Saturday, December 1, 2018

Review: Frywall Splatter Guard (Spicy Crispy Chicken Thighs)


After over 40 years of daily meal preparation, it's hard for me to think of any tool that exists that I'm not already aware of and have decided whether or not I need one in my life. For the most part, even if it's really great at doing one single thing, if it's not either multi-use or frequently used, I'm inclined to skip it.

So, it's a real surprise when I find myself using and loving something I had no idea existed or even that I thought such a thing ought to!

The Frywall Splatter Guard caught me by surprise.  This seemingly simplistic silicon product was featured on Shark Tank awhile ago.  I remember thinking "Sure, splattering happens when you pan fry, but who needs a big floppy thing that only does one thing, taking up all the storage space?"

Me. I do. I need this in my life, and I bet you do too.

I received two of these for review (a medium and large), and I plan to buy a third for my smaller pans very soon.  They do exactly what they're supposed to do - let you pan-fry food that would otherwise cover your stovetop, surrounding counters, and your shirtfront in grease without any of that mess.

Flat mesh screens don't do that because you have to take them off the pan to handle the food and then the grease goes everywhere anyway. Also, you're dripping grease all over when you set it aside (possibly onto other burners, creating a fire hazard at worst and a really annoying clean up at best) and they're gross and impossible to clean thoroughly.

In contrast, the Frywall creates a flexible cone shaped barrier that basically turns your pan into a high-walled pot, except the conical shapes provides enough air to keep the food from being too steamy to crisp up.

In the past couple of weeks, I've used it to make pan fried chicken, pork chops, fried potatoes - and it even does the trick to get a large quantity of fresh greens into the pan to wilt down without losing greens onto the floor before they shrink down.

And once the meal prep is done - clean up is as easy as washing the pan and setting the Frywall into the dishwasher. NO surrounding grease mess to take care of at all.  No need to pre-wash a floppy Frywall to get off the grease - it cleans perfectly in the dishwasher without any greasy residue and nothing sticks to it.

They even come with a sturdy clear holder that keeps them from being too awkward to store.  I keep mine at hand the same cabinet where I store my pans, and use them together nearly every day.

Ok, so downsides?  It is a little awkward looking, especially the larger size - it took me a few tries to get used to how to hold it to let it billow open in the pan. (Frywall provides illustrated directions)  So, plan for a little bit of a learning curve when you first start using it.

Ideally, the bottom of the Frywall is suppose to be slightly larger than the pan so that it sits a bit above the bottom of the pan.  It doesn't work out that way for my cast iron pans, and it's fine to let them sit on the bottom, however that does mean you have to practice care not to fry above 450F when it's in the pan.  Since that's higher than you'd heat oil even for deep frying, I don't see that as a problem.  In my case, the smoke detector would be warning me well before the Frywall was in any danger of melting.

The larger problem for me is that for certain smaller foods (like fried potatoes), having the Frywall all the way on the bottom of the pan meant that some food tried to get caught underneath and behind it.

It was a surprise the first time it happened, but once I knew that was a risk, a little bit of extra care when moving food around the pan took care of it.  I'm going to put this in the learning curve category.

Frywall comes in several colors, according to size, although both the M and L for me came in this bright green, instead of the orange listed on their website for the M (10").  All of the colors tend to be bright, and I do think I'd prefer to be able to choose by color regardless of size, but since the Frywall is all about function in spite of a general lack of aesthetically pleasing look, this is a only a minor wish - the different colors would let you grab the right one for the right pan quickly.

So overall - I'd give the Frywall very high marks, and it might just be the one tool to gift that Cook Who Has Everything that they haven't already gifted to themselves!



This is the chicken recipe I used - I love, love, love crispy skin pan-fried chicken, but don't make it often due to, you guessed it, the mess.  This time I got all the flavor and none of the mess.  The inside was moist and fall apart tender, and the skin was crisp and full of flavor from the spices.

Spicy Crispy Chicken Thighs
Serves 2-4

1-2 Tblsp. coconut oil
4 bone-in, skin on chicken thighs
Salt & Pepper to taste.
Seasoning blend to taste*

*I used Penzey's Galena Street Rib and Chicken Rub  - it is a combination of flake salt, sugar, black pepper, paprika, nutmeg, sage and cayenne red pepper.

Put Frywall in place, if using, then heat oil in a 10" skillet (preferably cast iron) on med-high.

Generously season the chicken on both sides.  Place chicken in hot oil in skillet, skin side down, and cook uncovered for about 25 minutes, or until the chicken skin is crispy and the fat has rendered.  If chicken is cooking too quickly, lower heat a bit.  Do not turn or move chicken while cooking!

Turn chicken skin side up, and let it cook another 20 minutes without moving it. Check to ensure chicken is fully cooked before serving.




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3 comments:

  1. The chicken looks awesome! Thanks for sharing at the What's for Dinner party - hope your week is great! And I like that firewall!

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  2. The chicken looks scrumptious. My husband loves chicken thighs. Thanks for sharing at Merry Monday

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  3. Looks yummy! Would love to try that splash guard. Thanks for sharing at To Grandma's House We Go DIY, Crafts, Recipes and More Link party. I pinned this! Hope to have you join us again this week.

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