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Whisks & Egg Beaters

Master chef Julia Child and Chuck Williams, founder of our original Williams Sonoma shop, popularized the bulb-shaped whisk as an essential kitchen tool in the 1960s. Whisking is an essential cooking and baking skill that requires the right tool. Keep your Cuisinart mixer for the heavy lifting when it comes to blending thick batters and doughs and use whisks to have control over thinner ingredients. Let us give you a few tips on choosing the perfect beater for your dish from our collection of professional-quality utensils.

When to Use a Balloon Whisk

Balloon whisks are the most popular and commonly known beaters, and they come in numerous sizes, from tiny to large. Balloon whisks are good general-use tools for mixing eggs, whisking egg whites into cream or creating whipped cream. A balloon whisk can also be used instead of a sifter to lightly mix dry ingredients like flour, baking soda, baking powder and sugar together while also breaking up chunks. Balloon whisks are favored for adding more air into soufflés and whipped creams for that fluffier appearance.

When to Use a French Whisk

A French whisk has a long, narrow shape with a weighted, contoured handle, which makes it a perfect fit for mixing various dishes. It typically comes in a 5" and 7" length. Though this is also an all-purpose tool, French whisks have more flexible wires than balloon whisks. The shorter 5" length makes it an ideal tool for mixing liquids (even drinks), sauces, vinaigrettes and dressings. The 7" length efficiently beats eggs and batters. The narrow profile of a French whisk allows you to scrape the edges of a bowl or pan to better mix ingredients.

When to Use a Ball Whisk

Less common is the ball whisk, which looks like a piece of retro art by itself. The straight wires with weighted ball bearings on each end have a few purposes that differ from bent wires. Balled wires whisk more vigorously than other tools, which means ingredients will quickly be expanded and also better aerated as they are being mixed. These beaded tips make for whipping egg whites into fluffier meringues. In addition, it’s much easier to clean a ball whisk than other types of whisks. They are long, at about 12", for highly efficient mixing in deep bowls.

When to Use a Flat Whisk

A flat whisk, also known as a roux whisk, has flattened wires for a purpose. The orientation of the wires makes it a good whisk to use in a large shallow skillet where continuous stirring and gentle whisking is necessary to create a roux or other delicate sauce.

When to Use a Silicone Whisk

Wire whisks coated with heatproof silicone are ideal for use while prepping and cooking in non-stick pans. The silicone prevents the whisking action from scratching the protective coating. Silicone whisks release food from their wires easier than non-coated whisks.

A Few Whisking Tips

Though the right whisk helps, so does having your ingredients whisked at the right temperature:

Whipped cream: Make sure your cream and the metal bowl you’re using to mix are extra-cold. The colder your cream and metal bowl, the easier the cream and air will whisk together.

Egg whites: Make sure the egg whites and a bowl are room temperature, which can make them frothier and stiffer faster. For whisking egg whites, using a copper bowl gives you perfect peaks.

Whisking method: Whisk side-to-side, not in a circular motion. When you whisk side-to-side in a quick beating motion, you’ll introduce more air into your bowl. Using a whisk in a circular motion only moves ingredients without introducing air into the mix.

You can use elegant beaters to fluff up your egg whites. Keep practicing whisking using the snap of your wrist, a culinary technique perfected by Julia Child, to create delicious dishes all year round.

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