Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Cookware >
Apr 23, 2007 12:01 PM

Overhead pot rack -- a good idea?


I'm in the middle of planning a kitchen renovation and while I have a lot of raw space, the layout is a bit of a challenge.

An overhead pot rack where I hang the majority of my commonly used pots and pans seems like it could be a useful addition -- and nice to look at as well -- but I've never had one so I'm seeking opinions on them.

Off the top of my head, they seem like a bad idea...

-- Items hung up a bit damp drip on your head or whatever's below.

-- Shorter visiting cooks (or children I might have some day) can't reach

-- Infrequently used items get dusty, or even worse, a little greasy if they're over the range and the hood isn't 100% efficient.

Anyone out there have one? How is it? Love it? Hate it? Advice on where to locate it on the floorplan?

Thanks in advance.


  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I love my pot rack. I built a grid of copper pipe and douglas fir that hangs directly over the center of my L shaped kitchen. Yes seldom used items may get a little greasy-dusty, but maybe it's time send them to the Goodwill anyway. People over 6' 3" will bump their heads and my wife can't reach anything, but I do all the cooking anyway.

    1. I wouldn't hang it over the stove. Seems like the ideal place would be over an island in the center of the kitchen. And it might be good if kids can't reach!

      1. I had a wall pot rack built by my local welder. It's steel-frame around expanded steel, then powder-coated. Hang with "S" hooks from IKEA. Feet attaching to the wall by screw are reached through the expanded steel, so very clean looking. (Had to remember to put in 3/4" ply before the sheetrock.) Love it.

        1. Great feedback so far everyone -- keep it coming!

          A few responses to what people have posted so far:

          -- I feel like every time I use a pot-rack at a friends and they have those S hooks the hook comes falling down on my head. Does one get agile with them?

          -- If it's over the island it's rather hard to light the island, no?


          4 Replies
          1. re: Peter

            I was thinking of the rectangle kind where the pots only hang around the edges. Plenty of room for light in the center.

            1. re: Peter

              I have the straight calphalon racks attached to the soffit above the cabinets, one over the sink and one over the stove hood and hang most of my all clad pots and calphalon skillets, works real nice. they have hooks that are custom bent to move where needed but stay put when hanging and removing the pots, the stable hooks are a must. My short wife can just about put away or reach every pot except the 2 qt pot which I get to hang or she grabs a chair. You need an 8 ft or greater ceiling for this. Wanted to go over the island but I think that would have blocked a lot of light and I couldn't find the right rack. Some of the lesser used pots accumulate a little grease over the stove. The allclad lids slide over the handles nicely so they are never a hassle to locate.

              1. re: Peter

                I recently saw a pot rack at Costco that included two lights on it... didn't see it available online.

                1. re: Peter

                  Better quality racks usually have a number of anchored hooks that do not jump off (usually set in channels built into the rack). If loose ones really bother you they could be anchored with something as simple as a 'glue dot' (craft stores sell them for use in making floral displays or gift baskets) or even a piece of fine gauge wire.

                  Lighting issues depend on the specific physical configuration of your kitchen and on how many and what size/shape pots you want to hang. We have a total of 7 can lights in our kitchen ceiling (all within a few feet of an island that is about 9' x4') but the rack hangs over the sink, which is in the center along one side), so we have plenty of light at either end for prep work. There are 8 or nine pots and pans on the rack.

                  Hope that helps some.

                2. When building our house, we designed a large potrack to be positioned over the island. It is a five foot oval copper/brass Enclume w/ grid so all space is useable with S hooks. I am the solo cook and, with that in mind, hung it for MY convenience. With my arm raised, we located the edge at my wrist so I can reach the pots with safety and ease.

                  During the framing stage of construction, we replaced standard 2X6s w/ much larger lumber knowing this behemoth would carry a lot of heavy LeCreuset, copper and cast iron. Very large "all threads" were bolted through these beams for eventual installation of the potrack. (It has proved to be very stable.) We also wired it for low voltage electricity but have never completed this because 1.) I don't need it and 2.) finding attractive, non-breakable fixtures has been a challenge.

                  To answer your specific questions:

                  -- Yes, wet items will drip on the counter. Dry them throughly before hanging.

                  -- Short visiting cooks are on their own. This is my kitchen. (I also discount any complaints about my lowered cooktop for the same reason, my kitchen = my comfort).
                  PS - no matter how carefully you plan for your childrens' height, this will change over the years and there is no way to accomodate the range of approx 2' - 5' or 6'.

                  -- Infrequently used items will certainly get dusty, like everywhere else in the house. Either use them, discard them or dust them.

                  NB: because my potrack hangs over the island, some visibility to the other side of the kitchen is compromised. This is a small price to pay when the overall benefit is counted.

                  I love this baby and would carry it out in case of a fire!

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: Sherri

                    Yes, I suppose lights could hang down through the middle or light could shine down through the middle but then you trade the utility of the potrack for the aesthetic beauty of pendant lights or some such. And you lose the even, unbroken light that makes working on an island more pleasant -- I imagine you get all sorts of odd shadows.

                    Not necessarily bad trades mind you, just something I'll have to keep in mind.

                    Keep the feedback coming!

                    1. re: Peter

                      Peter, re: the lights, we actually found and installed copper pendants but removed them because they didn't make a big enough difference in the overall lighting scheme to warrant being there. The wiring is sheathed in copper that also hides the utilitarian all-threads and, for now, is simply tucked up and hidden awaiting a day when I may decide to reconnect some lighting.

                      re: lighting at the island, be vigilant about ceiling can placement. Unless they are over the island pointed directly at the work surface, not on the room perimeter, your body will throw shadows on your work area. It may be worth talking to a lighting specialist because of all the wonderful products available. We would have never found the directed halogen beams otherwise and I treasure them.

                      Good luck on your project.

                      P.S. just read your post re: the falling S hooks. Be aware that S hooks come in many different weights. Flimsy featherweight S hooks may well dislodge but the hefty ones do not budge for me.

                      1. re: Sherri

                        My cooktop is in my island with a downdraft vent that goes up and down like a periscope kind of...anyway I have thought about a pot rack over the island but has discarded the idea. I had very nice looking suspended lighting over the cooktop that was a total bear to keep clean. The downdraft is not the most efficient vent system and my electrical/appliance repair person suggested a booster for the fan which I am giving thought to, but it seemed that trying to keep the light fixture and if I hangs any pots or pans over it I'll be in the same situation. So the light fixture came down and went away and I have recessed lighting over the island now