Nonstick Whisks

Published November 1, 2010. From Cook's Illustrated.

Manufacturers seem to have created nonstick-friendly versions of almost every kitchen tool, and the wire whisk is no exception.

Overview:

We tested six brands in a variety of shapes, priced from $11.95 to $19.95, all coated with silicone to protect pans. As we made pastry cream and gravy and whipped eggs for scrambling, we quickly found that design often trumped efficiency. In one model, only the tip of the whisk was covered in silicone, leaving unprotected wire portions free to scratch the pan near the rim. Others had overly thick coatings, so that the fat wires were difficult to move through food. In the end, we found a lightweight, comfortable whisk with wires that were fully but thinly coated. Our winner whipped the rest of the field by being flexible yet resistant enough to make roux for gravy and pastry cream that didn’t curdle or stick, all without damaging our nonstick pan. While it wouldn’t necessarily replace our favorite conventional wire whisk for most applications, it’s an excellent tool for the nonstick aficionado.

We tested six brands in a variety of shapes, priced from $11.95 to $19.95, all coated with silicone to protect pans. As we made pastry cream and gravy and whipped eggs for scrambling, we quickly found that design often trumped efficiency. In one model, only the tip of the whisk was covered in silicone, leaving unprotected wire portions free to scratch the pan near the rim. Others had overly thick coatings, so that the fat wires were difficult to move through food. In the end, we found a lightweight, comfortable whisk with wires that were fully but thinly coated. Our winner whipped the rest of the field by being flexible yet resistant enough to make roux for gravy and pastry cream that didn’t curdle or stick, all without damaging our nonstick pan. While it wouldn’t necessarily replace our favorite conventional wire whisk for most applications, it’s an excellent tool for the nonstick aficionado.

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  • Product Tested

    Results Key:

    Good ★ ★ ★ Fair ★ ★ Poor
  • Prices are subject to change.
  • Recommended - Winner

    Cuisipro Silicone Egg Whisk

    Tipping the scale at just over 2 ounces, this whisk was sturdy and well balanced yet didn’t weigh us down. Its flexible, thinly coated wires were firm enough to mix a roux but maintained a bounce that went naturally with the whisking motion in aerating eggs. Although its handle was a little short for testers with the largest hands, for most of us it was just right.

    • Performance ★★★
    • Nonstick Protection ★★★

    $13

    BUY NOW Amazon
  • Recommended

    Kuhn Rikon Silicone Rainbow Whisk

    At first we had a hard time figuring out why we didn’t like this whisk quite as much as our winner, since the two are so similar in shape and design (and the Kuhn Rikon’s wires are slightly sturdier). We finally realized the difference was the heavier handle, which threw it somewhat off balance. Overall, an acceptable alternative to the Cuisipro.

    • Performance ★★½
    • Nonstick Protection ★★★

    $19.95

    BUY NOW Amazon
  • Recommended with Reservations

    Le Creuset Balloon Whisk

    This whisk sports a terrific handle; it’s plump, grippy, and fits snugly and comfortably in your hand. But it’s also heavy, which makes the model more clunky overall than the others.

    • Performance ★★
    • Nonstick Protection ★★★

    $17.95

  • Not Recommended

    Chef'n Kitchzen Tall Silicone Whisk

    Despite its name, we did not find serenity with this Kitch-“zen” whisk. Instead, we struggled with a snarled mass of wires, which worked against one another and clunked around jerkily during tasks like stirring minced vegetables into a gravy base. Its narrow profile forced us to stir almost twice as often as with other whisks to reach the desired consistency for both gravy and pastry cream; its narrowness also meant that it trapped food. Because the thick silicone covering was limited to the tip plus an inch or so beyond, exposed metal wires scraped the top edge of our nonstick saucepan.

    • Performance
    • Nonstick Protection

    $14.95

  • Not Recommended

    Calphalon Silicone Balloon Whisk

    Not only is this balloon whisk too big to reach into all the edges of your pan, its flimsy wires fall out of alignment with the slightest amount of pressure. Bottom line: A pain to cook with, and to clean.

    • Performance
    • Nonstick Protection

    $11.95

  • Not Recommended

    Kuhn Rikon Silicone Tornado Whisk

    This so-called tornado whisk is exactly like the storm it is named after: fascinating to look at but awful to experience. Its unique design—its wires don’t converge in a rounded tip but instead form a flat, irregular star shape—suggests an innovative purpose, but we couldn’t find one. When held vertically, it felt awkward and limited our range of motion; when held at a traditional angle, only half of the whisk made contact with the food. Furthermore, it was impossible to get a good grip on the small, lightweight plastic handle.

    • Performance ½
    • Nonstick Protection

    $13.95

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