As a kid, I remember watching my stepmom (who is French and makes many more things from scratch than my other parents) make mayonnaise by hand in the kitchen and thinking to myself, ‘Why? You can just go buy that stuff in a jar.‘ In retrospect – how very silly of me. But up until that point I had never seen anyone make it themselves and so it had never occurred to me that you even could, and I had certainly never pondered why you might want to. Here’s why you would want to – if you’ve never had homemade mayonnaise, you’ve never really had mayonnaise at all. It’s worlds above the jarred stuff – creamy and silky and not the least bit gloppy. And despite all of the hyperbole about it being difficult, this method makes it incredibly easy. It literally will take you just one minute.
The only special equipment you need for this is an immersion blender. And a pint-sized mason jar, if you count that as special equipment. Aside from those things, you only need four ingredients – an egg and some oil, and some salt, ground mustard, and lemon juice for flavor (and the acidity of the lemon juice acts as a preservative). For the oil, you have many options, but use something that has a neutral flavor. I love safflower or sunflower oil here, while I find most olive oils to be too overwhelming in flavor. (Love them elsewhere though!) Don’t have ground mustard? Use a dollop of Dijon mustard instead.
First things first, you hear a lot about mayo “breaking” when you make it yourself but I have made this dozens and dozens of times and I’ve never had that happen with this method. But you can take some precautions. To avoid breakage, it helps to have all of your ingredients at the same temperature. You can either leave that egg on the counter for a while and then get to making your mayo once it’s come to room temp, or you can do what I like to do – add all your ingredients to the jar and then let it sit for twenty minutes or so before you blend it up. (I will also say, I have made this plenty of times with the egg straight out of the fridge and it has worked just fine. That’s what I did in the above video, in fact.)
Ready for the method? It goes pretty quick. Okay:
Add your egg to the jar. Add the ground mustard and a pinch of salt. Follow that up with a squeeze of lemon. Pour the oil into the jar. Place your immersion blender into the jar and over the egg and start to blend on high. Once it starts to emulsify and turn white, turn the blender to low and start to pull it up slowly. As you do, it will naturally draw in oil from the top of the jar, but you can tilt it side to side a bit to help it along. That’s it. You made mayo! You can add more salt or lemon juice or mustard powder if you need to, but your work here is done. (And that works is delicious.)
Now, you probably have a few concerns or really one main one – “What about the raw egg?!” There is some risk to eating raw eggs, it’s true, but the CDC estimates that the chance of an egg containing salmonella is something like 1 in 20,000, and probably even lower. I don’t know about you, but I highly doubt I’m going to come anywhere near eating that many eggs in my life, so it’s a level of risk I feel pretty comfortable with. There are some things you can do to mitigate that risk further though – 1) choose eggs that are from pastured chickens, who are less likely to carry infection, or 2) use pasteurized eggs.
There are varying schools of thought on how long homemade mayonnaise is safe to eat. Some say you can eat it right up until the ‘use by’ date that was on your egg carton, others say you only have three days. Ours is usually gone in just a few days anyway but beyond that, your nose usually knows best.
Minute Mason Jar Mayo
1 3/4 cups
1m prep time
- 1 wide-mouth pint-sized mason jar
- 1 egg, at room temperature
- 1/2 teaspoon ground mustard (or a dollop of Dijon mustard)
- Kosher salt, to taste
- juice of 1/2 a lemon
- 1 cup neutral tasting oil, such as safflower or sunflower
- Add egg to mason jar. Add ground mustard, salt, lemon juice. Pour in oil.
- Place the head of an immersion blender over the egg, which should be at the bottom of the jar. Begin to blend on high.
- Once emulsion begins to turn white, turn blender to low and start to slowly lift up to draw in the oil. You can tilt the blender from side to side to mix in oil.
- Add more lemon juice and salt to taste, if needed. Enjoy!