This is Highly recommended, a column devoted to what people in the food industry are obsessed with eating, drinking and buying right now.
Much to my mother’s horror, I only turned into a clean cook after moving out of her house. My timing may not have been to their liking, but I was belatedly inheriting their fondness for a flawless workplace. I wash dishes and put the ingredients away as I go. I use a garbage bowl to hold back the leftovers. And when I’m done eating, I like my whole kitchen licking squeaky clean.
It should come as no surprise then that oil splashes from the high heat of the hob are the bane of my existence. It gets everywhere from the corners to the nooks and crannies and it’s an absolute pain to wipe it up. I lived with this problem for years, reluctantly lifting burner grates and then scrubbing behind nearby equipment Fry eggs for breakfast and Crispy skin on chicken legs for dinner. It turned out that the update was only $ 15 away: a Splatter screen.
At 13 inches in diameter, this handy tool is so simple. It rests on almost any pan size – mine small non-stick to my big old cast iron– and once attached, the oil stays clean within the confines of the pan.
You see, any cook worth their salt knows that you often need a decent amount of fat to make a delicious, well-balanced meal. But it’s not just that fat is delicious. It’s also the mechanism that transports heat for even cooking (this is one of many great lessons Samin Nosrat conveyed in Salt, fat, acid, heat– and if you haven’t read it yet, get in). A big flame and a good portion of fat are the keys to this charring green beans, sear a perfect steak, and fry while stirring a pile of vegetables. But with this magical combination, you inevitably end up in a splatter city.
A saucepan lid would of course curb the splash and sloshing, but it would ruin your food by trapping steam in the pan. Moisture is the enemy of crispnessEven if you started with shimmering hot oil, you’d stay moist donutslackluster fried potatoesand rubbery short ribs. The spray screen, on the other hand, has fine-meshed holes that are large enough to allow steam to escape, but small enough that oil has no chance of getting anywhere.
When all is said and done, the only clutter is on the screen itself – and that can go straight in the dishwasher, easy cleaning if I’ve ever seen one.