The microwave is dead! Long live the pot rack!
October 11, 2012 7:53 AM   Subscribe

Pot Racks! I would like to buy one, but I have questions!

Multi-part question and looking for recommendations!

So, our kitchen is fairly poorly laid out, with not a lot of space for anything. There's not a lot that can be done about this until we can save enough to just gut it. However, recently we have had a small chunk of space open up. Above the oven, someone had mounted a massive, monstrous over-the-oven microwave, strapping the thing to the wall with steels bars as though it might otherwise escape and devour all lifeforms. Recently, this thing died a sparky death, and we were relieved to finally have an excuse to get rid of it.

So now we have all this... space above the oven. And with storage at a premium and pots living on top of the oven, and on the floor, and in the dish drainer, we were wondering about putting a pot rack in that space.


1) Is it unwise to store pots above a stove in this manner? Will they get greasy and grimy?

2) We have 8 foot ceilings. I'm a little concerned about height.

I've been looking at ceiling hanging racks, and specifically the enclume low-ceiling pot racks, both the rectangular type (expensive! omg!) and the bar type (looks like only Williams Sonoma sells this one for low ceilings, and they only have the 2 foot and 5 foot in stock). But, if we thought it would work, we could also do a wall mounted rack, although, unfortunately, there is a shelf along the very top of the wall that eats up the first 12 inches, and which makes this a less practical option for us.

Here is a photo of what we have to work with.

Happily we have some paint of that color left.

Anyone else out there with this kind of set up? How has it worked out for you? Any recommendations for types of racks, how much height we will need, whether we should just not be putting our one cherished creuset hanging dangerously in this manner anyway? Did you go with a wall mounted rack, or a hanging one?

posted by instead of three wishes to Home & Garden (11 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I wouldn't advise hanging pots over that stove because at some point you're going to have to reach over the hot stove to pick up a heavy pot. That's uncomfortable and kind of dangerous.

Oh and I used to hang my "everyday" saute pans and saucepans from hooks on the wall, then ended up adding hooks to the sides of an Ikea kitchen island and hanging them from that.
posted by mskyle at 8:11 AM on October 11, 2012

Best answer: Do your posts and pans nest? Because I would be a lot more inclined to get two of these rather than a hanging pot rack, and mount them behind the stove below the pink shelf. Additionally note the most clever thing I ever saw: two of these, mounted on the ceiling, with hooks for pots and pans. Obviously that only works with a joist, but if your ceilings are only 8 feet, you might give to some thought because I do not think you have anything near enough height for a traditional pot rack.

One deep and one shallow Grundtal wall-mounted might also work if you are concerned about stove access.

Yes, they'll get greasy, you just... wipe them. The pots you clean when you clean the pots!
posted by DarlingBri at 8:19 AM on October 11, 2012 [1 favorite]

Best answer: (See also although this is more what I was thinking.)
posted by DarlingBri at 8:27 AM on October 11, 2012

Unless all the cooks in your household are really tall it's going to be hard to reach and lift pots up high that far back, even when there is nothing on the stove or in the oven. Instead, consider putting whatever contraption you choose on the wall to the left of the stove, and put the very heaviest pieces closest at hand.
posted by mareli at 8:40 AM on October 11, 2012 [1 favorite]

I think a hood over the stove would be more helpful than a pot rack.
posted by Ideefixe at 8:51 AM on October 11, 2012 [2 favorites]

I have a similar setup, only it's also clear above the counter to the right of the stove, so it's this full expanse of wall. I made my own pot rack out of big industrial eye hooks and a 5' length of galvanized pipe, with S hooks holding my pots & pans. It is AWESOME. The eye hooks hold the rail an inch or two away from the wall, and the pots hang beautifully. Kind of like this but homemade. I love it. With your setup you could use a shorter closet rail with the supports on the left and right, rather on the back wall. If that makes sense.

I never considered this & I don't like the look so much but it holds lids too, clever.
posted by headnsouth at 8:52 AM on October 11, 2012

I have a pot rack hanging on the wall directly behind the stove. There is a cabinet above the stove, (definitely lower than your shelf) so the pots almost touch the back of the stove. I love having it there. It's a wonderful space saver, the pots aren't difficult to reach, and they don't get greasy. It's worked out great.
posted by random thoughts at 8:55 AM on October 11, 2012

Response by poster: Ideefixe: We would love a hood, but there is no physical way to install one in that location. When we eventually re-model we will move the oven to another wall completely, make sure it has safer spacing, add a hood, and vent it out. For now, we're just looking at short term solutions that aren't too pricy.
posted by instead of three wishes at 8:59 AM on October 11, 2012 [1 favorite]

I bought two Calphalon half-round pot racks meant to mount flat to the wall, and MacGyvered them into two concentric quarter-round pot racks that span the whole corner. It's wall-mounted, but I ran a cable from the front edge to the ceiling for added support. I'll post a picture if I get a chance, but it holds a lot of stuff!

(You could put a hood there – they don't all exhaust out the back – but you'd have to run exposed ducts around to a vent.)
posted by nicwolff at 9:16 AM on October 11, 2012

I would recommend against hanging pots above the stove. I can tell you from personal experience that they will get greasy even if you had something like one of those apartment recirculating hoods. With no hood? Grease city.

I also recommend against paying a lot of money for pot rack from a kitchenware store. I installed a few ceiling-mounted bars for pot-hanging purposes at a small fraction of the cost of anything for sale at a place like Williams Sonoma. Screwed plates directly into the ceiling beams, extended threaded bar down from that (which you can conveniently cut to whatever length you like) and screwed o-rings to the bottom of the threaded bar holding a length of black pipe. Looks cool, and can support a ton of weight. Currently hanging from one 6 foot long bar I have... let's see... six ancestral cast iron pans of various dimensions, two ebelskiver pans (don't ask), a large commercial stockpot with a pasta insert, a large enameled cast iron cocotte, two small All-Clad saucepans, two large Calphalon tri-ply saucepans, one large Paderno Grand Gourmet saucepan, a random saucepot with a steamer top, around five pieces of Falk Culinair stainless-lined heavy copper in various sizes ranging from an 11 inch saute pan to a 1.5 quart Windsor, and a few odds and ends in heavy carbon steel. I'm not the slightest bit worried about the weight. The nice thing about using a bar is that you can put it pretty much wherever you want.
posted by slkinsey at 9:17 AM on October 11, 2012

Personally, I think I'd hang pots to the left of the stove -- less reaching over hot and steamy pots; you can hang the fry pans low and flush with the wall, and the saucepans higher where they won't get in the way of your head while cooking. In a similar vein, you could put a pegboard (or whatever they call a wire grate that you can hang hooks from) on the left and include lower hooks for all the implements you currenly have in the jar at right, opening one slot there for frequently used saucepans or something else that would fit under the shelf or on that single small shelf.

If you have a few things you really don't use that often -- say, giant stew pots from Grandma that come out only for big projects -- then they might look cute against that back wall up high (especially if they're decorative or have copper bottoms), but I'd rather put a low backsplash (clear contact paper works too) and some cute painted tiles to spruce the place up, and keep the things I want to use a bit closer.

Alternatively, if you tend not to have a lot of things going at once, you could suspend/build another narrow shelf from the pink wooden one directly over the stove to just slide in the frying pans (or to put some baking pans so that other stovetop pans could go in a cupboard). That would buy you some storage without giving up head space -- you might find having this open is a breath of fresh air in a crowded room.
posted by acm at 10:18 AM on October 11, 2012

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