- Food and Cooking
Splatter Guards - Frying Pan Splatter Screens and Shields
No matter how hard you try, cooking certain foods will always be a messy job, splashing and splattering your stovetop and counters and leaving you with a mess to clean up afterwards. Frying anything in a frying pan is guaranteed to splatter oil eveywhere, likewise cooking up pasta sauce and the mess is a pain to clean. Worst of all, it's unnecessary mess, because you can buy a simple splatter screen and never have to worry about it again!
Frying pan splatter screens and cooking splatter guards are designed to fit over or around your frying pan or cooking pot to keep the grease where it belongs - in the pan! Frying potatoes, sausages, eggs, bacon etc. causes the fat to spit out over the pan leaving you with an unsightly fine spray of fat, oil and grease on your stove, but with a splatter screen frying pan cover, protect your stove and your clothes from getting splashed.
There are several different types of splatter guards on the market giving your the chance to choose the one which matches your own style and home décor. Choose from round, square, dome shaped, folding handle, metal, chrome and more. The choice is varied but the principle remains the same, which you choose will best suit your cooking style and the type of cookware you are most likely to use it with.
Regular round splatter screens are inexpensive but in smaller kitchens the long handle can make them somewhat difficult to store. Cooking splatter screens with folding handles are a little more expensive but are much easier to stow away in a drawer or cupboard in even the smallest kitchen. A further alternative is to go with an all in one universal splatter screen for cooking which are designed to save space with a folding handle and by combining three sizes of splatter blocking utensil into one handy guard which makes them easier to store and easier to find later.
You can also buy microwave covers to prevent food splattering everywhere in the microwave oven. These are much easier to clean up, especially since most as dishwasher friendly, than having to clean out the microwave all the time.
Round Splatter Screens For Frying Pans and Regular Saucepans
Most of the cooking people do is in a regular round frying pan or saucepan so it makes sense to buy a circular splatter guard too. Round splash screens come in a variety of sizes to fit different sizes to fit the various different diameters. Since you will undoubtedly have different sized frying pans, saucepans etc. it makes sense to buy both small and large sized splatter guards too and thankfully many stores sell them as sets so you can buy a selection to suit all different requirements.
Regular round frying pan, wok and saucepan splatter covers come in a variety of sizes but also styles too. There are three main things to look for however: standing feet, folding handles and your choice between metal mesh or silicone. Each is featured below with top rated buying choices as rated by real owners.
Folding Handle Splatter Screens
A Round frying pan splatter screen with a collapsing handle folds in half and is much, much easier to stow away in a kitchen drawer or cabinet when it is not required for use. Whilst this may not seem like a big deal on smaller covers, the extra space taken up by seval inches of handle on a large 20" splatter screen can be quite significant. In my opinion, all guards like these should come with folding handles as it makes them so much easier to put away in a kitchen of any size.
Splatter Screen Sets
Unless you are a really minimalist cook, the chances are you have lots of different pots, frying pans, skillets, perhaps a wok or two etc. which all would benefit from a splatter screen but are all different sizes. Whilst some people are happy with using one large splatter cover for all their cooking needs regardless of how ungainly and unstable it is on the smaller pans, other would rather go with the convenience of using something of the right size for each cooking pan. A set of splatter screens can save your money when you buy multiple sizes all at once and they'll all match if you buy them all at one time. An alternative is to go with one of the multiple size screens for oil splatter which are designed to fit snugly over multiple sized pans without the instability of using cover which is too big for the task at hand. Some recommended versions of both type appear below.
Square Splatter Screens For Cooking
A regular oil splash cover is typically round because saucepa,ds cooking pots and frying pans are themselves generally circular in shape. If, however, you are cooking with a square grill pan, or a square skillet, panini pan etc. then you are better off with a square splatter screen to prevent oil and grease splashing everywhere.
Square mesh covers allow you to still see inside the pan so you can check the status of your simmering sauces whilst protecting your stovetop, counters and clothing from splashing and spattering oil, grease and sauces. The following selection of square mesh splatter guards are all designed to fit over square grill pans, skillets and etc. in varying sizes.
Microwave Food Covers To Prevent Splatter
Covers to prevent food from spilling over or splashing on your clothes whilst boiling or simmering are great for the stovetop but what about the microwave. Without a microwave plate cover to prevent food exploding all over the inside walls of your microwave oven, you are guaranteed to be cleaning out a mess or cooking in a rather scary looking micro. Microwave plate cover guards slip over the top of the plate to prevent splattering food from becoming an issue. They are raise domes with air vents to allow hot steam to escape whilst being tall enough to go over the plate without touching the food it holds. Microwave splatter guards are generally made from plastic which stays mostly cool to the touch and most are also dishwasher safe although a quick rinse is generally all you need if you grab them right away and clean them.
This transparent microwave splatter shield fits over plates up to 11 inches in diameter. its see through material allow you to see you food as it cooks, whilst sealing in moisture to prevent it drying out whilst steam vents allow excess steam to escape. The flat top allows you to even stack another covered plate on top of the other to microwave two meals at once.
Silicone Splatter Screens
Mesh metal splatter guards for woks, frying pans, saucepans etc. are great but can be hard to clean better all those little holes. Silicone splatter guards on the other hand are very easy to clean and the good ones are just as sturdy as a metal cover. The only advantage mesh has over silicone covers for preventing boil over and messy oil and grease clean ups is that it is easier to see the progress of your food cooking with a mesh cover because of all the tiny little holes. Silicone oil splash guards also have holes to allow steam to escape but these are larger and spaced further apart so you have to lift the cover to look underneath. Regardless of this, the easy to clean nature makes them a popular choice in the kitchen.
Choosing A Splatter Screen
Whilst it might seem like a simple purchase to cover a simple need, there are a few things to consider when buying yourself a splash guard for cooking. Sure, the general idea and principle is the same from one to the next but there are a few differences between them which make them more of less suited to the task at hand depending on what you will use them for the most.
For general purpose uses a regular round splatter shield will do just fine. These come in multiple sizes from small 7 inch splatter screens up to 15 inch splatter screens and larger for big pots and pans. Manufacturers make these with various modifications which make them easier to store, more stable on the pan, easier to clean and other little things which make them generally more convenient to use. In reality a cheap splatter guard for preventing cooking spills will do the job as well as a more expensive one, after all, it just needs to get in the way of spattering sauce and splashing oil but those extra little conveniences can make a big difference to how comfortable you are with using it.
For example, a fixed handle splatter guard is likely to be cheaper than a foldable splatter screen. If you have the space to spare then you might even find the former to feel more sturdy and therefore prefer it but if like most of us, your kitchen is already stuffed full of cooking gadgets and kitchen accessories, then you will probably be better off with a folding splatter guard. A collapsible splatter guard is much more stowable with a folding handle which folds over onto the screen when it is not being used and is therefore much more easy to put away for storage in a drawer or slid down the side of someplace in a cupboard without having the handle poking out and getting tangled in things,
A basic splatter screen will typically be a simple round silicone or stainless steel mesh screen with a handle attached. When you take it off the pan you either have to hold it in your hand whilst you check your food, or dump it in the sink. Put a regular splatter screen on your work surface and you will just transfer all that splashed food stuff onto the surface which was half the reason for using it in the first place! Better examples have 'feet' which elevate the dirty mesh surface up an inch so you are not transferring all that splashed food onto the surfaces you were guarding against getting splashed in the first place.
You might also prefer an all-in-one solution which features a variety of different sizes of mesh cover combined into one guard. These are basically one large splatter screen guard with smaller concentric rings underneath which fit snugly over or inside the rim of frying pans of varying sizes. These save space and may be a cheaper option than buying multiple different sized splatter covers. These may also have folding handles to be even more compact and easily stored,
The material type used is, I feel, much of a muchness. Most use stainless steel mesh which is rust resistant and allows you to see your food simmering through the wire mesh rather than obscuring it under a solid lid. You can also find a silicone splatter screen if you prefer which are easier to clean but harder to see the progress of your food as it cooks because they have regularly spaced holes rather than a fine mesh.
As you can see there are quite a variety of different things to consider when buying one of these so if you were wondering why this model might cost five bucks compared to this twenty dollar option, you can see where the differences lie. For a relatively small price difference you actually get quite a bit of extra functionality. Things like standing feet and folding handles might not seem worth the extra dollars now but when you actually come to use the product, they make a big, big difference which really justifies those extra dollars,