With this homemade yellow mustard recipe, you'll never need to buy overprocessed yellow mustard again. All you need is mustard powder, water, vinegar, and a few other optional ingredients.
Are you a fan of yellow mustard? Many of us start out with yellow mustard as kids, the cheap stuff squirted from bright yellow bottles. It's a classic American condiment, easy to find, and essential as a topping for certain foods.
I couldn't imagine as a kid not having some simple yellow mustard on hand for squeezing onto my hot dog, my favorite sandwiches, or a burger fresh off the grill.
The thing is, you don't have to limit yourself to store bought condiments, classic yellow mustard included. This homemade version is so much better. You can make it yourself at home with a few simple ingredients. Once you've learned how to make yellow mustard, the world opens up to experimentation.
You're free to include additional ingredients and vary up the ratios and flavors.
What is Yellow Mustard Made From?
Yellow mustard is made by mixing yellow mustard powder with some sort of liquid, such as water, vinegar, wine or beer, along with salt and other spices. The simplest yellow mustard is made simply with ground mustard or dry mustard powder and water. They are mixed together to form a paste that you can flavor to your liking and adjust to your own personal tastes.
Read more about some possible adjustments in the Recipe Notes section below.
The Flavor of Yellow Mustard
The flavors of yellow mustard are often described as pungent, spicy, hot, or sharp, much like the powder of horseradish or wasabi.
Yellow mustard powder is itself made by grinding yellow mustard seeds, which come from the mustard plant, into a powder form. There are three different types of mustard seeds - white or yellow mustard seeds, brown mustard seeds, and black mustard seeds. You can make mustard from whole mustard seeds as well, but that would result in more of a grain mustard, not a smooth mustard.
When you mix ground mustard seeds with water, a chemical reaction occurs, forming a mustard oil, which can vary from plant to plant and with different colored seeds. This variability can result in different flavors, intensity and pungency.
Let's talk about how we make it at home, shall we?
Homemade Yellow Mustard Ingredients
- Yellow Mustard Powder.
- Distilled White Vinegar.
- Turmeric. For color.
- Garlic Powder.
- Cayenne Powder. Or use paprika for a milder heat.
How to Make Homemade Yellow Mustard - The Recipe Method
First, gather up your ingredients. For this recipe, I'm using ¾ cup yellow mustard powder, 1 cup water, ½ cup distilled white vinegar, 1 teaspoon turmeric, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon cayenne powder.
Once your ingredients are ready, whisk together the mustard powder, water, vinegar and seasonings together in a medium bowl. Make sure there are no lumps.
Next, pour the mixture into a wide pan or pot and bring to a quick boil. Reduce the heat and simmer on medium-low heat for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until you achieve your desired thickness.
Think of your typical “yellow mustard”. I’ve made this recipe many times and the thickening time can vary, usually depending on the amount of heat.
Remove from heat and cool. Store in a sealable container in the refrigerator. It will thicken as it cools.
Boom! Quite easy, right? Who knew making homemade yellow mustard would be so simple. It's such an uber American condiment, widely loved across the United States.
Recipe Tips & Notes
This is a basic recipe, with many optional ingredients you can add. You really only need mustard powder, water and vinegar, maybe some salt. By adjusting the basic ingredients and bringing in others, you can make a huge variety of mustard.
The Spice Factor
I like a bit of kick to my mustards, so I've opted to include cayenne pepper here. You can omit altogether for a yellow mustard that is more like what you get in the store, or use paprika or smoked paprika for a touch of heat. If you'd like a much hotter version, try using ghost pepper powder.
Thickening the Mustard
I've seen some recipes that call for flour in them, using the flour as a thickener. Flour is not needed. Your mustard will thicken up just fine if you stick to this recipe and the ratios I've provided.
Thickening time really has to do with the HEAT. Simmer on low and it will take longer to thicken. Kick up the heat a bit and it will thicken more quickly, but it can splatter. Keep this in mind.
Also, do not add extra mustard powder after the fact to thicken it up. Just keep heating it and stirring, and it will thicken up accordingly.
This yellow mustard is noticeably grainier than what you're used to from the grocery store. This is because the mustard is not overly processed or strained. You can, of course, strain it through a fine mesh sieve to achieve a smoother mustard, but it is not necessary. The grainy texture gives it an interesting character.
About the Vinegar
I've used a simple distilled white vinegar for this recipe, but feel free to experiment. Different types of vinegar will give you different results and flavors. Apple cider vinegar, for example, is sweeter and juicier.
About the Liquids
Instead of water, try substituting it for wine or light beer, or a combination of wine and vinegar. There are many options for flavorful liquids, such as fruit juices and more, that will achieve the same results with different flavors. This is why making mustard at home is so fun. I've always loved a good beer mustard.
About the Turmeric
Turmeric brings in the vibrant yellow color of a yellow mustard. I've used a whole teaspoon because I was looking to achieve an extremely yellow mustard. Feel free to dial that back and use only a half a teaspoon or even less.
That's it, my friends! I hope you enjoy your homemade yellow mustard! Where would we be without yellow mustard? It's essential for recipes like the famous Chicago-Style Hot Dog, the Cuban Sandwich or Carolina Mustard BBQ Sauce.
If you're interested in learning more about the awesome world of mustard making, check out my post - How to Make Mustard - the Basics.
Storage & Leftovers
Storing your Homemade Yellow Mustard in an airtight container in the fridge may allow you to store the leftovers for up to 1-2 months. To maximize the storage life, make sure to refrigerate the mustard promptly.
Try Some of My Other Popular Mustard Recipes
- Roasted Hatch Chile-Beer Mustard – Recipe
- Homemade Whole Grain Spicy Beer Mustard
- Homemade Spicy Mustard
- Beer-Honey Mustard Recipe
- Pickled Mustard Seeds
Got any questions? Ask away! I’m happy to help. If you enjoy this recipe, I hope you’ll leave a comment with some STARS. Also, please share it on social media. Don’t forget to tag us at #ChiliPepperMadness. I’ll be sure to share! Thanks! — Mike H.
Homemade Yellow Mustard Recipe
- ¾ cup yellow mustard powder
- 1 cup water
- ½ cup distilled white vinegar
- 1 teaspoon turmeric for color – use ¼ to ½ teaspoon for less pronounced yellow color
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon salt or to taste
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne powder or use paprika for a milder heat
- Whisk together the mustard powder, water, vinegar and seasonings together in a medium bowl. Make sure there are no lumps.
- Pour into a wide pan or pot and bring to a quick boil. Reduce the heat and simmer on medium-low heat for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until you achieve your desired thickness. Think of your typical “yellow mustard”. I’ve made this recipe many times and the thickening time can vary, usually depending on the amount of heat.
- Remove from heat and cool. Store in a sealable container in the refrigerator. It will thicken as it cools.