Recently, I told my daughter that I was buying her a pot rack for her new home. Incredulous, she looked at me and said, “A pot what, for goodness sake, and what would I do with it?” Actually, she is not the first person who has asked me to explain the meaning of the term. To understand what they are, you can read from many very good, and often lengthy, articles which have been written about home decorating. This article is designed to provide an easy to read introduction to a very useful and timeless kitchen accessory-the pot rack.

What is it? A pot rack is simply a piece of furniture that is commonly used to store pots and pans. The racks are usually placed in or near the kitchen and are often arranged so that the cooking pots and pans they store can be readily accessed from a stove or grill, and are often hung above a kitchen island. Most designs hang from the ceiling or are mounted to the wall. Some are even freestanding. The main purpose of a pot rack is to provide a convenient, efficient, and visually appealing way of storing pots and pans.

Historically, pot racks have been around for over 600 years. Wrought iron ceiling-hung racks were found in rustic Tuscan kitchens and pioneer cooks hung their skillets on one mounted on the wall behind the wood stove. This old fashioned kitchen accessory survived the centuries because of its versatility in all size kitchens and all decorating styles.

What are they made of? The most common types of materials used to make pot racks are wood, stainless steel, copper and wrought iron. Some other metals sometimes used are nickel and aluminum. Stainless steel and copper are very popular because they are shiny and compliment many types of metal cookware. Wood works well because it can be stained to match the kitchen woodwork. Wrought iron is popular due to its rustic charm and durability. It too, can be finished to match the décor of any kitchen.

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Why not just store my pots in a cabinet? Kitchen cookware can be made of fairly heavy materials like stainless steel, copper bottomed steel and cast iron. Pots and pans can be bulky and never seem to nest together properly. They are often quite awkward to get out of the cabinet quietly. If they are in a lower cabinet, they may be hiding in the dark making it hard for you to see which one you are reaching for. If they are in the upper cabinet, and it is over your head, you run the risk of doing physical damage to your body or countertop if you drop them.

Pot racks provide convenience over other storage alternatives. When a person is cooking, it is important to be able to find the right pot or pan quickly, and safely. With a pot rack, the correct pot or pan is usually within view and easily accessible from the stove or grill. And then there are those mysterious and elusive lids! The pot tops, lids and utensils can often be stored on the rack, too!

Besides convenience, pot racks can enhance the decor of your kitchen. With pots hanging from a rack, the kitchen looks more organized and functional. Moreover, there are many different types of pot racks that can be used to match almost any kitchen decorating scheme. These kitchen accessories can add rustic charm to a cabin, Tuscan style to Mediterranean décor, shine and polish to a stainless steel modern kitchen, or color and curls to a country cottage.

By Haadi