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Can racks?


dtremit
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Curious if anyone here has experience with racks for storing cans -- of the "tin" variety. It doesn't look like it's anything that's been discussed here before.

 

We are overrun with the damn things and I can't make them fit well in our pantry -- the shelves are deep and the solutions I'm coming up with either waste a lot of space, or make it necessary to remove huge bins of cans and sort through them.

 

We live in an apartment with no basement or garage, so everything needs to stay in or near the kitchen.

 

Looking around I see two basic types of racks on the market -- simple gravity-fed shelves like these:

 

A187zCMtplL._AC_SX355_.jpg

and fancy "FIFO" racks like these:

Amazon.com - FIFO Mini Can Tracker Stores up to 30 Cans | Rotates ...

 

The latter seem better designed in a lot of ways -- but they also seem designed for people who have a huge quantity of a small variety of cans. (Also a lot of this is discussed on sites with...very different perspectives on society. I am not looking to equip a bunker, thank you.)

 

With a very few exceptions, we have a small number of a huge variety of things.

I'd thought about getting a FIFO rack for the few things we do stockpile in quantity (tomatoes and beans), but those come in different size cans (28oz/#2.5 vs 15oz/#30x). The other stuff we have is probably 80% smaller cans and 20% in larger #2.5 cans. So I feel like we'd end up needing two FIFO racks for the tomatoes and beans, and two non-FIFO for the other stuff...

 

All of this is a long winded way of saying...does anyone have a solution that works? 😀

Edited by dtremit (log)
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I, like you, have a huge variety of canned (and jars of) stuff. Like 6 - 8 different tomatoes, for example. Lots of tuna/salmon/mackerel/clams/etc. And on and on.

 

All my pantry stuff is basically in, well, one tall (84") pantry.

 

I keep 1 or 2 each of the different varieties on one of the lower shelves (i.e. shelves I don't need a step ladder to reach); the backup is higher up and needs a step ladder.

 

And then I have an inventory sheet. 

Edited by weinoo (log)

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2 hours ago, dtremit said:

 smaller cans and 20% in larger #2.5 cans. So I feel like we'd end up needing two FIFO racks for the tomatoes and beans, and two non-FIFO for the other stuff...

 

All of this is a long winded way of saying...does anyone have a solution that works? 😀

 

 

Most of the storage solutions are going to be for the person who has ten cans of the same thing, because that's the common and easy situation.  Random access to small objects on shelves or in cabinets is hard problem to solve, that's why drawers are so much nicer.  I did tour a house with a two million dollar kitchen[1], which had pull out shelves for cans, each shelf being two small (15oz) cans wide, and six or eight cans deep, with a little lip to keep things from flying around.  I'm sure they were custom made.  Failing that, the best solution I've come up with is stepped shelves, so you can see at least part of the cans behind the front row.  Organization and inventory  are important, so you don't end up with four cans of artichoke hearts.  (I don't know what I'd do with one can, but we're prepared!)  We have a real walk in pantry, about 3 x 7, and lots of cans on the shelves.  (and more in the basement, for stuff we use in large amounts like beans and tomatoes, and for some #10 cans.) 

[1] the kitchen renovation had, according to the realtor, involved buying the house next door and tearing it down, so the kitchen could be expanded into that lot.  I was with someone who was looking at it, way over my budget.

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Deep shelves for small things are a pain. IMO, organization systems / gadgets can become one more thing to keep clean.

 

3 hours ago, dtremit said:

We are overrun with the damn things and I can't make them fit well in our pantry -- the shelves are deep and the solutions I'm coming up with either waste a lot of space, or make it necessary to remove huge bins of cans and sort through them.

 

@dtremit, before "organizing," how about purging / decluttering (sorting through them) first? Are you ever really going to eat the contents of all of those different cans? You might even have some "expired" stuff. (I know you can still eat the expired stuff.)

 

I recently made the mistake of buying a bunch (okay, not that much) of organizing bins and, after that, did a purge / declutter. Now, I have some empty organizing bins that I should get rid of. Point is, I should have decluttered first, then bought the bins.

 

I would prefer something like what @ElsieD posted (pull-out shelves) or even that lazy Susan revolving thing.

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there are FIFO "flow racks" for canned soda sizes - they're deeper (refrigerator size)

 

for a deep pantry the optimum would be a pullout - one can width, or if double sided two can width.  shelf spacing two cans high.

unfortunately they are not readily available as a retro-fit item.  a decent woodworker could cu$tom make them - existing shelves would need rearranging....

 

do you have wall space available?  I did a one deep shelf unit - uses the cellar stair... - but could also do on a flat wall.

nothing can get lost because there's no hiding anything in "the depths

tracks on the floor,,, make it double deep with outer unit sliding to the side (retail displays often use that trick)

 

how many cans we talking about?

Pantry.jpg

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(sigh) I'd be picking up a shoulder's worth of cans every time I went through that door.

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13 hours ago, MokaPot said:

Shallow shelves look really good, @AlaMoi. I guess there aren't many earthquakes in that area. Seems hard to reach those top shelves, though, esp. if you're standing on those descending stair steps.

 

we have itty-bitty shakes - except for the one that shook the Washington Monument couple years back - that made the curtains sway....

you can't see it in the pix, but the bottom is about 1/2" out from the wall, so that little vibrations cause the cans to "dance" backward toward the wall.

 

the far right two top shelves are a reach for me (at 6') - DW has issues with some of the higher ones....

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@JoNorvelleWalker Technically no! 🤣 We're in a loft, so only one bedroom, and it's probably legally a studio since the walls don't go up to the ceiling. 

 

The shallow shelves on the staircase would be perfect -- my parents have something similar, though smaller. Unfortunately we are very short on wall space generally -- so no place to put something like that here. In the longer term we're going to be renovating our pantry and could integrate a pullout of some kind, but for now I think I need something that can go on a pantry or cabinet shelf.

I am sort of intrigued by this variation on the shallow shelves:


Can+Cab_2.jpg


Sort of like @ElsieD's option on steroids. We don't have space next to our fridge like that, but I might be able to find someplace else for it -- behind a bookshelf or something.

Edited by dtremit (log)
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And @MokaPot we did that already! Did a huge pantry cleanout last year. Weirdly we had very few redundant things in cans specifically -- lots in jars, boxes, and bags. My biggest concern with cans is not realizing I have something. I suppose I will have to inventory as @weinoo suggests...

Edited by dtremit (log)
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I have some nice shelving units in my garage that I use for kitchen overflow.

The woman who is doing my packing for the big household move coming up in early October helped me sort through the canned goods.  There was a lot of stuff there that I'd forgotten I had and some of it really wasn't worth the cost to move it.  The local food pantry got about half of it.

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