If you make pan sauces, whip your cream by hand or just like to do eggs in the morning, then the whisk is the essential kitchen tool. Although there are a number of different types of whisks; between them, a balloon whisk, a flat whisk and a French whisk will do the majority of everyday whipping tasks.In this article we take a look at these three whisks in detail and consider why one type is better than the others for certain jobs. We also review a range of these whisks to help you to choose the best whisk for your kitchen.
Suitable for smaller bowls, the OXO Good Grips balloon whisk with a non-slip comfort grip is our best pick as an all-purpose whisk.
The Ouddy whisk set is our stainless steel budget pick, offering three different sized balloon whisks for a range of everyday tasks.
Table of Contents
- Quick Comparison: Top 10 Best Whisks
- 1. OXO Good Grips Balloon Whisk
- 2. Ouddy Stainless Steel Whisk Set
- 3. Wired Whisk Silicone Whisk Set
- 4. Best Manufacturers French Wire Whisk
- 5. OXO Good Grips Flat Whisk
- 6. Norpro Balloon Whisk Set
- 7. All-Clad T134 Stainless Steel Flat Whisk
- 8. Rosle 95601 Balloon Stainless Steel Kitchen Whisk
- 9. Best Manufacturers 14" Balloon Whisk
- 10. TEEVEA Balloon Whisk Set
- Things to Consider Before Buying A Whisk
Quick Comparison: Top 10 Best Whisks
1. OXO Good Grips Balloon Whisk
Made with polished stainless steel wires, the OXO Good Grips balloon whisk is a narrower whisk for using in smaller bowls. Its ergonomic handle is shaped and soft with a comfort grip to absorb pressure. It is also non-slip, even when wet.
This whisk comes with a lifetime limited warranty from the manufacturer and can also be cleaned in the dishwasher. As the whisk is stainless steel, it cannot be used on non-stick surfaces and it does not come with a hanging hole or loop in the handle. The odd buyer also considers this is a little flimsier than they would have expected.
2. Ouddy Stainless Steel Whisk Set
Coming as a set of three, the Ouddy whisk set includes 12", 10" and 8" whisks. Constructed from highly polished food grade stainless steel, these balloon whisks have been ergonomically designed for balance and have a steel hanging loop incorporated into the bottom of the handles. These are also suitable for cleaning in the dishwasher and come with a satisfaction guarantee.
The odd buyer has experienced rusting on these, especially after cleaning in the dishwasher; although the manufacturer advises that to minimize the risk of water getting into the handles and rust forming, that you hang them up after washing to allow thorough drying.As the wires are uncoated, these cannot be used on non-stick cookware and a number of buyers consider these are flimsier than other balloon whisks. There is also a risk of water getting trapped inside the handles.
3. Wired Whisk Silicone Whisk Set
The Wired Whisk silicone whisk set is made from stainless steel with an FDA-grade silicone coating on the wire balloon heads. As these are silicone coated, they are suitable for using on all types of cookware including steel, non-stick, copper and ceramic. They are also heat resistant to around 600°F and can be cleaned in the dishwasher. These come with a lifetime 100% money back guarantee.
Available in a range of silicone colors, the set of three whisks comprises a 12" whisk, a 10" whisk and an 8.5" whisk – ideal for a wide range of kitchen tasks. These whisks also have an incorporated metal hanging loop on the end so you can hang them up for storage.As with any type of balloon whisk there is a chance of the wires getting slightly bent with harder use, but these can usually be bent back into shape. The odd buyer also considers these are not firm enough for whisking foods such as eggs and thicker liquids or batters and there is a chance that food or water can get lodged inside the handle of the whisks.
4. Best Manufacturers French Wire Whisk
The Best Manufacturers French wire whisk is a heavy duty whisk made in the USA. This has a slimmer whisk head for whisking stiffer batters, thicker sauces and mashing. Made from 18/8 stainless steel this whisk is 12" long and NSF approved. It is also dishwasher safe.As a French whisk/whip this is not be suitable for more general whisking tasks such as egg whites where more flexibility of the whisk is needed, and its size and design also means it is better suited to whisking larger amounts.
5. OXO Good Grips Flat Whisk
The OXO Good Grips flat whisk is ideal for a range of whisking tasks, including deglazing a pan or making roux. The stainless steel wires are sturdy, and the ergonomic and soft handle is also non-slip when wet. Just over 10" in length, this flat whisk is also dishwasher safe and comes with a lifetime limited warranty.As the stainless steel wires are not coated, this cannot be used on non-stick surfaces and as a flat whisk, it can be more difficult to rest in the bowl than a balloon whisk. The odd buyer also considers that the handle is on the shorter side.
6. Norpro Balloon Whisk Set
Constructed from stainless steel, the Norpro balloon whisk set includes a 10" whisk, 8" whisk and a 6" whisk. The wires are designed with little room for overlap between then to reduce clotting and the professional-gauge handles are designed not to bend when using. These whisks are dishwasher safe.This set does not include hanging loops for storage and the lifespan of these may not be as long as you would expect. There is also a risk of whisk wires becoming detached from the handle.
7. All-Clad T134 Stainless Steel Flat Whisk
The 12.5" All-Clad flat whisk (T134) is made from 18/10 stainless steel with a polished ergonomic finger grip handle which is the same design as that used in All-Clad cookware. This flat whisk also has a hanging loop on the handle and comes with a lifetime limited warranty. This is suitable for cleaning in the dishwasher.Some buyers have not been as keen on the handle design of this whisk; especially as the position of the finger grip may not be suitable for all users. As a larger whisk, this will not be suitable for whisking in smaller pans or bowls.
8. Rosle 95601 Balloon Stainless Steel Kitchen Whisk
The longer Rosle 12.6" balloon whisk (95601) has densely positioned wires designed to assist when whisking semi liquid or thick mixes. Made from 18/10 stainless steel, the satin finish handle is rounded for a comfortable grip and also contains a hanging loop for storage. This whisk also comes with a lifetime warranty.A number of buyers were disappointed to find this whisk was made in China rather than Germany and the odd buyer considers the handle is a little on the heavy side when you need to rest it on the side of a bowl or pan. As the wires are uncoated, you will not be able to use this in non-stick cookware.
9. Best Manufacturers 14" Balloon Whisk
The Best Manufacturers 14" balloon whisk is made in the USA and has been designed for the maximum amount of air incorporation when whisking. The wires are constructed from 18/10 stainless steel and are attached to the handle through a metal band. They are also epoxy sealed for sanitation. The handle is birch hardwood and has been weighted for better control.This whisk is manufactured to NSF standards and is also dishwasher safe. This whisk does not come with a handle hole or hanging loop and as a larger whisk is unsuitable for smaller whisking tasks or those in non-stick cookware.
10. TEEVEA Balloon Whisk Set
the TEEVEA balloon whisk set includes a 12" whisk, 10" whisk and an 8" whisk. Made from stainless steel, the whisk wires are available with different colored silicone coatings, making them suitable for using in non-stick cookware. The handles also have a hanging loop for hanging storage.The design of the handle means that water can enter the handle and some buyers have found that the silicone coating starts to come off soon after purchase. The colors of the silicone can also be different to the advertised colors, so you may want to double check the color is the correct one before buying.
Things to Consider Before Buying A Whisk
The whisk, or whip, is a key tool in most kitchens, able to undertake a variety of tasks. The whisk itself just has two main functions. The first is to blend wet and/or dry ingredients together and the second is to add air into a mix.
When choosing any type of whisk, look for one made from stainless steel to make it more resistant to rust. Whisk handles are often stainless steel, but some may be coated with silicone or other materials to make them non-slip and this can be a real benefit when whipping greasier liquids.
Unless they have been designed balanced, avoid whisks that have a longer or heavier handle as this can mean that the whisk will flip out of the bowl if you need to rest it against the side of the bowl or pan for a moment.
The design of some whisks means that food and liquid can easily enter into the handle, so look for designs that are more sealed where the wires actually enter the handle.
Dishwasher safe whisks can save cleaning up time, but any whisk, whether it has been in the dishwasher or washed by hand should always be allowed to dry out thoroughly before being put away. Some whisks are better hung up to dry as this allows any water that has managed to enter the handle to drain away properly.
If you need a whisk for pan sauces, gravies or custards and you have non-stick pans, you will need a whisk with a silicone or nylon coating on its wires to prevent it from damaging the non-stick surface of the pan. These types of whisks can also be used safely in ceramic coated pans without damaging the ceramic surface, or indeed on any other type of cookware that is coated.
For metal pans that are not coated, then stainless steel whisks are fine to use.
Although there are a number of distinctive whisks, some of these, such as dough whisks are more specialist. The three main types of whisk are the balloon whisk, the flat whisk and the French whisk. If you have two or even all three of these in your kitchen, then you should be able to do whatever you need to do with minimal effort.
The Balloon Whisk
This is probably the most common all-purpose whisk. Sometimes called a piano whisk, the balloon whisk is made with thin wires shaped like a balloon at the whisking end.
Balloon whisks are best suited to jobs such as beating cream or eggs, or for stirring salad dressings and sauces, as the springier wires of the whisk allow more air to enter the mix when whisking.
The design of the balloon whisk means it is not as good for whisking heavier mixes or batters and there can be a risk of damaging the whisk if the mix is too heavy. The larger sized whisk also means a balloon whisk is less suited for smaller and more delicate tasks, although you can sometimes find a ‘skinny’ balloon whisk which is slimmer and better for small whisking jobs.
Balloon whisks are available in different sizes, so you can either buy the size to best suit your main mixing bowl and quantity of ingredients you regularly whisk, or a set of different sized whisks can be a more versatile option.
Even if you use your stand mixer for larger tasks, you should still keep a balloon whisk on standby as it is handy to finish whipping after you have used the stand mixer – reducing the chance of overmixing.
When choosing a balloon whisk, look for one that contains ten or more wires as fewer wires will be flimsier. The wires should also be on the stiffer/thicker side, so the whisk does not struggle with pancake batters and similar liquids. Most balloon whisks have solid handles and you may want to avoid those with wrapped wire handles as these tend to lack the durability of those with solid handles.
Look for a balloon whisk which is dishwasher safe for easier cleaning. Unfortunately, the design of balloon whisks makes them one of the most difficult whisks to clean. If you have been using it for beating eggs or other stickier or fatty foods, then place it in a bowl of hot water with a little dishwashing soap in and then stir or whisk it to remove the excess debris. You can then place the whisk in the dishwasher, or if washing it by hand, leave it to soak overnight in the hot water before washing it the following morning and allowing it to dry.
Occasionally, you may see a double balloon whisk which contains a wire ball, sometimes called an aerator ball, inside the balloon. This type of whisk best suits whipping egg whites, thin batters and creams as the wire ball supposedly allows even more air to enter a mix. Like the standard balloon whisk though, the design of the double balloon whisk makes it difficult to clean.
The Flat Whisk
Also known as a roux whisk, the wires of the flat whisk are arranged in a flattened shape, often with a curve to resemble a wire spoon. The flat whisk is ideal for making pan sauces, roux, gravies and custards as its shape makes it easy to scrape the bottom of the pan when whisking. A flat whisk can also double as a fish spatula for removing fish from liquid.
A flat whisk is much easier to clean than a balloon whisk because of the layout of its wires.
Flat whisks are best used with shallow pans to give the best angle when mixing and when choosing a flat whisk, look for one that will allow you to place the handle as low to the pan as you can. The flatter the whisk can sit in the pan; the more surface area it will be able to cover when whisking.
Flat whisks are also better with slightly longer handles as if you are using it in the pan, the longer handle helps reduce the risk of you catching your hand on the hot pan.
The French Whisk
Also known as a French whip, the French whisk is similar in design to a balloon whisk, but the ‘balloon’ is slimmer, or more elliptical, than the balloon whisk. The French whisk is also made with thicker/stiffer wires that end in a narrower shape to make it easier to remove lumps from pan angles or even to whisk liquids in smaller containers.
A French whisk is ideal for heavier batters and mixes, as well as sauces, custards, mayo’s, vinaigrettes and foods such as polenta. A French whisk is not as good as a balloon whisk for whipping egg whites or cream. It will still whip them, but it will take longer and need much more effort from you.
Like balloon whisks, French whisks are available in different sizes, so consider what size pans you may want to use it in and pick the length of the French whisk to suit.
Other Types of Whisk
Although the three types of whisk listed above are the most common and will usually be able to carry out the major whisking tasks, there are a few other types of whisks that you may come across and are more valuable for specific jobs.
The head of a spiral whisk is composed of one thick wire with another wire looping around it in tight coils and it sits at an angle to the handle. Ideal for pan sauces and gravies, the head of a spiral whisk is designed to always be in contact with the bottom of the pan – helping prevent a pan sauce, gravy or roux from burning. As this is usually much smaller than other types of whisks, it is also ideal to use in smaller containers in which you will struggle with a larger whisk.
A ball whisk is made with stiff wires that are capped with metal or silicone balls and the addition of these balls allow the whisk to easily add air to a mixture as well as break up eggs and other ingredients. The design also makes it easy to reach into all angles of the bowl or pan. A ball whisk is also quite easy to clean compared with a balloon whisk as the wires are all separate, rather than intertwined.
The coil whisk or spring whisk is a long handled whisk with a small and springy coil mounted at the bottom. This type of whisk can also used for manual milk frothing. The coil whisk works in the same way as a flat whisk and when you apply pressure to this whisk, it flattens out a little which makes it ideal for scraping ingredients from the bottom of a bowl or even the sides of the bowl.
If you are a baker then you probably already own a dough whisk, but if you are new to baking bread, then a dough whisk is a handy tool to invest in. Also called Danish dough whisks, these are contemporary looking flat whisks with an outer wire circle and an inner oval wire circle with a small loop. Dough whisks are ideal for doughs, batters, muffin, waffle and pancake mixes, as they can easily cut through doughs without overworking the ingredients.
Some less common whisks include the tornado whisk which is good for using in larger pans or stock pots and the conical whisk, which consists of wires shaped as a diamond – ideal for using as a spatula and clearing ingredients from corners.
Although most of us tend to use a balloon whisk for everyday tasks, as we have seen, it is not always the most suitable for mixing heavier liquids. Having another type of whisk, such as a flat or French whisk to hand will help guarantee you are always able to make what you need to make with minimal fuss.We hope that you have enjoyed reading about the different types of whisks and how the design of each allows it to carry out particular whisking tasks. If you are looking for a replacement whisk, or one that may be better suited to what you need to do, then we trust that our reviews of the best whisks have been helpful in assisting you to choose the right whisk for all your whipping needs.