beans beneath the cooling rack to soak up the flavorful drippings. Unlike the traditional roasting racks, cooling racks are less than an inch higher than the pan. 

Therefore, the drippings will fall right at the cannellini beans and greens or sliced zucchini and eggplants placed beneath the cooling rack.

To make your baked foods crispier

This is a very useful hack If you want to make your baked food more crispy. The air that passes through the perforations ensures the crust becomes evenly crispy. This is a must-try hack with tempura fish and bale buttermilk chicken.

Things to keep in mind when buying a cooling rack

  1. Never buy non-stick cooling racks. They are not oven or broiler safe. As discussed above, the coating will melt and will create a mess.
  1. The size of the cooling rack should be in consideration of the size of the baking tray so that you do not end up with sticky, stubborn, and burn-prone food drippings in your oven.
  1. Go for the cooling rack that has a grid. Do not settle for the oven with just parallel lines. The criss-cross structure provides better support and ensures that your food doesn’t slide past the gauze.

Conclusion

In this article, we answered the question “Can you put a cooling rack in the oven?”, and what are some foods you can prepare with a cooling rack?

References

https://www.bonappetit.com/story/cooling-rack-crispy-foods
https://www.cookinglight.com/cooking-101/techniques/surprising-use-for-your-cooling-rack
https://www.epicurious.com/expert-advice/tips-how-to-use-a-cooling-rack-to-cook-in-an-oven-article
https://www.ultracuisine.com/blogs/news/can-a-cooling-rack-be-used-in-the-oven

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Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.

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