The best cooling racks for bakers
Perfect oven-fresh baking recipes with a sturdy, easy-to-clean cooling rack. These handy, inexpensive metal shelves are essential for cooling biscuits and avoiding soggy bottoms on bakes.
It may not be the most exciting piece of equipment you ever buy, but a cooling rack is an essential for every kitchen. A good baker knows that the job isn’t finished when trays are pulled from the oven.
To finish bread, cakes, cookies and meringues off perfectly it’s essential to allow steam to escape and encourage air to circulate around soggy bottoms. A cooling rack will allow you apply finishing touches more quickly, ensuring cakes don’t sit in pools of excess icing.
Read on to discover the best cooling racks, tried and tested by our expert reviewer. To read more unbiased buyer’s guides, visit our reviews section and find guides to everything from baking equipment to stand mixers.
The best cooling racks to buy 2023
ProCook stainless steel cooling rack
Best cooling rack for sturdiness
This cooling rack from ProCook measured a generous 40 x 25.5cm – the perfect size for a baking sheet of meringue for a roulade or a pan’s worth of muffins. The stainless steel stayed bright and easy to clean and we rated this rack highly for its weighty, heavy-gauge material. There were a couple of rough patches on the joins, but these were on the underside and didn’t affect the rack’s non-stick capabilities.
Wilko cooling rack
Best budget cooling rack
This 32 x 24cm bargain buy is one part of a whole bakeware range from Wilko, designed to fit neatly together when being stored. The cooling rack is the perfect size to nest inside the line’s large oven tray and since both are suitable for use up to 230C, we tried it out when slow roasting belly pork as well as after our usual baking tests. Verdict? Not as effortless to clean as some we tried, but does the job perfectly well for next-to-no dough.
Lakeland rectangular foldable cooling rack
Best cooling rack for easy storage
We all have one of those kitchen equipment cupboards of doom, where even flat baking sheets and cooling racks seem to take up a load of space. Get more organised with this choice from Lakeland. Once its three sections are folded out, it gives a generous 45 x 32cm area. There are supports on each section so it’s easy to tailor it to your size requirements by folding out one, two, or three rectangles of cooling space.
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Tala 3-tier non-stick cooling rack
Best cooling rack for space saving
You can stack up three times the goodies on this trio of 40 x 25cm racks. Each individual tray has foldable legs, allowing an 8cm or 3cm gap between them as they’re placed securely on top of each other. It was great being able to cool two large layers of sponge and a trayful of cookies without taking up every inch of worktop space and the bars’ non-stick properties got the thumbs up too.
IKEA LÄTTBAKAD cooling rack
Best cooling rack for multiple bakes
This wide rack measures 39 x 27cm and features fold-out legs for elevation and better air cooling. Stack them high – at only £4 each they’re a great buy, and with a generous gap of 9cm between racks, there’s plenty of room to slide items in and out. The stainless steel proved non-stick too, although the bars did score our cake and cookie bases when cooling.
Nordic Ware large copper cooling grid
Best for fancy looks
You’ve got the deluxe mixer; you only bake with the best ingredients; now to splash out on the Insta-worthy basics you need to perfect those recipes. This Nordic Ware cooling grid is the most expensive we chose but certainly looks the business, with its copper construction making it a big step up from a cheap supermarket buy. The down-side is this one’s not dishwasher-friendly, but if you want every bake to be the ‘best in show’, this is just the place to cool it off.
Tala non-stick circular cooling tray
Best cooling rack for bundt cakes
As it folds in half, this handy 26cm cooling rack took up hardly any storage space and was perfect for use with a little Kugelhopf pan for our favourite bundt cake recipes. Even a torrent of sticky honey and thick icing were simple to remove afterwards, with it being chrome-plated and extremely easy to clean. This one’s suitable for oven use too, and we used it in a cast iron skillet to crisp up duck breasts.
Judge Wireware 29cm round cooling rack
Best for versatility
We like Judge’s range of solid bakeware; this cooling rack used such a good grade of materials it was more oven tray-quality than a wobbly wire rack. It figures this can be used as a steady trivet for hot dishes and baking at high temperatures too – our frozen pizza was nicely crisped, placing this on a baking sheet.
How we tested cooling racks
We took a selection of widely-available cooling racks and put them to the test, looking for non-stick properties, robustness and ease of storage. Would rock buns feel rock solid on a tiered tray? Was there enough height to the rack to give our crisp meringues the necessary air circulation? We looked for non-stick racks that released food easily without leaving half a precious bake behind. And when it came to the clean-up, would our selection look good as new with just a quick scrub or a dishwasher cycle?
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Put your cooling tray to good use with one of our delicious baking recipes.