Tip 6: Wire racks aren't just for cooling

As the daughter of a good ole fashioned Southern mother, who's the daughter of a good ole fashioned Southern mother, I grew up eating fried food.

Fried ocra.

Chicken-fried steak.

Fried potatoes.

Fried catfish.

Fried apple pies.

The only cookware I remember my grandmother using was a cast-iron skillet, for frying.

And I love fried food. A lot. But as a mother of two cooking in today's society, I know the dangers of eating a diet high in fat, thus, I had to learn how to cook differently. For my family, that meant retiring the lard and my cast-iron skillet (most of the time) and learning the art of breading and baking my favorite foods.

Thus came my discovery of the wire cooling rack and all the wonderful things it can do.

Of course it's the bee's knees for cooling freshly baked pies, muffins, and cookies but it is also:

a fantastic trivet for cooling hot pots just off the stove or out of the oven;

the best way to glaze cakes, coat fruit in chocolate, set truffles, and apply sprinkles to cookies and cupcakes as all the extras drain off; and most important for my family

it's fantastic for "fake baking".

I spray Pam non-stick cooking spray onto my metal cooling rack (best done over a sink so your floors don't end up slippery thus, dangerous) and place it on top of a jelly roll pan that I have lined with parchment paper (so you don't have to wash the jelly roll pan!). Then, I place my chicken, porkchops, fish, and shellfish that I have dipped in an egg/milk mixture and coated in breadcrumbs, crushed cornflakes, Panko, shredded coconut, chopped pecans, or even crushed croutons on the rack and bake.

Having the food elevated up off the jelly roll pan allows the heat from the oven to completely circulate the food, setting the crust perfectly all over, so you don't have to flip it. You get that audible crunch and crispy texture of fried food without the added saturated fat from frying.

Some of my all-time favorite recipes are chicken Parmesan and baked "fried" chicken

So, what are you waiting for? Go, try this and leave me a comment on how it worked for your family!


  1. Great tip! Another reason I really need to get some new cooling racks. :)

  2. I need a few new ones myself... and in a variety of sizes. I have heard restaurant supply stores are best, instead of Williams-Sonoma or Bed, Bath & Beyond. I'll let you know what I find if I can find some time to go to the new one that just opened near me.

  3. I just might have to try this Amanda!

  4. Do it and come back to rave about it for me! I can promise you, you will NEVER fry chicken for Chicken Parmesan ever again! ;)

  5. Can't wait to try this!! Thanks for the awesome tip!


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