Cooking a pizza on a sheet pan is simple. We have all done it. But a sheet pan will not allow the dough of the pizza to dry out and crisp. If you want well cooked crispy pizza dough, cook the pizza on an oven rack.
Most people do not have oven racks, but they do have cooling racks! Are oven racks and cooling racks the same, and are cooling racks safe to put in the oven?
Most cooling racks are safe to put into the oven, but always check the label. There needs to be an “oven-safe” sign on the packaging.
If the packaging does not say oven-safe, that doesn’t mean the cooling rack can’t be used in the oven. You just need to be careful and check the company’s website.
Cooling racks are great to use, especially if you are making baked goods. The air flows under the pastries and the pizza will dry the dough and make the food taste delicious.
Placing cookies, pizza, and other dough like foods on paper towels or on a hand towel will not produce the same crispiness.
Are Cooling Racks Oven Safe?
Not all cooling racks are safe. In order for a cooling rack to be oven safe, it must be made of metal and cannot have any plastic coating on the metal. If the rack has a plastic coating, then you cannot place it in the oven.
Most plastic cooling racks are not made with a special type of oven-safe plastic. There are some plastic cooling racks that can be placed into the oven. But the plastic cooling rack must have an oven-safe label on the package.
If the packaging does not say oven safe, then the rack will melt when you place it in the oven.
If the oven is made of metal, then you should be able to place it in the oven. You can use the metal cooling rack as an oven rack and a cooling rack.
Beware of the Non-Stick Label
A metal or oven-safe rack can be used as an oven rack and as a cooling rack. But if a cooling rack has a non-stick surface on the grading, then it cannot be used as an oven rack.
If the temperature in the oven reaches too high, around 350°F , the nonstick coating may melt and destroy your meal. It is safe to place a non-stick rack in the oven if the rack is oven-safe.
The non-stick coating may not always melt in the oven, the non-stick coating should never be heated to high temperatures, especially if it is not designed for high heat.
It is perfectly fine to cook food in a nonstick pan because the type of chemicals in the non-stick coating on the pan are designed for high heat. But a cooling rack labeled nonstick is not designed for high temperatures.
If you use the cooling rack in the oven, the chemicals in the nonstick coating could leech into the food. When chemical leaching happens, the non-stick coating chemicals will contaminate the food sitting on the rack. You could eat non-stick chemicals in your food and not even know it.
I Don’t Have a Sheet Pan. Can I Use My Oven Safe Cooling Rack?
If you do not have a sheet pan, then you can use a few other cooking instruments around your home to make a pan. All you need is some parchment paper and an oven rack or an oven cooling rack.
Simply place the parchment paper over the oven cooling rack and then place the food that you want to cook on the parchment paper. Do not tape the parchment paper to the cooling rack, as the tape will melt.
Do not place heavy food on top of the parchment paper. You should only use parchment paper and an oven cooling rack for small pieces of food, like vegetables or small pieces of fried chicken.
Also, there are rubber oven safe nonstick pants that you can place on the oven rack. The pads are firmer and will not cave underneath the weight of the food pieces like the parchment paper will.
Also, if you do not have a sheet pan, you can use a large oven safe frying pan.
What Kind of Food Can be Placed on Cooling Racks?
As we mentioned above, pizza and cookies are commonly placed on cooling racks so the food can become crispy. But there are so many other foods that can benefit from being cooked on a cooling rack.
Here are some of the most popular foods that you can place on the cooling rack:
- Freshly made bread
- Fried chicken
- Fried tempura, vegetables and shrimp
- Delicious baked goods like muffins, cake, and croissants.
- Roasted vegetables
Cook a Steak on an Oven Rack!
One little-known secret that many home chefs and beginner chefs is how to make a delicious T-Bone steak crispy all over.
We have all seen YouTube videos of at home chefs browning the top, bottom, and sides of a T-Bone steak. Then the chefs place the T-Bone steak in the oven in the pan it was cooked in.
But you won’t have to put the whole frying pan in the oven to finish cooking the meat.
Instead, place a baking sheet in the oven and then place an oven rack on top of the baking sheet. Then set the seared T-Bone steak on top of the oven rack.
The air can now flow around and underneath the steak and make it tender, delicious, and juicy.
How to Clean a Dirty Oven Rack
Oven racks will become dirty with use. Many people dislike cleaning racks because it is difficult to remove small food pieces that become stuck on the metal. Even oven-safe nonstick racks are not truly nonstick, and burned food will need to be scrubbed off.
What is the best way to clean an oven-safe rack? There are a few ways to do this.
First, you cannot clean a metal rack and a nonstick rack the same way. A completely metal rock and a metal rock with a non-stick surface how to clean using different methods.
To clean a non-stick metal rack, do not use a brush with rough bristles. The bristles will scrub the nonstick coating off of the rack. Cleaning a non-stick coating is easy, but it will take longer. Place the nonstick oven rack in a sink full of hot water and allow it to soak for about 30 minutes. Then you’ll be able to remove any dried pieces of food with a sponge.
If your oven rack does not have a nonstick coating, then soak it in hot water for 5 minutes and use a metal scrubbing pad or a hard bristled brush to remove the food. You can also sprinkle baking soda on the bristle brush baking soda to add more scrubbing power to the brush.
Conclusion to Cooling Racks Being Oven Safe
In order to use a cooling rack in the oven, the cooling rack must be completely metal or can be metal with a non-step coating. The label on the packaging needs to say oven safe.
If your oven rack is made of plastic, do not put it in the oven because it will melt. In order to clean a metal oven rack, soak it in hot water for 5 minutes and then scrub it with a metal brush.
To clean an oven rack with a nonstick coating, let it soak in hot water for 30 minutes and then use a non-metallic scrubbing pad and gently remove the food particles from the rack.