The 7 Best Cooling Rack Substitutes To Try Today

When baking, a cooling rack is one of the most important pieces of cooking equipment. After your delicious baked goods have finished baking and have been taken out of the oven, they need to cool down so that they can be eaten or decorated.

If your baking is still too hot, it can burn eager mouths or make your decorating messy and unusable. Getting your baked goods to cool down quickly can be difficult without the use of a cooling rack, however.

These useful little racks lift your baking from the counter and allow them to cool down from all angles including underneath. This makes them cool down more quickly and evenly than simply placing the food or baking dishes on the counter.

It’ll also help protect your counter from the high heat associated with baking! However, cooling racks are often overlooked despite the important role they play.

The 7 Best Cooling Rack Substitutes to Try Today

You may not have enough cooling racks, they may be too small, or you may have forgotten to buy any at all! In this case, you will need to find a substitute for a cooling rack that can still do the job well.

That’s why we’ve written this article to inform you of the 7 best cooling rack substitutes to try today.

Whatever the reason why you don’t have a cooling rack to hand, these substitutes will make sure that your delicious baking cools down quickly and evenly. Let’s get started!

The 7 Best Substitutes for A Cooling Rack

Many of these seven options use items that you already have in your kitchen so you should be able to find them and cool your baking easily.

1. Baking Sheet And Parchment Paper

This is one of the easiest substitutes and uses items that any cook that bakes is sure to have. All you need is some parchment paper and a baking sheet or cooking pan.

Most baking sheets or cooking pans have raised edges and you can take advantage of these to get some air to circulate around your baked goods.

Turn the baking sheet or cooking pan upside down so the edges are against your counter and the bottom of the pan is lifted.  Then, place a sheet of parchment paper onto the pan or sheet and place your baked goods on top.

Try to ensure that there is enough space around the sheet so that air can get at your hot baking from all angles.

2. Removable Oven Grate

If your oven is a gas oven, then the stovetop will have heavy metal grates. These are positioned over the gas burners so you can place your pans over the burner without touching the burner itself.

These grates can be removed from the stovetop and make for great impromptu cooling racks! They’re solid and a good size so you can place items such as casserole pans directly onto the rack.

They will be lifted from your counter and air will be able to get at the pans easily. If you’ve baked some bread and want to cool it directly on the oven grate, then make sure you clean this thoroughly first.

3. Cookie Cutters

What better way to cool a baking tray full of cookies than to use some cookie cutters? Take a number of cookie cutters and spread them out across your counter.

They shouldn’t be directly next to each other but should be spaced out so that air can get between them. You can then place your baking sheet on top of the cookie cutters.

We wouldn’t recommend using this method for cooling baked goods directly as cookie cutters won’t make balancing baked goods easy. Instead, always use a flat surface such as a baking sheet on top of the cookie cutters.

4. Pieces Of Foil

This is another great way to get some air underneath your baking tray once you’ve taken it out of the oven. All you need is some aluminum foil for this method. Rip several pieces of foil and roll them up into tight cylinders.

There should be enough layers to make the foil thick when compressed. The number of rolls you will need depends on how big your baking tray or pan is.

For smaller and lighter trays, you may only need three rolls that are positioned around two inches away from each other. Larger and heavier objects, however, will need more rolls.

You can use as many rolls as you need to bear the weight of the pan but make sure they’re all kept around two inches apart.

Your aluminum foil rolls need to be at least two inches apart so that air can circulate between them and cool the base of your pan.

You don’t need your pan to be too high from the counter but the foil should be thick and bountiful enough so that none of the pan is touching your countertop.

5. Chopsticks

You can use chopsticks in a similar fashion to how you used the aluminum foil. The number of chopsticks you will need will again depend on the size and weight of your pan.

Light baking sheets that have items such as cookies on them may only need two to three chopsticks in total. Place a chopstick underneath opposite ends of the tray and if necessary, one in the middle to take the weight as well.

Heavier pans may need more chopsticks than this to prevent the chopsticks from being squashed. This is especially the case if you’re using disposable wooden chopsticks as these are not as durable as reusable wooden chopsticks or metal ones.

Use as many chopsticks as you need to hold the weight of the pan but again, ensure there are at least two inches between each one.

6. Cool Plates

You can help your baked goods to cool down more quickly by removing them from their baking tray and placing them on a cool plate.

This method won’t work as well with items such as casserole dishes but will work with cookies, muffins, or any smaller items that you’ve baked. Choose a plate that is big enough to hold your baked goods while leaving some space between them.

If you don’t have a single plate that is big enough for this, you can always use several smaller ones. It’s important that there is room between the individual items and that they aren’t touching each other.

If they do touch, it will take longer for them to cool down as air won’t be able to circulate around them fully. For baked goods that are a little oily or buttery, you can place some paper towels on the plate first to absorb this.

7. Cutting Board

This option works in a similar way to plates. Transfer your baked goods from their baking tray and directly onto a clean cutting board. You can use a wooden cutting board for this, but boards made from granite or marble are especially effective.

These boards are always cool to the touch and will help your baked goods cool down more quickly. As with the plates, use some paper towels to absorb any excess oil or butter if necessary.

Final Thoughts

In this article, we listed the 7 best cooling rack substitutes to try today. If you don’t have any cooling racks available to help your baked goods cool down, you can use any of the methods described in this article instead.

Some are best with pots and pans and others work well with smaller baked goods, but whatever you’re baking, there is an option here that will work for you.

The 7 Best Cooling Rack Substitutes To Try Today

Recipe by AubreyCourse: Substitutes


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If you don’t have a cooling rack, no worries! There are plenty of alternatives to choose from. Check out the 7 best cooling rack substitutes to try in your baking adventures.


  • Baking Sheet And Parchment Paper

  • Removable Oven Grate

  • Cookie Cutters

  • Pieces Of Foil

  • Chopsticks

  • Cool Plates

  • Cutting Board


  • Decide on what substitute you need
  • Pick a substitute from the list above
  • Read what you need to substitute with
  • Create the recipe and enjoy
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