Monday 15 August 2011

Perfect Primal Mayonnaise

After much trial and error,  I think Ive perfected the stick blender method. Stick (immersion) blender mayonnaise is super easy, fast, and almost infallible. If you own a stick blender, here's my recipe. If you don't own a stick blender and you love mayonnaise, get one! For those that want to "stick" with the beater method, read on.

I love me some mayonnaise, but Marcus REALLY loves him some mayonnaise.

However, I shudder every time I think about what is in the Hellman's I still love. Even worse is the Hellman's made with canola oil and marketed as heart healthy. There are so many things wrong with that declaration that I don't know even where to start. How can any oil that is subjected to high heat, degumming, deorderizing, and bleaching be good for you? Whatever heart healthy Omega-3s there were in the beginning have long since been oxidized out of existence. What's left is proinflammatory trans-fat. Healthy? Ha! Besides, there is more and more evidence that shows the whole heart disease-saturated fat link is non existent.

Okay, rant over.

But, we still love mayo. Which has sent me on the quest to make a perfect mayonnaise. Mayo is made from egg yolks (or even the whole egg), vinegar and/or lemon juice, and a lot of oil. Which oil to choose has been an interesting adventure. We want to choose an oil that is healthy, but also has the right taste and the right texture.

I tried with cold pressed extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), but the olive oil taste was overwhelming. Olive oil also makes it an interesting greenish colour which is neither here nor there except that it looks weird. Primal Kid refused to believe it was mayonnaise.

I next tried with coconut oil à la Mark's Daily Apple, but it solidified even at room temperature. It was pretty bland as well. I also tried with grapeseed oil, but it was boring too. Besides, its fatty acid profile isn't that spectacular either. I gave up on it for a while, but recently tried again and I think I've hit on a pretty darn good combo, if I do say so myself.

Anyone who has ever made mayonnaise knows that it can be finicky to make. It takes patience and cannot be rushed. If the stars aren't aligned properly it might not set. (*Update: apparently adding water to the yolks helps the emulsification process so I've added that to my recipe. I haven't had the mayo break since).

I use an electric mixer with the small bowl, but it could be made into a crossfit WOD by whisking by hand (I've never managed it) or you can use a blender.

  • 2 pastured egg yolks
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons water
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard (optional)
  • pinch of cayenne
  • 1/2 cup cold pressed light or delicate tasting olive oil (If you can't find light olive oil which is cold pressed, use EVOO. Your may0 will be greener and taste more strongly of olive oil)
  • 1/4 cup avocado oil
  • 1/4 cup liquid (not warm) coconut oil 

All ingredients and equipment must be at room temperature.

Place egg yolks, salt, lemon juice, water, mustard and cayenne in the mixing bowl and beat until yolks are lighter coloured and creamy. If using a mixer, beat on low to medium speed, if a blender, use medium.

 Add 1/4 cup of oil to yolk mixture, 1/2 teaspoon at a time, in drops. It doesn't matter which kind of oil you add first - I usually mix all mine together in a small cup. This step is the most important; if the oil is added too fast it won't emulsify. If using a mixer, occasionally run a spatula around the edge of the bowl to make sure the oil is incorporated evenly.

Once the first 1/4 cup of oil is in and the mixture is thickening, you can relax a little and add the remaining oil a teaspoon at a time in a thin stream.

 This combination made a light coloured, velvety, perfectly textured, thick mayonnaise that passed Primal Kid inspection (EVOO makes it just slightly green; light olive oil makes it quite yellow). The coconut oil lightened the colour and the avocado oil added a depth and richness that was missing with just coconut oil.

If you like your mayo a little tangier you can add more lemon juice either at the beginning or the end.  This is also the time to add spices or herbs for a gourmet flavour.

Mexican night? Try lime juice instead of lemon and add chopped cilantro and chipotles at the end.
Sweet potato fries? Add roasted or crushed fresh garlic.
The possibilites are endless.

[Insert here Standard Legal Liability yadda-yadda about uncooked eggs, salmonella etc.]
Eat at your own risk. Refrigerate immediately and eat within 4 days. 

Got a favourite flavour? A great recipe? Please share!


  1. With garlic = yummy aioli, goes with roast beast, roast turkey, roast chicken, roast veggies...

    I'll try an EVOO coconut avocado aioli following your most excellent directions.

  2. "I love me some mayonnaise."

    Just curious, are y'all from the South or have you spent time in the South?

    Nice recipe, by the way!


    1. Hi John,

      Thanks! Glad you liked the recipe.
      We're not from the south, we're Vancouver types. Ive been to some southern places, New Orleans, and San Antonio, but only for short trips. Did the mayo phrase make you think we've spent time there? Probably heard it somewhere.