Learn how to make homemade mayonaise in less than 10 minutes with only 4 ingredients. It’s a failproof recipe (if you follow my 2 tips) and very easy to make. Homemade mayonnaise can be flavoured in many ways and is so much better than store-bought!
Have you ever made your own mayo? It’s super simple to do, but I know a lot of people are intimidated by it. That’s why I wanted to show you just how easy it is to make mayonnaise.
I think that learning how to make homemade mayonnaise is a cooking skill that everyone should learn. I know it’s never going to replace opening a quick and easy jar to slather on a sandwich or make tuna salad, cause let’s be real! But it is SO MUCH BETTER when you make it yourself that I think everyone should do it at least once. Just to see what all the fuss is about.
And with the two little tricks I’ve learned over years of mayo making, this homemade mayonnaise recipe is literally failproof.
THE 2 MOST IMPORTANT TIPS FOR MAKING HOMEMADE MAYONNAISE
Making mayo is about getting the egg and oil to emulsify. If they don’t, you’ll be left with a sad, runny mess. We definitely don’t want that! Here are the two things you MUST do to make sure your mayo emulsifiers:
- Use a room temperature egg. Whatever you do, don’t pull an egg out of your refrigerator and try to make mayo with it. You might get lucky and it will work, but chances are it won’t. Don’t take the risk. To warm the egg, put it in a glass and fill the glass with hot tap water. Give it 5 minutes and it will be ready to use.
- Whisk the egg yolk with an acid. I like to use lemon juice, but vinegar works, too. The reason you want to do this is that the acid starts to break down the proteins in the egg yolk so they emulsify better. Whisk the egg yolks and lemon juice well (so they look like the picture below) before you begin adding the oil.
A FEW MORE TIPS FOR MAKING HOMEMADE MAYO
Once you’ve followed the 2 most important mayonnaise making tips, these other tips will help make sure you have the best mayo possible.
- Add the oil VERY slowly. When you begin, the oil should be poured in the tiniest stream, like in the picture below. Once the mayonnaise begins to thicken, you can pour the oil a little faster. If you ever notice the oil building up, stop pouring it and whisk the mayo briskly until it is incorporated.
- Use a neutral-flavored oil. My favorite is avocado oil. Avoid olive oil or your mayonnaise will have a very strong flavor.
- Use salt, but sparingly. A pinch or two is all you need.
- Always use freshly squeezed lemon juice. The stuff you buy in bottles will make your mayonnaise taste funny.
- If you’d like a thinner mayonnaise, whisk in a little splash of water or some more lemon juice at the end. For thicker mayo, add an extra egg yolk or more oil.
ARE RAW EGGS SAFE TO EAT?
According to the USDA, no. But that definitely doesn’t stop me. The risk of salmonella poisoning is so remote that it is not something I’m concerned about. I don’t know if it’s true or not but I read something once (when I was pregnant and still eating homemade mayonnaise) that a person is more likely to come into contact with salmonella by eating a celery stalk than they are a raw egg.
I would feel less confident about eating raw eggs if the eggs I bought were of poor quality. This is the time to buy eggs from happy hens.
But if you don’t feel comfortable eating raw eggs, don’t worry! It’s super easy to pasteurize an egg at home.
HOW TO PASTEURIZE AN EGG YOLK
An egg is pasteurized and considered safe to eat when it reaches an internal temperature of 138 degrees. This is easy to do at home!
- Put the eggs in a pot of water over medium-high heat. Attach a meat thermometer to the side of the pot.
- Bring the water to 140 degrees Fahrenheit and keep it there for 3 minutes. Do NOT let the water rise above 143 degrees, or you will cook your egg yolks.
- Drain the water and cool the eggs in cold water.
That’s it! Once you do that, your egg will be 100% safe to eat. The egg white will look a little cloudy though as they will have started cooking. The yolk will be perfect for making mayonnaise!
Why You Should Make Mayonnaise at Home
I’ve used this mayonnaise recipe more times than I can count. If you’ve never tried homemade mayonnaise, then you are in for a treat. Homemade mayo is ultra creamy and so much more flavorful than anything you can buy at the store. Here’s why I love this recipe so much:
- Our recipe uses whole eggs instead of just the yolks so you can skip separating the eggs.
- The remaining ingredients are simple and very likely in your kitchen right now.
- The whole process takes less than 10 minutes.
- You can add extra ingredients for more flavor (like roasted garlic or herbs). I’ve shared suggestions below.
For a garlicky version, try our homemade garlic aioli.
The ingredients to make mayo are simple — we bet you even have them in your kitchen right now. You will need the following:
Egg — You need to use egg to make mayonnaise. We do use raw egg in the recipe. For mayonnaise made without egg, see our vegan mayonnaise recipe.
Personally, I don’t have an issue adding raw egg to the recipe, but if you are concerned about eating raw eggs, buy pasteurized eggs. They are sold in the egg section of the grocery store. You can also pasteurize eggs yourself, just search for a tutorial online.
Mustard — I know that not everyone loves the flavor of mustard, but when it comes to making homemade mayonnaise mustard is sort of a magical ingredient.
Mustard adds a bit of flavor, but it also helps to keep the mayonnaise stable. Along with the egg yolk, mustard helps emulsify the mixture, reducing the risk of our mayo breaking.
Vinegar or lemon juice — Not only does a little acid like wine vinegar, champagne vinegar, and lemon juice add incredible flavor to the mayonnaise, it also helps to stabilize the mixture.
Neutral Flavored Oil — By neutral flavored oil, I mean use an oil that is light in flavor. Quite a bit of oil is added to make mayonnaise, so it’s important to like the flavor of the oil you use.
For a clean tasting mayonnaise use something like grape seed, safflower, avocado or canola oil. Since posting the recipe, quite a few readers have asked about olive oil in mayonnaise.
You can use olive oil, but it can be a little overpowering so I prefer to use a brand that’s light and fruity. I think robust or spicy olive oils would be too much. You might also consider only replacing half of the oil called for in the recipe with olive oil and use something more neutral for the rest.
Let Me Show You How to Make Mayonnaise, You’ve Got This!
There are a few ways to make mayonnaise. We use our food processor with the small bowl attachment, but an immersion blender or making it completely by hand will work. (Expect tired arms and strong biceps if you do choose to do it by hand.)
Room temperature ingredients are best when making mayonnaise at home. If you’re not able to wait for the egg to come to room temperature, submerge it in lukewarm (not hot) water for a couple of minutes.
The Five Steps For Making Mayonnaise
Prepare your food processor. I prefer to use the small bowl attachment that came with our food processor to make mayonnaise.
Add an egg to the bowl of your food processor and process for about 20 seconds.
Add mustard, vinegar, and salt then process for another 20 seconds.
Slowly add the oil, in tiny drops, until about a quarter of the oil has been added. Adding the oil slowly is really important. If you were to dump it all in at once, you’d have mayonnaise soup!
Taste the mayonnaise and adjust with additional salt and vinegar or lemon juice.
I love this classic mayonnaise as-is but love it, even more, when I make it my own. Here almost always add a squeeze of lemon juice to brighten things up a little.
I love how fresh it makes it taste. Fresh herbs, roasted garlic, chipotle, Sriracha or curry powder are all amazing options, as well.
How to Fix Broken Mayonnaise
When making mayonnaise, the worst, but not unfixable, thing that can happen to you is that the mixture breaks, leaving you with a curdled mess.
The recipe we’ve shared tries to prevent this a few ways: we use a whole egg, which adds a little more liquid to the mix, mustard acts as an emulsifier from the get-go and we are careful to stream our oil in slowly.
While we have never had this particular recipe for mayonnaise break on us, if it happens to you don’t fret! You really should be able to fix it.
To fix broken mayonnaise, add about 1 teaspoon of mustard to a bowl then use a whisk to slowly beat the broken mayonnaise, bit by bit, into the mustard until it becomes emulsified and creamy again.
Another trick is to add an egg yolk to a large bowl and slowly use a whisk to beat the broken mayo, bit by bit, into the yolk.
Frequently Asked Questions
Since posting this recipe for mayonnaise, a few frequently asked questions have come up, so I’m going to do my best to answer them here:
Do I have to use raw eggs to make mayonnaise? Eggs are essential for making mayonnaise. Risks of using raw eggs are low, but there is a chance that the egg contains a germ called Salmonella.
Personally, I am not too concerned about this, but here’s what the CDC suggests you do to reduce the risks of using eggs:
- Consider buying and using pasteurized eggs
- Keep eggs refrigerated at 40°F (4°C) or colder at all times.
- Only buy eggs from stores and suppliers that keep them refrigerated.
- Discard cracked or dirty eggs.
Do I need to use mustard? You can make homemade mayonnaise without mustard, but remember that mustard is one of the fail-safes we have added to our recipe to encourage an emulsification.
Can I use olive oil to make mayo? Yes, but keep in mind that quite a bit of oil is called for in the recipe so a strong or robust flavored oil will make the mayonnaise strong in flavor.
When I use olive oil, I like using a light, fruity brand and only replace half of the oil with olive oil and use a neutral flavored oil for the remaining oil.
My mayonnaise won’t thicken, what am I doing wrong? Ugh, I’m sorry! Broken mayonnaise happens to everyone and it doesn’t necessarily mean that you did something wrong or that the recipe you used was a bad one. The key thing to keep in mind when making mayo is to add that oil slowly, and by slowly, I honestly mean to add it drop by drop.
I know it seems extreme, but it’s the best way to ensure creamy mayo. Mayonnaise can be finicky so if it breaks on you or it just doesn’t thicken, there are some things you can do to fix it. Take a look above in the article where I outline a couple of fixes to broken mayo.
How long does homemade mayonnaise last? Here’s the thing, homemade mayo will last as long as your eggs would have lasted.
A good rule of thumb is that mayo will keep covered in the fridge up to a week, but you might find that it lasts a little longer depending on the freshness of your eggs.
Delicious Ways To Use Homemade Mayonnaise
Adam loves using homemade mayo to make his Maryland-Style Crab Cakes and I love it when he does!