making mayonnaise

making mayonnaise

The first time I made mayonnaise from scratch, I felt something break open in me.

That may sound dramatic but it’s true. Almost all the food I ate as a kid came out of a package, other than fruits and vegetables and meat. Honestly, I had no idea that mayonnaise was something I could make. I didn’t know that it could be silky and unctuous instead of whipped full of air and pumped into a jar. I didn’t know that until I was well into my 30s.

Danny showed me how to make mayonnaise just after we met. He grabbed eggs, mustard, lemon juice, and oil. “That’s it?” I asked him.

“Yep.”

All he did was whirl that food processor, then pour, slowly, slowly, the oil into the dervish of egg, egg yolk, mustard, and lemon juice. Within a few moments, it was creamy mayonnaise, the best-tasting mayonnaise I have ever eaten.

And quickly after there was tarragon mayonnaise, aioli, smoked paprika mayonnaise, and every other kind I could try. It was so damned easy, every single time.

Making mayonnaise led to making vinaigrettes, which led to pickled vegetables, which led to making ice cream from scratch, which led to making cashew cream and jams and smoked salmon and bacon. Once I started making food from scratch, I couldn’t stop. It’s all so much easier than it seems. There’s relief in knowing that, a comfort. And a confidence in the kitchen that hasn’t stopped growing. Every time I step into the kitchen, I want to learn more.

It’s amazing what can happen when you learn to make mayonnaise.

That’s why we’ve made you a video. Look how easy this is.

HOMEMADE MAYONNAISE

2 large eggs
2 egg yolks
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
juice of 1/2 lemon
2 cups neutral-tasting oil, such as canola or sunflower
Kosher salt and cracked black pepper, to taste

Making the mayonnaise. Put the eggs, egg yolks, and mustard in the food processor. (You can make mayonnaise by hand, but it is much easier and more fail-safe in the food processor. Trust us.) While the machine is running, slowly drizzle in the oil, until it is thick and creamy. Pour in the lemon juice and continue whirling until the lemon juice is fully incorporated. Add salt and pepper.

If the mayonnaise feels too thick, add a few drops of water to thin it out.

Fixing your mistakes. If you add the oil too fast, the mayonnaise will separate, so go slowly, slowly, slowly. If it does separate, take the mixture out of the food processor and start over. Put another egg and egg yolk into the food processor and blend them. Slowly, slowly add the separated mayonnaise. That should do the trick.

Makes about 3 cups.

p.s. If you’ve been reading for awhile, you may remember that we did a piece years ago on how to make homemade mayonnaise, along with a dark, primitive video. We want you to make mayonnaise so we made a better video for you, with the help of Debra and Rod from Smith Bites Photography.

47 comments on “making mayonnaise

  1. Tracy & Kim

    lovely fun video! :) and yes, you can make this mayonnaise! It is super good and super easy. It makes an ordinary sandwich EXTRAORDINARY! Our favorite is a lovely thick-cut bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich. OH MY. In fact, I might need to make some now for lunch.

    1. shauna

      As long as it’s properly stored in the refrigerator in an air-tight container, it should last for 1 week. You can cut this recipe in half with no problems, if you want to make a smaller amount.

      1. bob

        Thanks for asking, Tiffany, I was wondering that myself.

        Shauna, firstly — thank you for posting this recipe! I’ve tried making mayonnaise a couple of times before, but not with huge success (I guess that’s what you get for not starting with a specific recipe). However, Shauna (or someone else), I can’t even get through 1.5 cups of mayonnaise in a week! I’ve never heard of anyone freezing mayonnaise — is this because it separates or something, or is it just bad to freeze raw egg?

        Also, I can’t have the vinegar in mustard. Can I add extra lemon juice (for the acidity) and some mustard powder? Or should I just try making my own mustard and add some of that? Sorry to ‘take your offering and throw it back in your face’. That’s not what I’m trying to do at all. It’s just that I don’t know the answers to these questions!

  2. kir

    That MAYO looks so yummy and I want to make it! However I’m feeling a bit paranoid about the raw egg component. Can anything be done, or said, to lessen my worry?

    1. shauna

      Kir, you have to find eggs from a source you trust. I can tell you that we have been eating homemade mayonnaise for almost 7 years — Danny for far longer than that — and feeding them to Lucy and we have never had a problem. The chances of salmonella in raw eggs is very slim and the risks are reduced by buying cage-free eggs, at least from the studies I have read. There are pasteurized eggs on the market if you want to buy those. However, the French have been eating mayonnaise made from raw eggs for centuries.

    2. Mary

      Hi kir. I just recently had salmonella from raw egg (cookie dough) and thought maybe you could use the info I found out about the hard way. From what I understand, many eggs don’t have a salmonella problem to begin with. But if they do, salmonella takes 2 hours at room temperature to develop. So if everything is kept cold and you eat promptly, it’s not likely to happen at all.

      Also I think the acid in the lemon juice and dijon mustard (vinegar) “cook” the egg a bit. But that could just be urban legend — anyone know?

  3. Kerrie

    For me it was pudding, it wasn’t till I was at least in college and already turning towards a love of cooking that as I stood beside my grand mother and she said you can make pudding without a box of jello that my jaw dropped.

  4. Linda

    I make mayo with my immersible blender in a tall container. Just put everything in the container put in the blender and slowly pull it upwards. Perfect every time. I learned this as I don’ have a food processer.

  5. Karoline

    I love homemade mayo but I am the only one in my house eating mayo (fussy eaters…) How long do you keep your homemade mayonnaise in the fridge?

    1. shauna

      You can keep it up to 1 week. And I’m sure friends and neighbors would love a gift of homemade mayonnaise.

  6. Miss B

    Just wanted to say, for other people who don’t have a food processor, that I learned how to make mayonnaise when I lived in Switzerland for a year as a teenager — by hand, with just a whisk and a bowl — and I was astonished at how simple it was. Any time I have ever made it since then, I’ve always done it by hand, and I really don’t think it’s any more complicated than using a food processor (at least, I’ve never had it fail to turn out), so don’t be afraid to attempt it just because you lack extra kitchen gadgets! All it needs is good consistent whisking and the patience to go a lot slower than seems necessary with the oil.

  7. Melissa Bowlby

    I’ve just recently learned to make things from scratch — by necessity (celiac disease) and am wondering why its never occured to me before?!?! Something very satisfying about making your own instead of buying it at the store (and less expensive too). Thanks for the recipe AND the long distance encouragement…

  8. InTolerant Chef

    I had to make 4 litres of mayonnaise by hand with just a whisk when our mixer broke down at work! I was covered in it nearly up too my shoulders by the time I was finished– but it sure did taste good :)

  9. JulieB

    What a wonderful video. I remember the first and love the components of the new one. My son’s favorite food is mayonnaise, but I’ve never tried to make it (and I lived in France for awhile!). I’m sensing a weekend lunch on BLT’s with homemade mayo this weekend! Thank you.

  10. Denise

    I’ve always hated mayonaise and always ask for it off of whatever it normally comes on at restaurants. BUT I do like eggs, and mustard, and lemon, and oils are fine, and so why don’t I like mayo? Probably because it’s only ever jarred, processed mayo. I think… I’ll have to try it this way. To see if I can re-set my tastebuds about mayo. Thanks!

  11. Susie

    I attempted to make mayo a few months ago and it turned out beautifully in my blender… except it tasted really bad. DON’T assume (as I did) that olive oil would work just fine — that is what it wound up tasting like — creamy olive oil, yuck! I will have to make another attempt with a more “neutral” oil (maybe grapeseed?)

    1. shauna

      Yep. Grapeseed is great! I made the same mistake at first, thinking that olive oil is good for all things. A bit of it can add a good taste. All olive oil? Not so much.

  12. iGOZEN

    Homemade natural mayo sounds like an amazing thing to be good and quick at making. This is certainly going on my list of things to try.

  13. Real Noni

    I had no idea this could be done. Definitely going to have to give it a try! My husband eats mayo like it is going out of style — thanks for sharing your recipe!

  14. jill brock

    This sounds delicious but I do worry about the salmonella factor. I remember making mayo and slowly cooking it. It was pretty good but not as easy to make as this one.

  15. None

    Does anyone have any thoughts on leaving out the lemon juice, or substituting something else? I can’t eat citrus (fun, fun, fun), and it’s virtually impossible to find prepared mayo without lemon juice — I’ve tried making it at home without the lemon, but it tastes bland. Plus, I’m not sure if the acid from the lemon juice has a necessary “cooking” effect on the raw egg…

  16. Jenn C.

    What a beautifully produced video! I love that we see you both smiling and laughing together.

    The video looked as if the oil was all poured in at once. Curious, what kind of food processor do you have that you poured in all the oil at once? Or, does your processor chute have a slow drip feed attachment for the oil?

    1. shauna

      It has a slow drip. It’s a KitchenAid food processor, which we love. And it has a very small hole in the funnel there, which allows for a very small drip.

  17. Rachel

    I remember our first class at Le Cordon Bleu, mayonaise was about all we were allowed to make. I had no idea you could make it! Haha, then I fell in love. Real mayo beats miracle whip any day! Loved this post, everyone should know how to do this. :)

  18. ibee crazie

    If I was to see you in person, I’d give you a BIG hug! Today, October 23rd, I finally got around to trying this out. I’ve tried to make mayo for years, but it never turned out. I think I was pouring the oil in too fast, but of course I didn’t know that at the time. Your recipe is so EASY and so DELICIOUS! And I was successful for the first time ever. MMMMM. You’re right, the taste is scrumptious and now there’s no way I’m ever going to go back to the store bought stuff. Baaahh on that stuff.
    Thank you, thank you, thank you!
    Sincerely,
    Anne :)

  19. annie4music

    Nothing, and I mean NOTHING can beat home made mayonnaise — yes especially everyone’s favorites like Hellman’s or Best Foods. Ew to those, I say! Not only are they filled with unhealthful ingredients, they are not very tasty. It’s much more economical to make your own, not to mention more healthy and more yummy! I make mine in a tall glass jar using a hand blender so that everything is made in the place it will be for a few days. After you blend everything, just cover the jar, use whatever amount of mayo you need and when you’re done, cover the jar and pop it in the frig. Voila! Remember to use organic ingredients when possible!

  20. Danielle

    Seeing your smiling faces just fixed my crummy day :) Thanks for the lovely video, and I will be trying this very very soon!

  21. Sarah Jane | Clean & Proper

    I know it’s just mayonnaise, but I’m really excited to try out this recipe! It’s so refreshing to know I can make my own without the fear of it containing High Fructose Corn Syrup like in the store brands. Thanks for sharing!

  22. Heather M.

    I’ve tried to make mayonnaise several times without success. It never gets creamy and thick — just stays oily and separates. Is it because I’m adding the oil too fast? I’ve tried it in my blender and food processor but had the same results. I really want to try again but that’s a lot of oil to waste when it doesn’t turn out. Any tips?

  23. Heather M.

    Whoops, just re-read through the comments and saw the problem solving tip — must be that I’m adding the oil too fast. Apparently I need to read before I write. I have the same problem with talking before I think. ;) Sorry!

  24. Wendy

    I can highly recommend making homemade mayo — have been doing it for over a year and will never go back. Reason I do it is because I no longer eat grains or sugar, and try to stick to a low carb, mostly ‘paleo’ diet.

    One caveat: educate yourself about the difference between oils, which can be significant as well as surprising. I typically use light-tasting olive oil for my homemade mayo, and do not purchase or use pro-inflammatory, oxidative oils such as canola oil and other seed oils whose fatty acid profiles are not particularly healthful compared to olive oil.

    Important to note: if using olive oil for mayo, use the extra light tasting variety. Using extra virgin olive oil is a disaster flavor wise: too strong. The extra light olive oil is perfect for taste, and has a truly beneficial fatty acid profile.

    An excellent beginners reference on difference between oils: h ttp://www.marksdailyapple.com/healthy-oils/#axzz2DRUg1eQe

  25. Melissa

    Thank you so much for the tips!!! I added a little more salt and lemon and added a little paprika.. it was amazing!!