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Tips on hanging a cast iron skillet from drywall?

  • k

This is almost more for a hardware forum than Chowhound, but I just bought a 12" CIS that weighs about 7-10 pounds and I'm worried that it will tear a big ol' hole in my 1/2" drywall if I hang it from a nail.

Has anyone braved this challenge already? Thanks.

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  1. Hanging anything "from a nail" isn't a great solution, not because of weight but because the act of removing/replacing it will cause the nail to loosen the drywall around it, making it unsightly. 7-10 pounds isn't all that heavy but it's best to use a hook that screws into the drywall with a drywall anchor, for appearance and durability.

    1. Here's an attractive and inexpensive option with 8 hooks (room to grow):


      Looks like it installs with a couple of toggle bolts.

      3 Replies
      1. re: ferret

        One thick woodscrew did the trick. That's a good deal on the rack though.

        1. re: ferret

          That IS a nice fixture.

          You COULD use a nail if you find a wooden stud. This is assuming you have a traditional wood, framed wall behind the drywall, which is standard practice. However, more and more rooms are being partitioned with aluminum studs.
          The stud (a vertical member, usually wood 2x4 or 2x6) should be 16" apart. You can begin by tapping your knuckle along the wall near where you want to hang the pot. As you knock, maybe an inch apart, you'll hear the pitch change as you pass over the stud (it'll "feeel" and sound more solin). As you zero in on it (make several passes, and figure out where the center point is), make a light pencil mark. Measure 16 inches to the left and right from this mark and see if there is another stud there by knocking again. This to verify your first point, a kind of triangulation of sorts...
          You could also look closely along the wall for clues of plastered-over screws. The screws were used to secure the gyprock to the studs. Where there is a plastered-over screw, theres a stud. Measure multiples of 16 inches from where you find the screw(s) to where you want to hang the pan to locate your stud.
          When you're somewhat confident you found the stud, you can drive the nail in at your mark, or do a little exploring first. Hammer a small nail into the gypsum. If you hit something solid, remove it and use your hanging nail. If nothing solid, move a bit to the left or right (where you think the stud is) and try again until you hit the stud.
          For the hanging nail, I'd suggest a 4 incher.
          I would not suggest simply nailing into the drywall (no stud). Even if it holds your skillet, it will soon come loose.

          If you don't want to go this route (potentially making holes in your nice wall with no results), speak to your hardware guy. Theres lots of drywall anchors and hooks with different weight ratings;
          The toggle isn't good for hanging, neither is the plastic anchors. I'd go with something like the threaded toggle (hang the pan from the added bolt), or the threaded anchors (again hang the pan from the added bolt). The Walbiter looks like the one you want.
          Again, tell the hardware guy what you want, he'll point you the way.

          Realize that your wall is going to get a beating from the skillet...

          1. re: ferret

            I have one like it. It usually holds a 14" heavy DeBuyer steel skillet, a medium weight steel omelet pan, a 12" copper skillet, a 10" oval copper skillet, a steel crepe pan, an 8" AC, and a small aluminum saucepan with pigtail lid. I used Molly bolts.

            1. SUCCESS! (yes, that is my whole kitchen)

              3 Replies
              1. re: kmelt

                It does not appear that there would be a stud in that location, and if not, it's not going to hold up. You should mount a pegbord fastened to studs at the corners, and hang the ban on that.

                1. re: kmelt

                  Forget about the skillet- dude, where's your stove?

                  1. re: kmelt

                    You should keep your Worcestershire sauce in the fridge.

                  2. Even a nail in a stud is going to fail. Most studs are pine and pine is a soft wood. Either modify to a peg board or a U-shaped holding thing that goes into two studs some distance apart. I have two cast iron heavies (a cornbread form that makes corncob shaped singles and my beloved skillet) both on a U thing which is behind my cook top and which also allows me to hang my most used spatulas and spoons there. By spreading the weight over a longer space, it shows no wobbles after seven years of heavy use.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: shallots

                      Even a nail in a stud is going to fail. Most studs are pine and pine is a soft wood.

                      Bwahahahaha, good one shallots

                      1. re: shallots

                        Hmm, I think you must be joking about the whole pine stud thing. Sure it's a soft wood, if you're thinking about burning it, but as a structural element most pine is pretty hard. Definitely enough to hold up a good sized nail. I know this because I do this. You may not want to drive the nail in at a 90 degree angle, sure - do a 45 or 40 degree angle.

                        1. re: breadchick

                          Yeah, a 4" nail into a pine or spruce stud ain't going anywhere.

                      2. old school flip toggle would be the best, but man, is that wall gonna take a beating!

                        1. The weight doesn't bother me a bit...I have pictures that are as heavy, maybe heavier. Just a matter of finding a hanger rated for the load. The heavier duty models have multiple nails and a small bearing plate to distribute the load and reduce the likelihood of pull-out.

                          That works great for STATIC loads. Drywall is brittle, and if you are not just hanging the pan for decoration but bring it down regularly to use, eventually you will tear out those hangers. Next step up is to get a nice hook from the hardware store and anchor it to a wall stud with a nice long wood screw (at least 2-1/2") PRE-DRILL A) to make sure you are actually drilling into a stud B) to minimize tearing up the wall. THERE IS NO WAY A SKILLET IS GOING TO PULL A REASONABLY WELL-EMBEDDED WOOD SCREW OUT OF A STUD UNLESS YOU ARE HANGING OFF OF IT. If no wall studs, what to do? MY recommendation is to skip conventional plastic drywall anchors and go directly to toggle bolts or "Molly" type anchors (steel bolt with a plastic sheath that splays out behind the wall).

                          Last consideration is that the pan banging against the wall will be a problem...best suggestion is to put up a bit of decorative sheet metal

                          1. I see you've already done it, but it doesn't look like you found a stud. But I agree with other who say find a stud (or two), mount some hooks to a board, and attach the board to the wall by drilling into the stud.

                            My dad was right about all of these things. I was too lazy to find a stud when I hung up my spice rack. But it's just spices, right? Wrong. They all fell straight onto the floor. Moral of the story: listen to my dad (and probably your dad too), and take the extra effort to make sure you find a stud.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: caseyjo

                              Another somewhat pricey but bullet-proof approach is to check out the elfa line of shelving at the Container Store...a wire shelf over a counter is nice and you can hang an S-hook off of it for skillets, corn stick pans, etc. The elfa system anchors to the wall top plate (a CONTINUOUS 2x4 that frames out the top of the stud wall where it meets the ceiling, so you can support a pretty substantial weight. There are cheaper knock-off's that may be available at your local hardware store or big-box home center...my suggestion is to check out the Container Store catalog since they show tons of options that will get the creative juices flowing, then pick a system that meets your budget. The Container Store people have a substantial amount of experience with anchoring heavy stuff to drywall walls, and they offer the nuts and bolts that work best. They are a great resource, and I will spend the extra bucks on their stuff because it always works (CAVEAT EMPTOR: beyond elfa and Skandia products, a lot of the stuff they sell is expensive crap which I try to avoid), and I rarely have to go back and forth to get the bits and parts to "make it work"...if you have done even the most mundane home project, you know that is huge.