Homemade Mayonnaise

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Once you have homemade mayo, you won’t want to go back to the jarred stuff. Trust me.

I don’t really even like mayo that much and I was tempted to eat this by the spoon.

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My line on homemade stuff is always the same: It’s almost always better than store bought, and you can control absolutely everything that goes into it. (Begone, icky additives and stabilizers!)

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The basic chemistry of mayo

Mayo is basically an emulsion of olive oil and egg yolk.

You drizzle the oil into the egg yolk a little a time and whisk FURIOUSLY, which emulsifies the oil and creates your creamy mayo.

A sprinkle of salt boosts the flavor. Some powdered mustard and lemon juice brighten the whole business up with a little acid and zing.

Voila, homemade mayonnaise. Couldn’t be easier.

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I whipped this by hand, the old fashioned way. You can also use your blender to make a very fine mayo if you want to spare your arm muscles. Totally up to you.

The secret to making homemade mayo

I’ve heard people talk about making mayonnaise at home like they’re describing nuclear fusion.

It’s not hard. You just need to understand how mayo works.

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The secret to making good mayonnaise is adding the oil to the egg yolk slowly. You do this because you want to thoroughly emulsify every drop of oil into the egg yolk.

Resist the urge to dump in the rest of the oil halfway through because your arm is killing you. The oil needs to be added a little at a time or the emulsion will break and you’ll have a goopy, separated mess. That’s really the only trick to this. Be patient.

Just a little zing

You know how good mayos have a little tang to them? I use Coleman’s mustard to get that in mine. This stuff is seriously hot. A little goes a long way. It’s a great flavor-enhancer type thing to keep in the kitchen. And the tin looks really cool. (Bonus, right?)

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Obligatory raw egg warning

This is an old school mayo recipe which means it includes a raw egg yolk. If that freaks you out, use pasteurized egg yolks instead—or pasteurize your own.

How long will it keep?

Because of the raw egg, I only keep this mayo for about 2 days in the fridge. I bet you can freeze it, though I haven’t tried. (Anyone? Leave a comment, let us know!)

Homemade Mayonnaise

1 large egg yolk
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
1/2 – 1 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup olive oil

Makes about 3/4 cup of mayo

Grab your egg yolk.

Toss it in a large bowl. Add the salt, powdered mustard, and lemon juice.

Whisk that up until it’s uniform.

Slowly (and I mean slowly), drizzle a little oil into the egg yolk mixture, whisking as you go.

Whisk until the oil is completely incorporated and the mixture is uniform. It will start to fluff up. That’s a good thing.

When you’ve completely incorporated that first bit of oil, drizzle in a little more. Whisk until completely incorporated. Keep repeating (drizzle/whisk) until you’ve incorporated all the oil. You get the idea.

Keep going…

And going…

And, voila! Mayonnaise. Simple, right?

Transfer your completed mayo into a dish. Cover and store in the fridge for up to 2 days. (Raw eggs, remember? Make it in small batches because it doesn’t keep.)

Enjoy!

Have you made this recipe?

What did you think? Leave a comment below! Send me a picture and maybe we’ll add it to this post!

Happy cooking!

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Jessie Cross is a cookbook author and creator of The Hungry Mouse, a monster online food blog w/500+ recipes. When she's not shopping for cheese or baking pies, Jessie serves as an Associate Creative Director at PARTNERS+simons, a boutique ad agency in Boston. She lives in Salem, Massachusetts with her husband and two small, fluffy wolves.

49 COMMENTS

  1. Oh thanks for this!

    I eat eggs over-easy almost every morning from my hens here.

    I trust my eggs and my handling of them, I know the food the girls eat and how they are raised. (if I get a dirty, poopy or cracked egg, the guardian dogs are the thrilled recipients of it)

    I totally understand the aversion to commercial eggs being used raw! I cant say Id do it. But the pasteurizing tip was great! Never saw that before!

    Im wondering how great an egg salad sammich would be made this way.

  2. I just want you to know enjoy all your entries. Thank you for a very informative and interesting blog. I will definitely make homemade mayo and many other foods described here.

  3. I have been making mayo using Julia Child’s recipe since “Mastering the art of French cooking” first came out. I have also read about the science of the emulsion in McGee’s “On Food and Cooking.” Two comments are in order: 1, pasteurizing is no where as complicated as indicated in the link here. You put your egg(s), whole, in a pan of water with a thermometer, put it over a gentle flame, and watch it until it gets to 140F (=60C), then take the pot off the flame and let it sit a while. No cooking takes place. No change in nutrient structure. Just more safety.

    2, the purpose of the mustard and the lemon juice (I use red wine vinegar) is to promote the emulsion. They’re emulsifiers. They also add flavor, but that’s not the underlying reason for them.

  4. sami [email protected]

    I tried this and it tasted like olive oil. What did I do wrong?

    • Maybe use a lighter olive oil. I use only really light olive oil for Mayo otherwise the oil flavor is strong.

  5. Jar mayo is simply gross and very unhealthy, not to mention GMO full…homemade is delicious and easy

    Olive oil only works if its a very mild flavored one, otherwise it will taste terrible as mayo because olive oil has a very strong flavor. Extra virgin especially is not good in mayo.

    Better options for flavor are sunflower, grapessed, or canola but not the cheap supermarket kind…try napa valley naturals organic oils

  6. I tried your mayo recipe twice and both times all I got was an oil soaked runny egg yolk. What is going wrong?

    • sounds like its not emulsifying properly, make sure your properly seperating the yolk from the whites and incorporating your acids (mustard/ lemon juice [some people even use vinegar]) into the egg yolk before whisking in your oil, if that still doesnt work your being to gentile.

      side note add garlic, anchovies and red wine vinegar to this recipy and youve got a wonderfull ceaser dressing (a little maybe 2 cloves garlic and a whole anchovie).

  7. I had pretty good results for a first try. Other than I agree with Debbie Poukens as to the ‘way’ too much salt observation. In the future, I’ll go with 1/4 tsp. (or less) and add more at the end if needed.

    I anticipated that using extra virgin olive oil would taste like… wait for it… extra virgin olive oil —so I wasn’t thrown by that part. I like to dip bread in a bit of olive oil at times as a snack so I actually looked forward to the strong olive oil taste as a plus. I imagine playing with variously infused oils could be fun to explore.

    Also, I ‘cheated’ and used an old-fashioned handheld electric blender. I used it’s lowest setting and—as some articles had mentioned that heat from blending was a factor that could lead to the mayo ‘breaking’ or failing to properly emulsify in the first place—I used a medium sized stainless steel mixing bowl and placed it in a bed of ice which I’d prepared in a wider shallower bowl (I had a ‘fridge with a crushed ice maker at hand, an ice water bath would suffice otherwise).

    I’ve had some great tuna salad sammiches in the last 24 hrs. I’ll try freezing the remainder of the mayo to see how it holds up. At present it has a marvelous silken texure that blows away gelatinous store bought varieties.

    : }

  8. According to Sally Fallon – in Nourishing Traditions – adding whey will allow you to keep the mayonnaise several months.

  9. Please emphasize the perishability of homemade mayo (2-3 days max in the fridge). The timeless cooking bible “Joy of Cooking” says that dangerous levels of bacteria quickly form after that, which are not detectable by taste or smell. Single people like me typically can’t eat 3/4 cup in 2 days and will resist throwing it out… but bacterial poisonings can be lethal these days. Not worth the risk.

  10. My understanding is that the inside of the egg is sterile, but bacteria may live on the outside of the shell. The problem arises when the egg is cracked and the contents touch the outer shell causing contamination. So if that is the case (is it?) then why can’t we just wash off the egg really well with some soap, rinse it clean, dry it off… just before we crack it open?

  11. A friend tonight gave us a cup of homemade olive oil tonight… and boy is it strong! Normally the way I’d like it, but for this recipe I was hesitant to use the full 3/4 cups — so I used 1/4 cup of the olive oil and substituted canola for the remainder. I heeded the comments about the salt and used half a teaspoon (I’m afraid it had to be table salt though). And I paid particular attention to the advice of only dribbling a little bit of oil at a time. My poor arm. But well worth it! I’m very pleased with the results… although next time if I don’t have regular olive oil on hand, I’ll probably use 3/4 cup of canola. I also added a few splashes of red wine vinegar, and might try it without next time. I gave hubby a sample in the form of a deviled egg and apart from the aftertaste of the strong olive oil, he’s quite happy with it. Thanks for this recipe!

  12. Just wondering … shouldn’t using a pasteurized egg not last longer in fridge? 2 days? That’s not very long. I’ve been reading that other oils taste better but they aren’t as healthy. Hard to find plain Olive Oil – they all seem to be Extra Virgin.

  13. This is a good recipe, but sooooooooooooo much easier when you use a stick blender! Just go on YouTube and check out the demos there! It takes about 10 seconds (except for the time it takes to let the ingredients get to room temperature.

    Instead of 3/4 c. olive oil, I use 1/4 c. olive oil (California Olive Ranch) + 1/4 c. walnut oil + 1/4 c. coconut oil. The flavors are dispersed and I think it’s a good mix. If I have avocado oil, I use that as well.

  14. I make this all the time…I also add Worcestershire sauce, tabasco, garlic or any fresh herb from my garden. Also good with different mustards, like Dijon or honey mustard or even grainy. Lots of different flavours to add.

  15. I was doing this recipe in the food processor and it was working out wonderfully. Then the mayo became a liquid again 🙁 So disappointed. I must’ve done it for a tad too long, but I’d wanted to make sure it was all mixed. Oh, well–I’ll try a 4th time (I’ve tried 2 other recipes with different oils) and see what happens. It’s not your recipe, it’s me! LOL I’ll get this mayonnaise thing right!

  16. if it tastes to O’Reilly you’re using too strongly a flavored olive oil what you want to do is go and buy a few different varieties with a few different flavor ratings or a few different descriptions extra extra virgin cold-pressed single press that kind of thing and then you want to find the one that has the lightest flavor basically the one you would comfortably use as a lip gloss which has the lowest flavor of oil and probably a citrus after note which will leave you a much much better mayonnaise. Remember that this message does not have the vinegars and all of the different things in it that’s going to make it taste like bottle “Miracle Whip” if you’re not used to eating salad dressing not mayonnaise you wouldn’t know that it tastes like a lightly mustardy/vinegar/yolky flavour: that’s what it is… a sandwich spread not a flavor like salad dressings. this is not a recipe for a salad dressing like Miracle Whip. I find an immersion blender works wonders here either with whisk attachment or the regular blade. Use a speed spout/salad spout on your olive oil to get a fine and slow pour and drizzle it in very very slowly until it looks as you want it too. Once its whipped you “can” add more flavorings but make notes so your f lavourings are added at the beginning next time… trial and error works here… its one yolk at a time…roasted puree of garlic is amazing… so is a touch of rice wine vinegar and some curry powder…

  17. Good recipe but i make things a little different.

    First, olive oil is too strong of a flavor to be use in a mayo. I usually use sunflower oil for better result or grape seed oil for the best result. A little bit more costly but quite a neutral taste for a mayo.

    Second, I think Dijon mustard or old style mustard are better than the dry one. Just put the same quantity of mustard as the yolk(s).

    Third, If the mayo become too thick too quick, (too strong of a flavor compare to the thickness of the mayo) add a tea spoon or two of luke warm water to the mix to loosen up the mayo, and keep adding oil.

    Last, you want to make Cesar dressing……Not a problem.
    Add
    garlic
    anchovy paste
    lots of Parmesan
    and a dash of Worcestershire sauce

    That easy.

    Enjoy

  18. the only problem is that the oil is added too fast take it slower to add the oil and you’ll get perfect result.
    Its about 1 tsp at a time really and then mix vigorously and then one more tsp and then mix again.

  19. As a spaniard, home mayo is such an easy recipe I remember doing it since I was 8.
    If you find the taste of olive oil too strong for you, use sunflower oil.

    Whatever you do :

    DO NOT store for longer that 2 days, do not leave it outside of the fridge for longer than 3 hours.

    Salmonella poisoning is lethal and quite common with home made mayo.

    A recipe without egg and thus, longer lasting, use milk and oil (1 cup of milk and 2 of oil).

  20. How is it possible to get this to work with a blender? The blade would not even mix anything until more than 1/4 of the oil was added, and no matter how long I blended it everything stayed liquid. I have CFS so whipping it by hand is not an option

    • Using a blender causes a LOT of Heat. The longer you blend, the hotter it gets, and it will never work. A tip: use the same ingredients as above, but instead of ‘whipping vigorously’ pul the egg yolk in a bowl with one tablespoon water. Whip until it mixes and you can see it is all uniform. Does NOT take long, nor does it hard mixing. Then add little amounts of oil at a time, mix a couple of times until you can see it has mixed, then add more, and continue to add more oil, eventually, you can get to adding larger amounts of oil with it still being separated.

      I am actually in culinary school right now, and we just learned this trick from one of the chefs right now.

  21. […] fast food. I think when you make everything from scratch you can make homemade hamburger buns and homemade mayonnaise , so this way you know exactly what you are eating. I personally love the ideas of some fast food […]

  22. […] Use tuna canned in BPA-free cans (check labels). Also, try to choose tuna that is “light” as opposed to “white.” Light tuna tends to have less mercury than white. Skipjack tuna is considered to have the smallest amount of mercury. Limit tuna consumption to no more than 12oz or 1/3kg per week. Make your own homemade mayonnaise to go with  it. http://www.thehungrymouse.com/2013/05/27/homemade-mayonnaise/ […]

  23. i have made my own mayo for 35 years i use my blender now for many years never use virgin olive oil it goes bitter learnt this the hard way lol i put a whole egg from my chickens in a container few pieces of parsley a little salt small garlic clove and with a hand held blender add olive oil very slowly then when i have how much i want i add either white vinegar or lemon juice about 2 tablespoons it thins it down a bit too i have never used mustard powder but that sounds nice will try it next time if your mayo seizes like mine did at christmas just add another egg to a clean container and using seized mayo just slowly add it again it does work i have done it 3x now over the years because i was in too much of a hurry this site is great so many fantastic recipes thank you

  24. Does anyone know what was used to make homemade mayo before the advent of oils? I had a recipe used by my Great Grandmother but cannot find it at this time. I’m thinking her recipe called for lard but not sure. Can anyone enlighten me on this? Thanks.

  25. Long years ago, I used to make this mayonnaise straight off the recipe on the Colman’s mustard tin, so am _delighted_ to rediscover it. It was a winner! Thank you so much!

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