Delicious homemade mayonnaise is easy to whip up with a few simple ingredients you likely already have on hand.
This authentic mayo recipe is perfect to rescue you when you have unexpectedly run out, or if you just want the satisfaction of doing things the old-fashioned way.
What is it?
Ingredients & Substitutions
- Egg yolk - Egg yolk is the backbone of this condiment. To separate the yolk out of the egg crack the shell in half and carefully pour the yolk back and forth between the two halves of the shell and it will separate from the clear part of the egg.
- Lemon Juice - A squeeze of lemon juice provides mayo tangy flavor. The amount used can be increased or decreased to taste. Lime juice can also be used, but it will change the flavor.
- White Wine Vinegar - Vinegar serves the same purpose as lemon juice and the quantity can be similarly adjusted. White vinegar can be substituted.
- Neutral-flavored oil - Using a neutral oil is important or the vegetable oil will add off-flavors to your creamy mayo. I recommend safflower oil, however, a light olive oil will also work. I tested this recipe with canola oil and didn't like the flavor at all.
- Mustard - Mustard adds flavor to the mayonnaise, but more importantly, it helps the emulsion to ensure your sauce doesn't break as oil is being added. I use Dijon mustard, but dry mustard power can also be used.
- Sugar - Sugar adds a touch of sweetness and is an ingredient commonly used in Hellman's mayonnaise. It can be omitted if desired.
- Salt - Use a fine grain salt, such as table salt, to ensure it disperses evenly in the mayo.
How to make it
To make this foolproof homemade mayo recipe place egg yolk, lemon juice, vinegar, mustard, sugar, and a pinch of salt in a large bowl and whisk for 30 seconds or until frothy. At this point, we begin making the emulsion.
- What is an emulsion? - An emulsion is a combination of liquids that typically cannot be mixed, such as egg yolk, vinegar, and oil.
The secret to making perfect mayo every time is slowly adding the oil to the egg yolks while whisking vigorously with a hand mixer or stick blender. Add the first half of the oil a few drops at a time, while continuing to mix.
Once half of the oil has been added you can slowly pour in the remaining oil in a gentle stream. Keep mixing the whole time until it all has been added. Once the mixture comes together and thickens it is ready to use.
Tips & Tricks for this Recipe
- Mixing by hand is a lot of work! You can make this recipe with a whisk, but your arm will get very tired. I highly recommend using a hand blender.
- Homemade mayo has a shorter shelf life than store-bought mayonnaise. Vinegar and salt act as preservatives, but I recommend storing the mayo in the refrigerator and using it within a week.
- The raw egg yolks are not cooked, so there is always a risk of salmonella in raw eggs, but the risk is low. I recommend using pasteurized eggs if you are concerned.
- You can turn this into an aioli simply by adding two cloves of minced garlic.
- Adding the oil a few drops at a time is important but it can be tricky. Using a condiment squeeze bottle makes this really easy, or shaking the oil out of a ¼ teaspoon also works to ensure too much isn't added too quickly.
- You can easily fix broken mayonnaise! If your mayo turns into an oily curdled mess when you are mixing it, it is likely because you added the oil too fast. This can be fixed by adding an additional egg yolk to a separate bowl, and then SLOWLY whisk the broken mayo into the yolk in a thin stream.
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- 1 egg yolk
- 2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
- 1 ½ teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- ¼ teaspoon Dijon mustard
- ½ teaspoon table salt
- ¼ teaspoon sugar
- 1 cup safflower oil (divided)
- Add egg yolk, lemon juice, vinegar, and dry ingredients to a large bowl.
- Beat with a hand mixer or immersion blender, for 30 seconds, or until frothy.
- SLOWLY add oil a few drops at a time while continuing to mix until half of the oil has been added.
- The second half of the oil can be added in a slow steady stream, while still mixing. It should take around 8 minutes to add all of the oil.
- Store in the refrigerator for up to a week.
This recipe was originally published on April 3, 2020.