How to Make Mayonnaise

I think I’ve finally found the best formula for homemade mayonnaise. Just in time, too, because as part of my no-packaged-foods challenge, I won’t be buying commercially prepared mayonnaise anymore. The jar that is currently in my fridge will be my last.

Fortunately, mayonnaise is simple to make. I think the troubles I had before were due to incorrect proportions of egg to oil. This latest batch is the best I have made to date.

I also got better results by using my immersion blender with the whisk attachment. Whisking by hand also works well, but takes longer, of course. Either method works better than the food processor for creating the proper emulsion, though.

Here’s my basic method for making mayonnaise.

Bring 1 egg to room temperature. Combine the full egg or just the egg yolk with ½ tsp. prepared mustard and 1 tsp. kosher salt. Whisk until well blended, about 30 seconds.

Add 2 tsp. lemon juice (about ½ lemon’s worth). Whisk another 30 seconds.

You will need 1 cup canola or vegetable oil. Begin by adding the oil a teaspoonful at a time while whisking, until the mixture starts to thicken and the emulsion begins to form. Then you can slowly pour in the remainder of the oil, whisking constantly, until the mixture turns thick and creamy and looks like mayonnaise.

Most recipes say you can store mayonnaise in the fridge for a few days. This makes 1 cup of mayonnaise, which is a lot, so I plan to store it at least a week. So far, I’ve used it in coleslaw and on turkey sandwiches. Yum, yum!

Mayonnaise is like a blank palette. You can flavor it up many ways. Tried and true flavor combinations result in aioli, tartar sauce, Russian dressing, Thousand Island dressing and remoulade sauce. Recipes for these abound. But it’s also fun to experiment.

Try mixing in to the emulsion:

  • chopped garlic, onion, scallions or shallots
  • minced tomatoes, roasted red peppers, chiles or pimientos
  • minced capers or pickles
  • chopped nuts
  • fresh herbs
  • ginger, horseradish, wasabi, chili sauce or hot sauce
  • honey
  • anchovy paste or Worcestershire sauce
  • soy sauce and/or sesame oil
  • Parmesan
  • cayenne, paprika or a seasoning mix
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6 thoughts on “How to Make Mayonnaise

  1. Gourmet Gorman 25 May 2010 at 10:05 pm

    Thanks for this. I’ve tried a few times with varying results. Must make some before our asparagus season ends. 🙂

  2. Shannon 26 May 2010 at 7:36 am

    Using the immersion blender made the difference for me. I don’t think the food processor is a good tool for making mayonnaise, regardless of what the recipes say.

  3. Mary @ Parenthood 28 May 2010 at 8:41 pm

    My problem is that it makes way too much for what we use. If you could make a quarter of the amount, or if you could store it for a month it would make more sense. I’ve made my own a few times but I always feel like I am wasting so much oil as I end up throwing most of it out!

  4. Shannon 29 May 2010 at 8:23 am

    Yes, Mary, I have the same issue. Unfortunately, there’s no way that I know of to make it with less than 1 egg. I usually just make it when I know I’m making a big salad or something, and then try to use as much as I can during the next week or so. But I am always throwing some out.

  5. […] I served this with another great recipe from Sara Foster‘s Southern Kitchen: Fried Green Tomato BLTs. I didn’t have actual green tomatoes yet, so I used red ones from the co-op that were still a bit mealy. They fried up great and the sandwich was tasty, although nothing really beats a basic BLT at the height of tomato season. I encourage you to make your own mayonnaise for your BLTs. I stirred in some chopped basil, which gave it a summery taste. Here is my recipe for fool-proof homemade mayo. […]

  6. Don’t buy it, cook it! | Blog, by Shannon 11 October 2011 at 3:21 pm

    […] Mayonnaise […]

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