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In cooking school, I developed many an arm muscle whisking oil, egg yolk, lemon juice, and mustard into an emulsion by hand. If you’ve got a food processor or an immersion blender and three minutes, you can get the same dreamy results with none of the anguish. Here’s how.

immersion blender mayo in a jar with a spoon and a napkin
Immersion blender mayo made with safflower oil
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Why this recipe works

Historically, homemade mayo required tedious attention to the snail-paced dribbling of oil into a bowl of egg yolk, acid, and seasonings while whisking as if your life depended on it. That process requires three arms and a steely mental prowess, making it appropriate for only a small fraction of home cooks.

Lucky for us, we’ve got options. Whether you have a food processor or an immersion blender, you can make luscious mayo in minutes. Here’s why it works:

  • Mayo is all about emulsification — basically, forcing oil and water to mix and stay mixed
  • In this recipe, the agitation caused by the food processor or stick blender disperses and suspends tiny droplets of one throughout the other
  • The egg yolks (which contain lecithin) and mustard are natural emulsifiers. They keep the particles suspended together even after the agitation has stopped.
  • The tiny hole at the bottom of a food processor‘s plunger controls the speed at which the oil drips into the mixture. The tight fit of the immersion blender in the mixing container plays a similar role.
  • This recipe has generous ingredient ratios that both taste great and give you a bit of wiggle room to ensure emulsification.
  • You’ll also have all ingredients at room temperature. This maximizes the emulsification potential of the yolks.

A few notes on the history of this post

I first published the food processor mayo recipe, adapted from Mark Bittman, way back in 2011. Although most people have success with this method, it can be finicky depending on the exact specs of your food processor. I’ve gotten occasional comments about the recipe not working, and since I replaced the blade on my Cuisinart after a recall, I’ve had less consistent results myself.

I’ve since updated the post for clarity and also to add the immersion blender mayo method. This is another fantastic option for making quick, excellent homemade mayonnaise if your food processor doesn’t do the trick — in fact, I use it more frequently now than the original. Our immersion blender Hollandaise sauce has been a popular game-changer for a long time now, so I’m not sure why I didn’t think to include immersion blender mayonnaise before.

What you’ll need

Here’s a glance at the ingredients you’ll need to make this recipe.

ingredients in bowls
  • You can choose between a mild-tasting olive oil and a neutral oil like safflower for this recipe. Both the color and flavor profile will be lighter with safflower oil, but both versions are super.
  • Use impeccably fresh egg yolks from a source you trust. Technically you can use just one egg yolk to emulsify the amount of oil in this recipe, but I prefer to use two for the additional richness and a bit of “insurance.” It’s VERY important that the egg yolks be at room temperature to unlock their full emulsification potential.
  • Use freshly squeezed lemon juice, or half lemon juice and half champagne vinegar.
  • Feel free to swap in truffle salt or herb salt if you like.

How to make it

Here’s an overview of what you’ll do to make a great batch of homemade mayo in the food processor or with an immersion blender. You can see the steps in action in the video that accompanies this post, and get all the details in the recipe card below.

Homemade Food Processor Mayonnaise
Food processor mayonnaise made with olive oil

Food processor mayo

  1. Have ingredients at room temperature. Place the yolks, mustard, lemon juice, salt, and pepper Into the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade. Measure the oil into a liquid measuring cup with a spout.
  2. Turn on the food processor. Pour about half of the oil into the white plunger in the feed tube. The tiny hole at the bottom of the plunger will dribble the oil into the bowl of the processor, allowing the mayo to emulsify.
  3. When the oil level in the plunger gets low, pour in the remaining oil. The whole process should take about two to three minutes.
  4. When all the oil has dribbled into the bowl, stop the processor. Stir with a rubber spatula to incorporate any last bits of oil.
step by step

Immersion blender mayo

  1. Have ingredients at room temperature. Place egg yolks, mustard, lemon juice, salt, and pepper into the mixing jar that came with your immersion blender or a 2-cup liquid measuring cup (such as a standard Pyrex) that fits the bottom of the blender snugly.
  2. Pour in the oil.
  3. Wait a minute until the oil separates, rising to the top and leaving the other ingredients at the bottom. Then place the stick blender into the mixing container, lowering all the way and holding vertically so that the bottom of the blender is completely resting on the bottom of the container. Blend until the bottom of the mixture has substantially emulsified.
  4. At this point, slowly raise the blender to allow a little more oil at a time to be drawn into the emulsion. Continue until all oil is incorporated. Give mayo a stir and taste for seasoning.

Mince two medium cloves of garlic and stir into the mayo after blending. That’s it!

Expert tips and FAQs

Why didn’t my food processor mayonnaise work?

Although most people have success with this method, it can be finicky depending on the exact specs of your food processor. Slight variations in bowl shape, blade texture, and heat level generated by the motor can be the difference between success and failure. After a recall, I replaced the blade on my standard Cuisinart processor that had been making fabulous mayo for years, and it stopped working reliably. So if you’ve tried a few times and it hasn’t worked, that’s probably why.

See the section below on how to rescue broken mayo.

Why didn’t my immersion blender mayo work?

I find this method to be extremely reliable. There are only two major variables, which shouldn’t be in play if you’re following this recipe — but equipment varies, so it’s not impossible.

First: Did you not use one of the recommended containers fits the business end of your stick blender snugly? If you didn’t, that’s the issue.

Second: Did the egg yolk, lemon juice, and mustard not reach the level of your stick blender’s blade before mixing? If there’s too much oil at blade level, the emulsion may never get off on the right foot. This shouldn’t happen with the recommended equipment setup, but if your blender is different and it does, you can double the recipe.

Can I pasteurize the egg yolks?

If you have a sous vide cooker, you can. Learn how in this post.

Can I make this recipe in advance? What about leftovers?

Yes. Homemade mayo keeps well in an airtight container in the fridge for a week.

How to rescue broken mayo

If your mayo fails to emulsify, here’s a trick from Cook’s Illustrated that you can use to bring it back together.

  • Transfer mayo into a liquid measuring cup with a spout.
  • Place four teaspoons of water (or, if you’re not opposed to a little extra flavor, lemon juice or champagne vinegar) into a mixing bowl.
  • While whisking vigorously, very slowly pour in about 1/2 cup of the runny mayo. This should create a sauce with the approximate consistency of heavy cream.
  • Transfer to the food processor or immersion blender cup and slowly drizzle in the rest of the broken mayo. Process briefly until thickened.
  • Rescued mayo won’t be quite as thick as usual, but it should still be good.

Where to use it

food processor mayonnaise in a jar and spread on a ham and cheese sandwich

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food processor mayonnaise in a jar and spread on a ham and cheese sandwich
4.84 from 43 votes

Immersion Blender or Food Processor Mayonnaise

By Carolyn Gratzer Cope
I first learned about using the food processor to make homemade mayonnaise from Mark Bittman way back in the mid 2000s. I've since added the immersion blender method to this post as well and now use that device more often. It is hard to overstate the genius of these methods. Here's how to use them to make homemade mayo in minutes.
Prep: 3 minutes
Total: 3 minutes
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Ingredients 

  • 2 egg yolks, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup safflower oil or mild-tasting olive oil

Instructions 

Food processor method

  • Into the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade, place the egg yolks, mustard, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
  • Measure the oil into a liquid measuring cup with a spout.
  • Turn on the food processor.
  • Pour about half of the oil into the white plunger in the feed tube. The tiny hole at the bottom of the plunger will dribble the oil into the bowl of the processor, allowing the mayo to emulsify.
  • When the oil level in the plunger gets low, pour in the remaining oil. The whole process should take about two to three minutes.
  • When all the oil has dribbled into the bowl, stop the processor. Stir with a rubber spatula to incorporate any last bits of oil.
  • Taste mayo for seasoning, adding more salt, pepper, or lemon juice to taste.

Immersion blender method

  • Place egg yolks, mustard, lemon juice, salt, and pepper into the mixing jar that came with your immersion blender or a 2-cup liquid measuring cup (such as a standard Pyrex) that fits the bottom of the blender snugly.
  • Pour in the oil.
  • Wait a minute until the oil separates, rising to the top and leaving the other ingredients at the bottom.
  • Place the stick blender into the mixing container, lowering all the way and holding vertically so that the bottom of the blender is completely resting on the bottom of the container.
  • Blend (on high speed if your device has options) until the bottom of the mixture has substantially emulsified.
  • At this point, slowly raise the blender to allow a little more oil at a time to be drawn into the emulsion. Continue until all oil is incorporated.
  • Give mayo a stir and taste for seasoning.

Notes

  1. Recommended variation: To make aioli, mince two medium cloves of garlic and stir into the mayo after blending. That's it!
  2. Store homemade mayo in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.

Nutrition

Serving: 1tablespoon, Calories: 129kcal, Carbohydrates: 0.2g, Protein: 0.6g, Fat: 14.6g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Cuisine: American
Tried this recipe?Mention @umamigirl or tag #umamigirl!

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Subscribe to Umami Girl’s email updates, and follow along on Instagram.

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About Carolyn Gratzer Cope

Hi there, I'm Carolyn Gratzer Cope, founder and publisher of Umami Girl. Join me in savoring life, one recipe at a time. I'm a professional recipe developer with training from the French Culinary Institute (now ICE) and a lifetime of studying, appreciating, and sharing food.

4.84 from 43 votes (43 ratings without comment)

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77 Comments

  1. I followed your instructions step by step, instead of making it my usual way and the only thing is made was a dirty and greasy food processor. Is there a way to rectify this problem or should I toss it. I noticed in the food pusher for my food processor that there are two holes, not one and I do not think they are that small. Could this be the reason I have a food processor full of slop?

      1. Hi, Linda Ann, I’m sorry to see that this happened. The food processor method works for most people, but for the occasional person, the shape of your processor bowl and blade and the heat generated by the machine will conspire to prevent it from working.

        I’ve updated the post with more information, an additional method, and some rescue tactics for broken mayo. Hope that helps.

  2. At what point would you address garlic? Has anyone had garlic mayo? (Certainly not on everything) On some sandwiches, it’s the only thing I want! YUM! What I have had, could only be better by homemade mayo?

  3. Most say homemade mayo has to be used within 7 days.
    A web site I read if pasteurized eggs are used the mayo will keep several weeks.
    To pasteurize an egg place in 160-165% water for 3 minutes from room temp

  4. I noticed you used a small g in your comment “(And thank god for that, am I right?)” I was wondering if that was a typo you want to correct.