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homemade MAYONNAISE - how to make it taste better?

first off, i'm assuming the answer is in the oil....

anyway, i used one egg yolk, teaspoon of dijon, pinch of salt and a little lemon juice for starters....added 3/4 cup of oil, a blend of maybe a half cup canola and 1/4 olive oil. everything emulsified fine, the mayo looked great....my recipe actually called for peanut oil, but i didnt have and i often buy "spectrum" brand canola oil, so thought this would work ok. after the 3/4 cup emulsfied, added 2 tablespoons of olive oil and a aboiut the same lemon juice and more salt. but it all still tastes like oil. tastes good, but when i compare it to my stuff in a jar its pretty harsh. i used whole foods 365 brand canola and bionaturae organic EVOO....any suggestions on things to add? was penut oil the way to go to start it out? or is homemade stuff really supposed to taste like oil?

how can i make it taste better?


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  1. Blech. I tried homemade mayo once and have just stuck with Helman's since. Used a Sara Moulton recipe, too, and all I could taste was olive oil. I think there have been posts on here previously about this topic and I think most agree homemade mayo might not be worth the effort for the taste we're looking for.

    1. Homemade mayo doesn't taste like oil. I think you're using oils with too strong a flavor which is throwing the balance of your mayo off. I use ordinary peanut oil which is nearly tasteless. You can add a little oil of a different flavor (olive, walnut) to finish if you're after that taste of the oil but it's not necessary.

      I made mayo once with all olive oil and it tasted far too much of the olives and not enough of the lemon/egg base. Try it again. I'm not much of a mayo fan but I find the commercial stuff just horrible so I always make my own.

      1. I can't stand store-bought mayo, so on the rare occasion I actually use the stuff, I make my own. The comment above is correct; you need a fairly neutral tasting oil. Also, it's pretty common practice to "cut" that oily richness with something like a little Tabasco sauce.

        5 Replies
        1. re: Bostonbob3

          Can you help me? I just signed onto this thing - I hope I can find your answer. The first time I made mayo it was with 1 egg yolk t tbsps lemon juice a 1/8 tsp of salt and 1 cup of extra light olive oil. I combined the first three ingredients in a small food processor and then slowly added the olive oil. I wasn't crazy about the taste BUT I had homemade mayo - so I figured in thefuture I could play with the seasoning. BUT I've ruined three cups of olive oil since then. I just can't seem to make it again. I used basically the same protocol. What do you think my problem is?

          1. re: TKM927

            Are you having trouble getting it to emulsify or is the taste the problem?

            1. re: TKM927

              I don't like the taste of olive oil in my mayo. I started using a neutral oil and I liked it much better

              1. re: morwen

                What's the neutral oil you use? Why don't people like canola oil?

                1. re: walker

                  actually, I use canola oil. I don't know why people don't like it. I hear them say that, but then they don't say why.

          2. I think it's the oil too. Peanut/groundnut oil is essentially tasteless so the mayo tastes of the eggs/lemon/mustard instead. Use olive or other oils to create flavoured mayo, not the plain stuff. I like to flavour mine with cayenne so there is a mild warm pepperyness about it and I've never had a 'tasting of oil' problem.

            1. I find peanut oil has a distinct odor and flavor. And I know I am not alone in this. Not quite like corn oil, but still very noticeable to me.

              Grapeseed oil is the perfection of neutrality in oil. Safflower is good in this regard. Some people can taste soybean oil, but I find it neutral (legume-based oils must be hit or miss that way, I assume). I refuse to use canola, so I cannot comment on it.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Karl S

                Interesting point - I find the peanut oil I've been using absolutely neutral. I believe the peanut oils sold in Asian groceries which may come from Asia have more of a nutty or earthy flavor, perhaps it's not as refined? But I don't like the taste of soybean oil so I don't use it. Same with corn. I also don't use canola.

              2. what's the knock on canola???

                1. sorry - the knock on canola for general use (not just for mayo as we've discussed - or were you just referring to mayo?)

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: fatstern

                    I don't bother with keeping canola because there is some dispute over how it reacts to high heat (some of the dispute is urban myth, but apparently some of it is not so readily dismissed). Since I have other options like safflower and grapeseed and soybean oils, I have zero need for canola. I've never understood why people love canola; seems like a marketing thing for rapeseed.

                  2. Mayonnaise was originally made from olive oil and that's really the best. Use a mild yellow oil (probably non-virgin). I use srong, green, extra-virgin oil for aioli but some people find it too much.

                    The peanut oil I use certainly has a very noticeable aroma.

                    Canola oil tastes bad:


                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Robert Lauriston

                      Sure, mayonnaise was originally made from olive oil; it was also meant as a sauce, not a spread, and a sauce for things that were assertively flavoured.

                      Technically speaking, mayonnaise was a bastardisation of allioli, which is olive oil whipped into garlic -- no eggs, no mustard, no lemon juice.

                      I like the strong-tasting EVOO mayo for some things, but it's too strong to be a regular spread. I use grapeseed oil and a little olive at the end.

                      1. re: Das Ubergeek

                        I think the history's too murky to say whether mayonnaise, aioli (with eggs), or allioli (without) came first or whether aioli and mayonnaise developed independently.

                        The most plausible of several origin stories dates the invention of mayonnaise to 1756 on Minorca. Some versions have General Duc de Richelieu's chef cleverly substituting olive oil for locally unavailable cream, but that's the sort of detail commonly invented by storytellers dissatisfied with sketchy facts.

                    2. I find homemade will never taste as creamy as Hellman's so I use it for flavoured mayo.

                      Tarragon, chipotle, roasted garlic, or horseradish.
                      Grapeseed oil is my oil of choice.

                      I just came across a blog, Stone Soup, which has an amazing mayonnaise recipe for asparagus with roasted garlic & cashew mayonnaise. It looks great.


                      1. Regardless of what oil you used, homemade mayonaise tastes very different from commercial. If you've eaten mostly commercial mayonaise, it may take a little getting use to. Also tasting homemade mayonaise by itself may not be all that great. Eat it with something and you might find it to your liking.

                        1. My mother, who abhorrs the taste of oil, has had good luck with Carapelli's Olys oil, made (apparently) from fruit and grain oils...

                          1. When somebody says they prefer mayonnaise from a jar, it's hard for me to imagine that they've had really good homemade mayonnaise.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: Robert Lauriston

                              Have to agree. It is like saying I only like chicken soup from a can. You wonder what they've been eating.

                              Homemade mayonaise is glorious stuff. I prefer a mix of grapeseed, canola, and olive. And let's not forget mayonnaise's sexy cousin aoili.

                              1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                To me homemade mayo and mayo from a jar are two different things. I like them both and they both have their place in my life.

                              2. Since Hellman's uses soybean oil for their mayonnaise, the difference is certainly the oil. Also, commercial mayo probably has a great deal more salt than home made and that might alter the flavor, as would the eggs you're using. Just keep fooling around with it; sooner or later you'll get an oil combination you really enjoy. I like to add walnut oil to mine but that would be pretty strong for a lot of people.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: jillp

                                  Yeah, we use Soy Bean Oil (Veggie Oil) for ours that we get cheap at the 99 Cent Store. We also add Lime... I find lime better in mayo than a lemon...


                                2. Just for fun I looked up the ingredients in Hellman's mayo. According to the website (www.mayo.com), Hellman's Real Mayonnaise (as opposed to their Unreal Mayo?) contains:

                                  soybean oil, water, whole egg and egg yolks, vinegar, salt, sugar, lemon juice, natural flavors and calcium disodium EDTA.

                                  For others as ignorant as I, calcium disodium EDTA is a preservative with known cytotoxicity and genotoxocity, but no known carcinogencity. I'm sure the dose levels in Hellman's are safe. "Natural flavors" are unspecified.

                                  No wonder my mayo doesn't taste like the storebought stuff.

                                  5 Replies
                                  1. re: cheryl_h

                                    My jar of Hellman's says Canola Oil, water, whole eggs and egg yolks, vinegar, salt, sugar (I could do without that) lemon juice natural flavors and calcium disodium edta as a preservative.

                                    No trans fats, 1g. sat. fat 3.5g polyunsat, and 6g monosat. in 1 Tbs.

                                    1. re: Candy

                                      Ah, you have the Canola Real Mayonnaise, as opposed to Real Mayonnaise. I think the only difference is the use of canola oil versus soybean oil.

                                      1. re: cheryl_h

                                        yes, and no real discernible difference in flavor.

                                        1. re: Candy

                                          Have you done a blind comparison?

                                          I suppose if you refined canola oil enough maybe it would lose the bad flavor.

                                          1. re: Candy

                                            Hi, I have to reply to this. I was so excited to hear that there was a mayonnaise without soybean oil and purchased Hellman's Canola oil mayonnaise. My son is highly allergic to soybeans and has never been able to eat mayonnaise for this reason. Today, I made him his first turkey with mayo sandwich and was so excited! Well, immediately after taking a bite and swallowing, he vomited. My son has no illnesses or flu right now. The mayonnaise obviously has some sort of soybean oil in it that they are not labeling. Just thought you'd like to know why both the soybean oil and canola oil versions taste the same...

                                    2. This is my standard recipe for mayo. I like it. But I HATE store-bought, so take that into account:

                                      1 egg
                                      2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
                                      Salt to taste
                                      1/3 cup grapeseed oil
                                      1/3 cup fruity olive oil
                                      2 tablespoons champagne vinegar
                                      1/2 tablespoon lemon juice.

                                      1. Place egg, mustard, salt and 1/4 cup grape-seed oil in blender. Blend at high speed until completely mixed.
                                      2. With the blender running and the center of the cover off, slowly pour in olive oil; blend completely. Blend vinegar and lemon juice in thoroughly, then slowly add remaining oil and blend again.

                                      3 Replies
                                      1. re: Bostonbob3

                                        How long do you find this lasts in the fridge?

                                        1. re: krissywats

                                          I've been okay with it in the frig for a couple of days (but you do have to give it a good whipping every time you take it out). That said, the recipe only makes about three-quarters of a cup, so it really doesn't have to last very long.

                                        2. re: Bostonbob3

                                          I just made this mayo; bought the grapeseed oil at WF (didn't even know it existed before!)
                                          Wonderful! I made an egg salad with it with sweet gherkins, celery and green onion. When I took off center of blender to add oil, even on lowest speed it splattered -- maybe I should do in cuisinart, instead?

                                        3. Okay, the oil discussion has gone on ad infinitum, what about a change in focus?

                                          When I make homemade mayo I really kick it up to make it worth it... I make sure to add enough SALT, LEMON JUICE and ground dried YELLOW MUSTARD. But that is just the basic recipe.

                                          For GREAT homemade mayo I add: 1-3 cloves of roasted garlic and/or 2-3 anchovy fillets and/or 1 Tablespoon capers and/or ground black pepper.

                                          I agree, the oil choice is important, but I use organic canola often, usually mixed with a good portion of some EVOO and I usually have dangerously good results.

                                          Enjoy! and don't be afraid of salt!

                                          1. IMO canola oil is great - same smoke point as grapeseed oil, neutral taste, less expensive. Very good for homemade mayo. But I disgress.
                                            I make my homemade mayo with a darn good Swiss hand blender and it somes out fine except for fluffiness (sp?).
                                            Has anyone come up with an insight as to why Hellman's/Best Foods mayo is so darn fluffy?

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: DiveFan

                                              I'd guess they inject it with air to fill the package with less product and feed the bottom line, just like they do with a lot of grocery-store ice creams.

                                            2. You mentioned the flavor was harsh... extra-virgin olive oil can turn bitter when subjected to a blade, such as in a blender. That might have been what happened here (?) This is why a hand-pounded pesto is often better than a blender version.

                                              Also, oils from greener/younger olives can have a bitterness that doesn't play nice in a mayo.

                                              I use a "regular" olive oil to make mayo, along with lemon juice and and egg. I like it far better than any jarred version, especially when also adding garlic for an aliolo, but always also have Hellman's on hand for convenience.

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: Pincho

                                                I was very interested to hear you say that extra virgin olive oil can turmn bitter when subjected to a blade. I am not sure if this is true or not. Do you have any explaination or further information on this?

                                              2. Use a neutral oil like sunflower. Make sure to include some mustard. Then the key to getting a taste closer to purchased is adding more salt than you think you want.

                                                2 Replies
                                                1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                  I thought the idea of making mayonaise is NOT to duplicate the store bought. And it would take more than just lots of salt to do that...try lots of water, sugar and a few addictives for long shelf life and to give that "slick" mouthfeel.

                                                  1. re: PBSF

                                                    Spot on. It was that the original post seemed to prefer the taste of purchased.

                                                2. Okay
                                                  By now I assume you've got your mayonnaise problems licked. Time to liven things up.

                                                  Chipotle Mayo
                                                  2 Cups Mayo
                                                  1/2 Can (7oz.) of Chipotles (Minced) in Adobo Sauce (Sauce included)
                                                  1 Tb minced Garlic
                                                  1 Tb dried Oregano
                                                  1/2 Tb ground Cumin
                                                  Juice of 1 Lime

                                                  Mince the ingredients up fine and then process in a food processor. I keep mine in an old Hellman's squeeze bottle that I cleaned out.


                                                  1. If you use all evoo, it will be inedible.

                                                    What I've had luck with is using all olive oil, but just the pure stuff, and don't skimp on the lemon juice and salt. I used meyer lemons (a friend had a tree) and it was da bomb. Boil some big artichokes to dip, invite a loved one, and lock the door.

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: Louise

                                                      If you use strong, green-flavored oil, you need to add a head of garlic to balance it out.

                                                    2. I follow the recipe from James Peterson's book, Sauces. I use half canola, half extra virgin olive oil. Olive oil will get bitter when exposed to a blender blade, but I use my Kitchenaid Mixer with the paddle, and it is easy and perfect every time. Homemade mayo is divine. It is a blank canvas for every kind of seasoning. At virtually every party I cater, there is a sauce using mayo as a base, and believe it that people always ask me what the base is, and when I tell them, they are flabbergasted. Most people have simply never had the real thing.

                                                      I often make poached salmon with dill sauce. I am no big fan of dill, except when in this sauce: mayo originally seasoned with dijon, lemon, salt, pepper, then shallots, fresh dill, and my secret ingredient, chopped preserved lemon.

                                                      With capers, chopped cornichons and tarragon, you have the very best tartar sauce, er, remoulade.

                                                      With capers, anchovies, black olives and oil packed tuna, you have the makings for vitello tonnato, or more realistically in my household, poached chicken breast or pork loin with tuna sauce.

                                                      5 Replies
                                                      1. re: pitterpatter

                                                        Several yummy points there, Pitterpatter. Peterson's book is inspiring. While reading it I found an incredible chinois, with stand and wooden tapered dowel that looked 50 years old, at a thrift store, for 5 bucks. :) That coincidence of karma inspired me to go ahead and finally get the triple-ply saucier.

                                                        It's interesting that you use the paddle and not the whisk on the Kitchen Aid... far easier to clean, too. At which speed do you run it? (1 thru 5). And, what drizzle rate?

                                                        RE preserved lemons: I've never made them. I googled a few recipes on how to make them, and they range widely in suggestions of salt and temperatures. It seems to be a fermentation reaction, where temperature, percent salt and aerobic vs anaerobic can be important. If you make your own, could you post or link the recipe? ... and also include any "not to worry the process takes care of itself" kind of comments.

                                                        1. re: FoodFuser

                                                          I use the paddle on medium speed and drizzle the oil very slowly, at least at first. And I must admit, I usually finish the beating by hand with a wire whisk (same for whipped cream and eggwhites) for just the last few strokes -- more control that way.

                                                          I also bought a chinois in a stand with a tapered dowel at a yard sale, maybe twenty years ago. Phew, I use it all the time. A great find. And the Peterson book has been great for everything I've tried from there, especially the sauce verte, French style. That may be my favorite all purpose sauce.

                                                          I buy my preserved lemons from a distributor, $10 for 7 pounds worth -- it doesn't pay for me to make them myself at that price. I understand that Paula Wolfert's method is easy and fail-proof. I use them in soooo many ways -- like I said, it is my secret ingredient and well worth making or sourcing out. It makes flavors blend together and sing. I guess it's the combination of salt and acid.

                                                          1. re: pitterpatter

                                                            Thanks. I'll try the KA paddle at 3. Blender and food processor have always seemed too harsh; whisk by hand always left me wondering "surely there is a subtle machine that can fabricate this as well as can your forearm."

                                                            Yep: yard sales are cool. There are more unused and abandoned cooking tools in american garages than in kitchens.

                                                            Peterson is magnificent. And too his book on fish. I shall try the sauce verte.

                                                            A quick google for Paula's Preserved Lemons finds:


                                                            I was remiss to go forward without ratios of salt to fruit, but now realize it's because my fermenting efforts are focused on getting ready to make sauerkraut, where difference of 2% 2.25% 2.5% can really affect the outcome. But with lemons: DUH... the acid overides any "off key" reactions during the curing time.

                                                            Thanks. It's soon Saturday.. time to find that yard sale La Creuset.

                                                            1. re: FoodFuser

                                                              After reading a few recipes for the perserved lemons years ago, I forged on without any recipe at all and made a superb batch with the only two ingredients being lemons and kosher salt.

                                                              1. wash lemons thoroughly on the outside, scrubbing to remove any wax.
                                                              2. slice pointed tip off and then slice down the length of the lemon creating wedges but not cutting all the way through. Create 8 wedges all connected at the bottom of the lemon.
                                                              3. stuff the lemons into an ultra clean jar with tight fitting lid.
                                                              4. while prying the lemon wedges open, pour in kosher salt until you fill the jar.
                                                              5. let it sit on your counter for a week. Add more salt to fill.
                                                              6. let it sit on your counter for a week. Add more salt to fill.
                                                              Continue for 2-3 more weeks.
                                                              Pull out a wedge, remove and discard the pulp from the lemon. Rinse in cold water. Taste the rind. It should be tender to the bite and incredible to the taste.

                                                              1. re: Vickie McCorkendale

                                                                That's similar to our recipe, except we quarter the lemons and stuff them with salt before putting them into the jar.

                                                                Rinsing and discarding the pulp both seem like a waste to me. It all has good flavor, I don't discard anything but the seeds.

                                                      2. In your tartar, ahem, remoulade sauce, try putting some very finely chopped heart of celery--the few very pale tender/crisp inner sprouts. Otherwise, that stuff is dang tasty, leaves the stuff in a jar far behind.

                                                        1. Here's a quick vegan recipe for mayonaise:

                                                          1 package extra firm Tofu, drained (can squeeze water out too)
                                                          8-9 TBS olive oil
                                                          8 tsp lemon juice
                                                          1 tsp salt (may decrease)
                                                          Blend on high for 2 minutes or until very smooth and creamy.
                                                          Refrigerate (will thicken slightly).
                                                          Other uses:
                                                          Add home made salsa for dip or dressing.
                                                          Add avocado for dip
                                                          Add garlic/onion and herbs for dip or dressing

                                                          1. One of the keys to a light mouth feel in your mayo is to incorporate some water. It is a very simple addition that will tip the outcome to what you are looking for.

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: mattrapp

                                                              I agree. The recipe from The Vegetarian Epicure recommends "tempering" the mayo at the end with a tablespoon of hot water. Last thing into the processor while everything is still whirling. It worked great for me. Made the mayo very silky.

                                                            2. If you can find good farm eggs - as opposed to factory eggs - that too can help with the taste. Free range eggs can have a slightly stronger taste which in the case of mayonnaise is helpful. Also use the freshest eggs you can for the best flavour.

                                                              Also I have found adding a small amount of lemon zest can counter the oily taste. This is particularly true if you let the mayonnaise sit in the fridge for a while before using.