Bacon sizzling on the grill, donuts cooking in bubbling oil, fried chicken, or latkes! What possible negative associations could there be with these culinary delights? Yair Reiner, founder and CEO of Gowanus Kitchen Lab, had the same problem experienced by anyone else who has tried making these delicious foods. Frying oil splatters everywhere—stove, countertop, the floor, and any other surface within “splatter distance,” including the cook!

While there are screens available that can be placed over the frying pan, they are not completely satisfactory. Although they do reduce the splatter as long as the screen is covering the pan, when adding new ingredients or stirring the contents it is necessary to remove it, allowing the oil to splatter. The screen also blocks the food as it cooks. Most cooks would prefer an unobstructed view and easy access to the food.

In 2015, Yair Reiner, with an MBA from the Stern School of Business, was working at GE Antares in New York. Cooking was one of his passions but like most cooks he really wasn’t too fond of cleaning up afterward. While pan frying a duck breast one day, he became frustrated by the amount of splatter defiling his kitchen, and was certain he could find a better way to prevent such a mess.

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Using a two-part silicone mixture he obtained on the internet, he made the first prototype of the Frywall, which is basically a funnel shaped “cone” that fits over a frying pan. It is designed to sit on the rim of the pan so that the entire surface of the pan is available for use. It worked so well that Yair was certain he had created something that would be of great interest to cooks everywhere.

By December of 2015, he had incorporated his new company, Gowanus Kitchen Lab, LLC, and began to make the necessary contacts to launch his new product. Yair approached this task with the same passion he brought to his cooking. He attended the International Home & Housewares Show in Chicago, Illinois in March of 2016, resulting in numerous blog postings and mentions on food and cooking sites. On July 26, 2016, he initiated a Kickstarter campaign with the goal of raising $10,000 to support rapid production and distribution of the product. The campaign exceeded his expectations and ended on August 25, 2016, with 338 backers and a total of $16,443. Pledges came from every continent and over a dozen countries, including Abu Dhabi, Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Peru, Singapore, Switzerland, the UK, South Korea, and the US.

Yair appeared on The Pitch, an American podcast hosted by Josh Muccio, on August 3, 2016, and on September 22, 2016, Frywall was launched on The Grommet, an online platform for early-stage consumer products from independent makers. The Grommet is an exclusive site and only accepts about 3% of the products it reviews. In April of 2017, Yair won the Next Big Thing Challenge on the Today Show, allowing him to pitch his product on QVC on April 22, 2017.

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Although not part of the original concept, using the Frywall effectively turns a skillet into a wok, and aids in cooking in other ways as well. On September 29, 2016, on Trend Hunter & Design, Michael Hemsworth noted: “Aside from being exceptional at stopping splatter, the ‘Frywall’ pan cover also works great to aid cooking. Large heaps of greens or stir fries often spill over pans causing a mess, but the ‘Frywall’ keeps everything neatly in place as it cooks down.”

While it is easy to see how practical and useful this item would be in the home kitchen, it may be surprising to learn that truck drivers cook in their cab “kitchens.” Truckers News on January 4, 2017, recommends use of Frywall because “Cooking in your truck means getting creative with the limited space you have. Unfortunately, because cab space can be so tight, it can be impossible to keep oil from splattering all over if you’re cooking with a frying pan on a portable stove or hot plate.”

Frywall comes in two sizes. Frywall 10 fits pots and pans with inside rim diameters of 9-5/8 to 10-1/2 inches (24.5cm – 27.0cm), and Frywall 12 fits pots and pans with inside rim diameters of 11-5/8 to 12-1/2 inches (29.5cm – 32.0cm). The Frywall is made of 100% FDA approved silicone and is safe to 450°F. It cleans easily by hand or in the dishwasher and rolls up to the size of a large cup for easy storage.

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Shark Tank Air Date: 1/7/18 – Season 9 – Episode 14

 

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