Mayonnaise is a kitchen staple that adds rich flavor and binds ingredients in dishes from tuna salad to crab cakes.
If you've ever tasted homemade mayonnaise, you know that the rich flavor and silky texture is nothing like what we buy at the grocery store. There are many good reasons to learn how to make homemade mayonnaise, first and foremost because it's incredibly easy and calls for ingredients that most of us have on hand every day.
Use a food processor to make homemade mayo in less than 5 minutes. If you don't have a food processor, use this easy recipe to make homemade mayo with an immersion blender (stick blender.)
Another big advantage of making homemade mayonnaise is that you can choose your own high-quality ingredients like fresh eggs, healthy oils and seasonings. You can even make homemade "organic" mayonnaise if you want to. Most store-bought mayonnaise products are made with soybean oil, which may contain genetically modified organisms if that is of concern to you.
According to our Guide to Celiac Disease and Gluten Sensitivity, some commercial brands of mayonnaise contain gluten. Read her article Gluten-Free Mayonnaise and learn more about store-bought brands that are safe for gluten-free diets, and those that are not.
It is important to use pasteurized eggs in recipes that call for raw eggs because raw eggs are a known source of salmonella bacteria. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), each year approximately 42,000 cases of salmonellosis (salmonella infection) are reported in the United State. Children and the elderly are especially at risk for salmonellosis, but people of all ages can get sick from exposure to this common microbe.
- 3 large pasteurized egg yolks, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon prepared mustard, either Dijon or traditional yellow mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, preferably white
- Juice of 1/2 fresh lemon
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 cups neutral salad oil (light olive oil, grapeseed oil, canola, safflower oil, peanut oil) NOTE: If you prefer a stronger olive oil flavor in your mayonnaise, use half extra virgin olive oil and half neutral flavored oil.
- 2 teaspoons water
- Pinch cayenne (optional)
You will need a food processor to make this fast and easy recipe.
Place 3 room temperature egg yolks and 1 teaspoon prepared mustard in the bowl of food processor. Turn power on and begin to add the oil, drop by drop at first. It is extremely important to add the oil very slowly at the beginning of the processing. As the mayo mixture begins to "emulsify" or thicken, you can start to drizzle the remaining oil into the bowl.
Tip: Use a pyrex style measuring cup to measure and pour the oil into the processor. The spout on the measuring cup makes pouring slowly, drop-by=drop neat and easy
When the mixture becomes thick and creamy, add the salt, pepper, lemon juice, vinegar, and water. Pulse just until combined.
Store your homemade mayonnaise in a glass jar in the frig. Keeps for up to one week, depending on the freshness of the egg yolks used.
Reminder: Always make sure your work surfaces, utensils, pans, and tools are free of gluten. Always read product labels. Manufacturers can change product formulations without notice. When in doubt, do not buy or use a product before contacting the manufacturer for verification that the product is free of gluten.
Mayonnaise Making Tips:
Fixing a mistake:
- If the mayonnaise gets too thick, beat in a little more water or lemon juice.
- If the mayonnaise separates (oil from water), beat an additional egg yolk in the blender or a clean bowl and add the mayonnaise, one spoonful at a time, beating continuously until it melts.
From our Home Cooking Guide: