Homemade Yellow Mustard

This homestyle yellow mustard recipe is an American classic.–Erin Coopey

LC Reactive Cookware Explained Note

The author of this classic condiment recipe kindly took the time to explain a term that’s tossed around quite a lot in recipes yet rarely defined: reactive cookware. In case you’ve always wondered, or could use a reminder, here’s what the author has to say about the topic: “Reactive cookware, meaning equipment made from aluminum or copper, can cause discoloration or impart a metallic, off taste in certain food. When a recipe suggests using nonreactive cookware, you can use glass, enamel, or stainless steel. If your pots and pans have an aluminum or copper core, that material is usually encased in a stainless steel shell, so they would be considered nonreactive as well.” There you have it. Keep it in mind when you make this homemade yellow mustard.

Special Equipment: Nonreactive saucepan

Homemade Yellow Mustard Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 1 H, 15 M
  • 1 H, 30 M
  • Makes 1 cup

Ingredients

  • 1 cup cold water
  • 3/4 cup yellow dry mustard
  • 3/4 teaspoon coarse sea salt or kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon garlic purée, or 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 cup white distilled vinegar

Directions

  • 1. Place the water, dry mustard, salt, turmeric, garlic, and paprika in a small nonreactive saucepan and whisk until smooth. Cook the mixture over medium-low to low heat, stirring often, until it bubbles down to a thick paste, 30 to 45 minutes. [Editor's Note: You're definitely going to want to do this in a well-ventilated kitchen. Trust us.]
  • 2. Whisk the vinegar into the mustard mixture and continue to cook until it’s thickened to the desired consistency—you know, the usual prepared mustard consistency, which ought to take anywhere from 7 to 15 minutes.
  • 3. Let the mustard cool to room temperature. Transfer the mustard to an airtight container, cover, and refrigerate for up to 3 months. The mustard will be quite pungent the first few days or even weeks, but will mellow with time.
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Lori Widmeyer

Jul 24, 2014

After making the homemade ketchup on the site, I decided to try the homemade yellow mustard, too. I had a hard time keeping my burner low enough to not cook the water mustard mixture too quickly and ended up only cooking it for about 45 minutes. The mixture became very thick, almost a paste. I was worried I had ruined it with the higher than low heat. After whisking in the vinegar, I let it cook another 6 to 8 minutes, then I decided to let it cool. It was perfect and tastes just like what you buy at the store. (I'm not a mustard lover, but my son is, so I let him do the tasting. He gave it the official taste test versus the store-bought version and declared them too close in taste to distinguish the homemade.) I have to admit, I may never do this again, as the ingredients cost more than buying the prepared version and it took a little over an hour to make. But it's nice to know I can duplicate it using ingredients I usually have on hand if I need to someday.

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Susan Bingaman

Jul 24, 2014

I’ve always wanted to make my own homemade yellow mustard. I’ve heard it beats the pants off the stuff you buy—and it’s true! I’m not sure how else to describe the flavor of this homemade yellow mustard other than complex and mustardy, but trust me, you might not go back to the stuff in the squeeze bottle. I whisked in the vinegar and let it bubble for 18 more minutes until the mustard was pretty thick. I got about 3/4 of a cup instead of 1 cup. The resulting mustard is spreadable rather than squeezable. Still delicious!

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Kim Graham

Jul 24, 2014

We go through a lot of mustard in our household, so it's exciting to have a solid recipe for homemade yellow mustard that we can make ourselves in a fairly short amount of time. This recipe makes a basic mustard that's quite a bit better and more flavorful than your typical ballpark yellow mustard.  It was very easy to make and not too much of a time commitment. My only caution is to be very watchful while the liquid cooks out of the mustard mixture or it will burn to the bottom of the pan. After 20 minutes of cooking at medium-low, I turned my burner down to low and put a cover that was slightly offset over the pot both to reduce the amount of mustard splatter and to keep it from burning. I also stirred constantly toward the end until I added the vinegar at just short of 1 hour. I noticed that the mustard seemed to mellow quite a bit between the time I started cooking it and the time I added the vinegar. I will be making this again.

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Natalie Reebel

Jul 24, 2014

Having never made mustard before, I was a bit nervous. This homemade yellow mustard recipe made it super simple and worked out better than I expected. The mustard thickened quickly, within 5 minutes of being over the heat. I turned the heat to low and kept a watch on it for the next 55 minutes. Halfway through the cooking time, the mustard’s color changed to a bright yellow, just like the store-bought brands. By the time the initial hour cooking time was up, the mustard was very thick. I added the vinegar, and it loosened right away. I cooked it for an additional 25 minutes to the typical squirt-bottle mustard consistency. It tasted very similar to the store-bought variety, so I'm pretty sure I will not be buying any more yellow mustard at the grocery story. It was easier than I thought it would be, with the added bonus of knowing all the ingredients in my mustard. This recipe yields about 1 cup, which is more than enough for a backyard hot dog cookout this summer.

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Larry Noak

Jul 24, 2014

You may ask yourself, WHY make my own mustard when store-bought mustard seems so inexpensive? Simple, CHEAP mustard is cheap, GOOD mustard is not. This homemade yellow mustard recipe is tasty and fun and, if you are anything like me, you love to make EVERYTHING from scratch, because it almost ALWAYS tastes better. You could add your own touches—horseradish, pepper, whatever your heart's desire—but it's not necessary, as this has a bit of heat and, is quite good just as it is. I made mine exactly as described and, after adding the vinegar, cooked it down for another 5 minutes and ended up with some REALLY FINE ballpark-style mustard!

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Kim Venglar

Jul 24, 2014

This homemade yellow mustard recipe is easy to throw together and ends up tasting just like the store-bought variety. I messed up the first time I tried this recipe and mixed the vinegar in with the other ingredients at the beginning. After an hour of cooking, it was a very nice thickness and ready to cool. I made this again, adding the vinegar after the 1 hour cooking time, and it took 12 minutes (on my induction stove) to get to the right thickness. I didn't notice any difference in the flavor or texture.  The 1 cup yield is perfect. I made this a third time (I know, overkill) but added some finely diced canned jalapeños with the vinegar, and it was fantastic.

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Kate H. Knapp

Jul 24, 2014

Who makes their own mustard? This girl—thanks to this super simple recipe and a whole lot of patience. It turns out mustard takes a lot (and I do mean a lot) of stirring. It, however, was totally worth the sore arm I had the next day. Because it really is cool to make something you never thought about making at home, and making it better than any store-bought brand. This yellow mustard tastes just like I remember it (with that tangy zing), and it is really the perfect accompaniment for any ball-park hot dog. A quick note, the mustard mixture sans vinegar became very thick for me (almost paste-like) after 45 minutes instead of the one hour suggested. I decided to be a bit rebellious and added the vinegar at that time. It took another 25 minutes before it thickened again. So, after an hour and ten minutes of stirring constantly, I had homemade mustard. One word of caution, the mustard mixture is potent and may cause your eyes to tear up a bit. Wear goggles if you have them or just go ahead and cry at how amazing it is to never have to buy mustard again. The finished recipe made about 6 ounces mustard, which is plenty to last awhile (or at least one BBQ).

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Karen Lynch

Jul 24, 2014

I admit I don't usually cry in the kitchen, and I was okay when I started this recipe for homemade yellow mustard, but the second time I went to stir the yellow concoction, I had to turn the fan on high and stick my head outside for fresh air. A caution should come with the instructions to have ventilation when making this all-American condiment. The fumes can be overpowering, and this is not something you want to make the day of an event, such as a backyard picnic. It's easy to make, though. The recipe states it will keep about 3 months. It was a little harsh the first couple days, but after a week it had mellowed a little and was great on hamburgers, though it still had a little bit of an understated bite to it. I had purchased mustard powder from a spice store, and the salesperson told me that mustard is harsh when you first make it and mellows with age, so keep the mustard at room temperature until it reaches a level you like and then put in the fridge to stop the mellowing process. When we first tried the yellow mixture, we were reminded of the mustard you get at Chinese restaurants—a hot bite that, if you're not careful, will get deep in your nasal cavity if you inhale the aroma too deeply. We tried the salesperson's tip of leaving the mustard out on our counter and tried a dab every day with pretzels. When it reached a level we liked, we put the mason jar of mustard in the fridge. Three days later, we had it on hamburgers, and it was wonderful. Bring on the baseball games and hot dogs, we're ready.

Testers Choice
Anna Scott

Jul 24, 2014

Mustard is one of those things that I would never think to make myself, seeing that there's such a wide variety of different types of mustard available in the grocery store. However, this homemade yellow mustard recipe is fun to make because you get to see what actually goes into making mustard. This lovely combination of dried mustard, paprika, white vinegar, garlic, and turmeric was very flavorful and actually easy to make. My only recommendation would be to add a touch more salt; I would amp that amount up to 1 whole teaspoon. In terms of the time it took to cook the mustard, I cooked it on low for about 45 to minutes to start (instead of the 1 hour suggested—the mustard starting really bubbling even on low heat and thickened mighty fast!) and then after the addition of the vinegar, I cooked it for another 15 minutes. At this point it was not only fragrant, but also the correct consistency for yellow mustard. I'm excited to try this mustard on a variety of different things. A hot dog perhaps…or a hamburger…maybe even with some seared sausage links and sauerkraut as an appetizer? Overall, this was a very trusty version of a condiment we all know and love.

Testers Choice
Joan Osborne

Jul 24, 2014

What a fun project. Delicious, too. So far I've used the homemade mustard on a meatloaf sandwich and a BBQ sandwich, and it was perfect. I had my son-in-law, who adores mustard, try it, and he ate it on some Ritz crackers and gave it his seal of approval.

Testers Choice
Helen Doberstein

Jul 24, 2014

This mustard was really, really good. I found that after cooking the mustard mixture for 10 minutes it was so thick that I couldn't get my whisk to move in the pan. I know the heat wasn't too high, as I have a special simmer burner on my stove for just such things and had it on the lowest setting. I pulled it off the heat and added 1/4 cup water to loosen it up, but after another 10 minutes, it was so thick again that I had to add another 1/4 cup water. A further 10 minutes after, that I just added the vinegar and cooked it for 15 minutes more until it was the consistency of store-bought mustard. Total time was about 45 minutes. I put it through a large mesh sieve to remove any lumps that may have formed because it had gotten so thick so quickly, and it was much smoother. My end results were 1 1/2 cups really terrific mustard that I packed into four 125-ml jars. Two people told me it tasted just like a well-known brand of mustard, but to me it tasted like a cross between a good Dijon mustard and the well-known yellow stuff. There was a small amount of mustardy heat, but it was pleasant rather than sharp like some store-bought types. I know that I'll be making another batch soon, as the little bit I have left after everyone took a jar home won't last for 3 months. By the way, the total cost for making my own mustard came in under 75 cents.

Comments
Comments
  1. Stu Borken says:

    Is there a simple way to modify this recipe to result in making a whole grain mustard?

    • Beth Price says:

      Hi Stu, ballpark style mustard is truly a different animal than grainy mustard. Some of the best whole grain mustards are made with just mustard seeds, beer and vinegar. No cooking involved. Just soaking then whirring the ingredients.

  2. Thank you so much for this recipe. I cannot have commercial mustard because of the sodium. With this recipe I can just omit the salt (will add celery seeds instead) and have mustard in my life and recipes again.

    • David Leite David Leite says:

      Maralyn, you are more than welcome. When Renee Schettler Rossi, our editor-in-chief, and I decided to add homemade versions of condiments to the site, we were hoping it would help people who had problems with processed foods. And you’re a perfect example. Enjoy.

  3. Christina says:

    I can’t wait to try this. After switching over to homemade mayo and ketchup for good, I’m ready to add mustard to my repertoire!

  4. Janet aka ChVale says:

    Hi David- That looks like a fun recipe to try. And it’s always good to be able to make something where you can control and trust the ingredients. Do you think rice vinegar would work in this?

    Also, reading about what “reactive” means brought me back to a time many years ago when I thought I’d try my hand at a Hollandiase Sauce recipe from one of Julia Child’s cookbooks. She mentioned about not using a reactive pan but didn’t explain why. This was pre-Internet of course and I didn’t bother asking my parents if they knew what it meant.

    Smartypants that I was, thinking I knew better, went ahead and tried it–in a Revere aluminum pan. Oh it came out nice and thick like it should but with a slight greenish tint and a bit of an off-taste from the aluminum. It still tasted pretty good for the most part but it certainly impressed upon me what “reactive” meant!

    • David Leite David Leite says:

      Hey, Janet. Ha! Funny story. I seem to recall I had a similar situation with a tomato sauce and an aluminum pan when I was a kid.

      I do think you could use rice vinegar. It will be a softer, less traditional taste. But it should work.

  5. V. Stoen says:

    I am wondering if this recipe could be pressure or water bath canned? It would be great to have a small supply in the pantry

    • Beth Price says:

      Hi V., canning can be a tricky process. This is what a local extension service has to say on mustard: “Any recipe that is to be canned MUST be tested for safety first. This is a complicated and expensive process that includes professional testing for the acidity level and the thickness of the product, among other factors. This must be done to prevent potentially life threatening food borne illness. If a mustard recipe has not been specifically tested and approved for home canning, then it is not recommended to can that product and it should be stored in a refrigerator.” I always tend to be overly cautious, so I would follow the refrigeration guidelines on the recipe.

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