Let me first welcome you to the Meadow Home Country Store
In this article we are going to expound on the several different types of whisks, or whips as they are called by the food service industry.
Among the many types of whisks you will see such names as balloon whisk, French whisk, flat/roux whip, and baker’s whip, you will see various sizes of each ranging from tiny fingertip whisks to massive 36-inch whips used in commercial kitchens. Each whip is designed to excel at specific tasks and sometimes a recipe demands that a certain type and size of whip be used to achieve the desired outcome, and of course having the right tool for the job makes all the difference in the world.
Whisks are best known for their ability to quickly whip air into ingredients, however, whisks have several other uses as well. Betty Crocker provides us an official definition of the term "whip":
To beat rapidly to produce
expansion through the incorporation of air,
as in egg whites, and heavy cream.
Excerpt from Betty Crocker’s Picture Cookbook, 1950
Handles are another factor in whisks with a sturdy handle being necessary for larger whips so one can get a positive grip for working the whip through thick batters, and a slim handle being preferred on smaller whisks so they can be easily handled in the fingers.
At our store you will find different handle designs and colors this is more for personal preference rather than function.
The whisks we carry are sourced from Best Whips USA a local family owned and operated company. The folks at Best Whip are wonderful people and are dedicated to making sturdy high quality whisks.
At the end of this article we have included a section on the history of the whisk, this section is small right now but we will be adding to it as we slowly uncover new morsels of history.
Below is a Quick Reference Guide for those who don’t have the time to read through the whole article:
The Balloon Whisk
The balloon whisk is the classic style of whip and the one folks think of when someone mentions whisks. It is characterized by a dramatic widening of the wires to produce a bulbous mixing end which allows more of the whisk to come into contact with the ingredients resulting in more aeration and reduced whipping time.
Balloon whisks are used for aerating or whisking up light and fluffy dishes such as soufflés, meringues, whipped cream, and beating eggs to a froth for Dutch babies. Of course they will do a great job at any number of cooking tasks and in the end they make a great general purpose whisk.
The French Whisk
The French whisk is used for mixing or blending and is superior to a spoon or fork due to its greater mixing action. It is also better suited to the task of mixing than a balloon whip because of the slender design of the wire loops which allows it to better fit into the corners of bowls and pans to ensure more thorough mixing. The narrower design also makes for less whisk being in contact with the ingredients which means less aeration while still providing improved mixing action.
They can also be used for scraping out bowls instead of using a spatula. Overall, French whisks are a great general purpose whip and will work well for numerous tasks.
The Flat/Roux Whip