On test: The five best whisks

A great whisk is a real kitchen essential. Here's our guide to our favourite models so you can choose the best one for your needs.

Top five whisks

Why buy?

They take up room in the utensil pot and generally don’t get used everyday, but everyone needs a few different-shaped whisks. Whether you are making béchamel sauce, incorporating air into egg whites or even mashing (yes, really!), you'll find yourself reaching for your whisks time and again.

What should I buy?

This depends on what you are primarily going to use it for. If all you do is make white sauce, then a sauce or flat whisk is required. However if you are into baking, a balloon whisk is a must. You also need to take into account what pans you have - a stainless steel whisk may scratch the surface of a non-stick so you’ll need something non-steel to avoid the surface becoming damaged.

What we looked for

1. Durability. My whisk goes through a lot of work. It needs to be sturdy and, if metal, I don't want it to rust the first time I pop it in the dishwasher.

2. Weight. Face facts: whisking takes time. It can be arduous and it’s made more so if the whisk you’re using is too heavy and you need to take a break every 30 seconds. Something lightweight is a must.

3. Easy to clean. My final choices needed to clean up well and quickly.

Top five whisks... 

Great for sauces

Nisbets whiskSilicone-coated magic whisk

This was one of the very first gadgets I ever bought and my sauces would be lumpier without it. It’s a little flat whisk so you can really get to the corners of a milk pan to give your sauce or custard a gentle whisk. Because it’s silicone-coated you can use it in a non-stick pan, so it's handy if you are making a béchamel sauce, plus it's resistant up to a temperature of 260C. It’s especially good for remedying lumpy gravy and quick to clean, too.

£3.99, from Nisbets

Best for storage

Joseph Joseph2-in-1 silicone whisk

Whisks are an absolute pain to store so it’s clever to find such a natty design. This is two whisks in one: a flat whisk for making gravy or stirring a white sauce, then with a simple turn of the handle tip, it becomes a balloon whisk. In balloon whisk mode it made light work of mixing my cake batter and whipped up meringues quickly. In ‘flat’ mode it was less good as it’s just too big to be really successful for mixing a sauce. However as a space saver it can’t be beaten, plus it dismantles easily for cleaning and has silicone-coated wires so you can use it on non-stick cookware.

£12.50, from John Lewis

Great for dough

Bakery BitsDough whisk

Proving that there’s a gadget for everything, this whisk makes light work of mixing dough when compared to a wooden spoon. Its purpose is mixing the ingredients for bread prior to kneading. It proved brilliant at breaking up the lumps and getting the water, flour and any sourdough starter mixed up. The spiral design meant not much stuck to it and the tapered wooden handle was extremely comfortable to hold. You can’t put it in the dishwasher but it was no more difficult to wash up than a metal fork.

£9.10, from Bakery Bits

Favourite electric model

KenwoodHM220 hand mixer

Well-built and durable (mine is going strong after eight years) this electric mixer comes with stainless-steel beaters. I love the shape, particularly the way the handle fits snugly into your palm, plus it’s not too heavy to hold for long periods. I can’t remember a time before I used this to whisk my egg whites – its variable speeds mean I can control the whisking quickly and efficiently and it’s the best way to whip up cream. I use mine to make mashed potato too; when you first go in with the whisk, use a slow speed to break the potatoes up, increase it to high and voilà – lovely fluffy mash!

£14.99, by Kenwood, available from Argos, Curry's and Amazon

Ideal for meringues

Heston for SalterPrecision professional whisk

This is a well-designed whisk with a nice weighted but not too heavy silicone-coated handle that is easy to grip. The relatively stiff wires stood up well to heavy cake batters and were brilliant for beating a large quantity of egg whites. Because of its generous size and its rounded shape, the whisk swept the bottom of a round-based bowl so all batter was incorporated. Balloon whisks can be tricky to clean but this washed up a treat in the dishwasher. 

£9, from Waitrose

This review was last updated in February 2016. If you have any questions, suggestions for future reviews or spot anything that has changed in price or availability please get in touch at goodfoodwebsite@bbc.com. 

Find more top kitchen kit by visiting our review section. We'd also like to hear your product suggestions - which whisk do you use? 

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