What is a Piano Whisk?

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen

A piano whisk is a kitchen utensil that is slightly different from other whisks. Instead of having tons of wires, it usually has about seven or eight wires in total. The piano whisk also has a slightly rounded head, instead, which many claim is helpful in whisking sauces, especially in flat pans.


Length and materials of pianos whisks vary. Silicone types are now available and these may be particularly desirable if you are whisking sauces in very hot pans. These are often rated for not melting in temperatures as high as 750 degrees F (398.89 degrees C). A silicone piano whisk can also be of benefit because it will not scratch non-stick pans, a common problem with stainless steel or aluminum whisks.

Piano whisk length varies, and you may want a few to accommodate different sizes of pans, and the ability to keep your hands away from high heats. The shortest piano whisks are about 8 inches (20.32 cm), and the longest are about 14 inches (35.56 cm) long. The width of the head can vary too, and some of these whisks will look more flat, rounded, and wider than others.

You can use the piano whisk in a number of applications. Whisk salad dressings, sauces, and the like to your heart’s content. These whisks may not be as effective for whipping cream or eggs, since fewer wires mean creation of fewer air pockets, which help to aerate cream or eggs. If you’re mixing cupcakes or muffins though, this type of whisk could be preferable, since it won’t cause too many air bubbles to create “holes” or “tunnels” in baked products.

You’ll find considerable price differences in piano whisk types. Most cost at least $10 US Dollars (USD), and some are well over $20 USD. Silicone whisks are more expensive. Whatever price you’re willing to pay, you should try to find a piano whisk that is sealed where the wires leave the handle. Unsealed types can make the whisk much harder to clean, and can result in small bits of food becoming stuck between the wires, rendering the whisk useless much sooner.

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen

Tricia has a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and has been a frequent wiseGEEK contributor for many years. She is especially passionate about reading and writing, although her other interests include medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion. Tricia lives in Northern California and is currently working on her first novel.

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Discussion Comments


I have several piano whisks at home. The reason is because I went through a few products until I finally found one that I really like.

The biggest issue with this type of whisk is that it can take a long time to get the desired effect and it can be very difficult to clean. The whisk I use now is a very sturdy ten inch piano whisk with lightweight steel loops that make more froth in a shorter period of time. It also has a nice big handle so it has a comfortable hold and is easy to clean as well. I did waste some money on the previous whisks I tried but I've finally found a winner. I think I will be using it for many years to come. I use it almost everyday for things like omelets, pancake batter, sauce, custard, etc.


@ddljohn-- I'm not an expert on whisks but I think that piano whisk may just be another name for a balloon whisk. I've also heard people refer to this type of whisk as a round whisk. Piano whisk is sometimes also called 'piano whip' since it's often used for whipping. So I think this utensil goes by different names.

I checked both online and I don't see any significant difference between a piano whisk and a balloon whisk. Some piano whisks may be a bit narrower but I don't think there is any major difference between these. So if you have a balloon whisk, you don't need a piano whisk. You've basically already got one.


I don't get the difference between a piano whisk and a balloon whisk. They look very similar and both seem to be equally effective. I already have a balloon whisk, do I also need a piano whisk?

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