Picture this: you walk into Williams-Sonoma, head over to the utensil section, and are immediately bombarded with various options of the same utensils, whisks included. Your first thought may be, "Why are there so many options of the same literal thing?"
Just like that, you leave the store disappointed, confused, and empty handed. Although it is overwhelming, there are specific uses for specific utensils, such as whisks.
This standard kitchen utensil comes in many shapes and sizes, but what are they all used for, and which ones do you actually need?
1. Balloon Whisk
This is your everyday use go-to type of whisk that definitely deserves a spot in your utensil collection.
This whisk does it all: from whisking eggs for a scrumptious omelette, to fluffing up egg whites to top off that lemon meringue pie.
2. French Whisk
These whisks are similar to balloon whisks, but are for heavier tasks, such as making sauces or batters (waffles, anyone?).
Besides its uses, the French whisk fits perfectly in mixing bowls and sauce pans, simplifying your cooking experience.
3. Ball Whisks
Ball whisks have a good rep in the cooking community, especially with gourmet chefs. The balls at the bottom of the whisk allow you to reach every nook and cranny in whatever bowl, pot, or pan you may be utilizing for your whisking.
Because the balls at the ends of the whisk vibrate when you begin to stir, these whisks are great for adding air into your mixtures. Like the balloon and French whisks, this whisk is great for sauces and mixing together dry ingredients as an alternative to sifting.
4. Flat Whisk
These whisks are noticeably different from balloon and French whisks in that they are, as the name states, flat.
This type of whisk is generally used for making sauces such as a roux or gravy. The flat design allows scraping of shallow pans as to incorporate every flavor possible.
5. Twirl Whisk
Twirl whisks are generally used for adding frothiness to a liquid. You've probably seen these whisks used at your favorite coffeehouses, as they are used to froth up milk for lattes and other beverages.
However, beyond the general task of frothing, these whisks hardly serve any outside jobs. If you're not intending on making your own frothy creations, the twirl whisk isn't an essential addition to your whisk collection.
6. Coiled Whisk
The coiled whisk performs the same tasks as the flat whisk, with the exception that these whisks come in a variety of sizes, allowing you to have the perfect fit for those smaller bowls that need mixing.
If you have a flat whisk, you probably don't need a coiled whisk in your collection. However, if you're a fan of homemade lattes, you might consider a milk frother - the end of which will look familiar as it's a coiled whisk.
7. Tornado Whisk
Now we're getting to the redundant aspect of whisks. Similar to the flat whisk, the tornado whisk is flat-bottomed, making it perfect for making a roux and other sauces. This is nonstick and perfect for sauté and sauce pans.
If you're deciding between a flat whisk or a tornado one, it depends on the types of pans you have in house, and if you prefer a silicon whisk or a stainless steel one.
So which one is the only one you need? Well, a balloon whisk might seem like an obvious choice. However, we're partial to ball whisks because not only do they add fluffiness to batters and mixes, they are also great for scraping pan bits when making sauces.