Skip to main content
Menu
Search
Menu
Close

We make mistakes so you don’t have to.

Try CooksIllustrated.com Free for 14 Days

Email is required
How we use your email address

Does the Frywall Live Up to Its Hype?

By Hannah Crowley Published

We put it to the test and were pleasantly surprised.

Sizzling chicken, frying bacon, and burbling tomato sauce can wreak havoc on a clean stove, but splatter screens, designed to prevent this mess, don’t work that well. Shaped like small metal tennis rackets with mesh faces, the screens lie flat over the top of a pan while the food cooks, ostensibly to contain splatter. A good model, such as our previous winner, the HIC Stainless Steel Splatter Screen ($12.99), will reduce mess—particularly larger blobs of oil that can be painful if they hit you—but considering that the screen must be porous enough to allow steam to escape safely, quite a bit of oil still gets through.

Recently, a new splatter screen came onto the market with a radically different design aimed at solving the catch-22 of releasing steam while containing splatter. The Frywall Stovetop Splatter Guard (of “Shark Tank” fame) ditches the old tennis racket–like design in favor of one that looks like the protective cone a dog wears around its neck after surgery. It comes in 8-, 10-, and 12-inch sizes and sits on top of the pan, creating walls instead of a net to capture the splatter.

The Frywall (right) contained far more flying grease than a traditional flat splatter screen (left) when we seared chicken thighs.

We were skeptical that this floppy (and pretty ridiculous-looking) cone would actually work. To find out, we lined tables with brown butcher paper and used a portable induction burner to fry bacon and sear chicken thighs in a variety of skillets, comparing the Frywall splatter guard to the HIC splatter screen.

In the end, we were surprised by how well the Frywall worked. Despite being so big and floppy, it unfurled and perched on top of each skillet in a satisfyingly secure way. Even more impressive: The paper around our burner showed hardly a speck of splatter; in contrast, our previous winner left the paper covered in a fine mist of oil. Reaching over the 12-inch Frywall’s 7.4-inch-high walls wasn’t as hard as we’d anticipated, simply requiring a re-angling of the elbow for shorter folks. Considering that you have to remove a traditional splatter screen any time you want to access the pan, the Frywall is actually easier to use despite its walls.

The Frywall is also great for cooking down large volumes of greens; we successfully piled 32 cups of raw kale into our winning stainless-steel skillet from All-Clad.

The Frywall also promises to be good for cooking down large amounts of greens because you can just pile them up and the walls will contain them. We tried this and found that the Frywall held an impressive 32 cups of kale in one batch, cooking it perfectly (compared with 9 cups in the same skillet sans Frywall). The Frywall isn’t for everyone; it’s a floppy thing that you have to clean and store (though it can go right in the dishwasher and rolls up pretty compactly for storage). Some in the more minimalist vein might rather just wipe down their stoves after frying. But if splatter really bothers you, the Frywall is a real innovation and a great option for keeping your cooking area clean. For that reason, we’re naming it our new winning splatter screen.

Equipment Review Splatter Screens

Splatter screens promise to help contain grease during stovetop cooking. We put seven models to the test.

Leave a comment and join the conversation!

0 Comments
Read & post comments with a free account
Join the conversation with our community of home cooks, test cooks, and editors.
First Name is Required
Last Name is Required
Email Address is Required
How we use your email?
Password is Required
JC
JOHN C.
16 days

Absolutely the best chicken ever, even the breast meat was moist! It's the only way I'll cook a whole chicken again. Simple, easy, quick, no mess - perfect every time. I've used both stainless steel and cast iron pans. great and easy technique for “roasted” chicken. I will say there were no pan juices, just fat in the skillet. Will add to the recipe rotation. Good for family and company dinners too. I've done this using a rimmed sheet pan instead of a skillet and put veggies and potatoes around the chicken for a one-pan meal. Broccoli gets nicely browned and yummy!

Absolutely the best chicken ever, even the breast meat was moist! It's the only way I'll cook a whole chicken again. Simple, easy, quick, no mess - perfect every time. I've used both stainless steel and cast iron pans. great and easy technique for “roasted” chicken. I will say there were no pan juices, just fat in the skillet. Will add to the recipe rotation. Good for family and company dinners too.

MD
MILES D.
JOHN C.
9 days

Amazed this recipe works out as well as it does. Would not have thought that the amount of time under the broiler would have produced a very juicy and favorable chicken with a very crispy crust. Used my 12" Lodge Cast Iron skillet (which can withstand 1000 degree temps to respond to those who wondered if it would work) and it turned out great. A "make again" as my family rates things. This is a great recipe, and I will definitely make it again. My butcher gladly butterflied the chicken for me, therefore I found it to be a fast and easy prep. I used my cast iron skillet- marvellous!

CM
CHARLES M.
11 days

John, wasn't it just amazing chicken? So much better than your typical oven baked chicken and on par if not better than gas or even charcoal grilled. It gets that smokey charcoal tasted and overnight koshering definitely helps, something I do when time permits. First-time I've pierced a whole chicken minus the times I make jerk chicken on the grill. Yup, the cast iron was not an issue.