The Great British Baking Gear

Great British Baking Show Cooling Racks

October 19, 2021

TLDR: The Great British Baking Show uses multiple cooling racks. The Nadiya Hussain's Wire Cooling Rack (Not available on Amazon) is the newest addition in season 12. In season 12 and earlier The Great British Baking Show cooling rack is the MasterClass Non-Stick 46cm x 26cm Cooling Tray (Amazon Link USA UK).

What The Bakers Use

Nadiya Hussain's Wire Cooling Rack
(Not available on Amazon)

I'm sure that throughout the history of The Great British Baking Show the cooling racks have rotated, but I have chosen to highlight two of them. First is the newest rack from 2021's season 12 - Nadiya Hussain's Wire Cooling Rack (Not available on Amazon). Second is MasterClass Non-Stick 46cm x 26cm Cooling Tray (Amazon Link USA UK). I've chosen these for both form and function - though both carry a respective banner.

But first, why would the bakers, or you, even want to use a cooling rack? Well the answer is quite steamy. You see when you have a bun in the oven things get quite hot. At those temperatures, steam forms inside the bake and evaporates into your oven. When you're done baking there is still quite a bit of steam and moisture that needs to escape your bake (you don't want to completely dry / overbake!).

The cooling rack not only allows the bake to cool off quicker, but the steam to escape in every direction. If you don't use a cooling rack, the bottom is wont to get soggy, as the steam condenses on whatever surface it's sitting on. Any millennial making avocado toast knows this, their toasted bread sitting on a plate, the bottom slowly turning to mush - oh the woes. Do yourself a favor next time - and cooling rack that toast!

Nadiya Hussain's Wire Cooling Rack

Nadiya Hussain won the sixth series of The Great British Bake Off (as she would know it) in 2015. Since then she has stayed active with the BBC, authored a series of cook books starting with Nadiya's Kitchen: Over 100 Simple, Delicious Family Recipes in 2017, and created her homewares collection Make Life Colourful Range from BlissHome in 2018. The cooling rack comes from this collection.

Nadiya Hussain's Wire Cooling Rack hoists the form over function flag high. It is beautiful, the geometric pattern formed by the interlocking circles is great, and the bright red coating is amazing. It really is unique in the baking world where most cooling racks are simple metal meshes with some feet.

The coating on Nadiya Hussain's Wire Cooling Rack is food grade so it is not going to come off into your bake. Yay - as expected. And yes - it functions as a cooling rack. However, it is not dishwasher safe (to be fair - lots of cooling racks are not), instead you have to hand wash this and wipe it clean. This in my opinion is a bit irksome as its always hard to get all the flour and other food bits out of the nooks and crannies in a cooling rack. And while the coating may be food grade, old food is not.

So while this rack is very pretty, it is not quite perfect. If you're looking for a festive and colorful addition to your kitchen, this is just about your only option. Good game Nadiya.

Nadiya Hussain's Wire Cooling Rack Detail
Note the connections to the frame, looks good
(Not available on Amazon)

MasterClass Non-Stick Cooling Tray

MasterClass Non-Stick 46cm x 26cm Cooling Tray
(Amazon Link USA UK)

On the other end of the spectrum we have the MasterClass Non-Stick 46cm x 26cm Cooling Tray (Amazon Link USA UK). Here we have all the function, none of the beauty.

Well not quite none of the beauty. The MasterClass Non-Stick 46cm x 26cm Cooling Tray (Amazon Link USA UK) has a non-stick coating that gives it that dark off-metallic look of any non-stick surface. This is arguably nicer looking than a faux-chrome plated wire rack, or even a stainless steel wire rack. To each their own. Additionally the wire mesh is cut and fitted to the frame with a nice additional gap around the edges (just for looks), and is perfectly square, something cheaper racks don't do well.

MasterClass backs the rack with a 20 year warranty, though only the first 5 on the non-stick coating, which is still really good! The non-stick coating protects the carbon steel frame, and well, keeps things from sticking to it. The surface is 46cm x 26cm (18x10 inches) which gives you wonderful surface area to work with. Being quite wide MasterClass added a third support in the middle of the rack. This means its quite stable and durable, you can even support pans full of goodies on it to protect your counter.

And last but definitely not least, the rack is dishwasher (yay!), freezer, refrigerator, and oven safe. This means if you're hankering to get the rack not just looking clean, but sterilized, you can toss it in your dishwasher. After the experience of looking at a dingy rack and thinking "I'm going to just put this in the dishwasher - whats the worst that can happen?" and having the result be rust, you'll love this feature. Sadly none of the literature states the maximum temperature this can withstand in the oven. So while I assume you can use this as a rack for cooking a pizza on as well, I would advise finding a purpose built product you know you're not going to damage. (I'll write MasterClass and see if I can find upper temperature limits for the rack.)

Where To Get One

This is another one of those times where if you're lucky enough to live in the UK - enjoy your NHS - I mean, enjoy easy access to these baking wares!

MasterClass is a sister of KitchenCraft and can be found in shops, as well Online: MasterClass Non-Stick 46cm x 26cm Cooling Tray and Amazon UK.

Nadiya's Wire Cooling Rack can be found at The uniqueandunity.com. They actually ship internationally, so my US based friends - that's the way to go!

If you're looking for another option that is easier to attain, non-stick and available on Amazon the Nordic Ware Oven Safe Nonstick Baking & Cooling Grid is a great option. Its non-stick, from a trusted brand, and the non-stick coating does not contain any phthalates, and is silicone-based without any PFOA or PTFE. This is a great plus if you're going to end up baking with it.

You will notice that the extra large version is 2 inches wider than the MasterClass version, yet does not have a central support. So expect the center to sag a bit under heavy loads. If you're cooling bakes and not pots of soup, you'll be perfectly fine.

Nordic Ware Oven Safe Nonstick Baking & Cooling Grid (Amazon Link)