How to Make Mayonnaise at Home

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Here's how to make mayonnaise - with or without a food processor.

Making mayonnaise at home is easy, especially if you have a food processor. Learning how to make mayonnaise without a food processor is not hard, either; it just takes more patience - and the use of a egg whisk, or even a fork.

Having homemade mayonnaise in your fridge is another way to free yourself from the tyranny of constant visits to the shops; eggs and oil and vinegar are the kitchen staples required for making a basic mayonnaise. Mustard, vinegar, salt and pepper are all you need to add to produce a very tasty homemade mayonnaise. Anyone using these simple ingredients can make mayonnaise at home in a matter of minutes.

You can also use free-range and organic ingredients for the best green living approach to providing excellent quality food for yourself and your family. There is no need to put up with commercial mayonnaise if you start making mayonnaise this way.

Mayonnaise does wonderful things to even the simplest foods!

Here's how to make mayonnaise.

An easy, quick mayonnaise recipe

You need one fresh, free range egg, about 300ml of quality vegetable oil such as sunflower oil and some wine vinegar or cider vinegar.

Mustard powder, salt and pepper are all optional additions, though some would say that mayonnaise without these seasonings is a bland and characterless affair.

How to make mayonnaise:
Use a fresh, free range egg

Use a really fresh, good quality egg. This means free range, organic or pastured. Don't compromise on quality. Apart from the horrific conditions endured by caged hens, (which anyone with any kind of heart would want to avoid supporting) - the quality of the eggs is never so good and there is a higher chance of them containing Salmonella bacteria - the last thing you want in your mayonnaise.

A fresh egg should have a firm and unclouded white and the yolk should sit on top of the white without the white spreading unduly. Making mayonnaise that's worth the trouble depends upon having quality ingredients.

As people become aware just how awful battery hens' lives are, more opt for free-range eggs. Even some of the commercial manufacturers are now starting to get it. Hellmann's Mayonnaise has been made using free range eggs since 2009. They won an award from Compassion in World Farming for their efforts - and suffered no dip in profits.

Organic food and humane food are important parts of green living philosophy. Most organic food is better for your health as well as being more sustainable. Eggs from caged hens have no place in the green kitchen. For more about the nutritional value of eggs and the benefits of free range and organic eggs please see: The Best Eggs for Healthy Nutrition


Crack the egg into a clean bowl or food processor basin. You can use a soup making jug attachment or you can use a cake making whisk, or even a general mixing blade. It does not seem to matter. If you are using a hand whisk you need to whisk until the egg is one homogeneous colour. Go steadily but don't go so fast as to make the mix frothy at all. Always keep going in the same direction. The egg will gradually form into a uniform blend of white and yolk.

Put the oil into a small jug and drizzle it onto the egg as you keep blending. It is really important not to add the oil too fast as if you do, you risk the egg and oil mixture curdling. If it once curdles it won't uncurdle! You have to start again.*

The mixture will gradually thicken and become lighter in colour. Keep going, slowly adding the oil until the mixture is good and stiff textured. Now add the vinegar and blend it in. It should make the mayonnaise less thick but not destroy its texture.

If you like to know exact amounts, here's how to make mayonnaise with proportions of oil and vinegar that work well for most people:

1 free range egg
300 ml vegetable oil
150 ml olive oil
50 ml white wine vinegar
1 good teaspoonful of wholegrain mustard
salt and pepper to taste

This produces a fairly sharp, tangy mayonnaise. If you like your homemade mayonnaise bland-tasting, just use less vinegar or select a milder one.

It's a funny thing about egg mayonnaise; you can go on adding oil almost indefinitely to just one egg! I haven't really explored this yet - just one more option for how to make mayonnaise at home. It will store quite well in the refrigerator for a good few days.

If you enjoy making mayonnaise Sauces: Classical and Contemporary Sauce Making is a fantastic source book (sorry - dreadful pun!) for ideas for sauce making. Once you have mastered how to make mayonnaise you will want to explore other egg recipes such as aoili, for example.

Seasoning your homemade mayonnaise

Finally add seasoning to taste.

Mustard in small quantities is very agreeable. I like mayonnaise made with whole grain mustard - but it does look a bit odd. Balsamic vinegar is very nice, too but your mayonnaise recipe starts to look a bit muddy!

There are an endless variety of ways of making mayonnaise using this basic mayonnaise recipe. 

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Making different mayonnaises

You can make a variety of flavours of mayonnaise. Here are a few simple suggestions.

It's great to make mayonnaise using different oils and different vinegars. There is no reason in principle why you cannot add any edible oils or natural vinegars you like.

Olive oil is very good indeed. I tend to mix it about 20:80 with corn oil, sunflower oil or other simple vegetable oils as the taste is a bit too strong otherwise. Safflower and sesame oil are both good in moderation.

Rapeseed oil also makes great mayonnaise and has a subtle flavour. Use the cold-pressed oil.

If you can, use cold-pressed organic oils for the very best and most nutritious results for your mayonnaise making. Organic cider vinegar is also widely available and very good. A good squeeze of natural lemon juice is also a good flavour enhancer if you like a fresh tangy taste.

Paprika contributes to the density of flavour. I think it's great in moderation. Add it at the same time as the mustard.

* If your mayonnaise curdles, put it aside and start again. When the new batch is complete you can blend in the curdled batch and it will smooth into the mix and become uncurdled. Something to do with molecular structure, I believe!


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