I love Hanukkah foods, but I'd much rather eat them at someone else's house than make them myself. Who likes having their home smell like fried food for days after the feast's ended? Show of hands? I thought not.
This odor-absorbing splatter screen by Farberware ($12.99 at Platzgraff) caught my eye a few months ago, and with Hanukkah as an excuse, I decided to finally give it a whirl. With a carbon filter woven in between the mesh of the splatter screen, it's meant to neutralize odors as they emit from the pan. Straightforward chemistry at work.
With my latkes grated and ready (and some air freshener nearby), I heated up some oil and got frying. The result? No obnoxious odors—for the first few batches. Inevitably, as we lifted the splatter screen to flip and plate our treats, we found ourselves catching whiffs of that pesky oil smell that we'd so desperately wanted to avoid.
Later on, after the smell had faded, I tried the screen again, this time with a piece of fish. Here, it was far more successful, likely since my fish only needed to be flipped once before the stove was turned off for good. I was happy to see that the screen didn't interfere with my cooking, and let steam vent properly—everything tasted just the same and took the same amount of time to cook through.
I haven't had my screen long enough to know whether the carbon filter will eventually die out, but I'm guessing that like any other filter, it will. Regardless, the price point is a few bucks less than regular splatter screens, making eventual replacements a not-so-costly practice.