Are All Cooling Racks Oven-Safe?

Whether you are an experienced or novice baker, you have most likely used a cooling rack to set cookies fresh from the oven to cool during your hectic baking sessions in your kitchen. Perhaps you are wondering if those cooling racks are safe for baking purposes inside the oven? Could one bake cookies on a cooling rack? We've researched these questions and have found well-referenced results to share with you.

Yes, metal and stainless steel cooling racks are oven-safe. However, avoid using non-stick cooling racks in the oven because the heat will damage the non-stick coating, causing it to flake off. This could leave particles of non-stick coating attached to the baked goods. 

Are you ready to learn more about cooling racks? And several other helpful tips and tricks for using these handy kitchenwares for more than just cooling baked goods? Perhaps you are wondering how to tell if your cooling rack is oven-safe? Please continue reading this article; we have a lot of great information to share with you!

A French madeleines on a cooling rack, Are All Cooling Racks Oven-Safe?

Can metal cooling racks go in the oven?

Yes, metal racks can go in the oven. However, before you place any cooling rack in the oven, double-check the materials of the rack before deciding to use it in the range.

Suppose the cooling rack has a non-stick finish. Do not use it in the oven until you check the manufacturer's website to see if the nonstick cooling rack is oven-safe and determine how high of a temperature the rack could safely tolerate.

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There are non-stick racks that are heat-tempered to accommodate internal oven temperatures of 450 degrees F. If the non-stick rack is not oven safe, the heat from the stove will cause the cooling rack to warp and the non-stick coating to become ineffective and eventually flake off.

The exposed steel or metal will start to rust from moisture exposure. Typically, these issues occur when home cooks use non-stick racks in the oven without first checking if the rack is oven-safe.

Those flecks of non-stick particles could attach themselves to your food. Consuming non-stick materials is toxic to the human body and should be avoided. If you suspect any of your cooling racks are non-stick, there are visual signs that the non-stick materials are flaking off. Your best option is to stop using the rack, recycle it, and purchase new stainless steel cooling racks.

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Are chrome-plated cooling racks oven-safe?

Generally, chrome-plated cooling racks are the most economical and readily available option for cooling racks in the current marketplace. The chrome-plated finish makes cleaning the cooling rack a breeze because chrome plating is comparable to non-stick coatings and the bits of food debris wash off easily.

According to Bruce Mattel, associate dean at the Culinary Institute of America, it is best to avoid cooling racks with chrome-plating or nonstick coatings. Because the high heat from the oven's coils will damage and melt the chrome platings and nonstick coatings. The exposed metal beneath the heat-damaged layers will start to warp, ruining the durability and shape of the cooling rack.

Moreover, the bits of nonstick coating will adhere to the foods and give your lovely baked goods an unappealing metallic flavor. Mattel strongly suggests using food-grade stainless steel that will not affect the flavors of your foods and is deemed oven-safe by the manufacturer.

Also, check what temperatures the cooling rack was designed for before purchasing your new cooling rack. Never exceed the maximum temperature that the cooling rack was designed to withstand.

Health considerations for using chrome-plated cooling racks

Over the last decade, researchers at the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry have concluded that cookware coated with chrome-plated materials is somewhat detrimental to human health and welfare.

The research findings suggested that nickel and other chemicals are leached from the chrome-plated coating when the cookware is exposed to high temperatures. This is another reason that choosing food-grade stainless steel is a wise health-conscious choice for your kitchen.

Chocolate chip cookies

How do I know if my cooling rack is oven-safe?

Excellent question. Determining whether your cooling rack is oven-safe is the first step to ensuring that you will not ruin your cooling rack with the oven's hot temperatures. The most straightforward method to find this out is to visit the manufacturer's website and look for the model you have. Most company websites will list each of their products with detailed product descriptions.

Suppose the manufacturer's website does not provide such information. You could visit Amazon, search the manufacturer's name, and read the product description if it is a cooling rack that Amazon sells.

Another option for determining if your cooling rack is oven-safe is to inspect the cooling rack. Does it have a nonstick coating? Typically, the nonstick coating will be black or very dark brown, and it will coat the entirety of the rack's wiring.

If your cooling rack does have this type of coating, it is safe to assume that it is nonstick, so you should not use it in the oven. Most of the time, nonstick cooling racks are not oven-safe unless stated by the manufacturer.

Cooling racks and three stacks of cookies

Can you bake cookies on a cooling rack?

The experts within the culinary community do not directly discuss or encourage using cooling racks for baking cookies. Cooling racks are a vital part of baking confections, decorating cakes, and roasting meats.

The main detractor for baking cookies on a cooling rack would be that the raw cookie dough could bake itself into the rack's wire cross-sections. That would make removing the cookies very difficult, resulting in a batch of mostly broken cookies and a crumby mess inside your oven.

However, the highly influential Bon Appetit encourages using a stainless steel cooling rack for baking roasted chicken, spicy bacon, and an array of meat-centric dishes. The increased airflow from the rack will aid the meats in cooking thoroughly while retaining their savory juices.

Also, the rack can be placed inside a ribbed baking sheet that catches juices from the meats, which are ideal for making tasty gravies.

Click here to view this baking sheet with a wire rack on Amazon.

Do you enjoy baking? Read our article highlighting several useful bakewares: 25 Types Of Baking Dishes You Need In Your Kitchen.

Additional thoughts

Safety considerations and precautions for baking

Baking is an art and culinary science that brings family and friends together in your kitchen for tasty treats and memories. Moreover, ensuring food and kitchen safety does need to be an utmost priority to keep you and your loved ones healthy and safe.

Always keep the following in mind for a happy and healthy kitchen:

  • Keep kitchen countertops clean and use antibacterial cleaners
  • Always check to ensure that your kitchenware is oven-safe
  • Do not eat raw dough
  • Thoroughly wash hands before each task
  • Always bake and cook foods to the correct temperature, consult your cookbook and use a thermometer
  • Always wear oven mitts to prevent burns
  • Keep hair tied back or under a cap
  • Keep small children and pets out of the kitchen when using a knife or operating hot ovens
  • Be mindful when preparing eggs, meat, milk, and poultry-these foods are highly susceptible to food-borne illnesses.
  • When baking for others, double-check if there are any allergens to avoid
  • Clean the oven regularly to prevent the build-up of burned residue

Are you interest in purchasing a pair of silicone oven mitts? Read our article that discusses these mitts in great detail: Are Silicone Oven Mitts Better?

In closing

Navigating the world of kitchenware and making healthy and safe foods for you and your loved ones is essential to maintaining healthful habits and the safety of your home kitchen. We sincerely hope this article has helped you gain valuable knowledge regarding the many uses for cooling racks. Be sure to visit kitchenseer.com soon for more culinary guidance and DIY suggestions!

Please, be sure to check out some of our other posts to help further your culinary knowledge base:

Is A Cookie Sheet Broiler Safe?

Are Silicone Oven Mitts Dishwasher Safe?

Are Convection Ovens Good For Baking Cakes And Cookies?

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