A whisk is a cooking utensil used for blending ingredients together or for incorporating air into a mixture to produce a fluffier product. This process is known as whisking. It’s a unique term, but I feel it’s appropriate. I find myself whisking things a lot. A whisk is an important tool that should be included in every cooks collection. If you like gravy, or making gravy, you’ll probably find yourself in need of a whisk at some point.

The majority of whisks are constructed with a long narrow handle, and a group of wire loops joined together at the end. They are typically made of metal, but there are some others made of plastic or similar materials for use with nonstick cookware. That’s important to note. It’s bad practice to use a metal cooking utensil with a nonstick cooking pan.

By far, the most common whisk shape is that of a teardrop. These are called balloon whisks and are great for mixing anything in a bowl, since their curved edges match quite nicely with the curving sides of the bowl.

Another type called the French whisk, is narrower and longer. It’s more cylindrical, and it’s best suited for deeper pans which have straight sides.

Gravy whisks or spiral whisks typically consist of one main loop with another wire that has been coiled around it. The angle of the whisk head makes it great for mixing batters, sauces…and of course gravy.

One of my personal favorites, the flat whisk or roux whisk, has the loops of the whisk laid out flat and arranged in a successive pattern. It’s perfect when cooking in shallow pans. And it just so happens that roux is normally made in a skillet. And when I make roux, I feel like I’m a professional French chef.

There are a couple other types, but the last one I’m going to mention is called a cage whisk. It’s the same as a balloon whisk, except it contains a small round cage situated inside the wires of the whisk. This spherical cage then contains a small metal ball. I’m going to be honest and say I’ve never used on of these before. I don’t know what they would be used for, but I’m thinking it just has to do with creating an additional layer of whisking potential.