Is Your Zucchini Getting Soggy In The Oven? A Baking Rack Can Help

Are you tired of pulling soggy, limp zucchini out of your oven? You're not alone. This is a common kitchen mishap, especially when trying to make tastier versions of your favorite vegetable dishes, like roasted zucchini chips, fries, or spears. The good news is, there's a simple fix to this problem: Using a baking rack.

Let's get to the root of the issue first. Zucchini contains a lot of water. When you cook it, this water starts to come out, and without anywhere to go, it ends up steaming the zucchini from the bottom up, leaving you with a mushy, unappealing texture. This is where the baking rack comes to the rescue. A baking rack is a kitchen tool that elevates your food slightly above the surface below it. In this case, we'll be placing it over a baking sheet. It looks like a grid and is often used for cooling baked goods. However, it's also fantastic for cooking, particularly when you're dealing with high-moisture veggies like zucchini.

Here's how it works. When you place zucchini on a baking rack, air can circulate around it. This means the heat from the oven reaches all sides of the vegetable evenly, causing vaporization of the water content and leaving your veggies caramelized. Besides, any water that doesn't instantly vaporize drips down onto the baking sheet below instead of causing the zucchini to soak up its own moisture. The result? Crisper, firmer zucchini with a much more enjoyable texture.

How to use the baking rack trick

Using a baking rack is straightforward. First, prepare your zucchini as usual — slice it, season it, and toss it with a bit of oil, cheese, and other coatings of your choice. Next, spray non-stick oil onto the baking rack and position it on top of a rimmed baking sheet. Now, instead of placing the veggie pieces directly on the baking sheet, set them on the baking rack that's over the sheet. Spread out the pieces so they're not touching. This helps ensure that each gets cooked evenly while preventing steaming, which could also cause sogginess. Now proceed to bake your zucchini pieces as usual.

Once the zucchini is ready, one last step can take the crispiness to the next level. Simply pop them in the broiler for a few minutes. This gives an opportunity to fully crisp the cheese or breadcrumbs coating the zucchini, adding even more crunch to your finished dish. Remember to watch them closely to avoid a charred disaster. Once done, serve immediately for the ultimate crunchy experience.