Mix- stir - beat - whisk

emanko

Senior Member
Arabic- Egyptian
Hello
I have to teach a class about cooking.

So, I need to know the difference between mixing, stirring, beating and whisking.

I checked dictionaries but they all seem to mean the same thing.
 
  • heypresto

    Senior Member
    English - England
    They do all mean much the same thing. The only real difference is the utensil you use. Usually you would use a spoon to stir, and a whisk to whisk. You could beat with a spoon, or a beater if using a machine. You can mix by hand, using a spoon, or by machine, using a mixing or beating attachment.

    I'm sure there will be some overlap in these descriptions.
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    I checked with my cook. :) The essential difference between beating and whisking is that beating is intended to mix the ingredients thoroughly, while whisking is intended to incorporate air into whatever is being whisked.
     

    theartichoke

    Senior Member
    English - Canada
    I checked with my cook. :) The essential difference between beating and whisking is that beating is intended to mix the ingredients thoroughly, while whisking is intended to incorporate air into whatever is being whisked.
    It might be an AE/BE difference, but I've seen plenty of recipes that tell you to "beat" egg whites until stiff, or egg yolks and sugar until pale and thick, so "beat" can be used to mean exactly the same thing as "whisk." I associate "whisk" with older recipes, written when more people would be using a hand-held whisk rather than an electric "beater."

    I guess my take on the question would be that mixing and stirring can be used interchangeably, although "stirring" is a more specific movement: i.e. you would continuously stir a pot of bechamel sauce on the stove to keep it from sticking to the bottom or forming lumps. Beating and whisking might be used interchangeably: both words indicate a much more vigorous motion than stirring or mixing, and either could be used to describe the motion needed to make egg whites into meringue or cream into whipped cream.

    Good luck with the cooking lesson, emanko.:)
     
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