Basics: How to Make Mayonnaise

Homemade mayo is light years away from the jarred stuff—and couldn't be easier to make at home.

In our Basics series, we tackle the simple kitchen tasks; no job is so small that it doesn’t deserve to be done perfectly.

The key to homemade mayonnaise is creating an emulsion: The egg yolk and the oil have to fully integrate to achieve a thick, velvety texture. This requires a slow, steady drizzle of oil and nonstop whisking. (If you’re not into the arm workout, an electric beater with a whisk attachment works just as well, as does a food processor or blender.) Some other tips:

  • Remember to take it slow: Adding oil only a few drops at a time is crucial. If oil is added too quickly, the whole thing will break.
  • If the mixture gets too thick, you can add another squeeze of lemon juice to loosen it up.