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Whisks are 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 omelettes. 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 did the research to come up with a list of the best whisks out there, and then I put them to the test in my kitchen, to help you make your way through the tangle of options. I tested how well each whisk performed mixing batter and sauces—and, if it was a specialty whisk, how well it performed its designated purpose. I also took note of how comfortable each was to use and how easy each was to clean.
After all of this evaluating, it was OXO's Good Grips 11-Inch Balloon Whisk that reigned supreme.
Without further ado, here is 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 and nonslip grip, sturdy wires, watertight design
What We Don’t Love: Plastic handle
When you think of whisks, the classic balloon whisk is the one that comes to mind. OXO makes a comfortable one with a soft, non-slip handle. Indeed, it felt comfortable in my hands, even while I was performing more rigorous whipping tasks.
Although the whisk comes in different lengths, the 11-inch is the most versatile size for most 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 watertight, dishwasher-safe design makes the whisk easy to clean up, too. Plus, it comes in a 9-inch size for smaller jobs. The only thing I would change after using this extensively during testing is the handle: I'd like it to be just a little bit longer for better leverage, and for the handle to be silicone instead of plastic.
Overall, I'd say this is the best all-around whisk of the ones I tested—it's a good tool to have around and could be used for almost anything.
"OXO makes a comfortable one with a soft, non-slip handle, which felt comfortable in my hands even for the most rigorous of whipping tasks." — Cecilia Hae-Jin Lee, Product Tester
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, good for deglazing, lightweight
What We Don’t Love: Water can collect in the handle, slippery handle
A flat whisk by any other name can still be used to make sauces or 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 stainless steel handle that provides you with a pretty good grip for deglazing your pan to make a pan sauce. The only thing I would change is to make the handle less slippery and a little bit longer. But overall, it's a nice, lightweight whisk that didn't tire out my hand.
In my testing, I found the flat wires sturdy and strong enough to get to the bottom of the pot, but flexible enough for mixing the ingredients and working out any lumps—perfect for gravy or cream-based sauces. Plus, the design helps scrape to the edges of a pan effortlessly.
I also found the whisk 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.
"It has a large stainless steel handle that provides you with a good grip for deglazing your pan to make a pan sauce." — Cecilia Hae-Jin Lee, Product Tester
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. I like its narrow, springy wires that are great for whipping in air, but they're also strong and stiff 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. That said, after testing, I'd like the handle to be a little bit longer.
It’s also dishwasher-safe, waterproof, and has a little loop on the end for hanging. This whisk will fit neatly in your organized kitchen. I'd recommend this to those who are looking for a good French whisk for making emulsions and the like.
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, water can collect in handle
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, this whisk is better for scrambling eggs efficiently or mixing thicker ingredients like thick sauces or waffle batter, rather than 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, and I found that water tended to collect in the handle, but their ergonomic design and well-balanced weight make them comfortable to hold.
"The PomeloHome stainless steel ball whisk is a well-balanced whisk, useful for making thick sauces, gravies, or even whipped milk for your latté." — Cecilia Hae-Jin Lee
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 Silicone Balloon Whisk
What We Love: Heat-resistant to 600 degrees Fahrenheit; 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 many are perhaps accustomed to. But once you get the hang of it, you’ll find that the wires’ flexibility means less chance of unmixed batter sticking to the sides of your mixing bowl.
I'd recommend this whisk to those who are looking to use a whisk on nonstick cookware, with the small qualm of the handle being a little too short and not being made of silicone as well. 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, and 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 due to the wooden handle, which you have to make sure 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. This whisk is a good one for making dough of all types.
"It has a lovely smooth wooden handle design, and it's good with both stiff and soft doughs." — Cecilia Hae-Jin Lee, Product Tester
Material: Rubberwood and stainless steel | Dimensions (LxWxH): 13.5 x 3.4 x 1.3 inches | Weight: 4.6 ounces | Dishwasher-Safe? No
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Best Spring Coil: RSVP Endurance Spring Whisk
What We Love: Sturdy and springy coil, all-metal design, easy cleaning
What We Don’t Love: Handle isn’t the most ergonomic
Sometimes called a “galaxy” whisk, spring coil whisks are great for blending in small spaces. That’s because the spring action helps whisk together ingredients in an up-and-down motion when you don’t have a lot of side-to-side room, like if you’re making hot chocolate in a cup. This RSVP spring whisk is also great for mixing things in Mason jars.
Since it’s made of 100 percent stainless steel, it’s a cinch to clean either by dishwasher or by hand. Its compact design will fit nicely in your drawer or even in your gearbox for when you want to take it camping. It’s one of those specialty whisks you’ll be happy to have for the rest of your life. But "specialty" is the key word: After testing, I found the handle not very ergonomic, so it's not great for everyday whisk tasks.
Material: Stainless steel | Dimensions (LxWxH): 9.25 x 1.88 x 1.88 inches | Weight: 0.634 ounces | Dishwasher-safe? Yes
Related: The Best Baking Tools
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. Make a lot of pizza, bread, and cake? You can’t go wrong with Zulay’s efficient Danish dough whisk. It can even lift poached eggs from water.
What Are the Other Options?
Winco Stainless Steel Wire Whisk: 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, which may tire your hands out after repeated whisking. Although this piano whisk is dishwasher-safe, the metal handle can sometimes collect water. So, be sure to drain the whisk dry before storing.
GIR Mini Whisk: GIR’s mini whisk is the cute little sister of its Ultimate Whisk. It comes in a variety of colors (including a birthday sprinkle handle, which is like a party in and of itself). The handle is made from 100 percent silicone, and the eight whisk wires are made from stainless steel. A small but mighty little tool, you’ll find yourself reaching for it for everyday tasks like scrambling eggs and whipping together a quick salad dressing. You can also hand it to your kids so they can help in the kitchen—it’s designed for light-duty tasks.
“Mug cake enthusiasts (read: Ree Drummond!), raise your hand if you've ever reached for a fork to mix up the ingredients at the bottom of your mug. Odds are you, too, have been disappointed by the obnoxious clatter it makes as it swirls things around (particularly if you, like me, are a late-night mug cake connoisseur and would prefer not to wake up everyone in your home). Tiny whisks to the rescue! They work much faster, they're quiet, and they distribute ingredients more evenly.” — Rebekah Lowin, Editor for “The Pioneer Woman”
How We Tested
We purchased and sent Cecilia her top picks for the best whisks, which she then put to the test in her home kitchen over the course of several whisks. She used each whisk to mix batter and a sauce and, if it was a specialty tool, to perform its specified use (e.g., froth milk, mix ingredients for gravy, etc.). She then recorded her observations on how easy each whisk was to use and how comfortable it felt. Cecilia then cleaned each whisk according to manufacturer instructions and noted how easily she was able to thoroughly clean the tool and whether, using her expertise, she felt its material would be able to withstand repeated use and cleaning. Our tester sent her notes to us, along with ratings on the following attributes: Design, Ease of Use, Performance, Ease of Cleaning, and Overall Value. Learn more about how we test products.
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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