If you've ever fried food in a frying pan then you've probably been spat at by a sausage or burned by hot bacon fan. That's just the nature of the beast, hot fat is unpredictable and will leap out of the frying pan at every given opportunity. It burns when it hits you, messes up your clothes and makes a mess of your stove and kitchen counter which you then have to waste time cleaning up after your cooking is done. That's where splatter screens come into play and if you haven't got one, now is the time to reconsider as they make frying food so much easier, you'll wonder why you never bought one before!
For cooking bacon, sausages, fried potatoes, eggs or anything else which spits, splashes and splatters fats, grease and oil everywhere you need splatter screens for your protection and to keep your cooking area clean from grease. I don't know about you, but sometimes after cooking up some bacon or sausages in a frying pan, my stove top looks like I pulled out an olive oil sprayer and gave it a liberal couple of squirt all over the stove!
Splatter screens get between the over-excited oil and you delicate skin and nice clean stove. They are made of a fine mesh supported by a rigid metal exterior coupled with a handle for easy removal and replacement of the protective cover. Splatter guards sit directly on top of the frying pan or pot in question, completely covering the top surface so there is no way for the oil to jump out. The fine mesh allows steaming hot air to leave the pan but catches the oil preventing it from mesingup your counter or burning you. It's a very simple design which can save you a lot of hassle in the long term.
Splatter shields are available in a variety of sizes to suit the different size frying pans out there. You can also find one size fits most splatter screens which feature concentric metal circle on the underside of the wire mesh designed to fit snugly over numerous sized frying pans. You can also buy sets of splatter shields for pretty decent prices also if you'd rather have separate screens - and when you have multiple pans frying up different foods at the same time, this might be a better option.
For those whose storage space is limited or who simply don't want something larger than a saucepan lid cluttering up their kitchen cabinets, there are foldable splatter screens too. These feature folding handles which fold up to reduce the overall size and awkwardness of the splatter guard making it easier to stow away when not in use.
Some of the stainless steel splatter screens are so attractive however that you might decide to leave them on display hanging up there with your best pots and pans on you kitchen hanging pot rack. That decision is up to you however, folding handle splatter covers are a nice option to have should you decide to store them in a drawer or a cupboard later.
If you've got a thing for silicone cookware, then you'll be pleased to know there are also silicone splatter shield guards out there too, all available for the various different sizes and styles of frying pans out there.
Whilst the vast majority of splatters screens are round in shape, because round splatter shields make sense when you consider they are mostly going to be used on top of a round frying pan or cooking pot, you can also buy square shape splatter screens too, which are useful for covering things like cast iron griddle pans.
Oil splatter screens can be hard to find in the offline world particularly if you are looking for something in particular. It's amazing how sometimes large stores seem to overlook the simple things or provide a weak selection of shoddy design. You can find a larger selection online at cooking supply stores and mega sites like Amazon.com.