Special Feature: Products Sally Recommends
How many whisk manufacturers are in the US? If you guessed one, youd be correct. During a visit to Portland, Oregon, I toured the only whisk factory in the United States and learned how whisks are made. For over three decades brothers John and Jeff Merrifield of BEST Manufacturers Inc. have been a leading manufacturer and supplier of whisks to retail stores and the restaurant industry.
Presently BEST produces over 45 styles of whisks ranging from eight inches to sixty inches in length (the larger sizes are called whips). The eight-inch light design whisks are used for small mixing needs and the largest ones for institutions such as hospitals and prisons. In between there are many different sizes and shapes. Some types are: standard design, balloon style, French whips, flat roux type and pastry blenders.
The whisks are handcrafted using high tensile strength stainless steel wire. The BEST whisks come with either a stainless steel or lacquered wooden handle. A polished copper handle is available on a French whisk.
One element that sets these whisks apart from others Ive seen is the manner in which each whisk is soldered and completely sealed into its handle. This helps the whisk remain durable, watertight and easy to clean. This is also how you can tell a BEST product from other brands.
Other than whisks, BEST sells over 250 products for the kitchen. These items include stove gear, pizza cutters and trays, baking tools, storage bags, cake stencils and brushes.
BEST products are available at restaurant supply dealers and in stores where finer cooks tools are sold. I recently saw them at the Culinary Institute of Americas retail store in St. Helena, CA at the Greystone campus. You can also find them at Bed, Bath and Beyond, Sears housewares stores, Williams-Sonoma, Homechef, Sur La Table and the Great Indoors.
Sally is a food enthusiast and charter member of the IACP and past chairperson of the IACP Technology Committee.