When cooking up exciting recipes, like tuna salad, macaroni salad, deviled eggs, or baked onion dip, good mayonnaise is essential. If we make the mayo ourselves, sometimes it can become too runny along the way. I’ve tried many methods of fixing the issue, and here are the best ways I have come up with.
To fix runny mayo, mix an egg yolk, a small amount of lemon juice, and a pinch of salt in a separate bowl. Then, emulsify it by whisking the old mayo into the egg yolk bowl. Keep whisking until you reach the desired thickness of mayo.
Now, let’s cover the process in greater detail.
Saving a Botched Mayo Recipe
An important thing to know is that mayonnaise is that it is an emulsifier in cooking. Emulsifiers are additives that aid in mixing together two different liquids.
It’s crucial when making mayonnaise to make sure the balancing of oil, water, and eggs is done correctly so that it mixes together without becoming a “broken” or failing mayonnaise. A runny recipe of mayo will be called “broken” because the emulsion and binding itself have been broken, but it can be fixed.
Now that we know what went wrong, we can learn and know what to do to fix the broken emulsification in the mayonnaise.
- First, save the botched mayo mixture, and clean it out, or use a different blender.
- Next, crack in a whole egg, and then just an egg yolk into the blender.
- Mix it until smooth, then mix in the first mayo mixture.
By combining them, you’ll get a perfect, creamy, and fixed bowl of mayo!
Be Sure to Use a Different Blender
In order to salvage what appears to be a wrecked mayo recipe, first work on recombining the oil with the rest of the mayo ingredients. To do this, use an immersion blender with a whisk attachment, or whisk by hand if an immersion blender isn’t available. These special blenders are often a better bet to fix the mayonnaise since they are specifically made to improve flawed or broken emulsifying mixtures.
By the way, the value of a good whisk, like the simple but effective one I use, found on Amazon, cannot be overstated. In fact, it might be my favorite tool in the kitchen and is great for tasks like this!
Get a clean bowl, a fresh egg yolk, and a half teaspoon of very cold water, then blend all of it with a whisk. Slowly add in the broken mayonnaise. Make sure the mixture gets creamy and thick before finishing the whisking process. Done, re-combined mayo is ready to eat.
Immersion blenders are not the only improved blender that can be better used for emulsifying. Even aerated disk blenders, also named aer disk blenders, like these types found on Amazon, can get the job done better than average blenders. If this seems like the reason the mayo is getting de-emulsified, then it may be well worth it to invest in a better blender or new blender attachment specifically for emulsifying.
Three Causes of Runny Mayo
Most often, there are three culprits when it comes to mayonnaise coming out runny.
1. Altering the Recipe
In some recipes, mayonnaise will emulsify fine if the entire egg is added. In these cases, the recipe may not call for enough oil. If this seems to be the case, then add more oil while following the directions until the mixture definitely thickens.
While mixing the mayo, the mix should start out pretty thin when the oil is first added, then it will rapidly get much thicker as more oil is added, and finally will thin out again, slowly. In some recipes, more oil can be added to make more mayo by the end, but keep track of these characteristics so it won’t become unbalanced.
While making the mayonnaise, try to always follow whatever family or online recipe is used as a guide. It can be a good idea to add lemon juice at the start of the directions. However, mayo will break or not come together if it does not have enough water content in it. This is especially true if the egg whites are left out of the recipe. Thus, adding a splash of water or a bit of lemon juice will help it mix correctly.
2. Mixing Ingredients Differently
Broken mayonnaise will often happen because oil is added too quickly while mixing, causing some ingredients to separate and refuse to come together like they’re supposed to. That being said, it can help to change a recipe by using an egg yolk only, a teaspoon of mustard, and two teaspoons of lemon juice, and whisking it at length with a blender.
Integrate a drop of sunflower oil into the blender and whisk once again. After about a minute of adding sunflower oil drops, add it in a thin stream and keep the blender going all the while.
Stop pouring the oil when some of the oil stops emulsifying right away, and then blend the oil by moving the blender over it. Repeat this process until there is around 200 mL of emulsified, mixed mayonnaise collected in the bowl.
Also, mayo might be going wrong because the whisking isn’t done fast or hard enough to combine it correctly. If by-hand mixing isn’t getting the job done, try using one of the above-mentioned blenders or a classic electric hand mixer to save your strength and get better mixing power.
3. Vegan Styles of Mayo Can Be Runny
Many chefs have gone further than just modifying a mayo recipe, and used vegan-style ones instead. Vegan Recipes online usually use different ingredients and additives that make it easier to emulsify, mix, and combine the mayonnaise in the first place. By switching to a vegan style, people can still enjoy tasty mayo, and the chef can avoid trouble in the kitchen for sure!
Try Changing the Egg Additive
Some people have other fixes for avoiding a broken mayonnaise going forward. Sometimes it’s best not to use whole eggs when cooking the recipe, but instead to use only one or more egg yolks.
Runny mayo can indicate that there was too much water in the recipe to begin with, which could be coming from the egg whites. By taking the egg whites out of the equation, the mayo may blend perfectly on the first attempt.
Pro Tip: When doing this, try to add lemon juice before adding the egg yolks, only use egg yolks, and add more oil to compensate for replacing the egg whites.
In case any of this isn’t clear, this video may be of help to you:
Thanks for stoppin’ by!
For more, don’t miss The 7 Best Ways to Thicken Salad Dressing
Anne James has a wealth of expertise in a wide array of interests, including quilting, cooking, gardening, camping, and making jelly.
She has a professional canning business and has been featured in the local newspaper, and has been her family canner for decades. Anyone growing up in the South knows that there is always a person in the family who has knowledge of the “old ways,” and this is exactly what Anne is.
With over 55 years of experience in these endeavors, she brings a level of hands-on knowledge that is hard to surpass.
Lovingly known as “Jelly Grandma” by her grandkids, Anne hopes your visit here has been a sweet one.