Tastier and Cheaper Than Storebought: Mayonnaise

Mayonnaise: It’s the base for “Special Sauce,” found in countless seafood salads and deviled eggs, and it’s the creamy, heavenly stuff that gives tuna sandwiches their mystique.

Egg, oil and a fresh lemon. That's all you need.  Image by "Seeman" courtesy of Morguefile.com

Egg, oil and a fresh lemon. That’s all you need. Image by “Seeman” courtesy of Morguefile.com


What if I told you that you could not only make mayonnaise with only three ingredients, and it would take less than fifteen minutes? You don’t even have to be a good cook. In fact, you could be the World’s Worst Cook, and you could still pull off this killer condiment.

Here’s what you need:

  • One egg, large or medium-sized at room temperature (more on the importance of this, later.)
  • The juice of half a lemon, or a tablespoon of cider vinegar
  • A cup of canola or vegetable oil
  • Salt, to taste (I start with 1/4 teaspoon)

All you need is either a blender or a food processor with the sharp, metallic blade, the one that looks like a ninja throwing star.

  1. Make sure your egg is at room temperature. A cold egg will not whip up into a creamy texture as quickly.  You can cheat this process by putting your egg into a bowl full of hot – not boiling – tap water, shell and all.  Keep the egg warming in its bowl while you assemble all the other ingredients, or put your food processor/blender together.
  2. Juice the half lemon and pour it into the blender bowl. If you don’t have a lemon, use a tablespoon of cider vinegar. White vinegar is a bit harsh, and balsamic doesn’t quite have the same acidity or “bite” that we’re looking for.
  3. Crack the egg and pour that into the bowl.
  4. Add 1/4 teaspoon of salt over this.
  5. Turn on your blender, and whizz the whole thing around until it turns a light, frothy pale yellow. Keep the motor on as we go to step six:
  6. Gently, slowwwwwwwly pour in the oil; If you pour it all in too quickly at first it will curdle.  Just pour a thin filament from your measuring cup into the oil dispenser on your blender or processor. drizzle
  7. keep steadily pouring it into the blender as it’s running – you’ll hear the mixture start to thicken as you pour: The mayonnaise will start out runny and steadily go from a gurgle to thick, slurpy sound.
  8. When you’re out of oil, turn off the machine, and spoon the mix into a clean mason jar.  This stuff will last about a week in the fridge.

Cost: Currently, a 1.5L jar of Kraft’s Miracle Whip is on sale for $5.99.   I used a 4L container of oil that cost $3.98, using only 1 cup of oil, which cost 25 cents.  I used a tablespoon of cider vinegar, which I’m going to say cost roughly 0.10 cents at a tablespoon (I bought a 1L jug) and salt which I won’t evne try to calculate.

A whole jar of homemade mayo, rounded up is less than 40 cents.

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