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    Can Cooling Racks Go in the Oven? What To Know

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    Beyond just cooling baked goods, cooling racks can play a versatile role in your cooking repertoire. But can these trusty kitchen helpers handle the heat of the oven?

    In this guide, we'll explore the adaptability of cooling racks, especially when it comes to oven usage, and introduce you to options that safely enhance your baking and cooking processes.

    What Is a Cooling Rack?

    A cooling rack is a wire rack designed to allow air to circulate around freshly baked goods, helping them cool down evenly and maintain a perfect texture. Traditionally placed on countertops or over baking sheets, these racks are essential for preventing steam from making treats like cookies and cakes soggy as they cool.

    Here's how cooling racks are commonly used:

    • Cooling Baked Goods: The primary use is cooling cookies and other baked goods, which helps them cool down without becoming moist from trapped heat.

    • Glazing or Decorating: Cooling racks provide an ideal setup for drizzling glazes on cakes or doughnuts, allowing excess to drip off without making a mess.

    • Drying or Draining: Cooling racks are useful for items dipped in chocolate or to drain fried foods while keeping them crispy.

    • Elevating Meats: They can also be used under meats to raise them off a pan, allowing air to circulate for even cooking and crisping.

    Large Baking Sheet - Body - Iconics - Lifestyle

    So, Can Cooling Racks Go in the Oven?

    Moving from cooling to cooking, it's natural to wonder if your cooling rack can take on the heat of the oven. Whether a cooling rack is oven-safe primarily hinges on the material from which it's made and its construction quality.

    Many cooling racks are designed to withstand oven temperatures, but always check the manufacturer's guidelines before using one for baking, roasting, or broiling. An oven-safe cooling rack can significantly expand your culinary capabilities, allowing you to employ it for a wide range of tasks beyond just cooling.

    What Materials Are Safe for Oven-Use Cooling Racks?

    Choosing the right material for an oven-safe cooling rack is crucial for both safety and functionality:

    Stainless Steel

    This is a top choice for its ability to handle high oven temperatures without warping or releasing harmful substances. It's durable and maintains its integrity even under frequent use.

    Caraway's Stainless Steel Cooling Rack exemplifies this and is designed to safely endure oven use while complementing our large baking sheets. This ensures you can seamlessly transition from oven roasting to cooling without concern.


    While chrome is a common material for cooling racks, it's not always ideal for high-temperature use. Chrome can tolerate moderate heat, but excessive temperatures may cause it to warp or release fumes, making it less reliable for oven use.

    Coated Racks

    Coated racks offer non-stick benefits, but it's essential that the coating is certified safe for high temperatures. Avoid coatings containing PTFE, PFOA, or PFAS, as they can release harmful fumes when overheated. Always adhere to the manufacturer's guidelines for temperature limits to ensure the coating does not compromise your food's safety or the rack's structure.

    Large Baking Sheet - Body - Cream - Lifestyle

    How Do I Check if My Cooling Rack Is Oven-Safe?

    Determining whether your cooling rack can handle the oven involves a few straightforward steps. Ensuring your rack is oven-safe not only expands your cooking options but also safeguards your kitchen routine.

    Here's how to confirm the oven-readiness of your cooling rack:

    Check the Manufacturer's Guidelines

    The first and most reliable step is to refer to the manufacturer's instructions. These guidelines should clearly state whether the cooling rack is oven-safe and under what conditions. This information is often found on the product packaging, the manufacturer's website, or included care instructions.

    Material Assessment

    As discussed, stainless steel is ideal for oven use due to its high heat tolerance and durability. If your cooling rack is stainless steel, it's likely safe for the oven. Be cautious with chrome or coated racks---these require specific confirmation from the manufacturer as they can vary in heat tolerance.

    Inspect for Damage

    Examine your cooling rack for any signs of damage or wear, such as warping, loose joints, or a chipped coating. These defects can compromise the rack's ability to withstand oven temperatures safely.

    Look for Certification Marks

    Some racks may have certification marks or symbols indicating their suitability for oven use. These can be helpful indicators to ensure the product meets certain safety and performance standards.

    Consider the Design

    Some cooling racks have additional features like rubber feet or plastic handles that are not designed to withstand high temperatures. If your rack includes any non-metal components, it's best to assume it is not oven-safe unless explicitly stated otherwise.

    Large Baking Sheet - Body - Perracotta - Lifestyle

    Tips To Keep Your Cooling Rack in Top Shape

    Keeping your cooling rack in prime condition isn't just about extending its lifespan but ensuring it continues to perform at its best, whether it's cooling cookies or crisping bacon in the oven.

    Here's how you can keep your rack ready for anything your culinary adventures throw at it:

    Gentle Cleaning Routine

    After each use, gently wash your cooling rack with warm, soapy water and a soft brush. This simple habit prevents food particles from hardening, is straightforward, and keeps your rack looking new.

    Soft Touch

    Stay away from abrasive cleaning tools. While it might be tempting to scrub off stubborn bits with steel wool, this can scratch and damage the surface, especially if your rack has a non-stick coating. Opt for softer options like nylon brushes or sponges to keep it scratch-free.

    Thorough Drying

    Water spots or worse, rust, can shorten the life of your cooling rack. After washing, dry it completely with a soft towel or let it air dry. This step is crucial for racks made from materials prone to rusting.

    Smart Storage

    When not in use, store your cooling rack in a cool, dry place. If stacking is unavoidable, consider placing a soft cloth between racks to prevent them from scratching each other. Better yet, hanging them can save space and prevent any potential bending under weight.

    Respect Weight Limits

    Cooling racks are sturdy, but overloading them can lead to bending or warping. Know the limits of your rack, and don't overload it with overly heavy items.

    Pair Smartly

    Using products that complement each other can enhance both functionality and longevity. For example, our Baking and Cooling Duo not only optimizes air circulation for better cooling and baking but also ensures that sizes match perfectly, preventing awkward balancing acts or uneven support.

    When Is It Time To Replace Your Cooling Rack?

    It's time to replace your cooling rack if you notice any rust or warping or if the coating starts to peel, indicating deterioration. A wobbly or unstable rack can also affect cooking outcomes and safety. If stains or odors persist despite thorough cleaning, consider this a sign of irreversible wear.

    Looking for a replacement? Our Stainless Steel Cooling Rack is designed for durability and safe oven use, perfectly complementing our large baking sheets for a seamless baking experience from oven to cooling.


    At Caraway, we understand the importance of reliable kitchen tools. Cooling racks, while often overlooked, play a vital role in both baking and cooking. Ensuring your rack is oven-safe and in top condition maximizes your culinary capabilities.

    As your needs evolve or your old rack wears out, consider upgrading to our dependable stainless steel cooling rack. It's not just an investment in a tool---it's an upgrade to your entire cooking and baking routine, embodying our commitment to quality, safety, and style in the kitchen.


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