Cast away

Kitchen real estate

One of the most pain-in-the-ass challenging things about being a foodie in a small house is finding enough space in the kitchen.

So not only have we eschewed a lot of fun stuff we’d actually like — carbonator, breadmaker — due to lack of counter space, we’ve also passed on many gadgets and appliances that most people take for granted. I’m talking about you, electric can opener.

Below the counters is a challenge, too. You need a staple set of cookware to, you know, cook. So the copper-bottom stainless has to find a home, alongside the cast iron pans, alongside the casserole dishes, the bakeware and the mixing bowls. After one too many bouts with wrestling stuff in and out of the under-sink cabinet, I sought a permanent solution. Permanent, at least, until we do the full kitchen makeover in a year or two.

Screwing in a hook

I scouted out the one remaining piece of kitchen real estate where I could hang that cast-iron, there beside the fridge and above the microwave. Any place else would be in the way of a door, a cabinet or a chest freezer. Or a head.

A little searching will yield lots of pre-made racks for this sort of thing, and also lots of hacks by DIYers. I took a minimalist approach, which put me in business for a little more than $20 spent at Lowe’s. The ingredients:

  • A 3-foot piece of rebar
  • End caps for the rod
  • A 10-foot section of decorative chain
  • Two stainless threaded hooks fished from the shed
  • Six S-hooks
homemade hanging pot rack

I spent more time rifling through empty bins for the S-hooks at Lowe’s than I did actually installing the hanging rack. (That’s not hyperbole. Why, Lowe’s, why?) I got lucky that studs in the ceiling were running in the right direction, and that they were in a place I could use them. If you’re doing this and don’t have the same fortune, you’ll have to run a 2×4 between two joists to mount your chain hooks. But that’s not a tough job. Just make sure you are going into studs here, as you’re going to weight the assembly down with maybe 70 lbs of cookware.

So that’s it.

Hook-bone connected to the stud-bone. Chain-bone connected to the hook-bone. Re-bar connected to the chain-bone. S-hooks connected to the re-bar. Cast iron connected to the S-hooks.

Our handsome cookware is on display yet easily at hand, and our under-cabinet space is increased dramatically.

homemade hanging pot rack
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