Homemade Yellow Mustard

Homemade yellow mustard is deceptively simple to make from mustard powder, vinegar, and a couple other basic pantry staples. You just may never go back to store-bought! Here’s how to make it from scratch.

A wooden bowl filled with homemade yellow mustard with a wooden spoon holding mustard seeds behind it.

Homemade yellow mustard is a DIY riff on the classic American condiment. The store-bought stuff can’t touch this. And it’s remarkably easy to make from mustard powder, vinegar, and a couple other pantry staples.–Renee Schettler

Homemade Yellow Mustard

  • Quick Glance
  • (6)
  • 1 H, 15 M
  • 1 H, 30 M
  • Makes 48 (1-tsp) servings (1 cup total)
4.8/5 - 6 reviews
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Special Equipment: Nonreactive saucepan


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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.

Tester tip: You’re definitely going to want to do this in a well-ventilated kitchen. As in windows flung open and exhaust fan on high. Trust us. And that nonreactive saucepan is also essential or the mustard could take on an off color and hue.

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 can take anywhere from 7 to 15 minutes.

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. Originally published July 24, 2014.

Print RecipeBuy the The Kitchen Pantry Cookbook cookbook

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    *What Exactly Is Nonreactive Cookware?

    • 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 on 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.

    Recipe Testers Reviews

    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. The resulting mustard is spreadable rather than squeezable. Delicious!

    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!

    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. 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 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.

    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.

    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.

    After making the homemade ketchup on the site, I decided to try the homemade yellow mustard, too. 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 had a hard time keeping my burner low enough to not cook the water mustard mixture too quickly. The mixture became very thick, almost paste-like. 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.

    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.

    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. I made this a third time (I know, overkill) but added some finely diced canned jalapeños with the vinegar, and it was fantastic.

    Who makes their own mustard? This girl—thanks to this super simple recipe and a whole lot of patience. 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.

    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.

    A quick note, the mustard mixture sans vinegar became very thick for me and almost paste-like. I decided to be a bit rebellious and added the vinegar at that time. 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 plenty to last awhile—or at least one BBQ.

    This homemade yellow mustard is wonderful.

    I admit I don't usually cry in the kitchen and I was okay when I started this recipe 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. 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.

    It tasted 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.

    Bring on the baseball games and hot dogs, we're ready.

    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 minutes to start 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.

    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.

    This mustard was really, really good. 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 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 a really terrific mustard. 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.


    #leitesculinaria on Instagram If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #LeitesCulinaria. We'd love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.


    1. I haven’t tried this recipe yet but I will be in the next week. My family likes their mustard on the “Hot” side. Do I just use more dry mustard???

      1. Fran, this mustard tends to be on the potent side, particularly if you’re planning on enjoying it immediately, so you may find that it’s hot enough for your tastes. I’d be concerned that adding extra mustard powder might impact the consistency of the finished mustard.

    2. I’m American and living in Indonesia. Unfortunately, there is only one brand of mustard here and it is expensive. 4 US dollars for one cup. Mustard powder, however, is pretty easy to achieve inexpensively so I tried this recipe and it’s all good so far, very potent, very creamy and I can’t wait to eat it on my hot dog.

    3. I’m so tired of commercial watery mustard. The last bottle (a name brand) I bought said 40%… I’m sure it was 40% more water. Ever heard of the term “couldn’t cut the mustard?” As a kid I worked in my dad’s hot dog stand. We would buy the mustard in gallon jugs. It was thick. We “cut the mustard” with water until it was a nice spreadable consistency. So looking forward to a nice spreadable mustard.

    4. This recipe is very, very easy. The finished mustard is in a league of it’s own, so much better than commercially prepared mustards you buy. I found it cooked down much quicker than the recipe said. When something this good is so easy to make it seems a shame not to!

    5. This was the perfect recipe, and so much better than other recipes that use Wondra flour. Thank you!

          1. Hi…there is a local one here in the Caribbean. Well, it is not local as all mustard is imported, but the exact brand is unknown. Also, it is now a couple of days and the mustard is like mud. Thick and hard.
            Help. Maybe overcooked? Also very grainy. I was thinking to reblend the powder to see if it makes a difference. But taste nothing like yellow mustard. Looks like spicy brown mustard.

              1. Yup..the mustard poweder sure does look like that. …i took a picture. And it is indeed super fine. I am american working overseas in the Caribbean. I hope it uploads. I am going to try again. I just tasted and yip..it tastes like brown deli mustard.

                1. Oh….my….my picture does look like brown mustard…so nope not as yellow.

                  Could i take yellow mustard seeds and grind up?

    6. Hi. I have an allergy to molds and can’t tolerate vinegar. I typically use apple juice for recipes that require acidity and usually don’t have a problem. Would that work with this recipe? Thanks.

    7. I’m going to try it. Not sure about the mustard round seeds. Do I pulverize, mortar and pestle first, or just add to the ground mustard? The only time I had to go outside due to fumes for cooking was while roasting roasting habaneros…I’ll let you know how it turns out. Thanks, Tami.

    8. Do you know of a good substitute for turmeric? I’m allergic to it-epipen kind of allergic. A lot of sites say try cumin, but the taste isn’t similar in the least.

      1. Tara, we definitely don’t want you to incur the need for an epipen!!! What about a little annatto? I think that may work best here. Saffron and curry powder also come to mind…

        1. Thanks so much! I had no idea you could buy annatto on its own, and I was considering saffron but was kind of on the fence. I do believe I’ll be making mustard this weekend.

          1. Lovely, Tara! Saffron would work, too, but I suspect annatto will be more vibrant in color and less pronounced in flavor. It will also definitely be easier on your debit card. Let us know, please, how it goes!

    9. I made this mustard, along with another version, and this is the best one. The other called for Wondra flour (quick desolving flour to thicken) which caused the mustard to be come lumpy as it sat in the fridge. I loved this recipe, because vinegar was added later during cooking process. Quick note for anyone making this, Turn on your stove top exhaust fan to help reduce the order!! I didn’t do that and my house smelled like mustard and vinegar for days ☺

      1. Magnificent, Nimmy! Thanks so much for letting us know how well this recipe went over in your household! (Save for that lingering vinegar aroma. Lovely advice, thank you! Opening the windows helps. As a side note, a word to the wise that burning incense or making mulled wine or any other form of trying to hide the aroma do not help. As my ex-husband once complained as I was trying to mask the aroma of vinegar, “Now it just smells like vinegar AND incense AND spice.” It simply takes time. And a lot of ventilation.)

    10. I just made my first home made mustard batch with yellow mustard powder, at the end I found it to be somewhat grainy and not as a smooth cream paste, I followed exactly the procedure described as well as the ingredients required. Can you please tell me how to make remedy it to make it more creamy?

      1. George, was it grainy or gritty? Three thoughts: 1.) Your mustard powder or turmeric might not be as finely ground as it could be, 2.) The mustard might need a bit of time for the powder to hydrate, or 3.) Your garlic paste wasn’t completely smooth.

        1. It was gritty, the garlic paste was completely smooth, probably the mustard powder is the reason. Is there a solution for that, because it tastes great.

            1. Unfortunately, we do not have Penzey’s Spices in Egypt, I got my mustard powder from a regular spices shop. Thank you.

            2. Just made it. Mine was the same. Grainy. The tumeric was very smooth and the mustard powder was very smooth. I re-milled to get like powder sugar consistency. And also never turned yellow. Very brown. Help!

    11. Used colmans mustard powder. Followed the directions to a T. 3/4 cup worked out to about 65g of mustard powder for me. Cooked the first batch down to 120g (very thick paste) then added the vinegar and cooked it down to 210g. Taste is more complex than just store bought (its great!). However mine was a bit grainy? Anyone else have this problem?

        1. It’s the one thing I left out, actually… Here in Taiwan, people that follow the local religions (Buddist/Dao) closely don’t eat garlic/onion as part of their diet, so I left it out so the mustard could reach a broader crowd. I am wondering if I over reduced it before bringing back to life with the vinegar. The consistency was still a bit runny after adding the vinegar and I reduced it for another 7 min. I will try again tomorrow and reduce it less on the first pass. Maybe to 140g on the first reduction. I will also try tasting the mustard throughout the cooking process. Will let you know!

    12. The mustard companies today are all adding turmeric which causes miagraine headaches. They are now saying miagraine headaches lead to strokes so I cannot eat mustard anymore. I am going to try your recipe and leave out the turmeric! Thank you for the recipe.

    13. Today’s mustard has become so watered down. Years ago my dad had a hot dog and hamburger joint. He use to buy prepared mustard by the gallon. Ever heard of the saying couldn’t cut the mustard? It was thick and you cut it down (with water) to your choice thickness. I’m going to give this recipe a try to see if I can get something that will spread and still have a nice thickness and flavor. Many thanks.

    14. This is clearly rather late, but just in case Stu ever checks back in, it is very possible to make whole grain mustard. Here’s my recipe:

      Homemade Mustard
      Yield: 1 1/2 cups

      • 1/2 cup yellow mustard seeds, black mustard seeds or some combination, half each works for me
      • 3/4 cup cider vinegar or other varietal vinegar, choose a tasty balanced vinegar for best results
      • 1/3 cup water
      • 1 1/4 teaspoons sugar or honey
      • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
      • optional: preserves to sweeten and add complexity, I use fig preserves

      1. Soak mustard seeds in vinegar and water at room temperature in a 16 oz straight-sided wide-mouth jar for 2 days. (I use a large, wide-mouth commercial salsa jar so I can purée and store right in the same jar.) If seeds are not fully submerged, add just enough additional water to cover.

      2. Add sugar or honey and salt. Purée mixture in the jar with a stick blender to your preferred coarseness, about 2 minutes.

      3. Let rest and mellow for 2 weeks in the fridge. Then open the jar and adjust flavor and consistency with salt, jam or other sweetener and/or water to your personal preference. It’s now ready for use.

        • Dark mustard seeds can be very strong and 100% dark seeds is not for weenies. Find the right proportion for you by experimenting.
      • Feel free to experiment with any additional flavor you like like puréed roasted garlic, smoked salt, horseradish, wasabi, herbs or substitute beer for the water if you like.
      • If you get addicted to this stuff like my family is and you start going through mustard seeds fast, Penzeys is a good source for bulk orders of both color seeds.

    15. I kept the mustard on med-low for 40 minutes and then added the 1/2c of vinegar. 15 minutes later it was still very runny. I increased the heat for 15 minutes and it’s only just starting to thicken now…did I do something wrong? :(

      1. Hi Michelle, did you have a nice thick paste before adding the vinegar? It might be that you just needed to cook it a bit longer before moving to step 2.

      1. Not silly. And yep, it is the same. Feel free to substitute plain old yellow dry mustard from McCormick or whatever your usual brand. We like the freshness that this brand tends to have, but any mustard powder or ground mustard will do.

    16. I think I just ruined my mustard :( instead of putting in the vinegar after 40 minutes, I added the vinegar with all of the ingredients listed at once. Will it still turn out thick? Does anybody know?

        1. Someone upthread in the comments said they did just that by accident – and it came out fine. They said they then made it according to the directions the second time and no discernible difference between the two batches. Might just be easier to throw it all together at once and cook til the right consistency and be done of it! :)

    17. 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

      1. 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.

    18. 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!

      1. 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.

    19. 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.

      1. Maralyn, you are more than welcome. When Renee Schettler, 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.

      2. Did you try this with no salt?? i just came across this recipe and am really excited to try it. salt makes me puff up. i was thinking i’d try it with 1/4 t. and maybe add other spices to it as well.

      1. 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.

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