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Oct 4, 2012 12:03 PM

Keeping Dishes and Enameled Cookware on Chrome Wire Shelving

Hi, all-

I am in the process of figuring out a place to keep a small collection of enameled cast iron cookware and porcelain dishes. My fiance and I live in a small 1 BR apartment with narrow cabinets (and very few of them- just enough for food and small stuff that we keep by the stove. We have considered a sturdy cookware stand (Enclume), which would help with the cookware but we would still need to figure out what to do with the dishes. We like the idea of keeping these along the wall by the dining table, but since we rent, we do not want to invest in seriously large furniture or attaching anything to the walls.

I already have some chrome wire shelving from a DIY pantry in a previous apartment, and wouldn't mind investing in some additional shelves. I am concerned that the style of shelving is too "rugged" to keep porcelain plates stacked on, though- since the weight is not evenly distributed across where the plates and shelving make contact (since it's not a solid surface). I am also concerned that the shelving could scratch up the enameled coating on my Le Creuset. Am I being paranoid? We recently received these items as weddings gifts, and I've never had such a well-equipped kitchen- I don't want to wreck anything! If anyone has any experience keeping dishes on these shelves, what depth do you recommend? We have a short, 12-inch deep unit in a closet and that struck me as too narrow when I put a plate on it.

Thanks in advance!

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  1. Le Creuset is indestructable. If your chrome shelving scratched their finish, they should (and will) be immediately replaced by the manufacturer. If you've got really fine china, invest in some of those quilted fabric jackets (a set of various sizes is usually available at Bed Bath & Beyond - dont forget the 20% coupon). And congratulations on the newly outfitted kitchen!

    1 Reply
    1. re: Cheflambo

      Cheflambo, I must respectfully disagree with you on two points. First, LC is not indestructible. Drop it onto a hard surface with sufficient force and it will chip, crack, or break. In fact, the lid of one of my LC pots suffered several chips in the enamel, deep enough to expose the bare cast iron, when a heavy Pyrex bowl fell on it from above (don't ask!). Second, LC won't automatically replace a damaged piece if they decide that the damage was caused by the owner's misuse. Case in point: the aforementioned chipped lid. They will, however, offer to sell you a replacement for about half the MSRP: that is, roughly what you'll pay for it at a discount retailer if you wait for a sale. (On the plus side, my chipped lid is perfectly functional--and serves as a useful reminder to be more careful in the future!)

    2. Places like Storables that sell this kind of shelving have various forms of shelf liners. If I recall correctly one is a thick vinyl (or similar plastic) that would be nearly invisible.

      1. I've stored Le Creuset on steel shelving for years without issue, I have no chips on my pans. As for dishes, the only ones I store on the shelving is platters. With my cats I won't risk stacking dishes on them. I mainly use the shelves for storing cookware and appliances like my Vitamix and DLX mixer. When I bought my newest shelves they came with shelf liners that a previous poster linked to.

        1. Thanks, everyone! It looks like the wire shelving with shelf liners may be a good option. Unless the Enclume goes on a dramatic sale sometime soon, I'm probably going to go the wire shelf route.

          (Sort of changing directions: Does anyone know if Enclume ever goes on sale? BB&B has one that I could use a coupon on but it doesn't look the same as the ones at W-S, SLT, or the Enclume online store.)

          5 Replies
          1. re: HungryHoya

            Costco and Sam's club probably have the best prices.

            1. re: rasputina

              Have you seen the Enclume cookware stand in stores? I have not seen them in stores around here and there's nothing on the Costco website, but I might be willing to make a road trip if the price was right.

              1. re: HungryHoya

                No not the cookware stand, I was referring to steel wire shelving.

                1. re: rasputina

                  My mistake! I will check out the wire shelving at Costco.

                  Thanks, all!

                  1. re: HungryHoya

                    You could get plexiglass cut to specifications of your metal shelving and line the shelves.

          2. I simply put silicone potholders/mats under the pots and pans that I store on my wire shelving. The mats protect against scratches and keep the pots and pans from sliding around during the frequent earthquakes we have here in Japan.