Second to a sous chef, a pot rack is the best assistant to have in your kitchen. The right one will add style to your decor while freeing up counter and cabinet space. We understand that the amount of models and choices on the market may be a little daunting, so follow this helpful guide right to the perfect pot rack for your home.
1. Choose a Type
Your first task is to decide what kind of rack you need. A hanging pot rack mounts from the ceiling, typically placed over kitchen islands, sinks or counters. Significant ceiling height is a must. Wall Mounted racks work well next to cabinets, mounted over stoves or above an open space where there is ample room for pots and utensils to hang.
2. Space it Out
Next, determine how much space you have for your rack. For a wall-mount installation, simply measure the area in which you will hang the rack, adding several inches at the bottom for dishware to hang off. A person's reach is about one foot taller than their height, so for a ceiling-mounted pot rack, a good rule of thumb is to subract the ceiling height from your height, minus a 12-inch reach, minus approximately 12-inches for pots. Then, to determine how much chain is needed, subtract the pot rack height from that result.
You can also try this easy trick:
First, gather your largest stock pot, the longest handled fry pan and the smallest pan your use regularly. Then, grab all of the cooks who will need to access those items. Have your chefs hold the assortments of pans at the level you'd like to hang your rack. The cookware should be held an appropriate distance from the top and edge of the counter, facing in the proper direction. Be sure that the tallest chef's head clears the lowest-hanging pan and that shortest the chef can reach the smallest one. Measure the rack you just designed (Tip: make x's on the ceiling with masking tape). Note the length, width and distance between the pan's hook and the ceiling.
3. Shapley Matters
Now that you have an idea about the size of your rack, consider the shape. With sleek curved edges, oval pot racks are a popular choice. Rectangular racks feature clean lines and are easier to place in corners or against a wall. Typically smaller, a stylish round rack is perfect for tighter kitchens.
4. Finishing Touch
With so many materials and finishes to choose from, it's important not only to consider your decor, but also the weight and maintenance required. The ever-popular brushed stainless is easy to clean and hides most scratches, plus will blend seamlessly with existing appliances. Shiny metals like chrome, brass and mirrored stainless steel add a decorative touch but require regular polishing to retain their luster. Wrought iron and hammered steel are a good choice for those who don't want to spend a lot of time cleaning or polishing. These durable metals can withstand the heaviest loads and resist tarnishing and rust. Plus, deep scratches can be covered with a little paint. Wood racks require minimal maintenance, but generally hold the lightest loads.
5. Taste Test
Now that you have a feel for the size, shape and finish of your pot rack, the final decision rests on personal taste. Do you prefer the understated look of today's commercial kitchens, or the intricate designs of old time Italy? Consider a custom rack for a precision-cut design that's uniquely yours, or opt for multipurpose lighted racks. Browse hammered steel pot racks by Enclume, intricately-formed styles by Steel Worx, sturdy wooden racks by Sawbuck and more. KitchenSource.com has an option for every style and budget.