The Unexpected Kitchen Tool To Perfectly Mash Avocados

When it's time to mash avocados for a go-to basic guacamole recipe, many of us reach for a fork. Sure, this humble utensil gets the job done, but it can be hard to maneuver and slow to work. The tines have a relatively small surface area, meaning you have to put in more elbow grease than you might with a larger utensil –- for instance, a whisk. It turns out this tool that's usually used for mixing eggs, batter, or sauces can also mash up avocado flesh in no time.

Because whisks have a rounded shape and ergonomic handle, they're easier to maneuver around the sides and bottom of a bowl to mash avocados easily, without giving you a hand cramp. Compared to a fork's three or four tines, whisks have several thin wires, which effortlessly cut through avocado flesh. This tool can even handle multiple avocados at once, which would take quite a few minutes to pull off with a fork.

A whisk also gives you more control over the texture of the final result, with the spacing between the wires allowing you to create a chunkier mash. While a fork's closely-spaced tines squish the avocado flesh down for a slightly lumpy, pureed texture, a whisk can leave larger chunks of avocado intact. You're left with a creamy yet chunky base that's perfect for guac, toast, or an avocado-stuffed meatball recipe.

What kind of whisk should you use to mash avocados?

Whisks come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, but not just any whisk will do the best job when you're mashing avocados. A spiral whisk, for instance, has a nice surface area to work with, but its tiny wires would be an absolute nightmare to clean off, once they're covered in thick avocado mash. Instead, you're much better off choosing between balloon and French whisks, which are the two most popular types of whisks.

Both of these models possess rounded tops and thin wires, but the balloon whisk may be better suited to mashing avocados. This particular whisk has a wider head and sturdy, widely-spaced wires, which you need in order to effectively cut through thick avocado flesh. Conversely, the French whisk is narrower, and its closely-spaced wires could prove difficult to clean off. Ease of cleaning aside, using a French whisk will result in smaller avocado chunks than using a balloon whisk. It will work, but you won't have as much control. 

That being said, the method for using either of these whisks is the same. Just scoop out the flesh from halved avocados using a spoon, plop it in a bowl, grab your whisk, and mash it down into the flesh until it reaches the consistency you're looking for. 

Other kitchen tools for mashing avocados

If you don't have a whisk on hand, no worries. There are many other kitchen tools you can use to mash avocados, and still achieve better results than you might with a fork. For instance, you can use a long-handled egg beater, which somewhat resembles a narrow whisk. This tool has only three "wires," but they're wide enough to get the job done.

Another option is a potato masher, whether you use the kind with a mesh-like grate, or with a curved wire. However, you'll want to keep in mind that the size of your grate will affect the size of your avocado chunks. If you're aiming for smaller chunks, a grated potato masher is ideal, whereas a curved wire masher will allow larger chunks to remain. Likewise, another common tool for mashing potatoes -– a potato ricer -– could be helpful if you're looking for a finer texture.

Of course, you can also go down the path of specialized tools, and simply invest in an avocado-smashing tool. Imagine a meat tenderizer, but with plastic blades on the end. It's perfect for both dicing and mashing, and unlike many other "single use" tools, it's convenient to store and won't take up a huge amount of space in your kitchen.