Making mayo is so much easier then you think. Photo by Donna Turner Ruhlman.


Thinking of the miraculous egg this morning and wanted to repost this on mayonnaise, hoping to encourage those who don’t ever make it to give it a shot. It’s one of those foods that you can’t buy—nothing is like homemade mayonnaise.


Originally posted on May 21, 2008

Finishing up the revisions of a manuscript and going over some fat-based sauces has returned me to the mayonnaise. Like the popover, it’s the story of a great transformation. Yolk, lemon juice, salt, and oil.



There simply isn’t anything like it when you make it yourself—you can’t buy this stuff. But I’ll bet you have everything you need to make it right now. I’ll include a recipe at the end of this post.




Two things are critical to remember for those who have never made a mayonnaise. You need enough liquid (water/lemon juice) to maintain the emulsion, so don’t skimp on this. Second, begin adding the oil very slowly, just a couple drops of oil off the end of a spoon into the yolk while whisking, then another few drops. This establishes the emulsion. Then you can add the oil in a steadier stream.



You will have taken a tasteless fluid oil and transformed it into an ethereal sauce through craftsmanship and care. Add a tablespoon of minced shallot macerated in lemon juice for an extraordinary dipping sauce for an artichoke or blanched and shocked cauliflower, or put it on boiled new potatoes. It’s magical stuff. Or use it on a BLT—it’ll be the best sandwich you’ve had in a long time.

Here’s the recipe adapted from Charcuterie:


  • 1 large organic egg yolk
  • 1/2 teaspoon/5 grams salt
  • 1 teaspoon/5 milliliters water
  • 1 teaspoon/5 milliliters lemon juice (or 2 for a lemony mayo)
  • 1 cup/250 milliliters vegetable oil
  1. Combine the yolk, salt, water, and lemon juice in a 2.5-quart bowl. Fold a hand towel into a ring on the counter and set the bowl in this ring to hold it steady while you whisk. Using a sauce or balloon whip (whisk), stir the ingredients together.
  2. Add the oil slowly while whisking vigorously. It helps to measure out your oil into a cup that pours well in a wire-thin stream; alternatively, you can start your emulsion by drizzling the oil off a spoon, then pouring the oil after the emulsion has begun. Add a few drops of oil as you begin to whisk; when the emulsion becomes creamy, you may increase the speed with which you add the oil to a thin stream. From the beginning the mixture should be thick enough to hold its shape and look luxuriously creamy. Add the oil too quickly and it will break, that is, it will turn soupy. When all the oil is incorporated, add additional lemon juice to taste. If the mayonnaise is too thick, it can be thinned by whisking in a little water.
  3. If it breaks, put a teaspoon of water in a clean bowl and start the process over by drizzling in the broken mayonnaise while whisking.

URGENT UPDATE AND MSG TO BECKS & POSH AND RIPERT: From Shannon at momwantsacure: “Ha!! I just proved Eric Ripert and Becks & Posh WRONG!!!!! Tell them that menstruating women can make a fabulously perfect mayonnaise!”

If you liked this post on homemade mayonnaise, check out these other links:

© 2016 Michael Ruhlman. Photo © 2016 Donna Turner-Ruhlman. All rights reserved


17 Wonderful responses to “Make Your Own Mayo”

  • wickethewok

    Is making the emulsion easier with fresher eggs or older eggs? I had a heck of time getting an emulsion started last time after not having any issues in my previous attempts and was wondering if it might have been the egg itself.

  • Marcy

    Any reason why you prefer this method over the immersion blender?

    • witloof

      I have made beautiful mayonnaise effortlessly with an immersion blender only to hate the taste. There is something about whipping the oil at that speed that turns it bitter. It tastes so much better when it’s hand whisked.

  • adrian

    How much liquid is required? I’ve been struggling to make mayo with an immersion blender (the “quick” way) and getting a lot of failures.

    I noticed McGee says you need a lot more liquid than most recipes seem to include, 1/3 as much liquid (including the egg yolk) as there is oil. This recipe—and may others—don’t comply with McGee’s rule.

  • Bunny

    My French mother taught me to use an egg yolk, some mustard (she used Dijon, I prefer ordinary yellow mustard) and some salt and pepper. I use a hand mixer in a 1-quart measuring cup. Whip the egg and mustard together to start the emulsion, then start drizzling oil a little at a time and watch the magic happen. When all the oil is incorporated, a bit of red wine vinegar and salt and pepper to taste. Perhaps this isn’t really mayonnaise, but some fancy form of vinaigrette. She called it mayo. I also add garlic, chopped fine. Dismayed at the waste the first time I had one break, I learned from her your trick of starting a new emulsion and using the broken attempt instead of the oil.

    There was no water or lemon juice. I guess the mustard provided the liquid.

  • Recoil Rob

    I usually eschew using power tools in favor of hand tools but the convenience of the food processor is to great to resist.

    The same recipe can be used and here’s a great secret, at least it was to me.

    You know the “pusher” that comes with food processors, the plastic plunger that fits inside the feed tube. Maybe long ago you noticed it has a tiny hole in the bottom? I always thought it was to let water drain out after washing.

    No, it’s for making mayonnaise. After you put the egg, acid and mustard in the bowl and start the processor pour your oil inside the pusher, it will dribble out into the bowl at just the correct speed, perfect mayo!

  • sbobet

    This is something I was looking for from a long time. I was doing blog commenting from past few weeks but was not the first one to post a comment. Here it is quite properly explained about the first one to do blog comment. Really I will approach to this strategy. Thanks and keep sharing more useful information.

  • Allen

    They have a suprisingly good eggless mayonnaise, called Just Mayo from San Francisco. I think they use pea protein to bind the oil. I can’t tell the difference.

  • Susan Pietrocarlo

    Please help me out here, PLEASE……….. What kind of vegetable oil should I use?
    I also need an all around good vegetable oil for other recipes. I have a variety of olive oils and finishing oils such as walnut at home which are not a substitute for vegetable oil.
    Please feel free to use my e-mail address if you don’t want to endorse a particular product.
    Thank you in advance for your time and efforts in answering this question for me.

    • Allen

      Susan, canola oil works great for mayo, neutral flavor. Brand name is not important, but make sure it is fresh – they get rancid.

    • Tara Williams

      Hey Roy,

      I wouldn’t trust it for any longer than a week.

      Initially the lemon juice should kill off most of the bacteria from the eggs, but as time progresses the colonies will grow.

      Personally I use up fresh mayo within 3 or 4 days.

  • Tauseef Alam

    My wife is at her mom’s home and I am trying to cook something for myself. This one looks easier. Don’t laugh if I mess up everything. 🙂

  • Linda Lou

    Nice post! I always make my own mayonaise but use mustard for it. It’s what my mother taught me to do. I’m going to try this with lemon juice, it may be more refreshing.

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