To sweep, brush, or agitate, with a light, rapid motion; as, to whisk dust from a table; to whisk the white of eggs into a froth. [1913 Webster]
To move with a quick, sweeping motion. [1913 Webster] He that walks in gray, whisking his riding rod. --J. Fletcher. [1913 Webster] I beg she would not impale worms, nor whisk carp out of one element into another. --Walpole. [1913 Webster]
Whisking \Whisk"ing\, a. [1913 Webster]
Sweeping along lightly. [1913 Webster]
Large; great. [Prov. Eng.] [1913 Webster] Whisky
- present participle of whisk
A whisk (known as Egg Beaters in the US) is a cooking utensil used in food preparation to blend ingredients smooth, or to incorporate air into a mixture, in a process known as whisking or whipping. Most whisks consist of a long, narrow handle with a series of wire loops joined at the end. The wires are usually metal, but some are plastic for use with nonstick cookware. Whisks are also made from bamboo.
Whisks (Egg beaters) are commonly used to whip egg whites into a firm foam to make meringue, or to whip cream into whipped cream.
A makeshift whisk may be constructed by taking two forks and placing them together so the tines interlock and make a cage. This is far more effective than a single fork at incorporating air into a mixture.
Whisks have differently-shaped loops depending on their intended functions:
- The most common shape is that of a wide teardrop, termed a balloon whisk. Balloon whisks are best suited to mixing in bowls, as their curved edges conform to a bowl's concave sides.
- With longer, narrower wire loops, the French whisk has a more cylindrical profile, suiting it to deep, straight-sided pans.
- A flat whisk, sometimes referred to as a Roux whisk, has the loops arranged in a flat successive pattern. It is useful for working in shallow vessels like skillets (in which a roux is normally prepared).
- A gravy whisk commonly has one main loop with another wire coiled around it.
- Similarly, a twirl whisk has one single wire that is spiralled into a balloon shape.
- Ball whisks have no loops whatsoever. Instead, a group of individual wires comes out of the handle, each tipped with a metal ball. The heavy balls are capable of reaching into the corners of a straight-sided pan. Since there are no crossing wires, the ball whisk is easier to clean than traditional looped varieties. Manufacturers of ball whisks also purport that their shape allows for better aeration.
Additionally, a mechanical device known as a rotary whisk consists of 2 sets of beaters that are joined together with a hand-operated crank and handle.
Although the modern whisk may have only appeared at the end of the 19th century, evidence of whisk-like tools exist even further back in history. A bundle of twigs fastened together make an effective whisk; often the wood used would lend a certain fragrance to the dish. An 18th century Shaker recipe calls to “Cut a handful of peach twigs which are filled with sap at this season of the year. Clip the ends and bruise them and beat the cake batter with them. This will impart a delicate peach flavor to the cake.”
whisking in Bavarian: Schnäbäsn
whisking in Danish: Piskeris
whisking in German: Schneebesen
whisking in Spanish: Batidor
whisking in Esperanto: Ŝaŭmigilo
whisking in French: Fouet (cuisine)
whisking in Luxembourgish: Schnéibiesem
whisking in Dutch: Garde (keukengerei)
whisking in Japanese: 泡立て器
whisking in Portuguese: Batedor de claras
whisking in Finnish: Vispilä
whisking in Swedish: Visp