Why You Should Use Visual Cues, Not Time, When Whipping Cream or Eggs in a Stand Mixer

The number of wires on whisk attachments vary—and can affect how quickly or slowly the attachment whips.

If you use a stand mixer to whip cream or egg whites, it’s a good idea to pay attention to visual cues while whipping and not just follow the time range called for in the recipe. That’s because whisk attachments vary from mixer to mixer, and the number of wires the whisk features can impact how quickly or slowly it whips. Here’s why: As the wires of a whisk attachment are dragged through cream or egg whites, they create channels that trap air—the more wires, the more channels created and the faster the liquid gains volume. (This holds true for handheld whisks, too.)

We found that while the effect is negligible when only a little liquid is in the bowl, it becomes significant as the liquid increases and the wires are more deeply submerged. The 22-wire attachment for our winning stand mixer whipped 1 cup of heavy cream to stiff peaks 5 percent faster than the 12-wire attachment for an earlier model, but it whipped 3 cups of cream nearly 20 percent faster. When we whipped five egg whites to stiff peaks, the 22-wire whisk was able to accomplish the task more than twice as fast because the whites rapidly formed foam that submerged much of the wires.

MORE WIRES MEAN FASTER WHIPPING Egg whites formed stiff peaks after 2 minutes and 30 seconds when whipped with the 22-wire whisk (left); meanwhile, whites whipped with a 12-wire whisk (right) barely held peaks after the same amount of time.

Recommended Reading

This is a members' feature.