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Spatter screens - do they really work?

My range hood is fundamentally a light- if we were to have an outside vent super-sucking hood, we would have to shift the kitchen 90 degrees. Still, there are some dishes I want to fry in deep fat, and would prefer that my kitchen wasn't coated in a light film of far-flung oil spatter. I need to control the grease.

My parents had many wars, and one was over the spatter screen my Dad gave Mom for a birthday(!). It was never used (duh!), so I have no experience with it. I know they are not expensive, but I don't want to spend without knowing if it is truly a utile item and one worth storage.

Do spatter screens really work? Do you like yours? Are they heavy maintenance, cleaning the grease? Shall I go spend (gasp!) five buck and get one?

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  1. I have one. It works alright (I find it hard to see the frying very well), but eventually you have to take it off & there lies the problem. Where to put it since you generally need both hands for dealing with the fried food? It is a little awkward to wash in a sink & it doesn't always fit in smaller dishwashers. I tend to move the occasional deep fry out doors and skip the screen. If I'm indoors, my decision for it's use depends on how much extra room is available for its "home" when removed from the fryer.

    1 Reply
    1. re: meatn3

      jfood places paper towels on the cutting board to "hold" the screen while his paws are busy with the fried food.

      Hope that helps

    2. Mine works great, it does exactly what it's supposed to do. I use it, if not once a day, than close. Dishwasherable. I store it in the drawer under the oven. The one single problem is that I've got a big one and a gas stove and sometimes when it's on a smaller pan it's gotten burned a bit (browned the screen; still functions fine). Get the smallest one that will fit the largest pan you intend to use it with.

      1. I do not have a dishwasher - is cleaning the screen by hand a deal breaker?

        5 Replies
        1. re: cayjohan

          If it fits in your sink Its not bad. If really gunky I spray on one of those natural citrus cleaning sprays & let it sit a bit. Cleans up fine after that with very hot water.

          1. re: cayjohan

            You want to be able to clean it properly - a friend of my mother's strained chicken soup for eighteen through hers (no, I don't know why she didn't use a sieve) and it was only when the dinner party sat down to eat the soup that she realized the entire batch had turned. The culprit? The dirty splatter screen. So while you might not choose to use yours as a multipurpose item (!) be prepared to give it a good scrubbing.

            My first splatter screen didn't work - it was mesh wire and had stupidly large enough holes for oil to splatter through. Get something quite dense, and you should be fine - my current one is solid metal with tiny perforations, works fine.

            1. re: Gooseberry

              I have a large and smaller one that I use to contain the splatter and also use it to steam burrito shells over a pot of simmering water.

              The large one doesn't quite fit into the dishwasher, so I hand wash it with Dawn dish-washing liquid to get all the grease out.

              1. re: MysticYoYo

                Second the use of Dawn to clean both the splatter screen AND the screen on the exhaust fan after every serious fry job.
                The cheap screens from Walmart will cut the splatter by about 95%. And that's a lot less to clean up.

            2. re: cayjohan

              I wash both of mine by hand most of the time with a soapy sponge, no problem.

              However, mine seem to reduce splatters, not really eliminate them. The catfish I fried the other night seemed to have enough water to make the big splashes go through the screen. So, it is an improvement, but not a perfect solution. And it definitely is no substitute for a vent.

              That said, I only paid about $15 for mine at BB&B. I wonder if the other brands are better?

            3. So why can't you just turn your kitchen ;-)? We use our spatter screens (large and small) and wouldn't be without them. CI recommends the Amco Splatter Screen 13", which was the one we had before the rating so I didn't have to trot out and get a new one (gotta have the best, after all).

              1. I've never had one that worked very well. I keep trying them though. I did buy a deep fryer this past winter that has a double filtering system in the lid that lets the steam out and keeps the fat and odors in.