Traditional Mayonnaise

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Yield:

    1½ cups

Appears in


By James Peterson

Published 1991

  • About


egg yolks 4 4
mustard (optional) 2 tbsp 30 ml
fine salt (or to taste) 1 to 2 tsp 5 to 10 ml
finely ground white pepper 1 pinch 1 pinch
wine vinegar or lemon juice 2 tbsp 30 ml
safflower or other inert-tasting oil cups 375 ml
flavorful liquid for thinning (optional)


  1. Combine the egg yolks, mustard, if using, salt, pepper, and 1 tablespoon (15 milliliters) of the wine vinegar. (A, B)

    Blend with a whisk or immersion blender until the mixture is smooth. (If using an immersion blender, put the mayonnaise in a narrow container to make it easier for the blender to reach down into the mixture.) If using an electric mixer, use the whisk attachment on medium speed.

  2. If needed, transfer the egg yolk mixture to a larger bowl. Slowly beat the oil into the egg yolk mixture. Add about a tablespoon (15 milliliters) of oil at a time while beating, and wait for the oil to combine with the yolks before adding more. If preparing the mayonnaise by hand, it is best to pour several tablespoons of oil down one side of the bowl and whisk the yolks in such a way as to avoid mixing more than a tablespoon of oil into the mixture at once.
  3. When the mixture begins to thicken, the emulsion has been established, meaning it is now relatively stable. The oil can now be added in a thin but steady stream.
  4. As more oil is added, the mayonnaise may become so thick that it will be difficult to work. Unless the mayonnaise is already too acidic, add the remaining wine vinegar. If the mayonnaise is still too thick or it is already acidic enough, you can add other liquid, such as water, infused flavorful mixtures, or vegetable purées. Continue beating and adding oil until all the oil has been incorporated. Adjust the seasoning.