Baking Rack Vs Cooling Rack: Which Is The Ultimate Choice?

Last Updated on May 19, 2023 by River Tree Farms

If you fit a rack in a baking oven, it is essential to differentiate between a baking rack and a cooling rack. You have to understand how each works.

Here are the things to scrutinize:

  • Are Cooling Racks And Baking Racks The Same?
  • Baking rack vs cooling rack – What’s the Difference?
  • Can each be used in place of another?
  • What alternatives can be used in place of the two?

Let’s dive into the article to distinguish between the cooling vs baking rack.

Quick Comparision Between Baking Rack And Cooling Rack

FeatureBaking RackCooling Rack
PurposeTo support and elevate baked goods during the baking process.To allow baked goods to cool down and prevent them from becoming soggy.
MaterialUsually made of stainless steel or aluminum.Usually made of stainless steel or wire mesh.
DesignOften has a flat surface with raised edges to prevent baked goods from sliding off.Often has a wire mesh design to allow air to circulate around baked goods.
SizeTypically larger than cooling racks to accommodate multiple baked goods at once.Typically smaller than baking racks to allow for proper cooling and space between baked goods.
Heat ResistanceIt can withstand high temperatures during the baking process.Not designed to withstand high temperatures.
CleaningEasy to clean and can be dishwasher safe.Easy to clean and can be dishwasher safe.
PriceBaking racks can vary in price but are typically more expensive than cooling racks.Cooling racks are typically less expensive than baking racks.
VersatilityIt can be used for other kitchen tasks, such as roasting vegetables or meat.Limited to cooling baked goods

What Is A Baking Rack?

Baking Rack

When baking, you place the pastries on the Baking rack than in the oven. An oven using a baking rack is easier and quicker to use when baking. It comprises stainless steel wires to place your pan, baking sheet, or food on top.

The spaced thin wires ensure uniform circulation of the hot air during cooking. This guarantees that the dishes are uniformly cooked. The rack must not deform or warp during baking at high temperatures in the oven.

What Is A Cooling Rack?

Cooling Rack

A piece of kitchen equipment is used to place baked foods onto their surface to enable food to cool on each side after the baking. The hot food is removed from the baking sheet or pan and placed on a cooling rack.

A cooling rack is constructed using stainless steel wires that are closely spaced to allow enough air to go through it while still supporting the food, not falling or becoming soggy due to excess moisture.

They are built with a minimum of one-inch clearance from the surface. Cooling racks can come in multiple stacks and shapes, round, oval, rectangular, and square. Baking racks can also be used as a substitute for cooling racks. 

Cooling racks are excellent for cooling baked products and dicing fruits or hard-boiled eggs. It can be modified to substitute baking racks.  

Are Cooling Racks And Baking Racks The Same?

Cooling racks allow airflow to the bakes for cooling and allow moisture to escape. Although you can use the equipment for baking, it serves well if left for cooling, removing from the baking pan, and drying your bakes.

Unless a cooling rack is constructed with a suitable material, it cannot serve as a baking rack. Cooling racks made of coated cast iron, mild steel, aluminum, and non-stick are not ideal for baking.  

Baking racks are highly heat resistant. They are made of stainless steel or aluminum, safe to use in a hot oven. Stainless steel is the most common as it does not flake or rust. A baking rack can serve the same purpose as a cooling rack.

Baking rack vs cooling rack – What’s the Difference?


A cooling rack may not work for baking because of several reasons.

A cooling rack is not designed for baking. As the name suggests, it is specifically designed for cooling. People try to abuse a cooling rack by using it for baking food.

If the cooling rack is made of material that can withstand heat, like stainless steel, and has a coating, it will not work well in high temperatures. It is essential to check to prevent your food from getting ruined or destroying your expensive oven.


The coating is also the main issue, as some cooling racks are specifically coated to cool food. High temperatures in the oven destroy the layer. You must check the cooling rack coating before subjecting it to the oven’s high temperatures.

If the cooling rack is made of stainless steel, it is safe to use in an oven.

Preparation Time for Baking

The cooling rack requires time to prepare, while a baking rack just inserts it in the oven. In a cooling rack, you have to ensure that the surface is clean to avoid anything from sticking to it.

Can A Cooling Rack Be Used As A Baking Rack?

If the cooling rack is made of suitable materials, you can comfortably use it. High-quality standards should be adhered to during the making and purchase of the cooling rack if it is to be used as a baking rack.

The selection of a cooling rack for use as a baking rack depends on whether the material can withstand high temperatures. The cooling rack has to be multipurpose as per the manufacturer’s instructions.  

Can A Baking Rack Be Used As A Cooling Rack?

A baking rack is made of high-quality stainless steel. The oven rack is where the baking pans are placed during baking. You can choose multiple or single tires depending on your budget and availability.

They come in different sizes depending on the oven. They can also be used as a cooling rack if you have an extra one during baking. The bakes only need to be transferred to a frame placed on the kitchen top to cool and then bakes to set.

What Can I Use Instead Of A Cooling Rack?

After a hard day’s work, you and your children do not want to come home and find an empty cookie jar. You do not have a cooling rack and do not know what to do. Worry no more, as they are several alternatives right where you are

  • Baking rack if there is an extra
  • Roasting grill covered with parchment
  • Pizza stone
  • Chopping board
  • Brown paper or paper towel  on top of your countertop
  • Wire rack

What Can I Use Instead Of A Baking Rack?

Baking rack substitutes are not many compared to the cooling rack. The other options must be oven safe to withstand the baking oven’s high temperatures of 287.7 degrees.

But there are several substitutes you can consider;

  • Cooling racks that are oven safe.
  • Racks in the microwave.
  • Cooking stove grills – cover with aluminum foil and poke holes to drip the juices during cooking.
  • Small baking dish: you can use four small containers to hold the food during baking, especially during grilling steak.


Baking racks vs cooling racks, there are several factors to consider;

Don’t confuse the utensil with a cooling rack when purchasing a suitable baking rack. It’s a common mistake beginner make. They cannot act as a substitute for each other. 

If the construction material is not heat resistant, a cooling rack cannot act as a baking rack. A Cooling rack cannot withstand high temperatures if coated with a non-stick material. It will contaminate the food when the coating peels off.

An extra baking rack will function as a substitute for a cooling rack. You only have to ensure that it is at room temperature when placing your bakes then you are good to go.

It would be best if you never failed to enjoy your baking experiences as there several suitable alternatives to these two essential oven appliances. Enjoy your rare baking experience!