I'd like to know how to call this cooking utensil, great for stirring soup and sauces. Origin eastern european, this particular one is Polish. Am trying to buy more but do not know what name to look for.

Utensil 1 Utensil 2


3 Answers 3


I'm unsure about an English term, but in German it is a "Quirl", related to the "whorl" of twigs on a stem it was originally made of - for example from old Christmas trees:

whorl from a Christmas tree (source)

Later versions mimicked this with a star-shaped wooden or porcelain "head" on a wooden handle,

enter image description here enter image description here

(source / source)

the plastic head is a more modern twist:

enter image description here (source)

In Central Europe you should be able to buy them from either kitchen stores or - if regionally less common - from various online retailers.

  • 1
    The stick that is "made from a christmas tree" is actually slovak in origin, very effective for breaking curds when making cheese or something. Anyway, for sauces I really like to use the wooden one - you can twist it really quickly between palms, and the flat head easily mashes any formed lumps (e.g. from added flour).
    – exa
    Commented Dec 3, 2015 at 10:17

"Kvedlačka" in czech, probably something like "twirl-stick" in english. I suspect it would be called "trzepaczka" in Poland.

EDIT: The exact variety on your photo is probably not produced anymore, it's a kind-of-very-post-communistic item here. :)

  • 1
    Good point - in Germany it was much more common in the former GDR. The western part preferred the wooden variety, no idea, why.
    – Stephie
    Commented Dec 2, 2015 at 17:01
  • Thank you for the information. Good to know the polish (and czech) name too.
    – pritaeas
    Commented Dec 3, 2015 at 7:35
  • "Quirl" in German describes both this Utensil and the so called Schneebesen (=balloon whisk, Very literally "snow broom", reasonably "beaten egg broom".) Commented Sep 7, 2016 at 13:57

The other answers are interesting (and likely correct) but for completeness' sake, if one were looking for such a thing in the US, or something for similar purposes, a molinillo might be a useful term to look up. The molinillo is a wooden whisk (much like the pictures of the german quirl in Stephanie's answer) traditionally used for chocolate making. The rounder shapes are popularized online and a bit easier to find in the US, though reportedly variations are widely available in Mexico and further south.

The one most commonly seen is circular, with deep ridges, elaborate carvings and loose rings to make the chocolate more frothy (as seen in the first image), but I have seen ones more similar to the original instrument (with fewer flat paddles) as seen in the second picture below. There are some interim shapes (and alternate names like batidor) here.

pic of rounded common molinillos pic of four balded molinillos

And, if one were looking for such a thing in India or possibly through asia, one might look for a handheld buttermilk churn. The steel varieties look more like the original picture, the wooden ones look more like the molinillo or quirl (rounder and with ridges instead of paddles). One site I looked at called it a steel Mathu, another mentioned it as a handheld mixer or churner - but these terms are hard to search generically, and seem to be website-specific when I search for them. Looking for buttermilk churner seems to indicate the right tool in a conversation or an internet search.

Steel MathuSet of handheld buttermilk churners

  • Nice last link. Tells me how to use it, though that's what I would assume/do just by looking at them without any other specific advise or instruction. Commented Mar 20, 2019 at 22:47

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