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Learn how to make homemade mayonnaise 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 flavored 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 emulsifies:
- 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.
Here are 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 make pasteurized eggs 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 pasteurized egg white will look a little cloudy though as they will have started cooking. The yolk will be perfect for making mayonnaise!
Can I use a blender to make mayo?
Sure, but why? If you use a blender, you run the risk of your mayonnaise separating and becoming runny. And besides, a blender is much more difficult to wash than a whisk and bowl. Let's keep life simple!
If you have an ailment that would make it difficult for you to whisk for 5 minutes, then absolutely go ahead and use a blender, food processor, or immersion blender. Follow the directions in the recipe only blend instead of a whisk. Make sure to run your blender on low speed only and add the oil in a slow steady stream to minimize the risk of your mayo separating.
How to make flavored mayonnaise
This homemade mayonnaise recipe is the perfect base for all your flavored mayos. Here are a few ideas to spice things up:
Chipotle Mayo: 2 teaspoons of adobo sauce + a little squeeze of lime juice + a little honey
Dill Mayo: 4 tablespoons chopped dill + 1 tablespoon lemon juice + a little black pepper
Garlic Mayo: 1 minced garlic clove + 1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
Honey Mustard Mayo: 1 tablespoon each: dijon + honey + lime juice
Sriracha Mayo: 1 tablespoon sriracha + 1 teaspoon soy sauce + 1 teaspoon lime juice
Lemon Chive Mayo: 2 tablespoons each: lemon juice and minced chives
More frequently asked questions
What oil is best for making mayonnaise?
Neutral flavored oil that is clear or light yellow is best for making homemade mayonnaise. We usually use avocado oil, although some readers have reported that their avocado oil is green. Canola and grape seed oil also make a good mayonnaise. If you have light olive oil (not extra virgin olive oil), that can work too. But usually, olive oil is too strongly flavored for mayonnaise.
Why is my homemade mayo not thick?
If your mayonnaise is runny then the oil has not emulsified. In this case, it's best to start again but use the oil that did not emulsify. Simply whisk a room-temperature egg yolk with lemon juice in a clean bowl and slowly whisk in the runny mayonnaise.
Also, make sure that you use a room-temperature egg yolk – cold egg yolks are more likely to cause runny mayo. And always whisk the egg yolk with lemon juice (or vinegar) before adding the oil.
How long does homemade mayonnaise last?
We usually keep our homemade mayonnaise for no longer than 2 weeks in the fridge. If you've added fresh garlic to your mayo, keep it for NO LONGER than 10 days.
Note: The USDA recommends making mayonnaise with pasteurized egg yolks and consuming it within 4 days.
How can I make homemade mayo vegan?
While it is possible to make vegan mayo, the flavor is not the same. If you cannot eat eggs, you can try this recipe.
Use your homemade mayo in these recipes:
- Chipotle Popcorn Chicken with Honey Mayo
- Sweet Potato Harissa Fries with Harissa Mayo
- Lemongrass Grilled Chicken with Sriracha Mayo
- Hawaiian Hot Dogs with Teriyaki Mayo
- Loaded Baked Potato Salad
- 1 large egg yolk (at room temperature)
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 cup neutral-flavored oil (I like avocado oil)
- ¼ – ½ teaspoon sea salt (to taste)
- Place the egg yolk in a medium-sized bowl. Add the lemon juice and whisk until frothy.1 large egg yolk, 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- Very slowly, begin adding the oil in a thin stream while whisking continuously. If the oil starts to build up at all, stop pouring and whisk vigorously until it is incorporated. Continue adding the oil while whisking until all the oil has been used.1 cup neutral-flavored oil
- Whisk ¼ teaspoon of salt into the mayo. Taste and add more if needed.¼ – ½ teaspoon sea salt
We have thoroughly tested this recipe for accuracy. However, individual results may vary. See our full recipe disclosure here.