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Enclume Pot Racks
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The lore around the origination of pot racks tells of a French king who wanted to improve the organization of his castle. As a part of his designs, he asked three of his chefs to create a special rack out of metal that could be used for keeping the vast cookware collection in the castle's kitchen organized. According to the story, the chefs used an anvil to hammer and pound the metal to the king's specifications, and after much work, the first rack was created.

While it's not possible to know if there is any truth to this story, it is clear that the first racks to be constructed would have been produced by hand using an anvil and hammers to shape the metal. Since this work would have required time and skill and the cost of metal was high in those days, the first racks would have been made exclusively for the very wealthy.

When the age of manufacturing began and with the advent of mill-produced steel, the cost of producing racks gradually declined, making them more and more affordable for middle class people to afford. Now, racks are available in a wide variety of price ranges, so that everyone can afford to have one in their home.

Many brands produce racks, and among them, Enclume is considered one of the top names. The company started more than 40 years ago in Port Hadlock, Washington. The brand produces a wide variety of styles of racks and other types of kitchen home furnishings. This Buyers' Guide to Enclume Pot Racks will introduce you to the entire The brand collection and was put together using questions that we often receive from customers about the brand.

What sets the brand’s racks and other products apart from styles made by other brands?

As one of the top brands of pot racks available on the market today, the brand’s lineup has many special features and details that are not seen in many other racks.

  • The brand’s racks are made by hand from start to finish, just like the first racks. The techniques used to produce the brand's rack collection is based around French craftsmanship, and traditional tools are employed to shape each piece, rather than automated equipment on an assembly line.

  • The brand’s racks undergo a rigorous inspection after each step in the manufacturing process. This ensures that the brand's racks are of the finest quality and differs from assembly line production, which usually includes just one inspection once the piece is finished.

  • After a piece is finished at the company’s factory, workers wrap it carefully by hand and pack it into its shipping container. At other factories, machines often wrap the racks or the rack is placed inside of the container and then surrounded by packing materials. By taking the extra time to perform their packaging method, Enclume ensures that their racks are handled carefully and that they arrive in pristine condition.

  • The stainless steel that Enclume uses in the production of its models is two times thicker than the type used by most other brands. This makes the steel and the rack which it is used to make stronger and more durable.

  • For all of the brand's wood products, a premium Eastern maple is used. The suppliers that provide the company with wood hand select each tree for timbering rather than clearing large areas of forest. This makes the brand's islands and other wood products environmentally friendly.

  • The brand's signature feature is its hanging arm style, which provides greater support than lightweight chains threaded through rims, which are seen in other brands.

  • With the right care, Enclume racks can last a lifetime and become a treasured family heirloom to be passed from generation to generation.

What lines of racks are made by the brand, and what are the differences between them?

  • Premier is the premium brand produced by the company. These pot racks have an Old World design, where the stylistic emphasis is on the beauty of the craftsmanship. As a result, the pieces in the Premier line are simplistic and free of embellishments. Both hanging and wall styles are included in the line with rectangular, oval, bar, and round shapes available. There are also special low profile styles in the collection that are intended for use with lower ceilings.

  • Décor is a line of racks that feature many stylistic flourishes to make their designs fancier and more ornate. The collection includes oval and rectangular hanging styles.

  • Rack It Up is an affordable alternative designed for shoppers who want an attractive model, but want to shop on a budget. The pieces found in the line are engineered for simplified installation as well. Round, rectangular and bar-shaped hanging pot styles and shelf and bar wall-mounted racks are included in the range.

What comes with my pot rack to help me install it?

Inside of your hand-packed shipping container, you will find the components for the rack, a starter set of hooks and assembly and installation instructions, which are incredibly easy to read. You will also find the ceiling screws (for hanging styles) or lag bolts (for wall styles) inside of the box. If you have a need for a longer or shorter chain or wish to buy additional hooks to hang more cookware on your new rack, you can purchase accessories separately.

What finishes do the brand’s models come in

Enclume produces styles in three different finishes. All of the finishes are not available for each style, so you will need to read the product descriptions for the models that appeal to you in order to see what looks it comes in.

  • Hammered steel is the signature finish of the brand and the look that made the brand famous. To produce hammered steel, the craftsmen take hot-rolled steel and subject it to a series of treatments. This distresses the metal and gives it a rich gray tarnish, which is commonly referred to as a patina. Then, the hammered steel is sealed to keep the patina in place. You will find hammered steel in the Premier, Décor and Rack It Up lines. In addition, the metal is used in many of the other housewares and furnishings manufactured by the company.

  • Electroplating is a process that converts a precious metal to a liquid so that it can be used to coat a less expensive metal. An electroplated rack is more cost-effective than a piece crafted from a solid piece of precious metal and is also less likely to tarnish or turn. The electroplated racks found in the Premier collection come in three specific finishes: chrome, brass and copper. The chrome electroplating creates a shiny, silver look and is made with one layer of chrome and one layer of nickel for added strength. Like the chrome, the brass also has a layer of its precious metal and a layer of nickel, but has a golden color. Copper electroplating is reddish-gold in hue and has two layers of precious metal. There is no varnish coating on the rack, meaning that you will never have to reapply the varnish lacquer.

  • Stainless steel is a silver metal made from iron, carbon and added metals that are called alloys. A stainless steel rack is designed to resist rusting and tarnishing and can withstand high temperatures. You'll find stainless steel models in the Premier and Décor collections.

What type of care is necessary to keep my rack looking great?

The cleaning and care instructions for your new rack will be included in the shipping container and will vary based upon the finish of its piece; however, there are some general rules that you can keep in mind about caring for a rack.

  • Hammered steel finish is very durable and will not typically rust or tarnish. You can keep a hammered steel rack clean with warm water and ordinary soap.

  • Chrome electroplated finish is best cleaned with window cleaner when fingerprints and smudges are found on its surface. Chrome typically does not rust or tarnish.

  • Stainless steel finish can be cleaned with soap and water, though many marks and smudges can be buffed away with just a dry microfiber cloth. If your rack becomes very fingerprinted, you can wipe it down with a stainless steel cleaner.

  • Brass electroplated finish can develop a tarnish and should be regularly inspected for signs of turning. Any discoloration can be wiped away with a cleaner intended for jewelry. If you polish the rack regularly with a solution intended for brass, you can often prevent tarnishing from occurring or slow down its appearance.

  • Copper electroplated finish should be cleaned often with a cleaner that is approved for copper. As a highly reactive metal, copper is the most likely to turn, so be sure to polish and inspect your rack frequently to keep it looking its best.