The most thrilling part of wedding planning was getting to pick out kitchen-related gifts for our wedding registry. I took pleasure in scouring my favorite stores—Williams Sonoma, Macy’s, and Target—for everything from fancy kitchen gadgets to basic utensils, enticed by the possibility of building the kitchen of my dreams. And while we were graciously gifted high-end items, a set of affordable non-stick cooling racks have become one of my most relied upon kitchen tools. In fact, they get used every week.
I wasn’t much of a baker at the time of our wedding, so I considered the cooling racks a nice-to-have for when the urge to bake presented itself. I thought about the avid bakers in my family who use them to cool cookies or cakes. Turns out, the racks are far much functional than I could have imagined.
Their versatility revealed itself after a quick web search for the best spatchcock chicken recipe. A few of the recipes suggest placing a cooling rack in a sheet pan to cook the bird more evenly and to catch the drippings.
Placing the cooling rack in a sheet pan is now my go-to way to roast most anything. Not only does it make a top-notch spatchcock bird, it is also perfect for cooking bacon, crispy chicken wings, and even vegetables. Since the food floats on top of the sheet pan and the wire rack allows for hot air to circulate under it, you get crispier food.
The racks have also come in handy in other ways. Growing up, my parents used a hard-boiled egg slicer to chop eggs. When my egg slicer broke right in the midst of making potato salad, I needed a quick and easy way to slice eggs that didn’t involve a knife and cutting board. It turns out, you can place the rack over a mixing bowl and push the eggs through the little holes into the bowl. You can also do this when dicing avocados for guacamole, creating small chunks perfect for mashing.
How To Upgrade the Racks
Another item I added to our registry on a whim is a three-tier stand to stack the cooling racks. This extends their versatility far past cooking and prep into entertaining. I use them to display finger foods, breakfast pastries, cookies, muffins, or cupcakes. And because our cooling racks are gold in color, they pop on any table or counter, adding a bit of flare.