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What Is a Cooling Rack and Why Do You Need It?

Posted by Schaumburg Specialties on Sep 25, 2020

Here’s a complete guide to one of the commercial bakery essentials, a cooling rack, from Eric Schaumburg with Schaumburg Specialties, the manufacture of SHOPCraft racks. Keep reading to know what’s the best option for your business!

What Is a Cooling Rack?

A cooling rack is an object, usually a dedicated cart or stationary unit with wire shelves to allow heat to dissipate from a product.

What Is a Cooling Rack Used for?

Typically our customers in the baking business use cooling racks to remove heat and moisture from a baked product after a  baking cycle.

Cooling racks can be used in a variety of applications from a depanning operation to the storage of product prior to packaging.

Other applications include the curing of products that need time to allow for a chemical process or the aging of some meat products. 

Commercial bakery cooling racks can also be used in a proofing or proving application where a baked product needs time to rise or rest to hold retard or allow ingredients to work to improve flavor or appearance.

Another application is for staling in the production of bread crumbs. Often the product needs extended time on a cooling rack in a controlled environment in order to remove moisture from the product.

Or other times the transport of bread products in paper bags that are stacked or piled together tend to sweat requiring separating the delivering product to allow airflow. In larger commercial operations the loaves of products can be quite large and heavy. Industrial cooling racks sometimes incorporate water to assist in heat removal and can support to plastic objects that need to be submerged.

Cooling Rack Materials

Our commercial cooling racks are designed for continuous service and made from industrial quality materials. These heavy duty carts typically have multiple levels to achieve high capacity in a condensed footprint.

Most often cooling racks are made from corrosion resistant materials where sanitation is important. These materials are typically aluminum or  stainless steel but other metals such as carbon steel can be used if a protective coating such as hot dip galvanizing is applied to the metal.

Stainless steel is a highly durable metal with high corrosion resistance. Aluminum is also a great choice having good corrosion resistance while lighter than stainless steel and is typically less expensive.

What Are the Options for Cooling Racks?

Most often cooling racks utilize a wire shelf. Although perforated shelves can be substituted, wire allows for the best air flow and heat dissipation.

Our typical cooling rack construction consists of a structure to support the shelves and wheels and a separate wire shelf that is either permanently attached to the structure or is removable and sometimes adjustable.

Typically the structure is either a square tube or a structural angle. The shelve most often consists of a frame for rigidity with smaller wires spot welded across the frame. Custom made cooling racks can come in any size and shape depending on the application and product needing cooling.

Cooling racks can be adapted from existing sheet pan racks by using our specifically designed 18” X 26” stainless steel wire grid used in place of a sheet pan.

Do I Need a Cooling Rack?

If you are doing any process that requires the cooling of a product consider a dedicated cooling rack to assist in the process.  Contact us at Schaumburg Specialties, and we will help you choose the best rack for your commercial needs. 

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