If my kitchen were a battlefield (and sometimes it can be when I’m cooking for a crowd), then the knives would be my swords, the spatula my other weapon for mass destruction, and the splatter screen my shield of armor. The splatter screen’s fine mesh combats grease splatters and even erupting bolognese sauce, protecting the stove, kitchens walls, and most importantly, me! Those of you who’ve fried up bacon, pork chops, fish & chips, or seared meat know that what a messy and painful experience it can be, even if the end result is super yummy =P
And just like everything else in life, splatter screens come in all different shapes and sizes… each with its own price tag. All-Clad’s stainless steel line includes an upscale version for an outrageous $60, but my Progressive International Stainless Steel Splatter Screen costs less than a third of that price and works just perfectly for me =) Its 13-inch diameter, fine stainless steel mesh is universally sized to fit over most pots and pans and the extra little feet on the other side means I can set it down on the countertop without making too much of a mess.
If you’re in the market for one, definitely stick with the traditional lollipop-design models as those tend to be the most effective and practical and make sure the mesh is strong enough to last and big enough to cover your pots and pans.
Besides just using it to guard against splattering though, I’ve even used the extra fine mesh as a makeshift chinois to strain the custard fillings for quiche lorraine and crème caramel, hehe… that is, until I can afford a real chinois =P But even then, I wouldn’t leave for battle without my shield: my trusty splatter screen