Balloon Whisk

The common, familiar and reliable whisk in most kitchens.

  • Named for how it is shaped (a hot air balloon).
  • Sometimes called a "piano" or "wire" whisk.
  • One of several whisk types.


What is a balloon whisk?

The actual name of that common whisk found in most kitchens today is the "balloon whisk". These are the whisks that have a more round shape than other whisks and were noted to have a similar shape to hot air balloons. A good all around, general purpose whisk.

balloon whisk shown with handle and layers of rounded metal tines.

This is one of the most popular and well known whisks. It is quite likely you have one (or many) in your kitchen as you read this.

The reason that the balloon whisk is popular is because it functions as a general purpose whisk that does the job well.

Balloon vs French Whisk

The two most common whisks in use are called the "Balloon" and the "French". This page is about the balloon whisk. Comparing them is a great way to illustrate what a balloon whisk is and how it got its name.

balloon whisk vs french whisk.

Note the wide round profile of the balloon whisk and the narrow skinny profile of the french whisk.

How to use a Balloon Whisk

balloon whisk being used
  1. Gather your tools and ingredients.
  2. Place whisk into bowl.
  3. Move whisk vigorously side to side until what you are mixing is the desired consistancy or fully combined.
  4. Use whisk in some clear water for easy pre-cleaning.

What to look for when you buy:

balloon whisk and eggs on cutting board.

While all balloon whisks share the common shape, there are many different sizes and materials used.

Whisk Sizes

two balloon whisks, 9 inch and 11 inch.
  • Mini: 0 to 4 inches. Mini whisks are often toys or decorative.
  • Cocktail / Bar: 6 to 12 inches. cocktail whisks have very small "heads" that will fit into a drink glass.
  • Small: 8 to 10 inches. These are the sizes loved by very small hands.
  • Average: 11 to 14 inches. These are the sizes found in most kitchens
  • Large: 14 to 48 inches.

Whisk Materials / Surfaces

two balloon whisks. One metal and the other silicone
  • Stainless Steel: Balloon whisks are most often made of stainless steel wire tines.
  • Silicone: These are also made using silicone, creating colorful and softer tines. It should be noted that the silicone whisks are more bendy and floppy than the stainless steel wire ones.