Hi, there! Thanks for stopping by to Flawed yet Functional today! My cast iron pan collection has been on my mind lately. I recently acquired more from my grandma’s estate which made too many to store in my oven. Today I’m following up from last week’s post with the quick and easy storage solution I found for my cast iron pans. No money was spent on this project, and I was able to store all the cast iron pans in drawers, the way I designed the kitchen years ago!
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As I mentioned in this post, I had too many cast iron pans to continue storing them in my oven. The oven isn’t even an ideal spot because they should be stored in a cool, dry place. I can be honest with you guys, right? I regularly put my clean pans away in a still-warm oven…I’ve even cooked with a pan or two still in the oven. Gasp! There. It’s out. I don’t always take proper care of my pans.
There were so many good suggestions and responses to the original post! (Check them out on my page or the Flawed yet Functional page) While I may still do an organization method that requires some building or effort, I found this $0, 10 minute solution by using things lying around my house!
Ideal Storage Solution
When we renovated the kitchen, we extended the peninsula to hold a stand mixer lift and these deep drawers specifically for the purpose of holding pots and pans. The ideal storage solution would be to use these drawers for their intended purpose, right? They were made with heavy duty draw slides so the weight of the cast iron pans won’t be an issue.
There is one major issue though: I have too many pans. A purge was definitely in order. Note the current contents is 100% non-stick with no room for the additional cast iron pans. Also note how inefficiently everything is stored! The stack on the right is 4 pans deep!
Purge Unused Pans
Maybe I love my kitchen stuff too much or maybe it’s because these non-stick pans were a wedding present, but I struggled with getting rid of any of my pans! It’s so silly too because 3 of them I haven’t used in years. Yes, years. I think I used my deep dish skillet once or twice since moving into this house 5 years ago. Holding on too long, Emily!
So I took a deep breath and pulled out all of the pans that I (1) don’t use regularly or at all and (2) have a duplicate for. Pans in the purge pile were 1 non-stick dutch oven, 3 non-stick skillets, and 1 cast iron skillet. What? You got rid of a cast iron skillet? Yes, it was 1/2″ smaller than my largest cast iron skillet, and I just wasn’t happy with the size when I used it. Into the purge pile it goes!
Two quick texts later, and I had homes for all 5 pans. Woot!
Now I had room for the pans I actually use!
Use Plate Organizer to Stack Pans
If you’ve ever stored pans in a deep drawers you know the issues with these huge drawers. Pans have to be stacked. Not only does this leave them prone to scratching each other, it is just plain annoying to dig out the pan from the bottom of the stack!
As I mentioned before, I really liked the idea of these pan organizers, but I couldn’t find one shorter than 10″ which is all the clearance I had in my drawers. Rats!
Bless my lucky stars also in the depths of my grandma’s house, were several corner plate organizers (similar). Now, I was supposed to take them to my sister (which I did with the other three!) but I snagged one of them at the last second hoping they’d fit in my drawers. Oh happy day, these plate organizers are just over 10″ tall WITH a cast iron pan on top! Perfect!
So thanks, Betsey, for letting me snag one of these organizers for my cookware! (Except I didn’t actually ask her permission. She doesn’t know I kept one. We’ll see if she reads this post or not…)
Line Pans to Eliminate Scratching
You’ll notice I still ended up with some pans stacked. However, each stack is only 2 pans high when my last was 4! To keep my pans from scratching each other, I cut a circle out of my drawer liner to place in the bottom of each skillet. Thanks, Kim, for the great idea!
Cast Iron Drawer Storage
Enough of my jibber-jabber about these pans and drawers! Here are my functional, neat drawers that only hold the pans I use! AND, the oven is empty! 🙂
Top drawer: non-stick saucepans on the left then starting from the bottom of the stack: (1) non-stick griddle and cast iron tortilla pan, (2) #10 cast iron skillet, and (3) #6 and #8 cast iron skillets
Bottom drawer: dutch ovens and lids
Being able to get my pans in and out of these drawers without moving ALL THE PANS ALL THE TIME makes me so happy! No cast iron pans hanging out on my stove or in my oven, and I am still using my kitchen in the way I designed it! Are you looking for a way to organize pans (cast iron or not) in deep drawers? Try out the corner plate rack! It fits snuggly into the corner leaving enough room to get pans in and out without scratching.
How do you organize your pots and pans? Any other $0 solutions out there?
So glad my idea helped you!