“ Brand: John Lewis / Product Type: Splatter Screen „
The John Lewis own-brand 33cm (or 13") stainless steel Splatter Screen cost me £7 last year, which isn't particularly expensive for kitchenware out of John Lewis, but is quite pricey in an absolute sense, I would say. The same model currently costs £9, which is even worse value for money!
It consists of a very fine-mesh wire screen attached to a circular stainless screen frame, with a long, flat open-work wire handle welded to one end. While the area where the handle is attached to the frame is in itself pretty secure - or as secure as it can be, given that this is only made from thick wire - the surface area of the spatter screen is such that in practice the join is pretty flimsy; in fact 'flimsy' is the word that best describes this screen in general. It is reputedly dishwasher safe, but the metal mesh and frame are so thin and insubstantial that personally I consider this claim a bit dubious, really.
The screen's designed to stop hot fat from spattering out of your frying-pan and making a mess when you're shallow-frying food, the idea being that the fat rebounds off the metal mesh and either drips back into the pan or stays there. What actually happens I find is that fat spattering out of the pan sticks to the mesh of the screen, which being suspended over a hot frying pan, then gets heated to a ferocious temperature itself, causing the screen-attached fat to quickly catch fire. As the volume of fat on the mesh is low, you don't (usually) see any actual flames, but great cloud of billowing black cooking-smoke (note - not steam, I mean actual smoke) waft off the surface during use, setting off all your smoke detectors. The mesh loses its out-of-the-shop silver colour immediately, as it is heated to red-hot levels during use, leaving it the purplish black mixture of oil-slick, metal-heated-in-the-fire colours after even one outing on the hob.
Apart from the flimsiness, and the fact that it catches fire whenever it is used, the screen has another very significant design flaw, which is that at 33cm in diameter, it is so massively large that it's extremely impractical to use over a domestic cooker. It's so gigantic that it can't fit in the space between the back gas burners and the kitchen wall in my house; if used at the front of the cooker it's something of an overhang-hazard, but worse, overlaps the adjacent gas ring and then gets heated directly over the flame if any of the other hob elements are in use. My partner has had some success avoiding smoke fires by balancing the screen about an inch away from the edge of the frying pan, resting it on the edge of the fruit-bowl, but I wouldn't say this is an ideal solution, myself.
This screen was absolutely useless. A complete waste of £7.