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All-Purpose Whisks

Does our longtime favorite whisk still beat the competition?


Published May 9, 2022.

See Everything We Tested

What You Need To Know

The best metal whisks really can do it all, whipping, beating, mixing, and blending wet and dry ingredients to perfection. We’ve recommended our favorite all-purpose whisk, or a version of it, for more than a decade. The OXO Good Grips 11" Balloon Whisk performs every task well, and it’s lightweight and comfortable to grip even for long periods. Interested in a whisk you can use in nonstick cookware? See our nonstick whisk review. 

What You Need to Know

A good all-purpose metal whisk is an essential kitchen tool. We use one to blend dry ingredients; emulsify vinaigrettes and sauces; whip cream; beat eggs; mix batters, custards, and other thick, hot sauces; and much more. There are two basic styles of all-purpose whisk: French whisks have narrower heads, while balloon whisks have more bulbous heads. Many whisks on the market are hybrids that fall somewhere between the two styles. Ultimately, the whisk’s style isn’t the most important factor in its success; all the whisks we tested can get all the aforementioned jobs done. Instead, a few other features made certain models more effective, versatile, and durable, as well as easier to use.

What to Look For

  • Light Weight: Light whisks were easier to maneuver, especially for long periods, such as when we whipped cream. We found that the lighter the whisk was, the better; our top three choices all weigh less than 4 ounces. 
  • A Total Length of 11 to 12 Inches: Whisks measuring less than 11 inches occasionally felt a little short, bringing our hand closer to the splash zone when we whipped cream or made vinaigrette and nearer the heat when we made cheese sauce and pan sauce. Whisks measuring more than 12 inches often felt oversize—excessive when making a small batch of vinaigrette and prone to tipping out of the bowl if we left the handles resting on the edge while we took a break from whipping cream. The lengths of our two favorite whisks measured 11 inches and 11.5 inches. 
  • A “Skinny Balloon” Shape: Narrow French whisks were especially easy to maneuver, good at scraping cheese sauce off the sides of the saucepan and fond off the perimeter of the skillet when we made pan sauce. Wider balloon whisks covered more territory in a single swoop, so we needed fewer passes to incorporate shredded cheese into a sauce or to scrape up fond from a skillet. But they sometimes felt clumsy and awkward, especially for detail work. Several of our favorite whisks resemble what we call “skinny balloons,” with medium-size heads that provided an ideal combination of coverage and maneuverability. These models proved to be the most versatile.
  • At Least 10 Moderately Flexible, Evenly Spaced Wire Lo...

Everything We Tested

Good : 3 stars out of 3.Fair : 2 stars out of 3.Poor : 1 stars out of 3.
*All products reviewed by America’s Test Kitchen are independently chosen, researched, and reviewed by our editors. We buy products for testing at retail locations and do not accept unsolicited samples for testing. We list suggested sources for recommended products as a convenience to our readers but do not endorse specific retailers. When you choose to purchase our editorial recommendations from the links we provide, we may earn an affiliate commission. Prices are subject to change.
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Reviews you can trust

Reviews you can trust

The mission of America’s Test Kitchen Reviews is to find the best equipment and ingredients for the home cook through rigorous, hands-on testing. We stand behind our winners so much that we even put our seal of approval on them.

Miye Bromberg

Miye is a senior editor for ATK Reviews. She covers booze, blades, and gadgets of questionable value.