The Frying Tool You Need To Cut Down On Cleanup

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In case you missed the memo — which is pretty doubtful — we're here to tell you that fried food is absolutely delicious. Whether your hot, salty, crisped-in-sizzling-fat dish of choice is fried chicken, French fries, fried shrimp, or some other tasty item, we think we can all agree that this category of comfort food is a pretty great one. But there's one other thing fried food is pretty notorious for being, and that's messy. 

Prone to splattering our once-pristine stovetop and counters with hot oil that goes sticky as it dries, homemade fried food is definitely a labor of love, and one that many of us leave to the professionals at our local coffee shop or diner, according to a lively thread on Reddit. And that's a shame, because making fried food at home can truly be a fun and tasty experience. So if you've got a craving for spring rolls or onion rings, read on, because there's a piece of equipment that will seriously cut down on the havoc normally wreaked in your kitchen when you crank up the heat under a pot of oil.

Pick up a splatter screen for less-messy frying at home

If you love fried items such as tempura and chicken fingers, but tend to avoid making them at home due to the drudgery of cleaning up sticky splattered oil, then you're going to want to look into buying a splatter screen. Also known as a splatter guard, this piece of kitchen equipment is typically made of fine metal mesh that's formed into a round shape and attached to a long handle, and sort of looks like a tennis racquet. 

To use it, according to Bon Appétit, all you have to do is place it, like a lid, over your frying setup on the stove. As you fry, the steam from the pan can escape through the fine mesh, but splattering oil will be minimized as the majority sticks to the splatter screen — and not to your stovetop. After cooking, you can just slip the screen right into the dishwasher, or give it a soapy scrub in the sink.

America's Test Kitchen is also a fan of a good splatter guard, but they recommend a different type that's also ingenious. A "frywall" made of a tall, silicone insert that slips right into your skillet and whose walls help contain the splashing grease. Either way you go, know that fried food and a clean kitchen are no longer mutually exclusive, thanks to the handy function of a splatter guard.