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I have a rack of hooks that sit on the wall that my cooker backs on to, and on this I hang a crowded collection various utensils:

Photo of various utensils hanging directly above electric hob surface

The space is fairly contained, as there are cupboards on either side and the fan/extractor unit directly above. While cooking some pasta earlier they were getting a heavy steaming, which got me thinking... is this storage location safe and/or sensible in terms of hygiene and degradation of the tools? Or any other considerations?


For those without access to the image, or want more info without guessing, the rack holds (in order):

  • Two metal handle/clip things for the oven's grill tray
  • Metal/Plastic potato masher
  • Metal/Plastic spatula
  • Plastic spatula
  • Plastic slotted spoon
  • Plastic spoon
  • Metal whisk
  • Wooden spatula
  • Metal tongs
  • Metal/Plastic tongs
  • Metal/Plastic Can opener
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2 Answers

This really should be a comment, as it doesn't directly answer the question, but it's kinda long ...

I do the same thing, but I'll admit there are a couple of disadvantages:

  1. When you stir-fry, you will aresolize oils which will end up depositing on the utensils (and pot racks above your stove).
  2. Some things will splatter (eg, a long-simmering tomato sauce), which again means the need to wash the utensils.

As for the degredation issues -- if they can't even handle the temperature of steaming, you probably don't want them in the kitchen at all. I haven't notice any problems with my wooden or wood-handled utensils.

I don't have any better space, as my cabinets are so low that hanging utensils can't really fit anywhere else in the kitchen, and I find hanging so much more convenient than everything in a drawer or a container on the counter that I'm not willing to switch.

Are there safety issues? Maybe if there were a fire on the stove, but so long as it isn't the fire extinguisher being stored there, I don't think it's that big of an issue. (that's not to say that I know for sure there aren't any ... I just don't know of any)

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It's very much a lack-of-space issue for me as well. And I was thinking of "safety" more in terms of food safety wrt contamination etc, but I the potential (or not) for them causing or exacerbating a fire (or injury, or anything else) is a valid point for discussion as well. As for degradation, one thought that jumps to mind is if metallic objects maybe being more prone to rust? –  DMA57361 Apr 26 '11 at 17:25
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That's not a good place from a safety aspect - reaching over the hob will be hazardous during cooking.

The gizmos will get coated with undesirable gunge unless all are in everyday use - a film will be picked up from cooking vapours, which will then trap dust and microorganisms.

It is not a good idea ...

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Reaching is less of a problem - I tend to "preselect" my tools before starting - and "undesirable gunge" was my real concern. But is it realistically worth being concerned about? I mean, I've had them (well, there were less to start with) hanging there for almost five years now and it hasn't killed me yet.... –  DMA57361 Apr 27 '11 at 7:30
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