Do you use a splatter screen in your kitchen? You know one of those round screens you put on top of your frying or sauté pan to prevent the hot spatters from making a mess of your stove top or jumping up and hitting your face.
I've owned one for years but hardly used it. It's a bit beat up and has a little rip in it so I'm due for a new one. (see photo) I'm not sure why I haven't been using mine but I just read an article reminding me how useful they can be when browning chicken or bacon.
So when I prepared the chicken with apples and pears that required browning the chicken thighs and legs before braising in the oven, I gave mine another try. Although there was still some splatter on the stove top, there was a significant difference in mess and it did prevent me from receiving any nasty burns from spitting grease.
What To Buy
Since reading that article, I've been doing some research on splatter screens and see they have come up with some interesting innovations. The good ones seem to range from $14.00 to about $20.00 although you can still pick up a cheap one under ten bucks.
They come with folding handles, detachable handles, with feet, without feet. Most are made with stainless steel but there are now silicone screens available. And then there are shields that fit over your pan without a screen and prevent splatter but allow you access to whatever you're cooking.
I think I'm going with the Cuisipro 13 inch Round Splatter Guard with Feet. I like idea of the feet keeping the messy screen from coming into contact with my counter top. I also like that it should fit over my biggest sauté pans. I'm a little concerned the feet may make storing it a little more challenging with all the "stuff" I have in my cupboards but I'll just have to make room.