As a Former Pastry Cook, I Can't Go Without a Cooling Rack—and These Are Up to 60% Off

They have over 20,000 five-star ratings, too. 

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Checkered Chef Cooling Rack Set of 2 Tout
Photo: Courtesy of Amazon

What do gooey cookies, crunchy fish and chips, tender cakes, homemade cannoli shells, a crusty loaf of bread, and grilled vegetables have in common? I'll give you a moment to guess.

It's a wire rack. While possibly not the most exciting kitchen tool, I've used this magical invention more than I ever would have imagined since working in professional kitchens and graduating with my pastry degree.

The key is to get one that's oven-safe, grill-safe, and dishwasher-safe, that way you can use it to your advantage in every way possible. And, thankfully I've stumbled upon the Checkered Chef 2-Piece Cooling Rack Set, which checks all of the above boxes, plus you can snap it up on sale for as little as $12.

Checkered Chef Cooling Rack Set of 2
Courtesy of Amazon

To buy: Checkered Chef 2-Piece Cooling Rack Set, 8 by 11.75 inches, $12 (was $20) at amazon.com

Truthfully, when I don't have a wire rack on hand or I forget to use it, I notice a huge difference. My cakes cool unevenly or develop too much moisture if I leave them in the pan. My cookies don't have the same gooey texture on the inside with a crispy exterior. And foods that I fry, like fish or cannoli shells (two very different categories of food, I know) can absorb too much oil, leaving them soggy. And, not to mention, delicate or small foods will fall right through the grill too.

The rack is an essential part of the process of preparing many foods, since it allows for proper circulation. The Checkered Chef options have a classic grid design with raised feet, making them ideal for this. Their stainless steel material also means they're heat-safe and durable, so you don't have to worry about warping or rusting.

Checkered Chef cooling rack
Courtesy of Amazon

To buy: Checkered Chef 2-Piece Cooling Rack Set, 11.75 by 17 inches, $12 (was $30) at amazon.com

The major bonus is that it's oven-safe up to 575 degrees Fahrenheit, so you can bake items on it or use a rack on your grill to catch small veggies like I do. And when the cooking's all said and done, just toss them into the dishwasher for an easy clean up.

The racks come in several sizes, including an 8- by 11.75-inch option that can fit on a standard baking sheet, hold a batch of cookies, a cake, or accommodate a decent amount of produce or fried foods. With over 12,000 five-star ratings, shoppers love how versatile it is, with reviewers calling it "a must-have in the kitchen." Some use it in an air fryer, others use it in the smoker for meat, while others love it for baking bacon, cooling cakes, and cooking. "Easy to use, sturdy, [versatile] and affordable," another person wrote.

You can also snap up the larger size set of two, which are 11.75-inches by 17-inches for the same price if you're looking for a bigger option. This is perfect for anything from larger batches of cookies and cakes, to big cuts of meat for smoking.

I rely on this essential so often, I'm convinced every kitchen needs one. And luckily, you can snap up the Checkered Chef 2-Piece Cooling Rack Set while it's up to 60% off at Amazon right now.

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