Get Baked: Who’s Afraid Of Homemade Mayo

I’m a big fan of making things at home that you can easily buy in a grocery store. It’s cool in a kind of “fuck the Man” way, it’s usually cheaper, and you get to control what goes into it. Oh, and you don’t have to leave your house. Pretty much a win-win situation!

I think that most people grow up in a household that is allied to a single brand of mayonnaise. Kraft, Hellmann’s, Miracle Whip, etc. My family was seriously devoted to Hellmann’s (known as Best Foods on the west coast), spooning it into canned tuna and spreading it on turkey sandwiches. I think we trusted the German name, since some of our favorite things to eat in the Philadelphia suburbs came from the Pennsylvania Dutch. Even though it contains calcium disodium EDTA, I’ll always have a special place in my heart for Hellmann’s mayo. The homemade stuff, though…it’s a on a whole ‘nother level.

Mayonnaise is one of those things that has a reputation for being difficult to make. I’m not going to say that it isn’t deserved. It’s definitely a little fussy, and takes some serious whisking if you don’t have a food processor or immersion blender. However, I have faith in all you Straddlers out there. I think you probably have exactly the right muscles for making mayo. It’s all in the wrist.

Homemade Mayo

Homemade Mayonnaise Recipe

The beauty of mayo is that it’s really just 3 simple ingredients – egg yolks, acid, and oil. You probably have those on hand already. Congratulations! You don’t even have to put on pants to make this recipe! You can make mayo with a whisk and your very strong, nimble, lesbian hands, or with a blender/food processor/immersion blender.

Tricks to make this recipe work:

+ Use room-temperature ingredients
+ If you are whisking by hand, put a damp towel under the bowl to keep it from sliding. That way the bowl won’t fly everywhere when you try to whisk and pour oil at the same time. Or grab a friend to be your third arm. OR!!! Hold the bowl with your feet. Yes, this is what I do.
+ Use a measuring cup with a spout or pouring lip
+ If your kitchen is cold, warm up your bowl with warm water and dry thoroughly
+ The recipe calls for lemon juice AND white wine vinegar, but as long as you end up with 2.5 teaspoons of some type of acid, you’re probably good to go. You can also omit the mustard if you don’t have it.

Mayo IngredientsIngredients:
1 large egg yolk*
1 ½ teaspoons of fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
¼ teaspoon of Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon of salt (plus more to taste)
¾ cup canola oil

Combine the egg yolk, lemon juice, vinegar, and ½ teaspoon salt in a medium bowl. Whisk or pulse in food processor until blended and bright yellow, about 30 seconds.

Add ¼ cup of the oil to the yolk mixture, verrrrrryyyyyyy slowwwwllyyyyyyy. Literally ¼ teaspoon at a time over 4 minutes. Whisk constantly. This will take less time in a food processor or blender. Gradually add remaining ½ cup oil in a slow, thin stream. Whisk constantly until mayo is thick, about 8 minutes. Success! Taste and add salt if necessary. Cover and chill.

Adding Oil

What to do if you fuck it up:
Sometimes, due to a number of variables that are mostly out of your control, your mayo comes out looking like oily pancake batter. This is called  “broken” mayonnaise. No really, that’s actually what it’s called.

You have 2 options. 1.) You can try, try again with a new egg yolk. Whisk a room temperature egg yolk and SLOWLY add the broken mayo back in. Or 2.) You can add some herbs or more mustard and some honey and call it salad dressing.

Mayo in bowl

You can use homemade mayo the same way you use the store-bought stuff, but I’d like to offer a couple of suggestions to expand your mayonnaise palate.

+ Go European and dip fries into it. This is even better if you make…
+ Srirachannaise! Add sriracha or other hot sauce to your mayo to make delicious spicy mayo. Great dipping sauce for fries or veggies.
+ Make aioli instead. Aioli is just mayo made with finely chopped garlic and olive oil instead of canola.
+ Add pesto for pesto mayo. This is super awesome on top of deviled eggs.
+ Aioli or mayonnaise is a perfect dip for steamed artichokes.

My only issue with making mayonnaise is that you are left with a poor, lonely egg white. I have trouble using up a single egg white, but I recently heard that you can freeze raw egg whites without damaging them at all. So stock up, and when you have 12 whites you can make Alton Brown’s Angel Food Cake. Or you can mix a single slightly beaten egg white into homemade granola just before baking. It makes delicious oaty clusters!

* Make sure to use good eggs for this recipe, since the yolk remains raw. Mayonnaise is a high acid food, so bacterial growth is not a huge concern, but raw eggs aren’t recommended for infants, the elderly, pregnant women, or people with compromised immune systems. Just a note!

Adapted From Bon Appetite 2008, Molly Wizenberg

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Lisa has written 2 articles for us.


  1. Amusingly, I only like mayo in an egg mayo sandwhich. It looks better homemade than that slightly creepy too-white shop version!

  2. Wait, lemon juice and vinegar? I’ve always done it with just an egg yolk, mustard and sunflower oil. I’ve also always been told to only add the salt once it’s done ’cause adding it in the beginning will “break” it. I’ll try that next time!

    A couple more tips :

    -Add curry powder! It goes great with shrimps and any kind of fish or crustacean (also on bread if you can keep yourself from eating it all)

    -If you’re out of regular cooking oil, don’t think about making one with fancy tasty oil. Just don’t. It might sounds like the best idea ever that will get you a cooking Nobel prize but really it tastes awful. I once tried with olive oil and it tasted like latex (if dental dams conditioned you to love the taste of latex by all means go for it, you do you).

    -Make sure the recipient you use isn’t porous or grainy at all or it won’t work. Discovered that when trying to make one in an old porcelain bowl.

  3. Although the concept of mayo disturbs me very deeply, I think it kicks a lot of ass that you make it yourself and then managed to write an article about it that made me giggle.

  4. Something about really good mayonnaise just makes me feel feelings. I have a food processor and no excuse not to attempt this.

    Also you can apparently pasteurize your own eggs SO THAT’S A THING. I’m a little leery about raw things, because even though I buy awesome eggs from the co-op that I totally trust, I also have a shite immune system. So I may try this with pasteurized eggs. just fyi!

  5. The european way? Funny, that’s the ONLY way I use mayo. Did not know that this is european, though. Oh, and it is ok in pasta and potato salad.

    Just today I was searching for a vegan mayo recipe. I haven’t tried it so far but here it is:
    100 ml soymilk
    1/2 teaspoon salt or vegetable stock (powder)
    salt and pepper
    2 teaspoons lemon juice
    1 -2 teaspoons mustard
    125 ml neutreal oil, like rapeseed or sunfloweroil

    Put all together and mix. Pour the oil to the rest carefully. Mix it more. Then enjoy.

  6. When I read “eggs, acid, and oil” my sleepy little brain refused to remember acid is a category of chemicals and not just a street name for LSD. More troubling is the fact that I thought “I can’t make this, I don’t’ know where to get acid.”
    I need sleep.

  7. This article made me realise that i have somehow lost a whole jar of expensive whole egg mayo.
    This is the kind of thing that occurs regularly in my life.

  8. Home-made mayo is fantastic on pasta noodles, with purple grapes and celery and black pepper. *drools*

  9. This is not relevant to this website at all, but I thought that Autostraddle readers would enjoy a webseries on youtube called ‘The most popular girls in school’ made by two guys who really like to play with barbie dolls. Even though there’s only two gay characters, and portrays girls are horrible catty, I still think it’s the most hilarious thing i’ve seen in a ridiculous and stupid way. Anyone who is bored and wants to laugh watch it.

  10. I expected real mayonnaise to taste as different/better than storebought as real maple syrup tastes better than maple flavored syrup. As in, “OMG IT’S SO DELICIOUS, HOW CAN WE EVEN CALL IT BY THE SAME NAME?!!!” But the mayo just tasted like mayo.

  11. If it doesn’t work out add back the egg white and a couple of more eggs, some onions, tomatoes, salt,spice and fry in a pan.
    Serve on pieces of toast with a nice cup of sugar-free tea.

  12. You can also make vegannaise at home so so easily! Soy milk, a neutral-tasting oil, and a little apple-cider vinegar are all you need. It takes all of 15 seconds in a blender and is way cheaper (and tastes just about the same) as the stuff you buy at the store; it seems totally magical to blend it and watch it turn creamy. My favorite mayo variant is with saffron and garlic. It’s addictive.

  13. Or if you’re allergic to eggs AND soy (I hate my life) you can soak nuts and blend them ’till they’re creamy instead. I’m going to try it with macadamia nuts as soon as I’m less lazy.

  14. Things this article has taught me:
    – How to make my own mayo
    – Eating chips (/fries/ whatever) with mayo isn’t done in N. America.

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