The Wonder of Whisks
Finding the Right Whisk for Your Kitchen Creations
I would bet that the majority of you reading this article have a whisk in your kitchen. You may even have two or three, but did you know there are many different styles of whisks, and each style has a unique purpose?
I don’t know how many kinds of whisks there are in the world, but for the purposes of this article I will focus on seven different styles that we carry at New Kitchen Store.
Let’s start with the classic or balloon whisk, the one most people are very familiar with. It is called a balloon whisk because the wires on the end of the handle resemble a balloon. The wires tend to be springy, and with a whisk movement means air is being incorporated into whatever is being whisked. This whisk is considered a multipurpose whisk. It is perfect for making whipped cream, meringue, scrambled eggs and egg whites, as well as sifting dry ingredients in recipes.
A dough whisk, also known as a Danish whisk, is very popular among professional and home bakers alike. The wire of the Danish whisk is thicker and more rigid than most other whisks. The end is flat and features an outer circle with an inner oval and loop. Because the wire is rigid, it is perfect for working heavier dough without overworking the dough ingredients. Its unique shape is helpful for mixing dough and batter, creating a smooth batter. The end results are baked goods that rise high and have a pleasing crumb.
Another whisk not often found in the everyday kitchen (but should be) is the spring whisk. The spring whisk is exactly what the name implies. The end is very springy and is shaped like an oval cone. The method of using a spring whisk is much different than most other whisks. Instead of whisking in a circular motion, you pump the whisk up and down. Because of this, you can use it in glasses to make chocolate milk for your child, for example, or in any other tall jar to blend together your favorite homemade salad dressing.
There are even whisks that have small wire balls inside them. These are variations of balloon whisks. The small wire aerator ball inside also has a smaller, solid metal ball inside of it. So, it’s a ball inside a ball, inside the balloon whisk. The purpose for so many layers is to incorporate more air into what you are beating, so you can get to the “stiff peak” stage of hand-beaten egg whites quickly. We all enjoy a good arm workout once in a while, but any baker knows that whipping egg whites into stiff peaks takes the arm workout to a whole new level, and speeding up the process is a relief to aching arm muscles.
Making smooth, lump-free gravies and sauces should not be difficult. There are two whisks that are equal to the task of making delicious gravy. First is the gravy or sauce whisk. It makes all the difference when smoothing the lumps out of your gravy. Its special design breaks up the lumps while you cook. You can use this whisk two different ways – flat, to prepare pans for deglazing, or at an angle, to whisk together gravy. Its angled head reaches all those hard-to-reach edges of pots and pans, keeping things moving and preventing overheating and scorching.
Second is the flat whisk, also known as the roux whisk. It is shaped like a balloon whisk that has been flattened. It is similar to the gravy/sauce whisk in that it easily reaches the edges of pots and pans to make sauces and to scrape the bottoms of pans. You will love how these whisks take the guesswork out of gravy preparation.
The French whisk is similar to the balloon whisk, but the end is more narrow and elongated. The wires are also slightly thicker. These wires are perfect for mixing together heavier ingredients, yet they are still flexible. The shape of the whisk’s narrow end fits nicely into the edges of pots and pans to help prevent food from burning. These whisks are perfect for sauces, gravies, vinaigrettes, batters, custards and more.
Anyone who has built or created something knows that having the correct tool for the job makes all the difference. Having the right whisks for different jobs in the kitchen is no exception. Not all whisks are created equal, and no single whisk is perfect for every job. Now that you know a little bit more about the differences in whisks, come into New Kitchen Store and pick up one today.
New Kitchen Store, located at 330 Liberty Street in Walkerton, is the largest gourmet kitchen supply store in Michiana. For more information, call 574-586-2745 or check out NewKitchenStore.com.