You’re going to all the effort and all the hassle of making homemade mayo. So you are going to want to know long it will last. Besides, those ingredients are not cheap. But, what can you realistically expect, and is there any way to proactively increase its shelf life?
So, how long does homemade mayo last? Most recipes of homemade mayo will typically last between 2-4 days when kept in the fridge before the quality reduces, or it becomes unsafe to eat. That being said, if you add more vinegar and increase the acidity it should preserve much longer – between 2-4 weeks on average. Adding more herbs and spices can help counteract the change in flavor.
In reality, homemade mayo does not last as long as store-bought or branded options.
It’s a shame but that is just the way it is.
Thankfully, however, there is an effective way of getting more time out of your mayo so you should absolutely carry on reading to find out how.
In the meantime, let us now look at how you should be storing this condiment, signs it has gone off and whether it can make you sick!
How To Store Homemade Mayonnaise
Due to the use of raw eggs, you need to ensure that you refrigerate your homemade mayonnaise shortly after it has been made. Generally, within 1-2 hours is best and nothing longer than 5-6 hours.
And before you do decide to refrigerate your mayo, be sure to transfer it to an appropriate container.
A screw-top jar or even glass/plastic Tupperware will suffice so long as it has a firmly closed lid.
You could even purchase some squeezy bottles, like these best sellers from Amazon.
In fact, they are probably best.
That way, you should not encounter any issues with cross-contamination that can occur when putting a used spoon in a jar, or food getting into the container.
How Do You Know Your Homemade Mayo Has Gone Off
There are four main ways to tell if your homemade mayonnaise has gone off; observing changes in texture, color, smell, or taste.
And you should probably do it in that order too; leaving the taste test until last.
And as Salmonella is a real and possible risk from homemade mayo according to the USDA, you really do not want to risk it.
And you need to be careful; because – mayo does not always look like it has gone bad (even when it has).
So, look for these four changes very closely:
Mayonnaise is an emulsion; so it should be creamy and smooth in consistency.
Any separation is an indication that this condiment is starting to spoil.
We all know mayonnaise is and should look white. But when it starts to spoil, it does not typically remain that way.
In fact, often spoiled mayo will be yellow or even brown in color – indicating the presence of bacteria.
This is most likely in mayo that has been exposed to air; it could very well be the result of not closing the lid properly.
Despite containing vinegar, mayonnaise should not have an overly acidic smell. Instead, a minor smell of eggs should be expected if anything.
Unless of course, it has spoiled.
Mayo will start to smell acidic, even sour when it has gone off.
Last but not least; the taste is your final clue that mayo is past its best.
But you have to be very careful here for the reasons expressed above.
In fact, if in doubt it’s generally best to throw it away and create a fresh batch.
But, if your mayo has passed the other tests, do try a very small amount from a clean teaspoon.
If you get sour or acidic notes – you’ve guessed it, it’s spoiled.
Can Eating Gone Off Homemade Mayonnaise Make You Sick?
Eating gone off homemade mayonnaise can make you sick. It ultimately depends on how spoiled it is, how much you have eaten, and if it was contaminated.
Some people may be able to eat spoiled mayo and not notice anything other than an unpleasant taste.
However, there is certainly the risk of stomach upset, aches, pain, and even diarrhea.
So, if you are in doubt or if your mayo is showing signs of spoilage, you should absolutely throw it away.
Do not take any risks.
How To Make Homemade Mayonnaise Last Longer
If you want your homemade mayonnaise to last longer, you will need to alter the recipe somewhat. This will mean lowering the PH by adding more vinegar (for acidity), and/or salt.
I am assuming you do not want to add preservatives.
Besides, who has those lying around!
So instead, you are going to need to add acidity.
This can be in the form of vinegar or lemon juice.
Just consider that this will alter the flavor.
Thankfully, you can counteract the change to the flavor by also increasing the quantity of the other ingredients in the recipes too.
Adding flavored oils is one such way, or just adding more herbs and spices will do the trick too.
This is actually why many commercial brands use sugar quite liberally in their mayo – to essentially overpower the acidic taste it would have otherwise.
But how much vinegar, flavored oil, herbs, spices, or sugar you need to add will need some experimentation.
And just remember; mayo is an emulsion.
So, adding too much vinegar/lemon juice will only water it down, and you can lose the consistency this sauce is so great for.
So do add a small amount, especially at first.
Once you have altered the acidity, just be sure to leave the mayo out of the fridge for a while before adding it to a container and putting it in the fridge.
You need the acid to kill off any bacteria that may be present and that may impact the shelf life.
Nevertheless, by doing these things you should get an additional week or two out of your mayonnaise.
But just be sure to check for quality degradation before you use it.#
2-4 days on average.
That’s what you can expect.
And while this does not sound long, your average homemade mayo recipe only takes around 15 minutes to create, and you only need a handful of ingredients.
With this in mind, it really is not worth risking it.
If in doubt, do throw your homemade mayo away and make a new batch.
Next time, you can alter the recipe to get more life out of it.
Just remember you’ll need extra vinegar, or lemon juice, for that.
Wondering how long other sauces typically last? Check out my other guides here:
Hi there. I’m Jeremy – a passionate food technologist with several decades in the food industry. With a love for sauces, food, and nutrition, I decided to create WeWantTheSauce. Here I share my experience, knowledge, and recommendations; from ingredients and recipes to storage all the way through to nutrition for every sauce imaginable.