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When you think of a whisk, the classic balloon style probably comes to mind. For most home cooks, it’s sufficient; a balloon whisk can handle just about any job, from fluffing eggs to beating batter and mixing matcha tea. But even within the balloon whisk category, there are a ton of options, depending on what and how you’re cooking. Some people prefer stainless steel, while others need a silicone coating on the whisk wires to protect nonstick cookware. Lighter whisks can yield fluffier egg whites, while a big, sturdy whisk is required for thicker mixtures. Sometimes you just need an itty bitty whisk for scrambling a single egg or mixing a specialty drink. Whatever your whipping and whisking needs, here are the best whisks out there.
This 11-inch balloon whisk from OXO gets rave reviews across the board, and for good reason. The metal wires are strong enough to hold up to thick batters while still maintaining enough flexibility for whipping and fluffing, and the non-slip ergonomic handle makes big jobs a little more comfortable. Just don't be fooled by that soft handle: Though it looks like heat-safe silicone, it’s not—and will melt if you leave it resting on the edge of a hot pan too long. This whisk is, however, dishwasher safe.
If you’re looking for a sturdy stainless steel whisk to handle big jobs, look no further than this 12-inch balloon whisk from Winco. It’s big but not too heavy, strong but still flexible enough to whip and fluff, and it feels much more expensive than it is. If you’re mostly whisking a single egg or salad dressings, this might be too much whisk for you, and because it’s made entirely of stainless steel, the handle will get hot quickly if you’re using it on the stove. But when it comes to bowls and batters, this whisk is a winner (and it’s dishwasher safe).
While many of these whisks are dishwasher safe, like most utensils, they’ll last longer if you wash them by hand. The easiest way to do this is to always rinse off any debris right after you’re done using it. When you’re ready to give your whisk a more thorough wash, aggressively whisk it in a cup or bowl of hot, soapy water. Rinse well and dry immediately.
OXO seems to have mastered the whisk—well, almost. This 11-inch whisk has the same structure as the balloon whisk, but the whisk wires are coated with silicone, making it safe for use in nonstick pots and pans. It’s also nicely weighted throughout and safe to put in the dishwasher. The handle isn’t made of heat-safe silicone, though it is heat-resistant up to 600 degrees.
Most immersion blenders come with a whisk attachment for bigger jobs, but if you’re looking for a single tool without extra parts, the FoodVille three-speed milk frother is a great option. “Milk frother” is just a trendy name for a small whisk with power, and it’s especially appealing to those who want to make a coffee shop-style cappuccino at home. But this handy little gadget with two whisk heads and three speeds can also handle heavier jobs like eggs, sauces, and salad dressings. You probably want more power if you’re mixing batter, but this definitely gets the smaller jobs done. And unlike similar items that drain disposable batteries, the battery is rechargeable using the included USB cord.
There are bamboo whisks made especially for mixing matcha, but they often come as part of a set, and they’re really more of a specialty tool than a whisk. If you’re looking for a more standard-style metal whisk with which to mix your matcha, this long-handled, flat-bottom version is the way to go. A favorite among baristas, its compact size and unique shape make it perfect for getting every last morsel of powder from the bottom and edges of the cup.
At 9 inches long and less than an inch in diameter, this stainless steel mini whisk is super handy for whisking the small stuff—and it fits more easily in a utensils drawer. You can use it to mix up salad dressings, stir hot cocoa, dissolve sugar or powdered creamer in coffee, scramble a single egg, and so much more. Some people even use it to mix baby formula. It’s not meant to be your main whisk, but it’s so nice to have on hand. The only drawback is that it’s so small, it’s fairly easy to lose in a crowded carafe or drawer. Though, at this price, you might as well order a couple in case you misplace one. This little whisk is dishwasher safe. (Bonus: The tiny hoop on the handle is perfect for pitting cherries.)
Beyond the classic balloon style, there are plenty of specialty whisks. If you make a lot of sauces, a flat whisk is a good place to start. The wires are arranged in a single layer that’s perfect for scraping brown bits from the bottom of a pan while stirring béchamel, gravy, and other sauces. This silicone-coated flat whisk from Rösle is a great choice because it’s sturdy, durable, and silicone-coated—so it won’t damage your pans or bowls. It’s also dishwasher safe and heat-resistant up to 500 degrees.
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Emily Farris is a food and lifestyle writer, recipe developer, and prop stylist. She obsesses over kitchen design and home decor and used to work at a kitchen store where she spent way too much time thinking about whisks. She’s also embarrassingly good at buying things online and can see straight through a fake review.