Why You Should Cook With A Splatter Screen – HexClad Cookware
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Why You Should Cook With A Splatter Screen

by HexClad Cookware

Why You Should Cook With A Splatter Screen

There are two kinds of cooks: there are the ones who can’t stand mess and the ones who are like, "big deal...a peel here, a dirty bowl there while cooking is fine." It all gets cleaned up in the end. While we agree in principle, there’s one arena that tends to bother all cooks: grease splatters. Whether you’re searing a gorgeously marbled piece of steak and watching it spray your just-cleaned stove top with tiny particles or watching craggy-crusted fried chicken bob away while causing a fine penumbra of splattered oil around the pot, you’re going to want a splatter screen, an essential kitchen tool for all cooks.

WHAT IS A SPLATTER SCREEN?

A splatter screen is a piece of fine mesh metal that fits snugly over the top of pots or pans to prevent liquid or fat from escaping, and thus dirtying the area around the pot or pan. It usually has a handle to make it easy to lift on and replace when you need to stir or turn the food that’s cooking.

DO I REALLY NEED A SPLATTER SCREEN?

Sure, you could avoid the splatter by only cooking over low heat or avoiding using too much fat, but that would make your food soggy and less flavorful. Instead, add this fine-mesh screen, which shields your stovetop and counters from the worst effects of cooking. While you could use a glass or metal lid to prevent oil from escaping, it would trap too much moisture in the pan. A splatter screen, meanwhile, allows the moisture to evaporate, allowing your food to brown properly. (That being said, we do love a glass lid for many types of cooking tasks, from finishing off fried eggs to making a perfectly melty grilled cheese.) 

It’s one of those tools whose utility sneaks up on you the more you use it. And who isn’t grateful for easier kitchen clean up? (Psst…check out our guide to 10 tips and tools that will make washing dishes so much easier.)

Your kitchen will benefit from using a splatter screen with these dishes:

  • Fried chicken: As mentioned above, fried chicken can cause a fine spray of oil particles to settle on your countertop, making the clean up more laborious than making the chicken to begin with. A splatter screen keeps the oil from spraying beyond the pot so you can enjoy the chicken without thinking about those hard-to-reach grease-sprayed grates.
  • Pasta sauces: We’ve all seen a splotch of marinara fly free from its confines. No longer with a splatter screen, which keeps sauces from alfredo to bolognese safely inside the pot.
  • Steaks of any kind: Any cook worth their salt knows that high heat is the key to getting a great crust on your steak. However, that results in a big mess. Prevent that by placing a splatter screen atop the pan.
  • A long-simmering stew or soup: Some dishes benefit from evaporation as they cook, but that can result in a fine mist of moisture settling on everything around the pot. If you want that condensed flavor without the mess, opt for a splatter screen. (Same goes for making homemade stock.)
  • Fried eggs: Frankly, it can seem like fried eggs are out to ruin your morning sometimes, what with all the spraying and splattering required to get that gorgeously crispy edge and runny yolk. A splatter screen mitigates the problem entirely. 
  • Perfectly seared fish: To get the ideal, golden brown crust on seared fish, you’re going to want to let it sit in the oil for a few minutes. By now, you know what that means: splatter town. Check out our guide to cooking fish at home for more tips.
  • Homemade chili crisp: While there’s almost nothing a spoon of chili crisp doesn’t improve, it does inevitably splatter the countertop (sizzling is part of the equation). Add your splatter screen right after you stir the pepper flake mixture into the oil.

Curious about other useful cooking tools? Check out these helpful kitchen guides:

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