Everything You Need to Know About Splatter Guards
If you're tired of scrubbing grease droplets off your stove and counters, it's time to invest in a splatter guard.
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While there’s nothing better than a delicious homemade pasta sauce, we also can’t deny that simmering tomatoes for hours on end can get messy—really messy. By the time your sauce is finished, your stove and counter are often covered with hundreds of tiny splatter marks that you have to scrub off. This can happen also when cooking foods like bacon, deep-fried treats and other thick liquids.
The good news is that there’s an easy way to prevent these splatter marks from getting all over your kitchen: using a splatter guard. This handy tool comes in a variety of styles, but at the end of the day, they all do a great job of keeping your kitchen clean while you cook (and saving you some money on paper towels).
What’s the Purpose of a Splatter Guard?
Splatter guards are designed to contain cooking messes on the stovetop, meaning you won’t have to clean your range as often. (When you do, reach for the best stovetop cleaners.) They come in a variety of forms, but in general, they act as a cover for pots and pans to prevent messy ingredients from splattering on the stove, backsplash and counter while cooking.
Unlike a regular pot cover, splatter guards are perforated to allow heat and moisture to pass through, and they can also be used to strain water out of pasta or vegetables if you don’t have a colander handy.
Splatter guards are commonly made from metal mesh or silicone, and some are designed to fit onto a range of pan sizes so you only need to own one. They’re typically inexpensive, and we think they’re a total game-changer in the kitchen.
The Best Splatter Guard for Every Kitchen
There are several types of splatter guards available today. The best option for your needs depends on your cooking and cleaning preferences, as well as what you’re making.
Mesh Splatter Guards
Mesh splatter guards are arguably the most common style available today, and they’re typically made from a fine stainless steel mesh. They come in a few styles, including circular mesh screens with a handle or options that look like classic pot lids with a knob in the center.
Because they’re made from stainless steel, most mesh splatter screens won’t be damaged if they’re exposed to high heat, won’t develop stains or odors, and can be easily cleaned in the dishwasher.
You’ll want to keep in mind that the size of the mesh will determine how much splatter gets through the shield. If the screen has a course mesh, you still may end up with some specks on your counters.
Additionally, most mesh guards must be removed to stir your sauce or food, and they can be somewhat bulky to store because of their rigid design. Some brands put folding handles on their splatter guards to make storage more compact.
Silicone Splatter Guards
As you may have guessed, silicone splatter guards are made from silicone, a food-safe material that’s soft and flexible. There are a few reasons you might want to choose a silicone splatter guard over a metal one. Because the material is less rigid, silicone guards sometimes have folding designs that allow you to tend food without removing the cover completely. Plus, their flexible nature can also make them easier to store.
Silicone is typically dishwasher- and microwave-safe, meaning your guard may be able to double as a microwave cover, but keep in mind that the material is more prone to stains and discoloration than stainless steel. Additionally, it can burn if exposed to extremely high heat, such as a gas stove burner.
Cone-Shaped Splatter Guards
While not as common as the other two styles, cone-shaped splatter guards are another worthwhile option to consider. These guards essentially serve as an extension of your pan’s walls, helping to contain splatter without restricting access to the food inside. This style of splatter guard is ideal if you’re cooking something that needs to be stirred constantly.
Cone-shaped splatter guards are most commonly made from silicone, which makes them easy to clean and store. However, the downsides are that they can usually only be used with one pan size, and they may not block all the splatter from your dish.