Which splatter screen is best?
For many, the worst part of cooking is the mess. The thought of an hour spent scrubbing a pile of pots and pans and wiping off cluttered countertops after the meal is enough to make you want to call for delivery.
Splatter screens help alleviate some of this inconvenience by minimizing the oil and food that jumps out of your frying pan while you cook. The Calphalon 13-inch Stainless Steel Splatter Guard is the best choice for professional cooks or home users looking to shave some time off of their kitchen cleanup by keeping hot grease droplets at bay.
What to know before you buy a splatter screen
Types of splatter screens
Splatter screens come in two basic configurations. Both types have pros and cons, depending on what you like to cook. For further details regarding splatter screen styles and materials, check out BestReviews for their in-depth splatter screen buying guide.
- Lid-type splatter screens act as a ventilated cover for your frying pan or pot. They provide the most splatter protection but require removal to stir your food or add additional ingredients. They usually feature a handle that allows for safe, easy removal. Some have a hinged center that allows you to fold them in half to access your food without uncovering the whole pot.
- Wall-type splatter screens are collars that extend the height of your cookware. These splatter guards will still allow high-flying grease to land on your kitchen surfaces but provide better visibility and allow you to easily add ingredients or seasoning to your meal.
What to look for in a quality splatter screen
Select a splatter screen that is large enough to cover your cookware and not fall into the pan. Oversized lid-type splatter screens can be used for multiple pots. Wall-type splatter screens, however, require a tight, secure fit around the lip of your intended cookware.
- Mesh: Splatter screens made of metal mesh are popular and inexpensive. They are light, have great visibility and prevent food from getting too soupy by allowing steam and moisture to escape.
- Silicone rubber: Silicone rubber does not conduct heat like metal does, providing great protection against burns. Soft and flexible, silicone splatter guards are easy to store and microwave-safe.
- Perforated metal: These splatter screens have similar pros and cons to mesh screens but provide less ventilation, which means more moisture can accumulate in your food. These are usually made out of stainless steel and tend to weigh more than other options.
- Plastic: Plastic splatter screens provide the coverage of metal options but are lighter and will never rust. Plastic splatter screens are not to be used with an open flame, but they can be used in the microwave as long as they don’t include any metal components.
Using a grease splatter screen for cooking helps limit the mess in your kitchen, but they still require their own cleaning. If your primary goal is to cut down on scrubbing, select a silicone or plastic splatter guard, as these are dishwasher-safe and don’t require any special care to keep in good condition.
How much you can expect to spend on a splatter screen
High-quality stainless, mesh or silicone splatter screens can cost between $20-$50, depending on branding and material. While you can find splatter screens for $10 or less, these are typically made from flimsy materials that do not hold up under regular use.
Splatter screen FAQ
Will using a splatter screen make my food watery?
A. In some cases, yes. The less ventilation a splatter screen allows, the more steam and moisture it allows to build up in your meal. If your fried food must be prepared to perfect crispness, consider using a wall type or mesh splatter guard for maximum ventilation.
Will my silicone splatter guard melt?
A. No. Silicone is not flammable and has great heat resistance. However, exposure to open flame is to be avoided, as it will cause the material to become brittle and lose flexibility.
Can I use my splatter guard in the oven?
A. Some splatter guards are acceptable for use in the oven. However, check with the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure that your screen won’t be damaged in sustained high heat. Also, keep in mind that cleaning your splatter screen after it’s been in the oven may be more challenging, as grease that has been baked on is much more stubborn than splattered droplets.
What’s the best splatter screen to buy?
Top splatter screen
What you need to know: Made from professional-grade stainless steel with a 10-year warranty, this splatter screen is a tool that is built to last.
What you’ll love: This splatter screen’s silicone handle doesn’t conduct heat, leaving it cool to the touch while cooking. The weight of its stainless construction keeps it from easily tipping off your cookware in spite of its size.
What you should consider: Splatter screens of similar functionality cost less, and this model’s perforated steel design may result in too much moisture build up for some dishes.
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Top splatter screen for the money
What you need to know: This economical screen has a 15-inch diameter, making it a one-size-fits-all, splatter-stopping solution.
What you’ll love: This stainless steel screen effectively blocks droplets thanks to its extra fine mesh. Its long handle stays cool, meaning you don’t need to use oven mitts to handle it safely. It is dishwasher-safe for easy cleaning.
What you should consider: This screen’s size is convenient for those with large cookware, but it can get a bit clumsy using it on small pots and pans.
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Worth checking out
What you need to know: Silicone rubber makes this wall-style splatter screen easy to handle and dishwasher safe.
What you’ll love: A fully open top means lovers of fried food need not worry about the build-up excess steam that other screens can cause. Flexible material rolls up for compact storage. Multiple colors are available.
What you should consider: This splatter guard only fits the proper diameter cookware, so be sure to measure carefully.
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Derek Walborn writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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