Did you know that it's really really easy to make mayonnaise at home? It's just three ingredients — egg yolks, a squeeze of lemon juice, and some oil — and with an immersion blender, it's ready in about five minutes. Three ingredients, five minutes of your time, delicious creamy mayo. Let's do this.
Mayonnaise is made by blending two things that would otherwise prefer to stay separated: egg yolks and oil. If you just put those two ingredients in a bowl and start whisking, you'll end up with a slightly eggy bowl of oil that separates after a few minutes.
The trick is gentle persuasion. Add the oil slowly — teaspoon or so at a time — while whisking constantly and you get mayonnaise. Magic. You can do this by hand with a bowl and whisk (and you can see how in this video here), but I find it infinitely easier, faster, and more reliable to do this with an immersion blender.
Although making mayo with an immersion blender is faster, I still want to emphasize that you need to add the oil gradually. Add a teaspoon or two, blend...add a few more teaspoons, blend...and so on. Once you've added the first half cup, the mayo is stabilized enough that you can add the oil more quickly, but keep an eye on it —if the mayo stops thickening, gets grainy, or turns liquidy, then stop adding oil and blend until it thickens again. Once you've made this a few times and have a feel for it, you can try going more quickly, or even try pouring all the oil on top of the eggs and then blending all at once — going slowly at first is just an extra level of insurance.
Homemade mayo doesn't last as long as store-bought mayo, which is another reason why it's nice to just make a cup or so at a time with the immersion blender. We're also using raw eggs, so use the best, freshest eggs you can find. If you avoid raw eggs for health reasons, look for pasteurized egg yolks at the store.
A little lemon juice or vinegar, a pinch of salt, and a sprinkle of dried mustard round out this homemade mayo quite nicely. It'll give store-bought a run for its money, any day.
How To Make Mayonnaise with an Immersion Blender
What You Need
1 teaspoon lemon juice or vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard (optional)
1 cup canola oil, olive oil, or any other oil
Measuring cups and spoons
Immersion blender cup or wide-mouth canning jar
- Combine the yolks, lemon juice, salt, and mustard: Combine the yolks, lemon juice, salt, and mustard in the blender cup or canning jar. Pulse with the immersion blender a few times to break up the yolks. You may need to tilt the cup so the blender blade reaches the yolks.
- Add 1/2 cup of the oil a little at a time: With the immersion blender running, add the first 1/2 cup of oil a few tablespoons at a time. Make sure each addition of oil is completely blended before adding the next. The mixture should start to thicken and lighten. (Once you've made this a few times and have a feel for it, you can try going more quickly, or even try pouring all the oil on top of the eggs and then blending all at once — going slowly at first is just an extra level of insurance.)
- Add the remaining oil in a steady stream: Once the first half cup of oil has been added, you can add the rest more quickly. Add as much of the oil as needed to reach the consistency you prefer; the more oil you add, the thicker the mayo will become. You may not need to use all the oil. If the mayo becomes too thick and you'd like to thin it out, blend water, 1 teaspoon at a time, into the mayo until you reach your desired thickness.
- Store the mayonnaise: Transfer any mayo not being used immediately to a storage container (or leave it in the canning jar and seal it with a lid). Homemade mayo will keep for about 1 week in the refrigerator.
- Use the best, freshest eggs you can find for homemade mayo. If you avoid raw eggs for health reasons, look for pasteurized egg yolks at the store.
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