When I cooked in restaurants, the one utensil I looked for at the start of each shift was the Matfer Bourgeat Piano Whisk—the best whisk available, in my book. The moment I clocked in, I made a beeline for it, knowing full well I was competing with the rest of the pastry team for the kitchen tool that would make or break my mousses and buttercreams. I’ve used whisks of all shapes, sizes, and budgets, but none compare to the Piano Whisk.
Why is this the best whisk?
Most whisks are prone to losing their wire loops and warping over time, with handles that heat up rapidly and even melt when they are left resting on the ledge of a pot. Some larger whisks are excellent for whipping cream and aerating meringues but are too wide for stirring together a small batch of vinaigrette. Other whisks are simply too skimpy to tackle cooking that’s slightly more arduous, like stirring custard over the stove until it’s silky smooth or emulsifying a big batch of hollandaise sauce. But the Piano Whisk? It can do it all.
The French company Matfer Bourgeat has been making culinary tools since 1814 and works closely with chefs to develop its clever, well-designed products. Like many of Matfer’s other items, the Piano Whisk is extremely durable and made to last. The tool’s ergonomic handle is made of Exoglass, a sturdy polyamide material developed by Matfer Bourgeat that feels like plastic, but is much stronger. It can withstand temperatures as high as 430ºF (221ºC), making it the ideal wire whisk for stovetop projects. The whisk’s strong, rust-resistant stainless steel wire loops (also called tines) are as secure as can be: They’re molded straight into the handle, preventing any possible warping.
With the Piano Whisk’s strong tines, I can whip cream—a task I normally reserve for a larger balloon whisk or a hand or stand mixer—in less than a minute by hand and quickly emulsify sauces and salad dressings. I know with full confidence that I can leave the Piano Whisk resting in a hot saucepan without the handle melting or burning my hands when I return. And because the whisk is dishwasher safe, it’s a breeze to clean.
What can I use this whisk for?
Pretty much anything! I use my Matfer Piano Whisk for whipping up pancake batter, beating eggs for an omelette or a scramble, and stirring together a roux for béchamel sauce. It’s the tool I reach for when I need to aerate flour or break up large clumps of brown sugar before baking a cake. This stainless steel whisk is also strong and comfortable enough to whip heavy cream and make meringues by hand If you don’t own a stand or hand mixer.
How do I care for this whisk?
For easy clean up, fill a mixing bowl with warm, soapy water, then run your whisk through it. If you’re washing the utensil immediately, any leftover batter, meringue, or custard should slide right off. Use a sponge to gently scrub between the tines, then rinse and dry. Don’t feel like handwashing? The whisk is also dishwasher safe. Though you can keep your whisks in a drawer, I recommend standing them upright in a utensil crock or hanging them from a hook to give the wires space.
Are there any other worthy whisks out there?
While the Matfer Piano Whisk is a great all-purpose option for both home cooks and professionals, there are many other types of whisks—which serve different purposes depending on their size and shape—worth having.
I often rely on a mini whisk or a slick Kuhn Rikon French whisk for blending hot chocolate, stirring together dry ingredients, or whipping up a small batch of salad dressing. Most mini whisks are smaller versions of standard balloon whisks. A French whisk, on the other hand, is much narrower, making it a great tool for accessing hard-to-reach edges in pots and pans. The one downside is that most whisks in these categories have stainless steel handles that get hot easily, so I tend not to use them for long stovetop projects.
If I’m making a sauce in a non-stick pan, I’ll reach for a silicone whisk to prevent scratching my cookware. Oxo Good Grips makes one with a heat-resistant, non-slip handle that’s comfortable to hold and available in two sizes: 9-inches and 11-inches.
Though I don’t own a flat whisk, those who do swear by the utensil for making scrambled eggs, emulsifying sauces, and removing stuck-on bits at the bottom of the pots. There are two kinds of flat whisks: One is a flat-bottomed whisk, which has a circular coil attached to the bottom of a handle.
The other type of flat whisk looks like a balloon whisk that has had its tines flattened between the pages of a heavy book and slightly bent at the tip, like a shoehorn. If you own a lot of non-stick cookware, you’ll want Rösle’s flat whisk with silicone tines. Want something more practical or lack kitchen space? Dreamfarm’s Fold Flat Balloon Whisk—what the brand calls the “flisk”—transforms into a flat whisk with a turn of the handle.
If you’re an avid baker, the Danish dough whisk is your best friend. Known as a “brodpisker” in Denmark, the whisk is sturdy enough to tackle bread doughs but also gentle enough for cake or muffin batters. While the kitchen tool bears a slight resemblance to the flat whisk, the Danish dough whisk’s clever design of one looped stainless steel wire helps it efficiently cut through thick batters—and also makes it easy to clean. Though a whisk with a wooden handle is much cuter and more rustic looking, we recommend the dishwasher-safe version from Oxo Good Grips. With a brodpisker, you’ll never have to worry about random pockets of flour in your bread or washing sticky, doughy wooden mixing spoons ever again.