I love to cook, but I absolutely despise cleaning up afterward. So any time I can find a way to minimize the amount of scrubbing I have to do, I’ll take it. Plus, I’ve always had a phobia of those flying bits of oil that hit you as you’re cooking. (I’m sure I’m not alone here!) It’s rare for me to whip up some Torn and Fried Potatoes or shallow-fry chicken cutlets without suffering burns from errant flecks of oil.
A Love Letter to My Splatter Screen
But a few years ago, I came across a piece of equipment that solved both those problems and changed my cooking life for the better.
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While I was browsing during ATK’s annual equipment giveaway, I came across a very interesting piece of equipment. It looked like a flat fine-mesh strainer with a long handle, almost like a racket of some sort.
This strange-looking device, it turns out, was a splatter screen. These affordable devices are designed to prevent hot oil and bubbling sauces from escaping your pan, where they’ll either burn your arm, make a mess of your stove, or both. And after doing piles of dishes, who wants to be scrubbing that oily film off their stove? Not me.
How I didn’t already have one of these in my kitchen was beyond me. I picked it up, brought it home, and haven’t looked back since.
Fast-forward to today, and it is probably one of the most used pieces of equipment in my kitchen.
How Does a Splatter Screen Work?
The splatter screen I picked up at the equipment giveaway is the HIC Stainless Steel Splatter Screen, which placed second in our splatter screen review. This design lies flat on top of my pan as my food cooks. The mesh is tight enough so that oil won’t sputter back at me but also loose enough that steam is able to safely escape. I’m able to stand near my stove and do the rest of my cooking without the fear of getting burned or having too much to clean afterward. Then, once I’m done, I just throw it in my dishwasher. (As if I couldn’t love it any more!)
I’m smitten with my splatter screen, but if I’m ever looking for an upgrade, our winning splatter screen, the Frywall Stovetop Splatter Guard, is a slightly different style. It’s a large silicone ring that fits inside your skillet. Its tall walls help block splatter, but it stays open, allowing you to access your food without completely removing the screen like you would with the version I have.
So whether you are frying brussels sprouts, bacon, or anything else that can make a mess or cause a burn, a splatter screen is a cheap investment that will keep you from scrubbing your stove constantly and nursing those nasty oil burns.
I may have not expected to feel this way when I stumbled upon it, but my splatter screen has been my cooking companion for years and has never once let me down. I couldn’t imagine life without it.