What is the best way to store pots, pans and lids

pdx7700February 15, 2014

I can see different advantages to each of these options. Do you like your setup? My husband is leaning towards the first option - rev a shelf. That would mean we would have to convert a drawer into a cabinet instead. I was originally planning on the last option, but I don't know if our drawers (Dynasty) come tall enough to accommodate our larger pans and lids.

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I knew that I didn't want to do the Rev-a-Shelf option because you have to open two doors and then pull forward the roll out. It just didn't make sense to me.

Your last photo is what my ideal would have been (this is from "Beagles" kitchen), but couldn't because I didn't want to give up my 3rd drawer at the top which was housing my cooking utensils. My drawers come up a bit too short to do this - I knew it in planning, but really didn't want to give up the 3rd drawer. I DO have a 4-drawer stack to the left of my cooktop and I could have put utensils in there, but I had plans for my spices in there along with other things in that stack, which meant that utensils needed to stay under the cooktop and I needed to have shallower drawers. So, now, I'm working with my cabinet maker to come up with a solution and I think that I'm nearly there, but it's still a work in progress.

Your 3rd photo addresses just pots, not pans with handles...my 3rd drawer will hold pots and probably be pretty much like what you in that 3rd posted photo.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2014 at 3:36PM
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I think it depends, in part, on how many pieces you have and whether they fit together nicely. I like the third option if that works for your cookware.

The cookware we use the most is a hodge-podge and does not cohabitate nicely, so none of those options worked for us. We ended up storing most everything in a 24" 3 drawer cabinet. Giant cast iron skillet and other short pans in the top, medium in the next and tall stuff in the bottom. A few pot-holders and trivots live in those drawers with them for quick access at the stove.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2014 at 3:44PM
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I'm very happy with our configuration. It seems to me that you lose a lot of capacity when you cannot stack items together. I have 6 cast iron pans in one stack, 6 skillets in another plus 3 misc CI pans in the top drawer. The bottom drawer has 8 pots plus my griddle in the back, wok ring and 10 lids in the front lid keeper slot. Not sure I'd get that storage volume with the Rev-a-shelf or by hanging everything.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2014 at 4:02PM
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I have a few larger saucepans in the drawer under the range; cast iron frying pans are in a 34" drawer (some stacked); my largest pot fits between the frying pans. I don't have a huge number, and plenty of room to keep lids with pots.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2014 at 10:15PM
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I don't have a lot of pots and pans, so I store mine with the lids on the pots like the third picture. I do stack pans. I think the bottom of the four pix is brilliant, but of course, you have to be very particular about measurements for that setup (height of drawer, and depth of covers and pans).

    Bookmark   February 16, 2014 at 1:27PM
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Oh, and I keep my larger, seldom-used items, like the 12-qt stockpot and the 6 qt Dutch oven, in the pantry.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2014 at 1:44PM
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I have mine in a cabinet with two pullouts. I don't adore the set up only because it's not quite big enough for my cooking stash. In the past I had pot racks and liked them a lot but in our very open new house I didn't really want to display them. I'm considering adding another cabinet but I'm not sure how I'd feel about having them in two separate locations. If I wanted to be really honest with myself I'd probably purge some of them since I tend to use the same few over and over.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2014 at 9:25AM
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    Bookmark   February 17, 2014 at 9:37AM
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I do it like photo number 3, but I don't have as many pots as in the picture. My pans with handles fit between the pots. I have one pot that is too tall if the lid is on, but if I flip the lid upside down it fits fine. I stack 3 pans. If you stack things it helps prevent scratches if you put a paper plate between the pans.

I thought about building something like number 4, but I didn't want to box myself into a solution that is so customized.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2014 at 9:55AM
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You can make number 3 look like number four. It will be a divider system that blum sells and it is infinitely adjustable. Number three would be my choice because Blum is so customizable.

Good luck!

Here is a link that might be useful: Blum Orgaline examples

    Bookmark   February 17, 2014 at 10:46AM
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Thanks everyone! I think that #3 will end up working best for my kitchen. I would love #4, but I don't think my cabinets will be big enough.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2014 at 5:02PM
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browneyes776 said :: If I wanted to be really honest with myself I'd probably purge some of them since I tend to use the same few over and over. ::

Do it! Nothing has made a bigger difference to my storage situation than moving out the unused and duplicate pots, pans, and utensils.

The crucial thing is to identify which of your pans you use the most, make sure they are near where you use them (the cooktop and oven) and easy to retrieve. The less-used but still essential cookware can be stowed a bit further away. Any of the items you haven't used in the last year can go in a box in the garage or basement for the next six months, while you discover if you ever feel the need of any of them.

You'll be surprised at how much you love your cookware storage when you know you use everything in it!

    Bookmark   February 18, 2014 at 1:39PM
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Strayer, DH and I have been married 27 years, and in that time we've bought hardly any cookware. We use my Grandpa's cast iron frying pans, and pots and pans we either inherited from my grandparents, or got as wedding gifts. I've purchased a few new cake pans, but those are standard size.

I'm not worried about being locked in with my drawer organization, because if I replace something, it will be with a piece of comparable size. And I have room to spare!

    Bookmark   February 18, 2014 at 2:03PM
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I'm having a 3 drawer-34" wide base with a deep bottom drawer for pots and kettles with their lids on and then the second drawer will hold the frying pans and there is another hidden shallow drawer within the second drawer for more shallow stuff like glass casseroles. It's all theoretical but fingers crossed that it works! Trying to not have to stack very much as my pots also don't stack together nicely.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2014 at 2:09PM
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When I redid my kitchen in my previous home 8 years ago, I purged. Then I purged some more. The result was that I had nothing in my kitchen that wasn't actually used. the kitchen was about 14' x 12'6" plus a 7'x7' pantry and a 4 x 5 island.

Fast forward to new condo remodel. One wall of 13' uppers and lowers , a 10' island, and a 5' x 7' pantry. I have so much extra room it's crazy. Whole drawers that are practically empty. Upper shelves that ARE empty. I don't know what I'm going to do yet to fill them up :-)

    Bookmark   February 18, 2014 at 2:26PM
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Rebecca, (as others have said), there can't possibly be a "best" answer to this; it depends on the pots/pans you have and use and your ways of using them.

I use almost all cast iron pans, so hauling them back and forth to the stove, over time, just doesn't happen. OTOH, I don't use lids on them much, usually just hijack them from aluminum pans stored elsewhere, but close to the stove, upside down on the pan they fit. Because I use those lids, as well as those underlying aluminum pans so infrequently, I don't really care that they're a jumble. If I used them all the time this would drive me bonkers. And while I do have easy space close by for the iron pans, they - sigh - wind up sitting on the 6-ring stove. In all deep, dark truthful honesty, this is the real reason I wanted a 6-ring stove. That's really ridiculous, I know, to have on-counter cast iron pan storage. But that's the truth. Don't tell anyone.

The heavy cast iron cookers I do use with lids, mostly in the oven eventually, keep their lids together with them, underneath in some cases or upside down on top - depends on whether there's a knob. These are so heavy I want them close by but almost always need two trips to get them where they're going anyway. However, two drawer-openings would be annoying. So these drawers have extra-heavy-duty slides on them to manage the great weight. And the drawers are pretty deep, which was perhaps not wise; for heavy weight, more drawers of less depth is good.

OTOH, my aluminum-pan drawers are deep too and this is handy for stacking the lids up on top of nested aluminum pans which again, works because I don't use them much.

For quart size pots, these I do use all the time and are also cast iron and I use their lids. They live in a drawer next to the stove which is just tall enough to hold the pans with their lids inverted on the pots. This is fast, convenient, easy -- the drawers are top drawers; no bending over. I like this a lot.

Agreed on purging the non-used cookware. Do I do it? Um, I'm the worst offender ... OTOH I haven't brought any new junk in. Off-loading for six reversible months sounds wise. For me that would be closer to 6 years, but same idea.... ;)

    Bookmark   February 18, 2014 at 2:30PM
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sjhockeyfan, my Mom is listing her house for sale this week. She moved into an apartment in November, with a smaller kitchen than the house.

I had empty shelves in my new kitchen before she moved. I gained a couple of lovely glass casseroles, and an enameled cast iron dutch oven, among other things. Now that she's clearing out the house and sideboard, I'm getting more stuff - like her mother's china (that I'll store for my kids); a wooden salad bowl set I've always loved - you get the idea. Suddenly I don't have as many empty shelves in the kitchen!

Better to have all that empty space than to inherit treasures with no place to put them.

I purged heavily a few years ago, so I didn't get rid of a lot when I remodeled last summer. But I do have things that I haven't used, but haven't had the heart to ditch, like the crystal punch bowl we got as a wedding present (27 years ago!) It takes up a lot of space for something we never use. Anybody want a punch bowl?

    Bookmark   February 18, 2014 at 2:49PM
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But I do have things that I haven't used, but haven't had the heart to ditch, like the crystal punch bowl we got as a wedding present (27 years ago!)

How about the little silver and blue glass salt servers (with those tiny little spoons) that belonged to my MIL and my DH won't let me toss? Fortunately, my DIL wants the monogrammed table linens that belonged to my DH's grandparents (from their wedding in the late 1800s or early 1900s) -- the ones with the 36" square napkins!

I don't even use my own china anymore, let alone anyone else's!!

    Bookmark   February 18, 2014 at 2:54PM
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Eight years ago we put in two Schrock "pot drawer" cabinets. From the outside, looks like any two drawer base cabinet. However, the top drawer has lower sides, and there is a hidden roll-out drawer for pot lids. Schrock still makes this cabinet, and others may also.

I also was able to get Barker Cabinets to create one of these.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2014 at 6:46PM
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Here's the Barker cabinet that they have created. It's a "base - 2 drawer - tall ( "B2DRTALL") with a roll-out shelf. These are the cabinets I am considering for my new kitchen remodeling project.

Here is a link that might be useful: Barker pot drawer

    Bookmark   February 18, 2014 at 7:00PM
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I'll admit I'm really out of the loop and didn't realize there were such sophisticated options for the common pots/pans! My personal first choice would be the rev a shelf, what a concept!

    Bookmark   February 18, 2014 at 7:17PM
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I like 1, and 3. I have 3 in this kitchen and am so grateful someone thought to address pots/lids when the kitchen was redone. Don't have all the high end finishes, but I do have pretty white cabinets providing more (and convenient) storage than I need - so much more than what I was used to.

And I haven't had to knock over a stack of lids trying to reach the one I want for a year now - so voting for 3 with 1 as a back up ;)

    Bookmark   February 18, 2014 at 8:10PM
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Chicago bob, is there an advantage to doing the drawer within a drawer like what you have as opposed to a 3 drawer stack? I sincerely would like to know. : ) Thanks!

    Bookmark   February 18, 2014 at 8:54PM
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laughable - I'm not Chicago Bob, but we had considered something like that at one point when it looked like I might not be able to have my 3rd (top) drawer under my induction cooktop at a usable height...we would have had the front represent as the two drawers, but part of the front would have been covering an area of the cooktop clearance, then the drawer in a drawer would have been just below that...putting the drawer within a drawer would have yielded me the storage area that I needed, even if it was a bit less convenient.

If you have a choice though, I would be less likely to do the drawer in a drawer. As it is, my top drawer front for my cooktop cabinet is 6" high (lining up with the rest of the top drawers in the kitchen) and will have a drawer depth of about 2 1/2"...enough for me to put flatter utensils (or some people would put lids) in that area.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2014 at 9:32PM
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What a great post since I had planned to put my pots and pans in drawers. I better make sure the drawers will be deep enough. Thank you!

    Bookmark   February 18, 2014 at 9:44PM
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We put in two of these, each 30" wide. In a somewhat cramped kitchen we found room for not only pots and lids but also things like the toaster (see pix) a slow cooker, a Panini grill, onions (see pix) potatoes and a few other things. The way I use them is that I reach for a pot, then slide the drawer out and reach for a lid. No more foraging through a stacked mess and knocking over every pot except the one you need! I did not go for three drawers, as they would have been more expensive, and each drawer would have been equal height. I only need a 4" drawer for lids.

In our new kitchen, I will have room for only one of these 30" drawer cabs, but I'm also planning on two "appliance garages" to store the small electrics.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2014 at 10:47PM
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modern life interiors


    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 10:46AM
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Thank you for answering my question, Andreak100 and Chicago Bob. I think I understand better now. : )

    Bookmark   February 19, 2014 at 10:49AM
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