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First mayo post-mortem - What went wrong?

First off, let me apologize for the eww factor of the title, I couldn't resist. So I made my first mayo, the recipe follows: (followed pretty much to the letter, for a change)

Yellow from one large egg
1 1/2 tsp lemon juice
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/4 tsp dijon mustard
3/4 cup Canola oil

Assembled in the usual way, throw together all ingredients and slow stream of oil beaten with immersion blender. The texture was pretty spot- on, no complaints about that. But the taste? Big fat "Meh." I did like that it had a cleaner mouth-feel than the preservative-laden stuff. Any alternate ingredients? What's your secret to knock your socks of homemade mayo?

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  1. I use olive oil and more acid.

      1. Smartie - Yep, salt would have helped, but it needed more of "something" But good suggestion.

        Tomishungry- I originally nixed the olive oil suggestion for fear of making it bitter. But I'll give it a shot next time. Noted, increase the acidity Thanks.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Afinekerfuffle

          I've made an all-olive-oil mayo and all-canola-oil mayo and didn't care for either. The olive oil was too aggressive (not that rich, light tang that I was going for) and the canola oil just tasted off. I would try a safflower/olive oil combo.

          1. re: weezycom

            I use 8 oz olive and 2 oz canola with one whole egg in my Cuisinart mayonnaise. Egg, salt, lemon juice (prefer to vinegar) and a Tbs of (combined) oil buzzed first, then trickle the oil in through the metering hole. Works great every time for me. I *DO* drop a peeled garlic clove into the running machine first, before adding anything else, but that's just me...

        2. Try a cider vinegar instead of balsamic. I like using grape seed oil or olive/grape seed oil blend, heavier on the grape seed just a touch of olive.

          1. I use olive oil all the time, always works for me, but i can not abide the taste of canola oil, so that may be why.

            I would also consider a second or third egg yolk (consult your doctor first) and easily twice that amount of lemon juice and probably about twice that mustard, but try a hot english instead of dijon.

            1. Julia Child was still making new TV programs back when I tried making homemade mayo, because she said it was much better, and there was a recipe in my just-purchased Cuisinart food processor, when that category of appliance was new to American kitchens. It was not good and I never tried again. It's one of those things I keep thinking I should revisit but I hate wasting ingredients and that batch was something I could not bring myself to use. I probably used vegetable oil, cider vinegar, and yolk. I imagine that today I could achieve something better, but better than Hellmann's?

              2 Replies
              1. re: greygarious

                miss grey -- do try again, using a neutral oil like grapeseed, and also lemon juice. evoo was too much for me in the mayo -- very strong. it will be better than hellman's. (and make a small batch so nothing is "wasted.").

                1. re: greygarious

                  I've almost never owned mayonnaise in the jar. I always make my own.

                  Did you put any salt in it? You need salt. Or it's going to taste wrong. I thought it didn't cohere, the way your wrote your headline.

                  And greygarious, homemade mayo is better than Hellman's. Period. Just try it 'til you get it right. I've probably made hundreds of gallons of it in Cuisinarts and blenders through the years. It helps to have everything room temp.

                2. "First off, let me apologize for the eww factor of the title, I couldn't resist. "

                  Good thing you came to the "Mayo" clinic, huh?

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: morwen

                    Aw shucks! I was going to say that.

                    You think maybe it can be fixed by putting a dressing on it?
                    (not an original; someone else said it here before).

                    1. re: souschef

                      "putting a dressing on it"

                      That's pretty funny, souschef. That line could actually could work for saving many things at chowhound as well.

                      A stronger acid, lemon juice or white white wine winegar, or a combo of the both, and a blend of 1/4 c. olive oil and 3/4 c. neutral oil per egg yolk, not necessarily canola oil; vegetable oil (which is soybean, a better choice). Oh, and salt.

                    2. Canola oil doesn't have great flavor. I'd suggest just plain vegetable oil instead, or even olive oil (skip the extra virgin though, that will get bitter). A bit of salt would definitely help, and leave off the balsamic vinegar. You want a simple wine vinegar or even cider. Balsalmic is more of a seasoning, not so much an ingredient. Make sense?

                      1. To all: Yum, so many variations to try!

                        Samualinthekitchen - I agree with your ideas and wish to subscribe to your podcast. My doctor and I are on the level Re: my culinary indiscretions.

                        Greygarious - Go for it! I could see me doing this on a regular basis. The only technique modification I'd make is purchasing a condiment bottle to make the oil addition easier. It was a real p.i.t.a.

                        Morwen - Yuck yuck yuck, Icwutyoudiddere

                        Tzurrizz - Thanks for the vinegar tip, absolutely going acv next time around.

                        Thanks everyone!

                        1. http://whatscookingamerica.net/Sauces...

                          This is the basic formula that I use. I put everything...all at the same time...in a tall, narrow blending cup (that came with my immersible Cuisinarts blender). Speed on high, and all comes together in seconds!

                          I also use a blend of olive oil and canola oil. Sometimes red wine vinegar, and at times when I had a small bit of leftover Italian olive salad for a different flavor. I adjust my ingredients according to what sort of salad I intend using the mayonnaise for.

                          1. Here's what I always make, but I like Best Foods mayonnaise, so that's the flavor I aim for.

                            Homemade Best Foods/Hellmans Mayonnaise using stick blender

                            1 whole egg, medium or large size
                            1 Tablespoon lemon juice (bottled ok)
                            1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
                            1 teaspoon dry mustard (or 1/4 tsp prepared yellow mustard)
                            1/4 teaspoon table salt
                            dash white pepper
                            1 cup vegetable (canola) oil, room temperature

                            Break egg into bottom of 1-quart
                            canning jar or other tall narrow jar
                            that allows you to immerse the mixing blades of a stick blender
                            all the way to the bottom. The jar should be only slightly
                            wider than the end of the stick blender.

                            Add lemon juice, vinegar, mustard,
                            table salt and white pepper.

                            Add 1 cup of vegetable oil.

                            Place mixing blades of stick blender (turned off) all the
                            way to the bottom of the jar, pressing
                            down over the egg.

                            Turn stick blender on high speed, hold in
                            place at bottom of jar for about
                            5-seconds until you see mayonnaise form
                            under stick blender's mixing blades.

                            Slowly pull stick blender upward until the mixing blades
                            reaches top of jar, taking about
                            more 5-seconds. The stick blender will turn
                            the oil into mayonnaise as it is pulled slowly to the
                            top of the jar.

                            After chilling in the fridge, this mayonnaise gets
                            slightly thicker and tastes very much like Best Foods/
                            Hellman's Mayonnaise.

                            Makes about 1 cup of mayonnaise.

                            17 Replies
                            1. re: Antilope

                              I was going to say dry mustard, and Antilope uses it in the recipe above. You can also increase the salt, change the oil, add flavorings like zest, wasabi, etc, after the emulsion is established.

                              1. re: Antilope

                                Antilope, this is an excellent explanation of the very best method for making mayo.

                                Especially about the relationship between the diameters of the blender and the jar.

                                May all mayo-makers be blessed with an immersion blender.

                                1. re: Antilope

                                  Thanks for the recipe, Antilope. I've used the whisk, blender, and immersion blender mayonnaises without much trouble. Nothing ever broke or went awry. My problem, like Afinekerfuffle's (the OP), was that my homemade mayonnaise seemed bland and uninteresting. My Holy Grail of mayonnaise is something that tastes like Hellman's. I'll give your recipe a try because I know that just random tinkering has not given me the flavor of mayo that I want.

                                  1. re: Antilope

                                    I just now tried your recipe. Thank you, thank you! Easy, tastes great, only need to clean the stick! Will be my go-to from now on!

                                    1. re: morwen

                                      You're welcome. Homemade mayonnaise is so much better than store bought. I find the stick blender method to be the easiest way to make mayonnaise and there is so little to clean up when you are done.

                                    2. re: Antilope

                                      I'm thrilled that this method works flawlessly, but it doesn't taste anything like Hellman's. It is very bland and I followed the recipe exactly. Actually I made it with corn oil and it was better than canola (I made it twice.) Previous to making this recipe I have tried making it with the mixer and the blender and you have to add the oil drop by drop. Time consuming And it doesn't always turn out. This method appears to be foolproof. I will admit the lemon and vinegar were old, so perhaps fresher ingredients would give this more zing. But I think I am going to try just a touch of garlic powder and I did add a pinch of sugar, but it didn't dissolve very well, so the next time it will be sugar syrup or corn syrup. I'm also going to try balsamic vinegar. Thanks for the recipe.

                                      1. re: Jaroslaw

                                        I admit I tweaked Antilope's recipe a little. I switched out to safflower oil, use a yolk instead of a whole egg (sometimes 2 yolks), added a little extra lemon and vinegar. I haven't had a jar of Hellman's in the house since, is there sugar or sweetener in the ingredient list?

                                        1. re: morwen

                                          Morwen - I'm going to try safflower oil and your idea of two egg yolks instead. Yeah, Hellman's has sweetner, but I can't remember what right now. I added a touch of sugar, it doesn't dissolve real well, so I think next time I make mayo I'm going to use corn syrup instead. Just a little, after all, we're not going for a Miracle whip type product here. Like I said, I wish I knew what the secret flavors are for Hellman's because that is my favorite and it is NOT extra salt that flavors it. Hellman's is not overly salty. I may just end up buying Hellman's for certain things like potato salad and use this homemade for things like tuna fish where it is not a dominant factor. Of course the motivation for me was two=fold - the intrigue and accomplishment of "duplicating it at home" and saving money. The store where I shop had 48 oz bottles of top notch canola oil 4 for $10 (Wesson) but safflower significantly changes the price. At that price I might as well just buy Hellmans'. Unless you think it tastes so much better than Hellmans'?

                                          1. re: Jaroslaw

                                            I agree that it's not exactly Hellman's but it's the closest I've come and the consistency is right every time. And the stick and jar thing is so much easier. Nope, the answer isn't extra salt. I'd like to hear how the corn syrup works out. I avoid a lot of any sweeteners in things I'm going to eat but if it helps I'm not adverse to puting a tinsch in there. My motivation is the same as yours; love Hellman's, want to make something close at home, save money. Most of the year using the pricier safflower oil isn't a big expense. We don't eat things like potato salad often but in the summer when the tomatoes ripen, tomato sandwiches slathered in mayo are my daily downfall!

                                            Have you tried upping the mustard?

                                            1. re: morwen

                                              Morwen - I wish this site notified you of replies!

                                              No, I haven't upped the mustard because Hellmans isn't yellow. Well, it isn't as yellow as mine is with the 1 tsp. (per the recipe above). I would imagine more would make it more yellow. That same store with the cheap canola and soybean and corn oil had Miracle Whip expired just a few days for 99 cents. So I bought a couple. Haven't needed to make anymore with the corn syrup. Again, will let you know. When I was a skinny teen, one of my mom's girlfriends husbands made mayonaise sandwiches. I started too, but haven't had one in years, But that is how much I like Hellmans'. No I don't really like Miracle Whip because it is too sweet but times are tough and 99 cents is too big a bargain to pass up.

                                              I wrote a famous secret recipe artist from my state - but she's sorta been retired for a while but if she answers, I'll sure let everyone here know! Again, like the writer above, there must be a way to duplicate this stuff! :-)

                                              1. re: Jaroslaw

                                                "I wish this site notified you of replies!"

                                                They do! Chowhound just started offering that option, as of Tuesday. I was notified by email about the option. I think it's especially good for intermittent or infrequent posters, under 25 lifetime posts, who are automatically opted-in for this feature. For more frequent posters (like me) it would fill up that inbox in a heartbeat, and those folks are automatically opted out. You may have gotten an email about this.

                                                Since you are a pretty new or infrequent poster, you should have been automatically opted-in.

                                                Here's a discussion and a how-to set up/disable the new feature on Site Talk:


                                                Beyond slogging through the thread link, go to your profile page, click on the drop down Notifications, click on opt-in for email notifications, then submit.

                                                1. re: bushwickgirl

                                                  Now if we could only delete old threads in our profiles we no longer want to participate in, that would be cool!

                                                    1. re: bushwickgirl

                                                      or if there were an option to click for replies to specific threads, like on Trip Advisor.

                                                  1. re: Jaroslaw

                                                    Well, I can hardly believe she answered so fast, but a self addressed stamped envelope helps! She provided the recipes for Help-Ann's Real Mayonnaise, Grasps (Kraft) and Big Ploy (Big Boy) Hamburger sauce. (page ripped out of one her books) With the modified illustrations of the jars, (and Big Boy) to avoid copyright infringment, it is absolutely without a doubt, the products I mentioned. I have also made several of her copy-cat recipes(she had many books at one time, I got the secret fast food recipes and her newsletter for a year - do I know where they are now? nope! ) and they do come very close. I'm sure she won't care if I share it since she is no longer publishing and selling her books. Of course, I just got this today, so I haven't made it yet. Interesting - no dry mustard powder! The (Yes! 4!) is part of the original recipe. I only added the comment after the vinegar. Otherwise it is as she wrote it.

                                                    Just to give you an idea of how copy cat recipes work - there was one for Pringles, using instant mashed potatoes, onion powder and coffee creamer (for sour cream flavor) you were supposed to roll it out thin between two sheets of wax paper and bake in the oven and then peel off the wax paper and break in to pieces. Well, the wax paper started to smoke and my mom had a fit, (understandably) so I couldn't continue to completion, but they did taste pretty close. I mean I couldn't have misunderstood if it said "peel away wax paper after removing from oven"? Anyway, at 99c a can on sale, I doubt if I'll ever do that again. Part of it was the fun, challenge and at that time we lived in the country, far from stores. Another one I never did, but it made sense, was how to make Oreo's. She said that if Hydrox (by Keebler, no longer made) could come close, so could she. She took a chocolate cake mix, and baked it in Jelly roll pans, maybe 1/2" thick. Maybe like one minute after it came out of the oven, you took a large drinking glass with a flat bottom, dipped in cocoa. Cut out a circle with the top, flatten the cake with the bottom of the glass while the cake was still hot and it cooled hard like an Oreo cookie. I had a lot of fun with that book and recipe reports. I know there here somewhere gotta find 'em.

                                                    Anyway, Morwen, or whoever makes "help-ann's" first please report back here.

                                                    Here now, is "Help-Ann's real Mayonnaise"

                                                    4 egg yolks
                                                    2 whole eggs
                                                    1/4 cup lemon juice
                                                    1/3 cup light vinegar (I assume she meant WHITE vinegar)
                                                    3/4 cup sugar
                                                    4 tsp salt (Yes! 4!)
                                                    1/4 tsp pepper
                                                    3/4 cup canned skimmed Pet Evaporated Milk
                                                    3 cups corn oil
                                                    1/2 lb. stick margarine, in bits

                                                    Place everything but the oil & the margarine in blender as listed. Using On/Off speed, blend about 3 or 4 minutes or till perfectly smooth. Turn off motor 3 or 4 times to periodically scrape down sides of container and to free the blades of the mixture. Resume blending. Keeping motor at medium speed, begin to add the oil in a very thin, slow-but-steady stream. Then while continuing to blend, add the bits of margarine till smooth. Stop the motor again, every minute or so to scrape away from the sides of the container & away from the blades, resuming blending until smooth. Refrigerate it 24 hrs before using to let it stabilize and allow flavors to get well acquainted with each other. Makes 3 pints. DO NOT freeze this.

                                                    1. re: Jaroslaw

                                                      I c&p'd the recipe for future reference but I don't think I'll be making it anytime soon. That's a huge amount of mayo for us to go through before spoilage occurs and there are a number of ingredients I just don't want to add any more of than I have to in our diet (sugar, corn oil, lots of salt). I'm very happy with the ease and taste of antilope's recipe (even if I do tweak it) and even though it makes only a cup, that cup lasts us for well over a week usually with some still in the jar when I toss it. But I really do appreciate the effort you went to find and post the recipe. If anyone makes it I'd love to hear their opinion.

                                        2. My Mother-in-law makes mayo all the time. She uses Sunflower oil - ubiquitous in her corner of the globe, but a tad hard to find in mine - and it's quite tasty. I don't think she uses much of anything else other than egg yolk, oil, lemon juice (or white/cider vinegar), and salt.

                                          1. the store bought mayo have sugar in them so try to add a tsp or so.. and try to add some more salt and peppar.. and use a GOOD vinegar, i normaly use white balsamic and use ur fav mustard cuz that the only 2 things that give the mayo its taste

                                            If u only want to use it as plain mayo you can add some onion powder, garlic powder, fresh herbs, lemon juice, chili etc.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: L987

                                              Be careful if using the immeresion blender with olive oil. It can get really bitter if you are using all olive oil.

                                            2. My basic mayonnaise is two egg yolks, 1 tsp. of Maille Dijon, juice of an entire very tart lemon (Meyer lemons don't cut it), a hearty pinch of salt, and a cup of peanut oil. If doing it in a food processor the addition of a chipotle with some of the adobo is nice now and then.

                                              1. Don't know if it is any help, but here is a reciped from a brother at the bbq-brethren. I've made this and liked it, but have not compared it to others. Let us know if this gets you any closer.

                                                1. Immersion blender mayonnaise recipe at the Los Angeles Times website:

                                                  1. I made a batch of stick-blender mayonnaise yesterday, and I don't know what the heck happened. I mean, I made one batch, using the directions here (which are virtually the same as every other time I've made mayonnaise), and it just wouldn't come together. So then I made a second batch, and . . . same thing. Gloopy liquid.

                                                    Anyway, I combined those two batches of May-No (heh, I just made that up) and left them on the counter for a while, along with another egg. When I got home from work, I decide to try one more time - the egg, a goodly spoonful of dijon mustard this time, some salt & white pepper and a good splash of lemon juice, then I used the failed mayos instead of oil, and it was all good.

                                                    I suspect I may have been rushing earlier. I mean, it only takes about a minute to make it, but I've got to at least be willing to take that minute, I guess.

                                                    As a die-hard Hellman's gal, I've got to admit - good homemade is even better.

                                                    2 Replies
                                                    1. re: Krislady

                                                      Every once in awhile I'll do a batch that comes together runny for no reason. This winter since home egg production has slowed I've noticed this happens more often than not with eggs I've bought at the grocery store. I can't say absolutely that's the cause but it's an observation. If I use an extra store bought egg yolk the mayo seems to come together better. I'm guessing the home grown eggs have more fat in the yolk.

                                                      1. re: morwen

                                                        Putting that last egg in did do the trick for me.

                                                    2. i made mayo today and it tasted great! try this recipe

                                                      2 egg yolks
                                                      1 Tbsp white balsamic or white wine vinegar (or any light color good tasting vinegar)
                                                      1/2 Tbsp mustard (i normally use some kind of sweet mustard)
                                                      1/2 ti 1 tsp of sugar
                                                      1 to 2 cups of oil like canola oil
                                                      salt to taste (i had 1/2 tsp)
                                                      pepper to taste

                                                      1. http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/al...

                                                        Alton Brown to the rescue. Use the oil of your choice.