Canning 101: Use a Splatter Guard for Thick Products

splatter guard while cooking to temperature

In digging around my kitchen recently, I rediscovered my trusty splatter guard. As we head into canning season, I thought it might be useful to share exactly why I think this is such a great tool to have in your preserving tool box.

Most people think that splatter guards like this are used primarily for fried foods. But they’re also great when you’re cooking down thick fruit preserves like chutneys and fruit butters. While you do have to move them to the side when it comes time to stir, they’re an invaluable tool for keeping your products in the pot and off your stovetop.

This is not a tool for which you need to shell out a ton of money. I bought mine at a dollar store some years ago and it’s still going strong (I am careful to scrub it down thoroughly between uses, to ensure that it has a long life). There are a bunch on Amazon, but they cost far more than the buck I paid for mine. So look around before you drop significant money. Oh, and make sure you get a metal mesh one. They allow for better air circulation, which leads to more rapid evaporation and more efficient cooking times.

In other news, my sister is here in Philadelphia with her little family. She and her husband are playing a house concert in Mt. Airy (a neighborhood around these parts) on Wednesday night. If you’re in the area and think you might want to attend, leave a comment and I’ll get you the details. I promise a good time for all! 

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16 responses to “Canning 101: Use a Splatter Guard for Thick Products”

  1. Last week, I was doing some mango-pineapple preserves that has no pectin & just needs to cook down. I didn’t think of my splatter screen until it popped up and right onto my finger. Nice burn! Now I’ll remember that screen before the burn happens.

  2. Thanks, Marisa! Never thought of using it for making fruit butters but sure need to! I have one from Ikea which was quite inexpensive. It doesn’t have a heat-proof handle, just a little metal ring in the center. I put a cork around it (cut a slit in it first) and it works fine now.

  3. Just a heads-up that the ones from the dollar store may not be dishwasher safe. I recently got a couple mesh sieves from a dollar store. One of them went through the dishwasher, and all the metal got pitted/eaten away. It was completely unusable after one time through.

  4. Great idea! I made your Three-Citrus Marmalade yesterday, and my stove top still has burnt syrup on it after two cleanings. But the marmalade is amazing, so the extra cleanup is worth it. Thank you for the splatter tip and the most wonderful Citrus Marmalade recipe.

  5. Gah! I really wish I were home in NYC right now so I could go see your sister’s show! I’m a native New Yorker who’s transplanted to Portland for college. I love her music!

  6. These are great! I received them as a gift from a family member who is a real dollar store junkie, and wasn’t sure what to do with them… until the day I found a strawberry jam speck on my kitchen CEILING. Three years later, my cheap little splatter guard still works just fine.

  7. Marissa, thank you for the reminder! I saw your thermometer probe poking out from under the cover and wonder which brand you use (and has it been reliable?). My then-expensive Polder from Bed, Bath and Beyond quit working and I sure miss it but just don’t trust that technology now.

  8. Well, DUH! Of course this is an excellent use for that screen which we almost never use because we almost never fry anything more than some pintos or eggs!

    Thanks!

  9. Fried doesn’t happen much in our house so I never gave the splatter screen a second look. I’ve had my share of sugary syrup burns over the years and I’m willing to give this a try. Don’t have a dishwasher,hard to believe, I know. So I’ll be looking for one of those not too pricey alternatives. Thanks for another great tip

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