We all know baking comes with its whisks (get it?) and when we are working in an ill-equipped kitchen or our equipment breaks, it gets even riskier. Most of the time, our kitchens are full of multiple forks, spoons, knives, bowls, and cups but we tend to just have the one whisk. This is because we often can only use one whisk at a time but it throws us into disarray when this one whisk breaks or is lost.
Depending on how badly broken the whisk is, you might be able to fix it permanently or temporarily, to get you through the one recipe you’re making. If you can’t fix it, however, you’ll need to find an alternative whisk to do the job for you. Thankfully, there are many whisk substitutes around your house that can help.
If you want to find out how to whisk without a whisk keep reading on!
What is a Whisk Normally Used For?
A whisk is used for mixing ingredients together quickly and as a way to incorporate air into a mixture as you blend it together. For example, beating eggs together, whipping cream, or combining dry ingredients before you incorporate wet ingredients. Meringues, scrambled eggs, and buttercream are all whisk-heavy recipes.
The most common type is a hand whisk, which you’ll find in almost every kitchen and can be bought easily and inexpensively. You can also get a handheld electric or stand mixer with whisk attachments; which are useful when working with high volumes or if you need to whisk consistently for a long period, like when making meringues.
There will come a time in nearly every baker’s life when they are all set to start baking but realize they are missing a key piece of equipment. A whisk is one of those common items that we assume are available at all times, but sadly, are sometimes not.
You might be in a holiday home or rental property, in a friend’s house or perhaps your own whisk has broken. All is not lost, however, as I’ve come up with some clever whisk substitutes to fill the hole in your kitchen.
Use Your Hands
This whisk substitute is available nearly all the time, no matter where you are or what time of day. A hand whisk (aka, your hands!) is a great way to combine dry ingredients before incorporating wet ones. Baking powder and flour, brown and white sugar, flour and salt are all common combinations of dry ingredients that need to be mixed together.
As the ingredients are, by their very nature, dry, mixing them by hand is super easy. Simply make a claw shape with your hand and use it to mix away to your heart’s content.
If making bread or pizza dough, you can continue to use your hands when combining your dry and wet ingredients. Plus, it saves on washing up! Ensure you wash your hands really well before you start mixing and take extra caution if you have false nails.
Use a Hand Blender, Blender or Food Processor
Some recipes call for you to beat together your butter and sugar, which is most often done with an electric hand mixer. If one of these is not available, then I’m sure you will have plenty of other suitable electric mixer substitutes lying around. Why not try using a blender, immersion blender or food processor instead.
The speedy rotating blades will soften up the butter, mix in the sugar and help create that nice light and fluffy texture. When using this method, you will likely have to scrape down the sides of the blender at regular intervals and scoop the mixture out from around the blades so it doesn’t get jammed.
If your hand blender is broken, just take the whisk attachment off and use it as a makeshift whisk instead. The handle might be too short but it will do the job in an emergency.
Use Forks or Chopsticks
In all likelihood, a well (or not so well) equipped kitchen will at least have a fork. These humble instruments are an excellent whisk alternative when you need to beat eggs or cream. Chopsticks can also work well when looking for a whisk alternative, so keep the set you get with your next Chinese takeout!
How to whisk with a fork you ask? You use them with the same wrist action and 45-degree bowl tilt as you would with a normal whisk. It is likely that the whole blending process will take a bit longer as forks and chopsticks are smaller than whisks, but it does the job well. You just need patience and strong wrist action.
Melt Some of Your Ingredients
Halfway through making a cake batter and realize you don’t have a whisk? No need to panic. Simply combine all your dry ingredients like flour, sugar, baking powder etc. in a bowl. Next, melt your butter or use vegetable oil instead. Mix this into your mixture with the other wet ingredients and you have cake batter!
Let the melted butter cool slightly before adding in so you don’t upset the overall batter temperature too much or scramble the eggs. Liquifying the fat in a recipe is a great way to avoid having to beat them in. For your eggs, you can whisk them together with a fork before you add them to the cake batter. Use a spatula or wooden spoon to combine it all together before popping it in the tin and baking it.
Use a Sealed Container
Whipping cream or mixing a salad dressing are two really common uses for a whisk. As an alternative, pour the cream or dressing ingredients into a mason jar or sealed container and get shaking!
This method gets the job done and gives you a little arm workout at the same time. Choose a container that has a good seal so you don’t accidentally splatter your kitchen with cream or dressing.
Whipping cream this way takes a bit longer but it’s better than having no cream, right?
Use a Wooden Spoon or Spatula
When tempering chocolate or making a ganache, a whisk is the best tool for the job. However if one evades you, reach for your rubber spatula or wooden spoon instead. These will help you achieve a silky smooth finish, and perfectly combined ganache.
How to Make a Whisk
Feeling industrious and creative? You can make your own whisk easily enough with some simple items you probably have around your house. You just need a plastic bottle with a flat lid, 6 – 8 small pieces of wire, and a little bit of time to make your own whisk.
Mark some holes around the rim of the bottle lid. Bend the pieces of wire around a cylindrical object so you have 6 – 8 U shaped pieces of wire. Heat the ends of the wire on a gas burner and use them to punch holes through the bottle lid.
Thread each end of the wire into opposite holes, overlapping the wires as you go. Bend the ends so they don’t fall out and glue them in place. Screw the lid back onto the bottle and ta-dah! You have a whisk! Take a look at this video on how to make a DIY whisk.
Whether it is eggs, cream, a cake or salad dressing, my whisk alternative guide has got you covered. Simple household items like a fork, sealed container or your own hands make great whisk alternatives. You won’t be stuck again when your whisk abandons you.