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I've been looking for a way to cool things that are fully coated in a hot substance without damaging the coating. While reading a question about cooling chocolate covered items and how they ended up stuck to the cooling rack, because the chocolate had wrapped around the wires, I mused that placing a cooling item covered in a "liquid when hot, solid when at room temperature" substance (like chocolate) onto an array of pins/nails would be one of the better ways of allowing it to cool without becoming stuck/acquiring an excessive imprint from the cooling rack

Thus, I'm trying to think of some household object with a fairly low density pin-grid arrangement, large size (larger than 1 ft x 1 ft) and flat layout and I'm coming up blank.. The pin density would probably be in the order of 3 or 4 per square inch

  • Hairbrush - too small/not flat
  • Sticklebricks or similar "plastic spikes that cause the pieces to stick together" type toys - pins are too close together
  • Boot cleaner floor mounted brush - too small
  • Artificial grass - too dense
  • Pin art device - probably too dense, too small
  • Doormat with widely spaced plastic bristles - i'm sure I've seen some that are like plastic fingers in a circular pattern, but cannot now find them

It kinda feels like something would have to be made, by hammering picture pins/tacks through a plastic chopping board, or getting a square mesh cooling rack and using a grinder to cut through an entire line of wires, and then twist the wire they remain mounted to, to turn them so they point upwards as pins

Can anyone think of an available product/material that is already a pin-like arrangement? I'm not averse to cutting pins off if it's easy enough (cutting a sticklebrick would be hard work).

I'm also not averse to a completely different solution, if there's an alternative that would work better; perhaps skewering the objects with pins and suspending them? Something far out, like a device that blows cold air through a pipe with the aim of suspending the object in the air stream until it cools, is probably going too far.. (You know how if you blow air though a straw and then put a lightweight ball into the air stream it kinda hovers? That's a bit over-complex, though it might give a good result)

I'd prefer a solution that involves minimal modification to an existing object. Driving 200 nails through a board is just slightly more involved than I'd want to recommend to a less tool-equipped relative. Cutting a wire mesh up with an angle grinder is way beyond

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    Caius, I am not sure this belongs on Lifehacks SE; this sounds far more appropriate for Seasoned Advice SE ( cooking.stackexchange.com ), since you 1) do not have a specific issue in need of a "hack", and 2) your question is directly related to cooking/chocolatier work. As well, this is a very open-ended question, which could garner lower-quality answers. – Paul Beverage Dec 12 '18 at 19:55
  • I've a specific issue; how to cool items coated in a thermosetting substance without them sticking to the substrate they're cooling on/without the substrate imparting damage/impression on the coating. It's been asked before on SA, it didn't get a good answer. I'm seeking an expensive product designed for the task, which they would probably recommend. This is a problem in search of a lifehack/jury rig solution. I've presumed that a bed of nails would be a solution but I'm happy to accept alternative proposals – Caius Jard Dec 12 '18 at 20:26
  • @Paul I see a clear goal (cool chocolate-covered items on something with few contact points) and an openness to / preference of outside the box solutions. Isn’t that how Lifehacks defines itself? – Stephie Dec 12 '18 at 20:28
  • An older one, that I actually made an answer to, concerning how to unstick the chocolate covered items from the rack; it became an accessory musing, while browsing around for ways to cool things. I'm looking for a way to avoid getting into th situation, even though I could think of a reasonable way of getting out of it (that was similar to what the OP ended up doing except the OP heated the base and flipped them off, I proposed inverting them and applying heat till they dropped off themselves) – Caius Jard Dec 12 '18 at 20:35
  • Ah, I see. Nice! – Stephie Dec 12 '18 at 20:44
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Urm, How about a bed of nails?

Bed of nails

Advantages:

  • Easy to make
  • Everyone owns a hammer
  • Stainless steel nails are easy to get
  • It can be made from very small to very large
  • Easily cleaned if using stainless nails and a silicone mat

Disadvantages:

  • Looks totally weird in a kitchen
  • Still leaves tiny imprints in the thermosetting substance.
  • Would you believe the original title of the question was "something like a bed of nails?" :) I was primarily looking for an already-made product chiefly because though I'm sure of my ability to make such a thing, I'm not sure of anyone else's if passing the advice on. I should clarify that – Caius Jard Dec 13 '18 at 5:30
  • Ah, just looked at your edits. And thisis lifehacks. Leave another comment that you've read this and I'll post another answer and delete this one... – Fabby Dec 13 '18 at 8:13
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Out-of-the-box idea: Make sure the chocolate is only as hot as it needs to be, then drop the freshly covered items from a great height (eg a window, high enough that they are cool enough on impact) onto something soft.

  • :D :D :D And use plastic bags and threads to give them small parachutes too! (It's very far out-of-the-box, but it made me laugh) +1 – Fabby Dec 13 '18 at 22:33
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    I think that is actually the way it is done in industry - and not just for chocolate but for things like lead shot! – rackandboneman Dec 14 '18 at 9:44

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