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Recipe File: Homemade Mayonnaise
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Michael Chu

Joined: 10 May 2005
Posts: 1654
Location: Austin, TX (USA)

PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2005 6:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

an anonymous reader wrote:
is there any need to cook the eggs or the final product, is it safe to eat say a sandwich with this mayonase on it, since it has raw eggs in it?

Of course eating raw eggs is a risk. In the United States, a small percentage of eggs are contaminated with salmonella (an often quoted statistic is 1 in 30,000 eggs are contaminated; risk increases a bit if eating eggs in a restaurant due to handling, etc.). Eggs are generally laid with salmonella from sick birds - You can reduce your risk by purchasing eggs from health conscious producers such as organic eggs as generally the chicken population is watched with more concern. Regardless of the type of egg you purchase, examine the eggs you plan to use. Use the freshest eggs you can get for this recipe. Don't use eggs with cracks in the shell (you can place the egg in a salted cold water bath and look for a stream of bubbles). When you extract the yolk, pay attention to the whites. They should be gel like and not watery. Also, the yolks should not break easily.

Keeping these things in mind reduces your risk of food poisoning from the raw egg yolk drastically. (Remember, randomly grabbing an egg is a 1 in 30,000 chance; in other words, you need to eat 20,800 random eggs in order to have a 50-50 chance of having selected a salmonella infected one. Picking and choosing reduces this risk and it's unlikely the average person will be eating this many raw eggs in their lifetime [about one a day]) If you are immune deficient or generally susceptible to illness, obviously do not consume raw eggs or raw egg products. Otherwise, if your eggs are fresh, healthy and refrigerated (refrigeration has more to do with freshness than anything else - eggs age slower in refrigerators than at room temperature), it should be safe to eat.

If you would like to cook the eggs, simply whisk the yolks with the lemon juice and then heat slowly (very slowly) while stirring until it reaches 160°F (about when the mixture coats the back of a metal spoon and the yolk starts producing a few bubbles). Heating too fast will result in scrambled eggs. Place the pan into ice water to stop the cooking and stir until the egg yolk cools down (try not to get water into the pan). then proceed with the recipe as before (add salt, pepper, oil).
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Joined: 18 Jul 2005
Posts: 29

PostPosted: Sun Aug 14, 2005 9:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The beauty of a well-made mayonnaise is a wonderful thing.

There is great difference between the perfectly hand whisked variety, produced with great focus and concentration, for immediate service, and the Commercially Engineered feat of a glass-canned Hellmans. Both have their place.

The perfect hand whisked is analagous to a fine freshly whipped cream, where gloss and the folding of the peak show the perfect suspension of air to fat. In mayo, the hand whisked has a gloss and tip fold that Hellmans can never touch.

Yet Hellmans has its place in the real world kitchen. Let those among us who never use jarred mayonnaise cast the first stone. The Commercially Engineered Hellmans is a marvel in its own way. Engineers have studied the process of emulsion/suspension and provided a safe and shelf stable product, consistently replicatable with each production run in the factory. Can we hand-whippers claim that same consistency?

The quest for the perfect mayo can draw to common ground both the esthete and the engineer. Thomas Keller, the featured saint/iconic chef in Mark Ruleman's "The Soul of a Chef" talks about his daily quest in his formative years for the perfect hollandaise. Well folks, a hollandaise ain't nuthin' but a hot mayo made from butter. The quest is the same. I've been trying mayos for 30 years in every conceivable vessel that has a moving blade, enjoying the nuances of differences that each machine (including wrist) can produce, and also sheepishly disposing of some lamentable failures.

What really got me to thinking was the post by "anonymous guest', earlier in this string: "Place a "Stick blender" all the way to the bottom of the jar and slowly blend back to the top about 5 seconds. Instant mayo!"

Wow! Something clicked in engineering lobe of the brain: A jar is a cylinder, and has different equations for volume determination than has a sphere ( or functionally in the kitchen, a Hemi-sphere: a bowl). The food processor "bowl" is likewise a cylinder, and the blender vase a hybrid of the two.

So then I wondered: what do the real food engineers in the "Food Industry" do? How do they make mayo? Is it a hemispheric kettle with a rotating blade and a calibrated drizzle? A cylinder churn with a later piston extrusion to remove product to jar? My quick and paltry Google attempts did not get me to their production process. Several questions/ideas arise:

1) Any Hellmans' engineers want to share the process? Or, academicians in emulsion sciences?

2) Has anyone tried the jar and stick blender? The logarithmic timing of oil input in the "traditional" methods can be intimidating and also difficult to repeat the same way each time. It seems that the timing of the "raising of the stick blender" would be equivalently problematic.

3) The jar method could be very attractive from the standpoint of fewer vessels/quicker cleanup, and storage of product in fabricating vessel.

4) I haven't tried jar method yet (still have mayo from last week), but will soon do so, and would like to challenge those of us who are so inclined to also try and report results.

5) Variables would be:

a) Height and especially Width of jar;
b) diameter of blade area of blender;
c) displacement value of stick blender;
d) total volume of non-oil materials (egg, acid, others), also expressed as vertical inches in jar;
e) total volume of oil, also expressed as inches in jar. Ratio of "perfect cylinder" could thus be developed from a thru e.
f) description of timing/up-drawing.
g) others?

This could be fun. For those of us who were not permanently scarred by bad teachers requiring stultifying lab reports a' la nuns with rulers on knuckles, let's have a go at it.

Several asides:
1) If you don't yet have a "stick blender", get one. They retail from $25 on up, and are regularly available in your local thrift store as $5 discards from them who don't want to take new chances. Stick blenders eliminate the "transfer soup/etc to blender" step, and give total control over the puree process, and clean up with a zip in a glass of water.

2) Here are the results that I marked from my google search. May be helpful for "mayonados" ( = mayonnaise afficiandos)

3) Finally, not to start a war on "which brand of commercial mayo is best", just know that each year when I travel to the piedmont region of North and South Carolina, I return home with a case of "Dukes" brand mayo. See Sauer's brand website for equivalency. Piedmont Carolina is, however, also the epicenter of distribution for the dreaded/beloved "liver mush".... a whole 'nother story for another thread. Smile
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 27, 2005 7:18 pm    Post subject: Reducing bacteria Reply with quote

Rather than treating the eggs, you can also let the finished product sit out for 4-8 hours. This allows the acid in the lemon juice or vinegar make the environment acidic enough to kill the bacteria.
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Joined: 24 Sep 2005
Posts: 13
Location: Iowa/Chicago

PostPosted: Sat Oct 01, 2005 7:32 pm    Post subject: Might want to rethink that one... Reply with quote

Salmonella typhimurium (the main Salmonella species that causes gastroenteritis and in rare cases sepsis) has an acid tolerance response, it has been found to be able to survive a pH as low as 3 for an extended time. Not sure the pH of mayo but I'm thinking it is more than that of the stomach which the bacteria have to be able to pass through in order to cause disease in the intestine so it makes sense that they could and would survive in your mayo. Letting your mayo sit out at room temp can only help the potential pathogens, immediate refridgeration is highly recommended. Heating it to 160 F seems like a very good idea, not just for pathogens but for spoilers as well.

Source: Bacterial Pathogenesis: A Molecular Approach 2nd Ed. by Abigail Salyers and Dixie Whitt (Best book ever until the 3rd Ed. comes out)
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 02, 2005 4:27 pm    Post subject: allergy Reply with quote

There is a severe mustartd allergy in my family- I will have to leave out the mustard. Will that compromise the flavour?
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Michael Chu

Joined: 10 May 2005
Posts: 1654
Location: Austin, TX (USA)

PostPosted: Sun Oct 02, 2005 6:05 pm    Post subject: Re: allergy Reply with quote

v wrote:
There is a severe mustartd allergy in my family- I will have to leave out the mustard. Will that compromise the flavour?

Adding mustard changes the desired flavor of the recipe. A basic mayonnaise doesn't contain mustard, but if you want mustard flavored mayonnaise (which is a very popular variant), then leaving out the mustard is a bad idea. Smile

Since you're allergic to mustard, I'd stick with the basic mayonnaise recipe (as shown, skipping the optional mention of mustard; you can try other variantions by adding garlic powder or another herb or seasoning of your choice instead if you want something more interesting than a basic mayonnaise).

When I wrote this article, it was my practice to drop in some Dijon mustard while making the mayonnaise, but now I just make a batch of plain mayonnaise and mix add-ins (depending on what food was being prepared) at the time of usage. The plain mayonnaise is very good by itself and adding flavoring later gives a lot of flexibility.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2005 8:00 pm    Post subject: Mayo recipe Reply with quote

Hi everyone,

I tried the above recipe but my mayo came out runny, as if the ingradients never combined to make the mayo as intended.

Any ideas why this might have happened? I followed the directions as posted and used the same ingredients

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Michael Chu

Joined: 10 May 2005
Posts: 1654
Location: Austin, TX (USA)

PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2005 8:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When you whisked the oil with the liquid, did you make sure it was suspended in emulsion before adding additional oil? This is very important as too much oil too quickly will result in a mixture that will never enter emulsion.
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some french guy

PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2005 7:36 pm    Post subject: T° Reply with quote

I'm in too much of a hurry to read through every comment to check nobody said so earlier, but in order to get an emulsion quickly you need to have all your ingredients at the same temperature (especially yolk/oil).
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2005 10:29 pm    Post subject: Edible emulsions Reply with quote

My quest is for a pleasant, sweet, thick edible emulsion that will not spoil if unrefridgerated. (this might be the way that marshmallow creme is made commercially!)

This would seem to preclude egg yolks.

Would commercial lecithin, a mild oil, water, icing (confectioners) sugar and vanilla essence achieve this?

What are the factors that affect the separation of the emulsion?
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Smillie - OzFire -

PostPosted: Sun Jan 01, 2006 12:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Health risks of real Mayo is very low, raw eggs are sometimes contaminated with salmonella that is easily killed with a little acid - the lemon juice or the vinegar as it needs an alkaline environment to survive.

I find having all the ingredients at room temperature before I start helps greatly in getting a good firm Mayo.

Why make your own - You have total control over the flavor - if you start with a good base it can become whatever you imagination can dream up and top bragging rights if it works out well.

Nice variation -
for a light fluffy mayo - whip the egg whites and fold in -

Variations rarely seen nowadays
- Wonderful if used with the right dish -
Grated truffles folded in just before serving
Sesame oil in with the v light olive oil
Almond four stired through
ground Anchovies
freshly roaster Black Pepper stired in 3 or 4 hors before needed.
coconut cream beaten in
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Smillie -ozfire-

PostPosted: Sun Jan 01, 2006 1:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have just double checked my assertion that salmonella is killed by the presence of acid....

what I have been taught so long ago is wrong, It is tolerant of acid.

I am assured that if you are worried you can add any commercially available preservatives that will dispatch the little horrors.
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2006 3:09 am    Post subject: Mayonnaise Reply with quote

Very-very cool instructions worked perfectly first time
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Chef Harry Otto

PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2006 10:14 pm    Post subject: Healthy Version that won't "break" Reply with quote

No need for egg yolks gang. I've been teaching a version that uses extra egg whites and, ready, for $6 at the vitamin shop, you buy some lecithin granules (actually you’ll laugh when you see how inexpensive it is). Grind em' in a coffee grinder and add to the mix. When you use 95% or higher direct lecithin, the mayo will never break. I use lecithin in the kitchen for many "scientific" approaches to sauces, emulsions & aerations. harryotto(at)
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 29, 2006 5:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dateline - 29 January 2006
Location - Toronto Canada
Situation - Critical
Four egg yolks have been seriously beaten and dosed with lemon juice and vinegar. The remains then were dribbled with corn oil, resulting in a gooey mess. The victims have been bled. What once was a timesaving and cost effective way of keeping my butt in the house and avoiding a trip to the store has turned into what can only be described as a horrifying massacre, sparring no souls.
It was Fidel Castro that once said "... every man must beat his own egg sometimes..." and I believe that is what has happened here today. What possible beneficial outcome can be derived from this, this senseless slaughter of beautiful eggs in their prime can only measured be the deranged minds that perpetrated this atrocity.
May the Lord have mercy upon us all.
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