Article updated on December 8, 2023 at 6:18 AM PST

This Simple Device Makes Cooking Latkes a Mess-Free Affair

No more grease-splattered stove to clean up after frying your favorite Hannukah food.

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David Watsky
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David Watsky Senior Editor / Home and Kitchen
David lives in Brooklyn where he's spent more than a decade covering all things edible, including meal kit services, food subscriptions, kitchen tools and cooking tips. Before, during and after earning his BA from Northeastern, he toiled in nearly every aspect of the food business, including as a line cook in Rhode Island where he once made a steak sandwich for Lamar Odom. Right now he's likely somewhere stress-testing a blender or tinkering with a toaster. Anything with sesame is his all-time favorite food this week.
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Splatter Dome on stove with lid

You might not know it from the pristine stove top, but there's a ribeye steak sizzling away in there.

David Watsky/CNET

Potato latkes are the culinary highlight of Hannukah, but they can be a serious chore to clean up after. Grease splatter from a batch of potato pancakes can reach every corner of your stove -- and beyond -- but there's an easy way to keep it all in the pan. Splatter guards aren't entirely new, but SplatterDom is a reimagined grease guard that takes the mess out of cooking latkes, bacon, steak and other foods prone to splatter.

This simple yet effective device keeps your stove clean when you're cooking anything prone to grease pops or saucy spillovers without having to give up one of your arms to hold it. And if you use a gas stove, with those pesky grates to clean under, this device will prove even more useful. 

It's the best new kitchen gadget I've tested since I got my margarita-hoisting hands on this incredible $15 juicer.

While the concept of a splatter guard has been around, I recently came across the SplatterDom ($40 on Amazon) which sports an updated design and a few smart features that make it more effective and easier to use. That's all to say, these ain't your bubbe's splatter guards.

Fry guards, or splatter guards, are simply rubber walls of protection around your frying pan. When a fatty steak or slab of bacon hits the surface of the pan and starts sizzling, the walls catch any splatter, leaving you with a clean stovetop surface and one fewer chore to do when dinner is done. 

Read moreHow to Clean Your Kitchen in 15 Minutes or Less: Tips That Actually Work

Sounds simple enough, right? Now the real question is, How did it take me so long to discover the beauty of the splatter guard? As someone who loathes lifting those heavy cast-iron grates to clean a greasy stove after cooking, I'm making the SplatterDom a definite mainstay in my kitchen. 

The SplatterDom is a smarter splatter guard

Splatter Dome on stove

This simple and dishwasher-safe addition to your favorite frying pan will save you from having to clean a greasy stove later.

David Watsky/CNET

There are a few types of splatter guards, including simple, conical models with openings on top and bottom and no cover. There are also screen splatter guards that look a lot like stubby badminton rackets, but those block you from touching food and when you lift them, you're also opening your stove up to splatter, which kind of defeats the purpose. 

The SplatterDom, which I tested and recommend, is adjustable with an open top and a removable lid. I liked the open top since it allows one to flip and maneuver food inside the pan while cooking without having to lift the splatter guard itself. The accordion-like adjustability lets you raise or lower the walls depending on what you're making and how much splatter you anticipate. For a quick sauté of vegetables in oil, you probably don't need the walls up more than the lowest setting. But for bacon or a fatty ribeye steak, you'll want those rubber walls in full force. Cover the top and you can completely tame the grease pops and enjoy your spoils without a mess. 

Splatter Döm on stove with steak inside

The open top allows you to maneuver food inside without removing the guard from the pan and risking a grease-showered stove.

David Watsky/CNET

The SplatterDom has an 8-inch opening on one side and a 10-inch opening on the other so you can flip it to fit the two most popular sizes for frying pans and other stove top cookware. But the 8-inch lid only fits snugly when you're using it on a pot or pan with a 10-inch surface diameter. SplatterDom also offers a larger size to accommodate 10- and 12-inch pans. It's made from 100% food-grade silicone and can withstand temperatures up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.

Do splatter guards work?

Yes, and very well I found. I cooked several traditionally messy frying pan foods using the SplatterDom. While deciding the necessary height to raise the walls had a learning curve, once I got the hang of it, I prevented any and all splatter from reaching the range. I don't have a dishwasher, so it did result in one more thing to hand wash after. But if you do have a built-in dishwasher, the SplatterDom and most other splatter guards are completely dishwasher-safe. 

Rising off a screen splatter guard

Screen splatter guards work fine but they're a pain to clean.


Is the SplatterDom worth $40?

This new splatter guard is more expensive than most. While the other types I've tried work OK, I'd just as soon pony up the extra dough for this superior model. It's built well and works. You don't have to hold it while you use it and the tight-fitting cover gives you complete protection from grease grenades. It's also easy to clean by hand or in the dishwasher and will save you a lot of grief after frying a batch of bacon or ribeyes.