Homemade Mayonnaise

If you’ve never tried homemade mayonnaise, you should.  Even if you don’t think you like mayonnaise, please try REAL mayonnaise.

Homemade mayonnaise is much smoother, creamier, and fresher tasting than the congealed mystery substance that comes from the store.  It is also made with much more natural ingredients than most people imagine.

When mayo was originally created, it was used as a sauce, which is confusing if you’re thinking about store-bought, but makes sense when you taste homemade.

Here is my basic recipe:

  • One egg
  • 2 Tbs lemon juice or vinegar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp mustard powder
  • 1 pinch black pepper
  • 2 cups liquid oil, any kind

Mix the egg, salt, sugar, pepper, and acid (lemon juice or vinegar) in a bowl with a whisk.  Once thoroughly mixed, SLOWLY drizzle the oil in while whisking vigorously.  If you pour too fast, it won’t emulsify properly and you’ll ruin your batch.  The consistency of your finished mayonnaise will depend a bit on the type of oil you used, which acid you used, and how large your egg was.

The acid provides flavor, but also chemically cooks the proteins in the egg while also lowering the ph of the mayonnaise to a level that kills or prevents the multiplication of bacteria (such as e-coli or salmonella), thus making it safer to eat.

For the egg, select a clean, medium to large egg that has been consistently refrigerated and which is as fresh as possible.  The egg yolk, along with the mustard powder act as emulsifiers, binding the water in the acid and the egg white with the oil.  This is what provides the consistency of the mayo.

Select an oil that is a liquid at room temperature (not coconut oil, for instance).  Canola oil and vegetable oil (usually soy) make a good mayonnaise with a neutral flavor.  Grape seed oil gives a slightly different flavor and adds numerous health benefits.  Olive oil produces a very strongly flavored mayonnaise.  Feel free to experiment with different oils and even mix oils.  You might try safflower oil, sunflower oil, peanut oil, or a splash of sesame oil in with another more neutral flavored one.

You can also try adding small amounts of other things as well.  We’ve had good luck adding minced garlic or minced chipotle chiles.  You can try various herbs and spices, but don’t add much of any wet ingredients or anything that will change the ph of the mayonnaise.  If you’re not sure about it, don’t add it before storing the mayonnaise, instead add it to a portion just before serving or using it.

This mayonnaise should store well for two weeks or so in a closed container in the refrigerator.  Use everywhere you would use store-bought mayonnaise, and also as a sauce for vegetables, or as a base for a simple dip.  This mayonnaise is also the key for wicked deviled eggs.

Keep in mind that this product does contain raw egg.  Please do your own research and make your own decisions about its food safety.  Also see this post about salmonella prevention and management in eggs.

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