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A whisk is one of those must-have tools you need in your kitchen, regardless of your level of cooking prowess. When you think of whisks, you may think about whipping up a batch of scrambled eggs or omelets. But whisks come in many different shapes and sizes, and they’re useful for so many other things.
One that comes often into most people’s minds is the French whisk, which is great for whipping up thicker batters and sauces, or making meringues by hand. More common in home kitchens are the balloon (or piano) whisks, which work better for mixing broths, soups, and lighter sauces.
Then, there are flat whisks, dough whisks (Danish or otherwise), ball whisks, spiral whisks, and so on. But which to choose? I researched some of the best whisks out there to help you make your way through the tangle of options.
Here, my list of the best whisks for different kitchen tasks. Let’s get ready to whip, whip it good!
Best Overall: OXO Good Grips 11-Inch Balloon Whisk
What We Love: Comfortable grip, sturdy wires, water-tight design
What We Don’t Love: Plastic handle
When you think of whisks, the classic balloon whisk is the one that comes to mind. And OXO makes a comfortable one with a soft, non-slip handle, which feels comfortable in your hands even during the most rigorous of whipping tasks.
Although the whisk comes in different lengths, the 11-inch is the most versatile size for most of your whisking needs. You can scramble eggs, whip up some cream, or stir some batter—even with wet hands, since the handle doesn’t slip while you work. The wide spacing between the wires not only helps with making these tasks easier, but also ensures that the wires don’t get tangled, according to some reviewers.
OXO’s water-tight, dishwasher-safe design makes the whisk easy to clean up, too. Plus, it comes in a 9-inch size for smaller jobs. The only downside is that the handle is made of plastic and not silicone or more durable material.
Material: Polished stainless steel whisk, plastic handle | Dimensions (LxWxH): 11 x 3 x 1 inches | Weight: 0.2 pounds | Dishwasher-Safe? Yes
Best Flat: Tovolo Stainless Steel 10-Inch Sauce Whisk
What We Love: Sturdy, dishwasher-safe, good for deglazing
What We Don’t Love: Water can collect in the handle
A flat whisk by any other name can still be used to make sauces or a roux—or anything that requires scraping the tasty bits that cling to the bottom of a pan. Tovolo’s sauce whisk is great for just that. It has a large stainless steel handle that provides you with a good grip for deglazing your pan to make a pan sauce. The flat wires are sturdy and strong enough to get to the bottom of the pot, but flexible enough for mixing the ingredients and working out any lumps in gravy or cream-based sauces, say several reviewers. Plus, they like that the design helps them get to the edges of a pan effortlessly.
It’s also easy to clean since it’s dishwasher-safe. Just be sure to dry the whisk by hanging it upside down to make sure all the water drips out of the handle.
Material: Stainless steel | Dimensions (LxWxH): 10 x 1.5 x 2.75 inches | Weight: 0.2 pounds | Dishwasher-Safe? Yes
Best French: Kuhn Rikon French Wire Whisk
What We Love: Sturdy and thin wires, waterproof barrel handle, hanging loop
What We Don’t Love: Somewhat pricey, handle is a bit short
Kuhn Rikon’s wire whisk has all the qualities you’re looking for in a French whip. It has springy wires for whipping in air, but it’s strong enough for making emulsions by hand. It’s narrow and thin enough to get into the tightest of spaces, but long enough to whip up cream in a jiffy. The weight and balance feel comfortable in your hands, but it’s short enough to make it easy to store.
It’s also dishwasher-safe, waterproof (vouched for by several users who’ve run this whisk in the dishwasher many times without problems), and has a little loop on the end for hanging.
Material: Stainless steel | Dimensions (LxWxH): 12 x 2 x 2 inches | Weight: 0.25 pounds | Dishwasher-Safe? Yes
Related: The Best Mixing Bowls
Best Ball: PomeloHome 10-Inch Stainless Steel Ball Whisk
What We Love: Comfortable stainless steel construction, long wires
What We Don’t Love: Handle and whisk are a bit short
The PomeloHome stainless steel ball whisk is a well-balanced whisk, useful for making thick sauces, gravies, or even whipped milk for your latté. The stainless steel balls are perfectly weighted and can reach even the hardest corners of your pot. Because of the stiffness and heaviness, many users say they prefer this whisk for scrambling eggs or mixing thicker ingredients like cake or waffle batter, rather than using it for ingredients that require aerating.
The all-steel construction makes this whisk dishwasher-safe, and it comes in both 10- and 12-inch sizes. The handles are a bit short on both models, but their ergonomic design makes them comfortable to hold.
Material: Stainless steel | Dimensions (LxWxH): 10.6 x 1.2 x 1 inches | Weight: 4.8 ounces | Dishwasher-Safe? Yes
Best Silicone: OXO Good Grips 11-Inch Better Silicone Balloon Whisk
What We Love: Heat-resistant to 600°F; comfortable grip; safe for nonstick, ceramic, and metal cookware
What We Don’t Love: Silicone can wear out after repeated use, handle is not heat-proof
Like its stainless steel sibling, the OXO Good Grips silicone balloon whisk is a real winner when it comes to comfort and strength. When using nonstick cookware, silicone whisks are essential. And OXO’s comfortable grip makes it easy to handle. The whisk is heat-resistant up to 600 degrees Fahrenheit and works with all kinds of surfaces. Because the whisk is made of silicone, it’s also quieter to use on metal or glass surfaces.
The silicone whisk can take a little bit of getting used to, since its thicker wire can make whisking feel different than you’re perhaps accustomed to. But once you get the hang of it, you’ll find that the wires’ flexibility means no more unmixed batter on the sides of your mixing bowl.
Due to the fact that the silicone is coating metal wires, make sure to wash with care in the dishwasher or by hand.
“The OXO felt well-balanced and lightweight, especially compared to many of its competitors. The handle isn’t heat-proof, so you do have to be careful not to let it rest on the side of a hot pan–but that’s a small sacrifice to make for a super comfortable handle and a whisk that strikes the perfect balance between light, airy whipping for perfect whipped cream and the high-quality, well-balanced heft you want for something like a pan sauce.” – Yossy Arefi, Cookbook Author, Photographer, Food Stylist
Material: Silicone over metal, rubber handle | Dimensions (LxWxH): 11 x 2.5 x 2.5 inches | Weight: 0.2 pounds | Dishwasher-Safe? Yes
Related: The Best Nonstick Cookware Sets
Best Dough: Zulay Kitchen Danish Dough Whisk Large Hand Mixer
What We Love: Ergonomic wooden handle, sturdy, versatile
What We Don’t Love: Not dishwasher-safe
The simple design of this dough whisk belies its versatility. If you don’t have a mixer, Zulay’s Danish dough whisk is the next best thing. As the name would suggest, this dough whisk is great not just for mixing air into any manner of moist pizza or bread doughs, or batter for cakes. Its stiff wires also work great for mixing hamburger meat or gently lifting a poached egg from its water bath.
The smooth rubberwood handle is perfectly curved to fit nicely in your hands as you work your batter. Plus, because it blends more quickly than a balloon whisk, according to several users, it doesn’t take as much effort, especially for those who have issues with hand grip and hand strength. The only downside is that you have to wash it by hand and make sure that the wood is completely dry before storing it. It’s not difficult or time-consuming to clean though, and it’s covered by Zulay’s lifetime guarantee.
Material: Rubberwood and stainless steel | Dimensions (LxWxH): 13.5 x 3.4 x 1.3 inches | Weight: 4.6 ounces | Dishwasher-Safe? Yes
Related: The Best Hand Mixers
Best Budget: Winco Stainless Steel Piano Wire Whip
What We Love: Affordable, sturdy, heavyweight
What We Don’t Love: Water may collect in the handle, handle is a bit heavy
As a standard piano whisk, the Winco does the job. Its heavy-duty construction feels sturdy to hold, and its long handle makes whipping easy. It has 18 loops, making it easy for you to whip in air into your creams and eggs. Given its affordable price, it’s surprisingly versatile and heavyweight. The only drawback is that the handle is quite a bit heavier than the wire portion. This may tire your hands out after repeated whisking, say some reviewers.
Although this piano whisk is dishwasher-safe, the metal handle can sometimes collect water. So, be sure to drain the whisk dry before storing.
Material: Stainless steel | Dimensions (LxWxH): 9.9 x 2.75 x 2.75 inches | Weight: 4.6 ounces | Dishwasher-Safe? Yes
Related: The Best Loaf Pans
With its non-slip grip and sturdy, versatile design, the OXO Good Grips Balloon Whisk can’t be beat when it comes to a variety of whipping tasks, so it takes the top spot (view it at Amazon). Make a lot of pizza, bread, and cake? You can’t go wrong with Zulay’s efficient Danish dough whisk (view it at Amazon). Plus, it can even lift poached eggs from water.
What to Look for When Buying a Whisk
- Balloon or piano whisks have thin wires (hence “piano”) and a large bulbous end, and are great for a variety of cooking tasks. Their wires create more spring and movement, helping to add more air into whatever you’re beating. Balloon whisks are great for making whipped cream, meringue, scrambled eggs, and mixing dry ingredients.
- French whisks have stronger, thicker wires and a heavier gauge. The thinner loop end is great for getting into the corners of pots and pans. French whisks are great for making thicker sauces, mixing up cake batters, or creating emulsions like mayonnaise and hollandaise.
- Ball or kettle whisks have long handles with large metal balls at the end of the spokes. They’re used to mix ingredients in large kettles or stockpots while keeping your hands safe from the heat of the kettle. Ball whisks are ideal for making soups and sauces in large pots.
- Flat or roux whisks have a handful of looped wires (usually four) in a flattened, curved shape. They’re designed to be used in shallow pans to make a roux; the flatter the whisk, the more surface can be covered to scrape the pan. These whisks are also great for making gravy and sauces. Furthermore, they can be used to remove poached eggs from boiling water and as a fish spatula.
- Spiral whisks are made from one single wire tightly wound in a coil. Because the head of this whisk is at an angle, it’s designed to always be in contact with the bottom of the pan or bowl during whisking, allowing the tool to catch all the ingredients during mixing and preventing the contents from burning. Spiral whisks are ideal for small bowls where balloon whisks won’t fit. They’re also great for frothing milk for lattés and cappuccinos.
- Dough whisks (or Danish dough whisks) have a flat profile with an outer circle and an inner oval with a small loop. They’re great for making bread dough or batters without overworking the ingredients. The shape of the thin, rigid wires is perfect for cutting into the dough and scraping flour pockets into liquid for a smooth and consistent dough. Dough whisks are also great for making polenta, grits, or any other kind of porridge—and for gently folding in those whipped egg whites.
Silicone whisks are crucial when you want to preserve the surface of your nonstick cookware. That being said, nothing beats metal whisks when you want to whip in air, such as when you’re beating egg whites. The metal whipping through the mixture stretches the proteins of the whites and traps the air more efficiently to make those beautiful, stiff peaks. A silicone whisk will take a lot longer to do what metal ones do so well.
Whether it’s silicone or stainless steel, you want to find a whisk that feels comfortable in your hand. Look for an ergonomic design and durable material. I like whisks that do the work for you and require as little effort on your part, as the best designed tools should. This means that longer handles are usually better, but also that a comfortable grip is the key for your hand. The wires of the whisks should be sturdy enough to stand up to a lot of beating. And they should be spaced perfectly for the task at hand.
What is the difference between whisking, whipping, and beating?
Whipping (in cooking) technically means beating air into a mixture to lighten it. For instance, you would whip cream to make a mousse or whipped cream. You can whip air into egg whites to make a meringue, and you can cream butter and sugar by whisking in air to make it light and fluffy.
Whisking is the motion you use when you use a whisk to incorporate ingredients. It could mean mixing, like when you whisk butter into a sauce or whisk milk into flour to make a roux. So, you are mixing more than whipping.
Beating usually means stirring a liquid rapidly to make a smooth mixture (usually using a whisk).
How do I whisk egg whites?
Start with a very clean, dry bowl. Separate the eggs. (Note that eggs are easier to separate when cold, but also that egg whites whip up faster when they are at room temperature.) Using a balloon whisk, start whipping air into the eggs. You can sprinkle in a bit of salt and some cream of tartar, but neither is necessary. Just keep on whipping vigorously in big circular motions while spinning the bowl.
Depending on what you want the egg whites for, you can stop at soft peaks. But if you’re looking for stiff peaks, keep on whisking until the egg whites hold their shape, even when you turn the bowl upside down. With a nice balloon whisk, you can whisk egg whites by hand in no time!
Why Trust Simply Recipes?
Cecilia Hae-Jin Lee is a writer, photographer, former restaurant owner, recipe developer and chef. She travels around the globe, photographing, eating and cooking as she does. When not traveling, she spends a lot of time gardening and cooking at home. She is passionate about finding the best-quality kitchen tools and making home cooking as quick and easy as possible. Her specialty is seeking little-known items that offer the best bang for your buck. She loves to whisk fluffy egg white meringue and whipped cream by hand.
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