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Small Wire Rack

It’s sturdy, tiny, and the perfect match for our favorite small rimmed baking sheet.


A Perfect Match
This small wire rack pairs perfectly with our favorite small rimmed baking sheet (quarter-sheet pan). To read more about full-size wire racks and baking sheets, and to find detailed brand comparisons, visit here and here).

How We Tested

A wire rack is certainly useful for letting cookies, loaves of bread, and cakes cool. But when set inside a rimmed baking sheet, a wire rack becomes the perfect surface for holding breaded foods before and after frying, for roasting or broiling meat, and for glazing and decorating showstopping confections such as Chocolate-Almond Coconut Cake. After recently naming the Nordic Ware Naturals Quarter Sheet our favorite small rimmed baking sheet, we knew it deserved a wire rack to match.

In our review of full-size wire rack, the Checkered Chef Cooling Rack received our highest recommendation for its stability and durable construction. Could we recommend the smaller version as well? To find out, we tested the Checkered Chef Quarter Sheet Cooling/Baking Rack, checking how well it fit inside our favorite small rimmed baking sheet and using it as a wire rack for cookies and to elevate sticky glazed spareribs to ensure good airflow as they roasted.

The small wire rack proved to be stable. It easily held more than a pound of pork spareribs, and testers felt comfortable maneuvering the full wire rack into and out of the oven. Neither plastic nor metal spatulas caught on the metal bars, making it easy to add just-baked cookies and remove cooled cookies (it was big enough to hold 12, a half-batch of many cookie recipes). Although there was a bit of wiggle room when it sat inside our favorite small rimmed baking sheet, this did not adversely affect its performance.

If you’re looking for a wire rack for your small rimmed baking sheet, we recommend the Checkered Chef Quarter Sheet Cooling/Baking Rack. It fits inside our favorite small rimmed baking sheet and is the perfect tool for scaled-down cooking and baking tasks.

Methodology

We tested the small version of our winning wire rack, noting how the rack fit inside our favorite small rimmed baking sheet and how well it held up when performing a variety of kitchen tasks.

Rating Criteria

Stability and Usability: We transferred delicate cookies onto the rack, looking to see if both plastic and metal spatulas slid across it without snagging or bumping. To evaluate its stability, we noted how it performed when piled with 1¼ pounds of spareribs as they roasted.

Baking Sheet Compatibility: We tested to see if the rack fit in our winning small rimmed baking sheet, the Nordic Ware Naturals Quarter Sheet. We wanted the rack to fit snugly and not slip or slide around too much in the sheet.

Cleanup: We washed the rack by hand throughout testing and in the dishwasher at the end of testing. We checked for any warping or discoloration.


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The Results

Winner
Recommended

Design Trifecta 360 Knife Block

$33.31*

Design Trifecta 360 Knife Block

Admittedly expensive, this handsome block certainly seemed to live up to its billing as “the last knife block you ever have to buy.” The heaviest model in our testing, this block was ultrastable, and its durable bamboo exterior was a breeze to clean. Well-placed medium-strength magnets made it easy to attach all our knives, and a rotating base gave us quick access to them. One tiny quibble: The blade of our 12-inch slicing knife stuck out a little

Winner
Recommended

Lodge Classic Cast Iron Skillet, 12"

$33.31*

Lodge Classic Cast Iron Skillet, 12"

Our old winner arrived with the slickest preseasoned interior and only got better. Broad enough to cook two big steaks, it browned foods deeply, and its thorough seasoning ensured that our acidic pan sauce picked up no off-flavors. Though its handle is short, the pan has a helper handle that made lifting easy. It survived abuse testing without a scratch. An excellent pan, at an excellent price, that you’ll never have to replace.

Lodge Classic Cast Iron Skillet, 12"

$33.31*

Lodge Classic Cast Iron Skillet, 12"

Our old winner arrived with the slickest preseasoned interior and only got better. Broad enough to cook two big steaks, it browned foods deeply, and its thorough seasoning ensured that our acidic pan sauce picked up no off-flavors. Though its handle is short, the pan has a helper handle that made lifting easy. It survived abuse testing without a scratch. An excellent pan, at an excellent price, that you’ll never have to replace.

Winner
Recommended

Lodge Classic Cast Iron Skillet, 12"

$33.31*

Lodge Classic Cast Iron Skillet, 12"

Our old winner arrived with the slickest preseasoned interior and only got better. Broad enough to cook two big steaks, it browned foods deeply, and its thorough seasoning ensured that our acidic pan sauce picked up no off-flavors. Though its handle is short, the pan has a helper handle that made lifting easy. It survived abuse testing without a scratch. An excellent pan, at an excellent price, that you’ll never have to replace.

Lodge Classic Cast Iron Skillet, 12"

$33.31*

Lodge Classic Cast Iron Skillet, 12"

Our old winner arrived with the slickest preseasoned interior and only got better. Broad enough to cook two big steaks, it browned foods deeply, and its thorough seasoning ensured that our acidic pan sauce picked up no off-flavors. Though its handle is short, the pan has a helper handle that made lifting easy. It survived abuse testing without a scratch. An excellent pan, at an excellent price, that you’ll never have to replace.

Winner
Recommended

Lodge Classic Cast Iron Skillet, 12"

$33.31*

Lodge Classic Cast Iron Skillet, 12"

Our old winner arrived with the slickest preseasoned interior and only got better. Broad enough to cook two big steaks, it browned foods deeply, and its thorough seasoning ensured that our acidic pan sauce picked up no off-flavors. Though its handle is short, the pan has a helper handle that made lifting easy. It survived abuse testing without a scratch. An excellent pan, at an excellent price, that you’ll never have to replace.

Lodge Classic Cast Iron Skillet, 12"

$33.31*

Lodge Classic Cast Iron Skillet, 12"

Our old winner arrived with the slickest preseasoned interior and only got better. Broad enough to cook two big steaks, it browned foods deeply, and its thorough seasoning ensured that our acidic pan sauce picked up no off-flavors. Though its handle is short, the pan has a helper handle that made lifting easy. It survived abuse testing without a scratch. An excellent pan, at an excellent price, that you’ll never have to replace.

Winner
Recommended

Lodge Classic Cast Iron Skillet, 12"

$33.31*

Lodge Classic Cast Iron Skillet, 12"

Our old winner arrived with the slickest preseasoned interior and only got better. Broad enough to cook two big steaks, it browned foods deeply, and its thorough seasoning ensured that our acidic pan sauce picked up no off-flavors. Though its handle is short, the pan has a helper handle that made lifting easy. It survived abuse testing without a scratch. An excellent pan, at an excellent price, that you’ll never have to replace.

Lodge Classic Cast Iron Skillet, 12"

$33.31*

Lodge Classic Cast Iron Skillet, 12"

Our old winner arrived with the slickest preseasoned interior and only got better. Broad enough to cook two big steaks, it browned foods deeply, and its thorough seasoning ensured that our acidic pan sauce picked up no off-flavors. Though its handle is short, the pan has a helper handle that made lifting easy. It survived abuse testing without a scratch. An excellent pan, at an excellent price, that you’ll never have to replace.