As a bit of a neat freak, I hate it when I’m pan-frying something and oil splatters everywhere. After a couple of days (if I don’t clean regularly) my cooktop can be slick with oil. It gets in my overhead vent and accumulates, and sometimes drips down the back of my stove.
In short, cooking with oil can be a messy pain. I was eager to try something that would make clean-up easier.
I had heard that splatter screens weren’t very effective cooking tools – they were difficult to clean themselves, got hot, were hard to manage, and in general made the cooking process less enjoyable. When I learned about the OXO splatter screen with folding handle, I was eager to try it. OXO makes fantastic kitchen gadgets, and I figured if anyone could make a usable splatter screen, it was OXO.
The OXO splatter screen looked great – much better than any other splatter screen I had seen in the store. Its folding handle made it easy to store, and its screen was made out of durable stainless steel. The foldable handle also fit right on top of the frying pan handle, so the splatter screen wouldn’t slide off the pan, and would sit flat. The screen had ridges so the screen could fit frying pans of three common sizes.
There’s no question the OXO splatter screen is the best one on the market, by far. It’s also still miserable to use. Cooking with a splatter screen made me constantly wish for a third hand – I couldn’t put the screen down anywhere, of course, because its underside was covered in oil. Tilt the screen to one side and hot oil will start dripping. The screen is very difficult to clean – the oil gets burned on and sticky and no amount of soap can remove it. I had hoped to just use a paper towel or two. Yeah right!
After using the splatter screen a couple of times, I gave up and stashed it in the back of my cupboard. Cooking with a splatter screen – even the best one available – made preparing dinner less enjoyable, more stressful, slower and more difficult. I’ve resigned myself to doing a quick cleanup of my stove area each time I cook with oil, and it’s much faster than trying to adequately clean the screen itself.
Usually I write about gadgets I like and use frequently. This one I strongly dislike and avoid using at all costs. If you’re tempted to buy a splatter screen, heed my advice. Don’t!