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Thermometer, tongs and a metal strainer
Pegeen is a trusted home cook.
Use a big-enough pot to minimize splatter outside the pot. A splatter guard helps (flat mesh cover for the pot). Can also be used for cooking tomato sauces or other bubbly things in skillets.
Chops is a trusted home cook.
don't overcrowd the pan to minimize splatter and use a thermometer to keep the oil hot & steady.
Use a heavy pan.
Heat the pan first, then add the oil. A frying thermometer or instant-read that goes high enough is helpful to guage oil temperature. Since the oil will cool when you add the food, raise they heat after adding the food, then back it off when it comes back to temp.
Don't crowd the pan.
Once the food is in the oil, don't move it any more than necessary.
A certain amount of splattering is inevitable, use a splatter screen if it bothers you.
pierino is a trusted source on General Cooking and Tough Love.
I second and third the advice already offered; use a candy thermometer to get your oil to 375F, use a splatter screen. Hopefully you have a vent/fan over your cook top too.
dont drop your items into the oil from a height. gently slip them in getting your fingers close to the oil without touching the oil. Alternatively, use tongs if your nervous around the hot oil. With the right temp and a deep enough pan or pot, you shouldnt have burning or all too much splattering
It basically tells you when it needs to be replaced.
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