Are Cooling Racks Necessary?
So, are cooling racks necessary? why do you need one? It’s simple, really. If you place a pan on a trivet or on your countertop, air doesn’t reach the bottom of the pan. A wire rack allows air to circulate completely around whatever is on it. This means that the pan or baked good will cool faster than if simply left on a countertop or a trivet. A hot pan will continue baking whatever is inside it, so faster cooling prevents over-baking. So, are cooling racks necessary? Yes if you are a baker or using oven all the time in kitchen.
This is important because it allows you to have a much broader selection of foods and baked goods when you go to a restaurant. You can say “no” to that warm, soggy biscuit they keep offering you and say “yes” to a crispier, more delicious version.
If you have a standard home oven, you already have everything you need to make your own wire racks. Just remove the drawer at the very back of your oven (usually marked “hot plates”) and you will find a set of three metal wires.
These are the perfect size to put on your trivets or under your hot pans in your home oven. However, these are too small for use with any conventional ovens. If you use an electric oven, just look in the manual that comes with your oven. If it says that the maximum temperature is 350 degrees Fahrenheit, you will see that the metal “hot spots” on the inside of your oven will be marked in orange.
These are the spots where the metal will get really hot. The orange dots are where the metal will get so hot that it will begin to burn your hand if you touch it. In this blog, we also have an article about best cooling racks that you might want read about it.
A cooling rack (also known simply as a wire rack) is used to allow air to circulate freely to cool baked goods, and to prevent them getting soggy from condensation.”wikibooks.org
What is Cooling Rack
Cooling racks really are an essential piece of equipment for a baker. They create a perfect place for a hot pan, or a de-panned baked good, to cool down evenly and quickly. Every baker knows the essence of a cooling rack in baking goodies. If not for cooling racks, you probably will not experience your pies and pastries as crumbly as we prefer to be?
Typically, a cooling rack is made of stainless steel wires that are formed into a mesh squares of small crisscrossed bars or a number of straight, closely aligned parallel bars so that food to be cooled can easily be supported without falling through, yet allowing enough air to reach the bottom of the food so it does not retain too much moisture and become soggy.”recipetips.com
What Is The best way to use a cooling rack?
Well, as a general rule, you should always put a cooling rack over any hot item, when it is no longer cooking. For example: When you have placed your breaded or sugar coated chicken breasts or steaks on a baking sheet, you should immediately put a cooling rack over them. Then, remove the baking sheet from the oven, and let the items cool down.
Now, why does this matter?
Well, the reason is simple. You see, the moisture that is generated while an item is cooking will evaporate, leaving the surface dry. This causes the crust to become hard and sometimes crackly. If there is no moisture left to evaporate, the crust won’t become hard and crisp, but rather, will remain moist and chewy.
And that, my friend, is not what we want. We want a hard and crispy crust. So, what we do, is put a cooling rack over the hot food, and let it cool down. And this allows the moisture to evaporate, and creates that perfect, hard and crisp crust.
Why doesn’t putting a cooling rack over a hot item, at the same time as removing the hot item from the oven, work as well?
The answer is simple: It does, if the pan or baking sheet you are using to hold the hot item, has a non-stick coating on the surface.
A non-stick surface prevents the moisture that is generated while cooking, from easily evaporating. Instead, the moisture remains on the surface of whatever you are cooking, creating a soggy mess. This is called “stickiness” and it is caused by the natural oils in our hands, or in the pan or baking sheet you are using. Now, you might be thinking that non-stick pans are great, and you would be correct.
They do make it possible to remove baked goods with ease. But, there is a downside to non-stick surfaces. Namely: They slow down the rate at which your food can cook! How so? Well, when you put a non-stick surface in a hot oven, what happens is that the natural oils in your hand, or in the pan, begin to react to the heat. This creates an “activation energy” that causes the non-stick surface to become even more non-stick.
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