Tips from The Kitchn

Every Whisk Type You Could Possibly Need (And Yes, You Need More than One!)

updated Jan 29, 2024
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3 different kinds of whisks on colored background
Credit: OXO, Williams Sonoma

A whisk is a versatile kitchen tool. You can use one to beat whipping cream to stiff peaks until it’s the perfect, dollop-able consistency. You can use one to make sure scrambled eggs are, well, scrambled prior to hitting the pan. And you can even use one to mash avocados (which is what I do whenever I make guacamole). Of course, there are many different types of whisks. So it helps to know which whisk type to choose for your task.

For that, it helps to know what each whisk type does. Here are eight of the most common types of whisks — and the best uses for each one.

Credit: Erin Wengrovius

Balloon Whisk

When you think of a whisk, a balloon whisk is likely what comes to mind. This is an all-purpose whisk with a wide head.

Best for:
Whipping air into egg whites and heavy whipping cream.
Widely spaced tines make it great for pancake and cake batter.
Easier to clean than other whisks. (Just whisk warm, soapy water!)

Dough Whisk

Mini Whisk

Tiny but mighty, a mini whisk is about half of the size of a balloon whisk.

Best for:
Perfect size for beating together a couple of eggs for a scramble, whisking a vinaigrette, mixing a sauce, or making hot cocoa.
Easy storage.

Nonstick Whisk

If you’re a dedicated nonstick cookware user, then you need a silicone, nonstick balloon whisk. A nonstick whisk is just a regular whisk, but its metal tines are coated in silicone.

Best for:
Cooking pan sauces, gravy, roux, and more.
Keeping nonstick cookware scratch-free.

Ball Whisk

A ball whisk has straight, flexible wires and tips that, instead of connecting at the base, have little silicone (or stainless steel) beads at the ends. That said, it is not ideal for thick, heavy batters.

Best for:
Splaying out and reaching the corners of pans or measuring cups thanks to its flexible wires.
Mixing dry ingredients.
Safe to use with nonstick cookware.

French Whisk

Another good all-around whisk, a French whisk is similar to a balloon whisk but more narrow. It has a tapered, slimmer profile. Not ideal for mixing batters, though, because its tighter tines are harder to clean than a balloon whisk.

Best for:
Reaching into the corners of pots and pans
Incorporating air into eggs for a fluffy omelet or beating whipping cream.

Flat Whisk

Sauce Whisk

SVP of Content, Faith Durand, advocated for a sauce whisk to be included in our list of Kitchn Essentials. “There are very few things you’ll make in the kitchen that will succeed or fail depending on the tool you use,” she says. “Sauce is one of those things!” A sauce whisk has wire tines in the shape of a coil, so it whisks side-to-side, as well as up and down.

Best for:
Fitting in tight containers and mixing (you guessed it) sauces, as well as hot cocoa, dressings, dips, and even eggs.
We also like this nonstick sauce whisk from IKEA (which is no longer available on IKEA, but is still on Amazon).

Do you have a go-to whisk? Tell us about it in the comments!