It takes effort to achieve a spotless kitchen. In a dream world everything would magically go back in its place after use and the counters would wipe themselves down. However, the reality is that a tidy kitchen is an ongoing process that requires legwork.
There is one aspect of kitchen cleanup in particular that can become a real nuisance: grease splatters. They appear almost every time you fry something on the stove, and cleaning them up feels like a never-ending job.
Thankfully, there’s an inexpensive hack that can keep your stovetop looking fresh — and it doesn’t involve you cleaning more. Enter the splatter screen. This helpful tool rests on top of nearly any size pan or pot, keeping oil contained in the pan. So whether you’re frying up bacon and eggs or simmering a red sauce or curry, it’s got your food covered, literally.
The best splatter screens let moisture escape, unlike pot lids that trap steam inside the pan. Most splatter screens are made of basic kitchen-grade stainless steel mesh with a rim constructed of aluminum, stainless steel or silicone. These circular screens are flat and wide and come with a handle. They can easily be stored away when not in use, and some varieties have foldable handles to save on space. Splatter screens with aluminum and silicone rims should be hand-washed, but stainless steel versions can be cleaned in the dishwasher.
For less than $20, you can boil or fry without worrying that little splatters will wreak havoc on your countertop, clothes or skin.
Size It Right
The universal size of most splatter screens is 13 inches in diameter. However, you can generally find sizes between 9 and 15 inches in diameter. If you’re unsure what size to buy, you can opt for a bundle, where several different sizes are included in the package.
If you’re in the market for one, check out our selection of the best splatter screens that’s been vetted by a team of experts.
Be mindful of the splatter screen you see at the dollar store. Many times they need to be replaced quickly because they bend or break. To help determine their durability before purchasing, it can be useful to check the weight of the splatter screen and to see if it’s made from high-quality steel.
Cleaning a splatter screen in the sink or dishwasher is much easier than scrubbing burnt grease off a stovetop. However, even the best splatter screen will need to be cleaned regularly. If not cleaned, the grease will stay stuck between the tiny holes and it won’t work as effectively. If you’re cleaning it up by hand, use soap and water, gently scrub with a bristle brush and rinse off. If you need more cleaning power, a dash of baking soda in addition to dishwashing soap should do the trick. Always be sure to thoroughly dry your splatter screen afterward.
While you might not think this tool is a necessary addition to your kitchen, after using one you might wonder how you lived without it. Not only does it protect you and your stovetop from hot oil, water and sauce splashes, but it can also even be used as a strainer for your pasta or as a cooling surface for cookies straight out of the oven.
Will you be picking up one of these practical kitchen tools to make your life easier?
This story originally appeared on Don't Waste Your Money. Checkout Don't Waste Your Money for product reviews and other great ideas to save and make money.