I know I said I would never cook bacon in a pan again, ever since turning it into an oven — especially a oven with hob — is easier and cleaner and takes about the same amount of time. But if I were to cook bacon on the stove, say my new favorite stainless steel pan or cast iron panI wouldn’t do it without the help of a splash guard.
This simple but effective device keeps your stove clean when you’re cooking something that’s prone to grease or spicy residue, like bacon, steaks, red sauce and french fries. And if you use a gas cooker with those pesky cleaning grids, this device will prove even more useful.
In fact, it’s the best new kitchen gadget I’ve tested since falling into my margarita-loving hands amazing Fluicer.
While the concept of a splatter guard isn’t exactly new, I found a new model called the SplatterDom ($40 at Amazon) with an updated design and several smart features that make it more efficient and easier to use. That’s all to say, these aren’t your grandma’s splash guards.
Fry guards or splash guards are simply rubber walls for protection around your pan. When a greasy steak or a slab of bacon hits the surface and starts sizzling, the walls catch any splatter, leaving you with a clean cooktop and one less job to do when dinner is ready.
Read more: How to Clean Your Kitchen in 15 Minutes or Less: Tips That Really Work
Sounds simple enough, right? Now the real question is how did it take me so long to discover the beauty of the splash guard? As someone who hates lifting those heavy cast iron grates to clean a greasy stove after cooking, I’m making the SplatterDom a definite mainstay in my kitchen.
SplatterDom is a smarter splash guard
There are several types of splash guards, including simple, conical models with openings at the top and bottom and without a cover. Also there is screen splash protection which look a lot like thick badminton hilkis but keep you from touching food and when you pick them up you also open your stove to splatter which kind of defeats the purpose.
The SplatterDom, which I tested and recommend, is adjustable with an open top and a removable lid. I liked the open top as it allows you to turn and maneuver the food in the pan while cooking without having to lift the splash guard itself. The accordion-like adjustability allows you to raise or lower the walls depending on what you’re doing and how much splash you expect. For a quick sauté of vegetables in oil, you probably don’t need the walls more than the lowest setting. But for bacon or grease Ribeye steak, you’ll want those rubber walls in full force. Cover the top and you can completely tame the popping fat and enjoy your booty without the mess.
The SplatterDom has an 8-inch opening on one side and a 10-inch opening on the other, so you can flip it to fit the two most popular sizes for pans and other cookware. But the 8-inch lid only fits snugly when you use it on a pot or pan with a 10-inch surface diameter. The SplatterDom also offers a larger size to accommodate 10- and 12-inch pans. It is made of 100% food-grade silicone and can withstand temperatures up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
Do the splash guards work?
Yes, and very well I found. I’ve cooked a few traditionally messy pan meals using the SplatterDom. Although determining the required height to raise the walls was a learning curve, once I got the hang of it I prevented any splashes from reaching the scope. I don’t have a dishwasher, so this resulted in one more thing to hand wash afterwards. But if you have a built-in dishwasher, the SplatterDom and most other splash guards are completely dishwasher safe.
Is SplatterDom worth $40?
This new splash guard is more expensive than most. While the other types I’ve tried work well, I’d immediately shell out the extra dough for this superb model. It is solidly made and works well. You don’t have to hold it while using it, and the tight-fitting lid gives you full protection from grease grenades. It’s also easy to clean by hand or in the dishwasher and will save you a lot of grief after frying up a batch of bacon or fish.
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