Help with location of storage for pots/pans

CT_NewbieAugust 24, 2013

Hi! Just wondering where people store their pots/pans. We're installing a 48" range top. Most designs I've seen put the pots/pans in the wide drawers right below. Our KD suggested putting regular cabinets right below for small appliances and having the wide drawers both to the right and left of the range top. She felt that it was more convenient to access the pots and pans if one needed an additional one vs. having to step back or ask the chef to step back to get another one. I think I usually take all of my pots/pans needed out at once. My concern with her idea is that I'd have a surplus of wide drawers whose heights can't be adjusted. Also, I sort of liked the look of having the wide drawers follow the form of the range top. I do have a lot of cabinets so I'm not too worried that I won't have enough space

Please advise. Thanks!

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There's always something wrong with any layout.

Whatever is there will be blocked by the cook during active cooking ... so having small appliances in cabinets sounds clumsy. You need the toaster oven, so you interrupt the cook's omelet-making, open the cabinet and crawl under the range to get it? Cabinets with pullouts are still awkward, because you have to completely open the doors to pull out the slider.

I would have cooking utensils in a shallow drawer under the cooktop, with the most-used ones at the front, so cook steps back a few inches, partly opens the drawer and grabs the spatula.

Under the rest of it? Drawers with the pots and pans that are used mostly at the cooktop. Spaghetti pot, yes. Big casserole dish, no ... because it goes in the oven, not on the cooktop. Put it near where it will be loaded with food, like under the prep counter.

And seldom-used appliances under the cooktop: the waffle iron?

We're planning a "small appliance shelf" so the toaster and the mixer and other appliances can stay in a usable spot and not be hauled in and out of cabinets and drawers.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2013 at 11:01AM
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How are you configuring the drawers under the cooktop? and where is your clean-up, baking area and prep spaces going to be?

I'm just thinking - I agree to put cooking utensils in a shallow drawer under the cooktop but I would make 2-24" drawers for that. Make one into your actual cooking utensils (for me that would be stirring spoons, wooden spoons, stir-fry stirrers,) and then the other one could be either a knife drawer (depending on where you are planning on prepping) or where your lest used utensils could be put.

As for the other drawers, if you do clean-up of foods from the cooktop what about storing your food storing things in those drawers. You wouldn't need those drawers for cooking but it would be a good place for storing small casserole dishes that could go straight from fridge to oven or MW with your leftovers.

It's really hard to make suggestions without knowing how you cook or what the rest of your kitchen looks like in terms of prep area and clean-up area. I could make suggestions till the cows came home though! :)

If you have a 48" range that to me indicates a very large kitchen and efficiency of movement when cooking and prepping is going to be key for you. When you are back into your kitchen you will reorganize your drawers and cabinets several times until you get a system that works for you. What is key right now is to plan for a variety of sizes to take into account the small appliances, large appliances, and other kitchen stuff that you use and need to store.

Think about how you cook and move in your kitchen now and the things that you hate about it and the things that make sense.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2013 at 12:42PM
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I agree with putting things near their point of use, which means cooking utensils, pots and pans go under the cooktop. You know what you'll be cooking, right? So you take out what you need before you actually start using them to cook. Measure your pots and pans, and size the drawers accordingly. Some people store their pans vertically (no stacking) with drawer dividers; others have a separate drawer, or a pullout within a drawer, for lids.

The only non-drawer base cabinet in my kitchen is a very narrow one for cookie sheets. I put small appliances in a super susan in the corner. I have a range, so I put pots and pans in a drawer right next to it on one side, utensil drawer on the other side, another drawer with potholders nearby.

Bottom line - careful planning of what you have, complete with measurements, is the secret to a well-organized kitchen.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2013 at 12:56PM
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I have mine under the cooktop, and narrower drawers on each side that contain cooking utensils, and the bottom side drawers do store some small appliances. Works great for me, and I think it looks nice too.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2013 at 1:14PM
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I use a pot rack for anything with a long handle, cooling racks, and mesh drainers. All of my saucepans and saute pans have lid loops that slide over the handles. I easily have over two dozen pieces of equipment on this rack.

My LC dutch ovens and casseroles are in a cabinet now, but will go on open shelves around the cooktop in the new kitchen.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2013 at 1:44PM
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Pots and pans belong under the cooktop, if you can. Period. That's the best place.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2013 at 2:16PM
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Most of mine are in the drawers under the cooktop. Never noticed an issue with the drawer in the way.
My giant vessels are in my Super Susan - not as convenient but it works

    Bookmark   August 24, 2013 at 5:05PM
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The designer at my fabricator's office tried to talk me into storing pots and pans next to my rangetop instead of underneath it like your KD is talking about. It didn't make sense to me either. As I'm the only one that actually cooks at my rangetop, I'm the one that gets the pots and pans out. If I forget to take one out before I start cooking, it's easy for me to step out of my way and get one. Very seldomly somebody else needs a pot while I'm standing at the rangetop. I would, however, need to step out of the way routinely for someone if I were storing something else under the rangetop. That would be quite a nuisance for me. I'm very happy with the two wide and deep drawers I have for my pots and pans under my rangetop.

And a big "no" to putting cabinets instead of drawers under the rangetop, regardless of what you are storing there. Stand your ground. Storing things by zone usage is best. Cooking tools are stored in the cooking zone.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2013 at 6:15PM
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I'm with numbersjunkie, westsider40, a2gemini. Under the cooktop.

The reality is that you really end up using the same 3 or 4 pots or pans all the time. I keep those in the top drawer and then put the less frequently used ones in my bottom deep drawer under the cooktop. Drawers to the right hold utensils.

AND, I got advice on GW about a narrow drawer to the left of the cooktop b/c I had a random 15" spot. I can look back to the thread if you want, but she had cutting boards in hers. Mine ended up being wider than that and we put the lids to the pots in there. They all slot in perfectly and really were in the way elsewhere. Works out perfectly so I should really go back and thank her! It's one of my favorite features b/c all the lids are right there and they don't take up any space elsewhere with their odd shapes & sizes. (Some people don't have to stack up their pots at all but I don't have that much space - maybe you will!)

I would love to have the deep narrow drawer we have for lids and then another next to it for cutting boards (basically 2 12" wide drawers that are half the cabinet depth.) That would have been ideal.

I think the sound of 2 24" drawers for utensils and then the deep drawers sound nice. Check through here though b/c there was another thread going around that talked about the utensils being hot...?

I just took a pic of that lid drawers for someone else so here it is - mine is just a 36" Thermador rangetop, not 48" though!

    Bookmark   August 24, 2013 at 6:41PM
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Thank you all! That gives me a lot to think about. Ackorcan - looks like a beautiful kitchen just from the glimpse of the drawer/countertop

I will post a photo but have to give the KD our best version before getting it. I think I will have the pots/pans under the cooktop. That seems to be the favorite.

I actually was considering keeping my utensils in my bamboo container and leaving them on the countertop. Is that unsophisticated? I feel like they are all right there and contained. But you're right, I'll probably be rearranging things several times. I guess I should make sure that the top side drawers have utensil dividers in them and I'll ask about the utensils directly under the stove. I seem to recall that the spices weren't kept there due to the heat and they would be going in one of my side drawers.

By the way, I'm not super tall and our spices are currently in the cabinet above and next to our stove and we always knock something down.


    Bookmark   August 25, 2013 at 11:09AM
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We store our pots and pans under the range top, but have open shelving rather than drawers. We didn't like the idea of having to yank a drawer out while cooking at the range top. It works well for us.

We also keep the utensils we use during the cooking process (spatulas, wooden spoons, tongs, etc.) in a container on the counter right by the range top. It is a kitchen. We don't mind having some things out in the open that show that we actually cook. The rest of the utensils are in a drawer with dividers.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2013 at 11:34AM
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Thanks, CT_Newbie!

I wanted to add my enthusiastic agreement that your most commonly used utensils can be in a container on your countertop. I can't imagine yanking open a drawer everytime I needed a wooden spoon or spatula! I keep a spoon holder next to the little clay container for our utensils.

We also keep a bowl of fresh fruit on the counter to encourage our kids to reach for that first! It's currently doing double duty of hiding a speaker b/c the Sonos for our ceiling speakers hasn't been activated yet. ;-)

And a glass bowl for keys... you gotta live in your kitchen!

One thing I'd say - for my $0.02, don't get the built in dividers for your cooking utensils, unless you've determined that it really fits what you have. I love ours for our regular cutlery and it works perfectly, but had been cautioned to not necessarily spend on the expensive built in dividers for utensils (or peg boards.) There are less expensive, nice alternatives out there from all sorts of brands that are also wood and may be able to be flexibly sized. We actually just used these tension dividers for one drawer because everything was long. So, others may disagree, but I'm glad I only got the dividers built-in for my utensils, then lived in my kitchen a bit and bought and customized the rest of our storage.

(As a PS, a utensils drawer right under the stovetop will push down the drawer for the pots and pans, and make your second one shorter. You may want to try standing and reaching down to see how you like that. You can see how low our first drawer is and that's without that drawer. Now we have a Thermador Pro Rangetop that has the controls on front, so that may push ours down, but just something to consider. We have a second drawer the same depth right under this one in the photo. It's my "less used pots and pans" drawer. But again, if your's is 48" wide, that 12 more inches of space in your top drawer so they could all fit in the top pot drawer?)

Stuff on counters:

Divider drawers:

    Bookmark   August 25, 2013 at 2:22PM
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