So, am I the only one that (a) can't convince himself to use a splatter screen (or guard or whatever they're called) when I'm using a skillet and (b) ends up cleaning the range every night after dinner? It drives me crazy.
From time to time I've thought maybe I'm using too much oil? But even when I use a cast iron pan and just lightly oil the protein that's going into the pan I end up with splatter all over the range. Stir frying in very little oil does it, too.
I've also wondered from time to time if I'm using the wrong pan, but I just can't understand what the purpose is of a frying pan (or a skillet) if I'm going to use a straight-, high-sided sautee pan to cook everything.
So, is it me? Or do I need to suck it up and either use the stupid screen or keep cleaning the range every night?
I think splatter just happens - most of the time I just clean the range because using the splatter screen makes things fry differently (water still condenses on the screen, etc.), but when I'm doing a lot of frying I do use a splatter screen.
I don't know why but I've always disliked using a splatter screen. But for all the same reasons you stated, I recently bought a new one since I couldn't find my old one (been so long since it was used). And I still don't like it - plus, it doesn't prevent splatter. It might cut down on it some but what's the difference? I still have to clean the range top so personally, I go without the screen and just suck it up...
I personally like splatter screens. I just always forget to have them handy when I need them. So end up having to clean anyways =)
In the Japanese store, I always see these thick aluminum foil screens (it's 3 sheets that open up like a book). It cuts down on the cleaning (not 100%), but it allows a bit more freedom than a splatter screen which you have to place on top of the pan. Maybe that's an option?
I use a screen and sometimes find it helps to lay a paper towel on top. Screen goes into the dishwasher. I am still cleaning my cooktop and am resigned to it but it does help to cut back on the mess and I do try to clean it up quickly. One big help is that I bought a covered and filtered deep fryer now a lot of the messy stuff is done in it. I got it at Amazon
I love it and it is really easy to clean. There is no frying odor with it and no spattering. The night it arrived I made home made french fries and hot wings. My DH could not smell a thing when he came home and had no idea i had already been cooking in it.
I only use the splatter screen on the boat, where the space is small enough that if I don't, we'd be dealing with grease film on EVERYTHING, not just the stove top. At home, I find it seriously annoying and don't use one. But most of the time, I get splatter, and I just wipe up the range. Or make my husband do it.
Or you could do as I do and be lazy, and only clean the cooktop a couple of times a week. (I have a high tolerance for messiness!)
I haver resorted to using a 6qt stock pot wiht about 3-4 inches of oil, depending on what I am frying. I have a very old build in gas stove and the top pieces to right into the dishwasher which just leaves me with the surround to brillo and dry...tonight is chicken fried steak so it is frying pan with oil night. Sigh. I love my dishwasher.