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Homemade Mayonnaise

I just tried to make mayonnaise for the first time. The first try, i used virgin olive oil. The consistency was great, but It tasted like straight olive oil. So I did some research, and dug around my pantry and found some grapeseed oil. I read that grapeseed oil is light and a neutral so it wont take over the flavor. On the second batch, I tried that, and it still tasted "oily". Like a bitter bite in the end, not pleasant at all. Is that what homemade mayo is supposed to taste like?? Or does it taste similar to its grocery store counterpart? Everyone says once you make it homemade, you wont want to buy it again, so I'm hoping I can figure out the problem.

The recipe I used called for:
1/2 cup oil
Juice of half a lemon
2 Egg yolks
Pinch of salt and pepper to taste

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  1. Oil is the dominate ingredient in the list - so yes, the taste the oil will be strong. Store bought uses soybean or other flavorless oil, so most of the flavor will come from the lemon and spices (s&p etc).

    1. Maybe the oil was old and rancid?

      1. Bitter is usually a sign of rancidity in a fairly neutral oil like grapeseed. Your egg yolk to oil ratio is really high as well, though I doubt that would contribute to bitterness, but using less and emulsifying the mixture more thoroughly might contribute to less of an "oily" feel. Try taking a look at this recipe and information from Kenji at Serious Eats as well.

        http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/20...

        3 Replies
          1. re: paulj

            Because of this thread I wound up looking at this and then clicked through to the homemade recipe, which calls for canola oil and just a yolk. I remembered that I had some white fish in the fridge so I just went ahead and made it - took me like 2 minutes and was delish. Way easier/more successful than any of the recipes I've tried in the past. I went out this morning to get some bacon to use more of the mayo up on BLTs. yummmmmm.

            1. re: kazhound

              next time, put some bacon fat in the mayo. :)

        1. I tend to use a mild/light olive oil for mayonaise - have had good results with Fillipo Berio Mild and Light - I think Bertolli markets something similar.

          Other than that, try canola or sunflower, or a blend, until you find something you like. If you're trying to recreate a flavour close to a commercial brand, pick up a jar next time you're in the store and check the label for the type of oil used.

          1. It's the oil, we made the same mistake and use Olive oil...awful. We then used a standard veggie oil (canola) and it was very good. FYI it only stays good for about 5 days.

            1. As paulj said, the key to great tasting mayonnaise MAY be a neutral oil. If you're not plagued by peanut allergies, I use peanut oil in mine, and if I want it really thick I make it in a regular "jar" blender (as in NOT a stick blender!) instead of a food processor, which will give you what I call a "limp" mayonnaise. Which is much closer to a traditional hand whipped mayonnaise (unless you have a whipping arm of steel!).

              Sometimes I use whole eggs, sometimes I just use the yolks. You CANNOT make mayonnaise with just the whites, because it is the lecithin (aka vitamin e) in the egg yolks that allows the liquid (lemon juice or vinegar) to bond into an emulsion. That also means that there are times when a teaspoon or more of added water will help your mayonnaise bind into a thicker emulsion. I've never used just two egg yolks, but then I don't follow recipes, so maybe 2 yolks is enough for a half cup of oil. The juice of half a lemon looks a bit short on the "water" side for me, but hey, if it worked for you, who am I to complain? I do use white pepper when/if I use pepper in my mayonnaise.

              If you want a milder olive oil flavor, "light" olive oil should do it for you as it is much less flavorful than extra virgin olive oil simply because it has been filtered to remove the remnant olive flesh that will scorch at higher temperatures with evoo.

              I almost always use about an eighth to a quarter tsp of dry mustard in my basic mayonnaise recipe, though there are times when I replace that with true wasabi powder, and using different flavored vinegars can be interesting.

              Hope this helps, and good luck!

              1. My wife and I haven't bought mayo from a store in, well, for me about five years--but she learned to make it from her mom and has almost never been exposed to commercial store-bought mayo. Anyway, we use corn or canola oil, which is neutral in flavor and inexpensive. It works GREAT. Obviously you can use an oil with a more assertive flavor, like olive, but if you do, don't expect it to taste anything like store-bought mayo.

                As for the oiliness, homemade mayo will never be as perfectly emulsified as Kraft, Hellman's/Best Foods, and their ilk, as they have the arsenal of industrial food processing techniques and additives available to them that we home cooks do not have and/or do not want to utilize.

                As for the recipe, I would add a teaspoon of dijon mustard if you want it to taste more like mayo you are accustomed to. We also add a tiny pinch of white pepper (no black pepper at all). Also, one egg yolk is more than enough for a half cup of oil. One egg yolk to one cup of oil is a fine ratio. It's possible that your high ratio of egg yolk to oil is contributing to whatever flavor or texture you are finding unappealing.

                1. I use sunflower oil.

                  There are copycat mayo recipes for corporate mayo brands.

                  1. unless you're doing it by hand, it may be your food processor.

                    2 Replies
                      1. re: paulj

                        it may take too long to emulsify and will heat up the oil. this has not happened to me, but i have heard some claim this makes the mayo bitter.

                    1. this is the mayo recipe I always use. I vary the acid depending on the flavor I want in the end.

                      Basic Mayonnaise
                      1 egg yolk
                      1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
                      pinch each fine sea salt & white pepper
                      2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
                      3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
                      1 ½ cups vegetable oil (such as grapeseed, which has no flavor)

                      In a food processor fitted with the metal blade, put egg, mustard, salt and pepper, lemon juice and olive oil. Turn on motor to blend the mixture. Leave the motor running, and dribble the vegetable oil in a slow steady stream into the mixture. (When all the oil has been absorbed, your mayo is finished.)

                      1. Seems odd there is so little mention of the magic of a bit of water in making mayo. See, e.g., http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/23/din...

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: MGZ

                          ummmmm... Here's one (of several) of the paragraphs from my post above... '-)

                          "Sometimes I use whole eggs, sometimes I just use the yolks. You CANNOT make mayonnaise with just the whites, because it is the lecithin (aka vitamin e) in the egg yolks that allows the liquid (lemon juice or vinegar) to bond into an emulsion. That also means that there are times when a teaspoon or more of added water will help your mayonnaise bind into a thicker emulsion. I've never used just two egg yolks, but then I don't follow recipes, so maybe 2 yolks is enough for a half cup of oil. The juice of half a lemon looks a bit short on the "water" side for me, but hey, if it worked for you, who am I to complain? I do use white pepper when/if I use pepper in my mayonnaise. "

                          1. re: Caroline1

                            Lecithin is not Vitamin E. Different molecules though sometimes paired together in supplements.

                            1. re: PommeDeGuerre

                              mmmmm... No.... As far as I know (or have ever read) there is no such thing as vitamin E that does not contain lecithin. Lecithin is in all plants and animals. However, the first lecithin was extracted from egg yolks. It can also be extracted from plants and oils. And it is, in fact, the lecithin in egg yolks that acts as the emulsifier that binds watery liquids such as vinegar with oil to make a stable mayonnaise. All vitamin E contains lecithin, but egg yolks are not the only source for lecithin. And yes, it is the vitamin E in egg yolks that contains the lecithin.

                        2. I had the same experience the first time out, using DaVinci Extra Virgin. I now use a varying ratio of Olive Oil to Crisco Oil, depending on how strong or mild I want it.

                          1. As others have said, old oil can taste bitter. Might not notice it elsewhere, but it will race to the fore in mayo. Lemon seeds are also quite bitter, and if you're using a food processor it'll grind a stray seed or two right up.

                            I tend to vary the type of oil depending on the intended use for the mayo. Straight olive oil pretty much only for a dip, or once in awhile as a spread for, say, poached or pan-roasted fish. But usually plain neutral oil (doesn't matter all that much which), or neutral oil mixed with a bit of olive oil, in something like a 3-to-1 or 4-to-1 ratio.

                            1. Like others have said, a flavourless oil works best. I've used sunflower, but now I use a flavourless olive oil.

                              With two egg yolks, I generally use about a cup of oil to three tablespoons vinegar/lemon juice. I also add about a half teaspoon or teaspoon of chilli powder depending on my mood, sometimes mustard, sometimes garlic.

                              1. I started making my own when I was on a diet. Store bought mayo was on the no fly list however I could have 1 egg yolk a day, as much canola oil as i wanted and mustard was basically a push.

                                So, 2 tb dijon mustard
                                2 egg yolks
                                juice of a half lemon
                                2 cups canola oil.
                                Salt to taste (left it out of my "Diet" mayo)

                                In a food processor add yolks, mustard and lemon juice.
                                Turn on and slowly add oil.
                                Makes a nice, think, slightly tangy mayo.

                                I kept an old Helmans squeeze bottle that I use for this.
                                I take a zip top bag and put all the mayo in it. Cut a corner and stick that corner into the top of the bottle. Squeeze the mayo into the bottle. When I've got as much as possible out, I use a plastic board scraper to "Squeegee" the mayo back to the bottom. Repeat the filling process.

                                DT

                                1. Oh goody! Another person foisting their mayonnaise recipe on you! Here goes. First the ingredients are two egg yolks, a heaping teaspoon of Maille Dijon, juice of a lemon, a judicious pinch of salt (appreciate the specificity), and a cup of peanut oil. Bring all ingredients to room temperature. I I know immersion blender mayonnaise is the cool thing, but I really prefer the texture I can get with a whisk or a food processor. IMO mayonnaise should be silky, not stiff. With an FP you can also drop in a chipotle en adobo. With chipotle I dial back the lemon a little.