This post is part of our 'This Is Fire' series, where our editors and writers tell you about the products they can't live without in the kitchen.
I spend a lot of my time cooking and baking so I’m often standing at the kitchen sink, staring down a pile of pots, pans, and other kitchen tools that need to be hand-washed. To add to it, our dishwasher doesn’t thoroughly dry everything. Until recently, I made do by drying dishes on towels on the counter. Pots would be teetering on top of one another and knives hidden behind a large colander. I'd look at the stretch of counter next to the sink and hope that it all didn’t tumble to the ground. Not only was it not safe, my dishes didn’t actually dry. The towels ended up too damp to dry the side of the utensil it laid on and the inside of pots didn't get any air circulation.
See, I’m a minimalist at heart and shy away from buying extra items that seem like they would be helpful, but are not necessities. My drawers don’t have organizers, my spices aren’t in a rack, and I don’t have a cute holder for my kitchen sponge. I took this same approach to drying the hand-washed dishes and eventually came to realize that I needed a new system.
KitchenAid Full-Size Dish Rack
Very stable at all times
Fits in with kitchen decor
It finally dawned on me that the solution was quite simple. Get thee a drying rack! But which one? It seemed like many racks were for small plates and cups, not large and heavy Dutch ovens. The one thing I have going for me is the dedicated counter space for drying dishes. There’s not room for a person to stand next to me but the counter spot above the dishwasher is the perfect spot to let dishes dry.
I needed a heavy-duty model that could handle large items without tipping over, safely dry knives, and have space to dry my lids and wooden cutting boards. It would be something left out so I’d like it to have at least some visual appeal. I also knew it needed to have a tray to catch the water so that I could officially do away with towels on the counter. I came across the stainless-steel Kitchenaid Full Size Dish Rack and decided to give it a try.
I can’t believe that I’d waited so long! My KitchenAid rack does everything I hoped it would. I can load it up with large pots and pans and it stays completely stable. The middle utensil section is great for larger items, such as a whisk or wooden spoons. The plastic lids and cutting boards are held securely on the raised, rounded side, while large items fit on the flat side. I’m still pleasantly surprised by how quickly everything dries! Pots and pans dry fully in plenty of time for me to put them away and have the dish rack empty for the next load.
I can load it up with large pots and pans and it stays completely stable.
The design is just absolutely incredible. I appreciate that the stainless steel is rust-resistant and that the rack is easy to clean. The legs on the front are slightly lower than the legs in the back to allow for easy draining and the draining board can rest on the curved part of the legs or underneath the rack. I do the latter because I like to keep it out of the way as much as possible and not knock into it when I’m washing dishes in my small sink.
My dishes are dry and the counter is much more pleasant to look at without the piles of half-dried items piled haphazardly on it. It’s a good lesson in not underestimating the power of a simple organizational tool. Who knows, maybe I’ll spring for drawer organizers afterall.
Dimensions: 20 x 14.96 x 7 inches | Material: Stainless steel and plastic | Weight: 6.78 pounds
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Rachel Knecht is a recipe developer and food writer based in Seattle. She’s washed dishes since she was little and prefers it to folding laundry.