A ball whisk is a flexible cooking utensil for mixing ingredients into a smooth mixture. Unlike a traditional, closed-loop balloon whisk, the ball whisk is constructed of straight wires finished with metal or silicone beads. Most ball whisks are made in an open cone shape with eleven long wires surrounding a slightly shorter (and heavier) one. A flat version - my favorite - is a fan of ten wires that fan from the handle.
Ball whisks have many advantages over standard balloon whisks. The independent movement of the wires makes fast work of blending sauces and whisking air into heavy cream and egg whites. Silicon-tipped models are more efficient than coated balloon versions when cooking in non-stick pans. They are also much easier to clean because of the straight design; there's no need to carefully wipe rounded inner wires, a real plus when you are washing the whisk after working with eggs.
I have seven whisks in my kitchen - but almost always reach for the round or flat ball whisk unless I am blending a very heavy mixture. Any serious cook should have one in the kitchen; it’s a nice gift for someone starting a new household or a friend addicted to cooking gadgetry.
I rarely recommend a specific brand for kitchen equipment, but strongly suggest you purchase the WMF brand of ball whisks. They are reliable, strong and available in several shapes and sizes, and with both metal and silicon tips. Note: In the UK, this is often called a "mini bobble whisk."
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