mayo and the scientific method

The Damsel has heard DisDress calls from a few people who have had trouble making mayonnaise, as taught in this lesson.


Failed mayo is a disappointingly runny mess,  so the Damsel decided to apply the scientific method to the problem. Please understand that in real life the Damsel is a piano teacher, so her “scientific” skills are limited. Still, one does what one can.

One of the people who contacted the Damsel gave the impression that she’d tried to make mayo in a mixing bowl. Sounds like a perfectly logical thing to do. But the Damsel wondered, could that be part of the problem?

The Damsel made two identical batches of mayo. The first, in a mixing bowl, flopped. Runny yellow mess. The second, in the cylinder-shaped cup that came with the stick blender, worked perfectly. It seems that the vessel is the only variable, and the scientific method suggests that its shape matters.

If a person doesn’t have the cup that came with the blender, a quart jar might work, as long as the stick will fit inside its mouth. If a person needs to use a mixing bowl for some reason, you should probably use another mayo method–like the drip-by-drip method of adding oil. The Damsel is scared of that method, but your mileage may vary.

In an effort to be scientificky about this, the Damsel would like to hear from anyone who has followed the stick blender directions to the T, including using a narrow cup, and still had a failure. Don’t be scared. No one will laugh at you.

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9 thoughts on “mayo and the scientific method

  1. Distress is certainly the mood I was in when I tried this twice and ended up going to the store to *buy* the mayonnaise. It was an utter failure.

    I used the General’s hand blender like this: http://hearttouched.com/thyroid/menus/handblender.jpg
    and followed the directions to the letter.

    Ended up wondering if the kind of oil makes a difference.

    Would like to try again but too afraid of a third failure.

    • Gahhh! WHY????? That blender looks a lot like mine. Shouldn’t be the blender. Did you have it on a fairly high speed? (Haven’t applied the scientific method to that variable)
      I used plain ole cooking oil, but I have heard of using olive oil, etc. Your egg was at room temp?

  2. I do not own a hand blender. Could one use a regular old blender for making mayo? Please say yes. I didn’t buy mayo during this week’s shopping trip anticipating that I could just make some in the blender.

    • Here is a YouTube video of a guy doing it in a food processor…the same procedure can be used with a blender. The main difference between this method and the stick blender method is you have to drizzle the oil in SLOWLY slowly. Should work! Let me know 🙂

    • Not sure why my video link isn’t showing up in the comments. Try googling “mayo blender” and you should get the same results. Hope that works.

  3. Blender speed is definitely a factor. I think that might be the trick rather than the vessel because I’ve used the bowl attachment for my hand blender with good success. I usually make it in my regular blender and I don’t drizzle the oil at all since I lack the patience. I just dump the ingredients in and turn it on high for a minute or so. If I’ve forgotten to turn the speed up, it never emulsifies.

  4. I used my new hand blender with the tall container that came with it with this and it was a separated oily mess. I took the comment off the Tasty Kitchen to start over with another egg and pour in the failed mayo. I also used the low speed the first time and the high speed the second time and it worked the second time.

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