A Metal Cooling Rack Perfectly Doubles As A Grill Basket

Grilling is a delightful experience, combining the love for the outdoors with the joy of creating delicious meals. However, the challenge arises when you want to grill smaller items like diced vegetables, shrimp, or chunks of fruit. These tiny delicacies often prove troublesome, as they can slip through the grill grates, turning your pleasant grilling session into a frustrating endeavor. Luckily, you don't have to bother buying a grill basket because the metal cooling rack you probably already own and use for baking purposes provides a simple and effective solution to this common grilling problem.

Repurposing the cooling rack is made possible largely due to its design and material. They are made from durable, heat-resistant metals, making them capable of withstanding the high temperatures of grilling. Additionally, unlike the wider grates on a typical grill, the closely spaced wires of a cooling rack provide a secure platform, preventing small food items from slipping through.

Another advantage of this grilling hack is the rack's ability to promote uniform heat distribution. The gaps in the rack allow heat and smoke to circulate around the food, providing that distinctive grilled flavor and ensuring even cooking. Using a cooling rack also offers practical benefits. These racks are generally easier to clean than traditional grill baskets. Most are dishwasher-safe, saving time and effort in cleaning. They're also more compact, making storage simpler and more convenient.

How to use a metal cooling rack as a grill basket

To use a cooling rack as a grill basket, the first step is choosing the right rack. Use the one made of stainless steel, as this material is durable and can withstand grilling temperatures. Chrome-plated steel-core racks are also a good choice. Avoid racks with a rubberized or non-stick coating, as they can't withstand the high heat on a grill. Also, ensure the rack's grid pattern is tight enough to hold small food items securely.

Once you have your cooling rack, using it on the grill is straightforward. Preheat your grill as usual. While it's heating up, prepare your small food items — chop your vegetables, prepare your shrimp, or dice your meat. If you're worried about sticking, lightly oiling the rack can help. Place the cooling rack directly on the grill grates and position it upside down if it has feet. Arrange your food items on the rack, leaving some space between them to ensure even cooking. Remember, when handling the cooling rack on the grill, use the same caution as you would with any grilling tool: It will be hot, so always use a pair of tongs or heat-resistant gloves when moving or removing it. Finally, after grilling, let the rack cool before cleaning it.