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How to Choose the Right Whisk for the Job

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Balloon Whisks

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Whisks accomplish a variety of tasks. For example, in the Lemon Meringue Pie from Fine Cooking #116, we use a balloon whisk to keep egg whites moving while being heated and a sauce whisk for blending the filling ingredients. Here’s the lowdown on three of the most common types.

Balloon Whisks Balloon Whisks
Large and round, these whisks are designed mainly for beating air into light ingredients like egg whites and cream with minimal effort. Its wider shape is also useful for mixing ingredients.
Sauce Whisks Sauce Whisks
Also called French whisks, these tapered whisks are primarily used for blending and emulsifying sauces rather than aerating ingredients. Their shape allows them to get into the corners of a pot more easily than a balloon whisk could.
Flat Whisks Flat Whisks
These are ideal for using in a skillet or roasting pan for blending a roux or making a pan gravy; their flat, angled shape puts the whisking power at the bottom of the pan, where it’s needed.

 

Photos: Scott Phillips

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