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Ideas to store pans?

one of the reasons I bought the Anolon [professional] pans I did was because they stack so well - but they and my LC frying pan are not meant to be used with metal utensils, so I worry about damaging them.

We have a small kitchen, but does anyone have any ingenious ideas for storage? By the way, the frying pan is REALLY heavy, and aside from that I can't really think of anywhere I can hang them. And layering the pans with bubble-wrap is probably not that good an idea either.

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  1. Well, I hang them mostly, from screws firmly anchored into the drywall, but I've got some space where I can do that without blocking any cabinet doors. If you don't have that sort of space, and you've got cabinets that go all the way up to the ceiling, you could hang some items inside of the cabinet doors. I do that for things like strainers and my chinois, which is an awkwardly shaped thing that takes up a lot of cabinet space otherwise, but that I don't want to hang out in the kitchen where it could get clogged with grease.

    More expensive than a screw in the wall, but another possible solution is a pot rack that hangs from the ceiling. There are long ones that hang from chains for high ceilings and short ones that mount to the ceiling for low ceilings. These work best if you've got wooden joists in the ceiling to anchor them securely.

    1 Reply
    1. re: David A. Goldfarb

      That gives me an idea.... I have this kind of ... table I guess. It's got some herbs on the top, and the 4 biggest pans on the bottom. It might be practical to drive some screws into that, maybe each side, and hang them from there. I think I only have 4 pans, no 5 pans to go up there.

      It might be some kind of fibreboard or something (it's an Ikea thing), but if I could work it, I'd be happy with that.

      Thanks for the great suggestions David

    2. I did this in my first apt with no room for anything. It was not a high ceiling but enough room. I made a simple rack. I think mine was 2 side 4' long and then I just put some simple cross pieces every 4". 4 chains on the corners and hung from the ceiling. Not too far, just enough to hold my pans. Anchor accordingly with the right mollies or whatever you need for the appropriate weight. I used mollies but use what works best in your area. Every ceiling may require something a bit different for the weight.

      I made mine out of pine but stained it a dark walnut to match other decor but you could easily pain, varnish, anything. It was very inexpensive, It looked great easy and quick accessible.

      I also had a small corner area that was wasted space. I made a pretty fabric almost curtain like covering that looked really good and matched a pillow and stored many items in that. No one ever knew what was behind it. Put a cute decorative hook in the wall and attach a ribbon to the curtain to tie and it looks like it belongs.

      A large basket, usually about 10-20 bucks and many stores on top of the fridge hides anything. It looks nice and hides tons of stuff

      2 Replies
      1. re: kchurchill5

        Wow! You're very talented you know. My house is rented, so I don't really want to add permenant fixtures if I can help it (plus the ceiling in probably about 12-13' tall, and I'm unpracticed with powertools at ground-level!)

        I like the pillow idea though. That's something I could do (not for the pans obv). And the basket is a possibility when I get the fridge I'm after.

        1. re: Soop

          Actually my rack I took with me. I have it here at my apt 4 screws and in the ceiling. Right now I put a collection of baskets small boxes, collectibles and small baskets. Great way to store stuff. The basket or even a canvas basket storage unit is great for stuff like that. I use pillow cases in between pots and pans I don't want to scratch. Cheap 99 cents at outlets. Easy washed I use them for a lot of things

      2. I have the most miserable cupboard for storing my pots and pans, some of which also get stored in the oven. I usually just separate pans using paper towels,

        2 Replies
        1. re: MMRuth

          That's a better idea than bubble wrap in the short term. Cool, that's going in the "keep" section of my brain too.

          1. re: Soop

            We used to use paper towels, but I bought some felt dish cushioners from Crate and Barrel. They come in two different sizes in a pretty large pack and they work really well in betwen the fry pans, which are stacked.

        2. I stack pots and pans separated by thick wash cloths. Every now and then toss em in the washer and dryer.

          1. paper plates or coffee filters My frist choice with the 2 or 3 things I stack are the peal off,reuse plastic lids from coffee,nuts etc.

            1. I have the 3 sauté pans I use most often hanging on the outside of a cabinet near the cooktop. They're hanging from a super cheap Ikea cabinet handle that looks like an 11" rod (about $5 for a pair of 'em) with S hooks from their kitchen dept (about $3 for 3 or 5 of them). It's mounted with screws through the inside of the cabinet and it's very secure. Looks good too.

              I have my copper hanging from hammered wrought iron hooks pounded into a beam at the other end of the cooktop. Besides the original hooks (2 of them about 14" apart), there are long iron S hooks and, utilizing the difference between long handled pots and short handled basins and bowl, I can get 3 items and lids on each hook. Depending on various situations, a length of chain could hang from the topmost hook and S chains could be looped through the chain to hang a lot of things.

              You can see a bit of both here but, unfortunately, you can't see the iron hooks from which the copper hangs. http://www.flickr.com/photos/75667634...

              The most wonderful arrangement I ever saw is probably not right for you but may be for someone else. When I was redoing my kitchen and monitoring this sort of stuff one woman had a cabinet installed to hang her pots. It was a tall conventional sized cabinet with only one shelf very high up for lids. Under the shelf she had a rod system mounted and hung the pots from their handles inside the cabinet. As I recall she had mostly sauté pans but if you used the chain concept you could mount deeper pots at varying heights as well.

              Wish I had saved a pic of that. It was fantastic.

              4 Replies
              1. re: rainey

                Nice kitchen Rainey. That gives me an idea too.
                The way I see the rod system you describe is as you might find pans hung at a supermarket, with the disadvantage that if you want the one at the back, you have to remove all the front pans.

                At the moment, Donna uses one big cupboard to store canned food; This is not a good use of space, as cans are small, and the cupboard has no shelf - so it's about 2 ft tall at least. It also has some pipes and things running through, making it an wakward shape.

                However, if I can work out the rod system you describe to fit in that cupboard, but without having to remove all the front pans.... That's probably the best possible solution!

                1. re: Soop

                  Here's a picture of a top view. I don't know if these already exist for whatever purpose:

                  Actually, scrap that. I could just use a rod going across. But I'd need to populate it with s-hooks leading up to a closed circle twisted 90 degrees. That way the pans would face the side of the cupboard with the rail running side to side.

                  1. re: Soop

                    Not sure I described the other woman's system well. The rod that is the basis of her in-cabinet system is like the pole in a closet. There's just one, centrally located and running from side to side. She just hangs all her pots from it by their handles -- nothing in front or back. Just side to side like shirts hanging in a closet.

                    I was suggesting, that in addition to that arrangement, you could hang short lengths of chain so you could also do some higher and some lower.

                    But this system was pretty top-end for someone with a lot of space who could devote a whole upper cab to just pots.

                    Some variation of my found space might be better for you. I just found unused space and got inexpensive materials instead of the pricey hanging systems. Check out an Ikea. I find shopping there maddening and unpleasant but they have lots of good ideas and very affordable materials. Like those wall mounted rod and shelf systems.

                    1. re: rainey

                      God yeah, I hate shopping at Ikea. The system you describe is the system I'm thinking of using, hanging like shirts is a good description.

                2. My hanging pot rack was less than 30 and pretty big. Home depot even cut all my wood, I just stained, put the screws in and hung it.

                  1. Crate and Barrel on this side of the Atlantic do a fairly attractive and reasonably priced rack...


                    For the DIYers amongst us. The mounting points are on 32 inch centres.

                    2 Replies
                      1. re: Soop

                        I'm a DYI gal, but I think I got the idea from Crate and Barrel or Racks and Things. Either way, I did the same version of their metal in a nice wood but for my apt it worked. But understand not everyone has as many power tools as me. I love building stuff so I didn't mind, but yes my idea was based on them. High up ceiling racks works great for storing pans. Simple baskets with a lid can be hung and strong together in a corner of room, small open area or just about anywhere and store tons of items. I had 3 hanging above my toilet in the bathroom which was a great place for towels and extra shampoos etc. Less than 10 each, just a few hooks in the ceiling and done. Decorative, unique and easy way to get stuff off the ground.

                    1. I made a pot rack out a bathroom towel rack (pullman rack) that I bought at Target. The top is and open shelf and the towel rod is underneath. I bought shower curtain hooks and Ikea pot racks hooks for the hooks

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                      1 Reply
                      1. Pans that stack for lack of space, like my cast iron, get a potholder for padding. It's a good use for older, stained cloth potholders, with no paper towel waste.

                        6 Replies
                        1. re: toomanypots

                          Not that your potholders aren't a good idea, but I've been using the same three doubled paper towels between my stacked frying pans for a year, which I don't think's too wasteful. They don't need to be thrown out regularly.

                          1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                            My four cast iron pans sit nestled within one another on a shelf, no padding or anything between them. Never occurred to me that padding was necessary. Been doing this for, uhnmmm, 40 years? If my storage choices have impacted my pots in some negative way, I've missed it. But I do believe you can teach an old dog new tricks. Have I been doing something wrong all this time?

                            1. re: JoanN

                              I totally missed that toomanypots referred to cast iron. The skillets I stack are a combo of stainless and nonstick, hence the protection. I don't have a stackable complement of CI, but if you're missing something, so is my mother, as she's been stacking hers at least as long as you yours and happily cooks with them daily.

                              1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                You're right, they don't 'need' the protection. I stack for lack of space (*ahem*) and I use the pads as a reminder to myself and other household members to not shuffle the pans on each other too much. I have seen scraping damage, and all it really means is being sure to oil the bottoms well so no rusty bottom rims sit on my cooking surface. Using doubled paper towels is just as fine. I was referring to the use of paper towels as throwaway, not the re-use kind such as yours, Caitlin. That's actually what my stack sits on so I don't tear my shelf paper. And it's been the same two paper towels since these pans moved here five or so years ago! If they weren't there, at 20 pounds for the main stack of four, I'd be re-papering monthly.

                              2. re: JoanN

                                no big deal,they do not need protection
                                but,paper in between the cast iron layers is good for the "surface" the seasoning by nature is oil "closing" over metal pores (cast iron)
                                I always toss something between after use/cleaning etc
                                may not be of merit if EACH piece is used a lot,with as many as I own the rotation and stack thingy is important
                                add in the climate control,humidity etc isn't the same for all of us

                                1. re: lcool

                                  It's not always neccessary - I was worried about mine because they're either enameled CI or HA aluminium, and the surface might get scratched.

                                  The solution I went for was to screw in hooks around this wooden table-thing we have. Looks ace, and it's freed up loads of room (plus I finally fixed up my magnetic knife rack, so everything is looking tidy!)

                          2. I use these Range Kleen cookware protectors. They work great! Here are a couple of links with pictures.