Did you know that smoked mayonnaise is a thing? Cold smoked mayo makes a fabulous condiment for sandwiches & burgers - and it's easy to make!
If you’ve tried my Cold Smoked Potato Salad, you know about the glory of cold smoked mayonnaise... At least in that context!
Smoked mayo is a great way to add flavour to all kinds of main dishes, and the perfect condiment to serve alongside our Smoked French Fries, onion rings, or even sweet potato fries.
Smoky mayonnaise is the perfect way to elevate all kinds of easy dinners, so it’s a great thing to have on hand.
The thing is, many preparations - whether purchased or homemade - are just mayonnaise with liquid smoke added.
I’ve never liked the taste of liquid smoke, personally.
I don’t know if I’m alone in this sort of thing, but I find that there’s a world of difference between what liquid smoke tastes like, and what actual smoked food tastes like.
It’s kind of like how I always thought that I hated smoked cheese, until I had ACTUAL smoked cheese. It was smoke FLAVORED cheese that I couldn’t stand!
The thing is, mayonnaise requires special handling considerations, on account of food safety and due to the nature of the mayonnaise itself.
Hot smoking would just cook it, after all. No one wants smoky mayonnaise... custard?
So, we cold smoke our mayo, and we do so on a cool - or cold - day. This is super important!
Don’t have cold days where you are? That’s fine - I included an alternative method for you, further down in the post.
Anyway, let’s get to it!
Equipment for Smoking Mayonnaise
Smoker or Grill
... so long as they’re able to be set up with a cold smoker setup. (More on that in a minute).
Cold Smoker Attachment Kit
This recipe requires a smoker that's set up to do cold smoking. This can easily be accomplished by an attachment kit - many are available that can affix to almost any grill or smoker.
The cold smoking aspect is important, as your mayo will just cook if you don't have a cold smoker attachment.
Be sure to set up your cold smoker and get it going - with a real light smoke coming out - before adding your ingredients to the smoker.
The early smoke when you get it going is billowy and “plume-y”. For best results, you want to let that smoke subside before putting your mayonnaise into the smoker
Too much smoke -especially the early, heavy smoke - increases the risk of soot, which is not appetizing at all.
All smokers - and cold smoke attachments - are going to be slightly different in terms of how they operate, so I recommend reading any included directions, if you’re not already familiar with your smoker and setting up the smoke box.
If you’re new to using a smoker, you may be intimidated by the variety of wood types available. Each imparts a different flavour - and degree of flavour! - on the items being smoked, so it’s good to know what the options are.
There’s really no one “best wood” for smoking, it depends on your taste and what you’re looking to do!
We like to use Jack Daniel's Bourbon Barrel Wood Chips for this recipe, but we’ve made smoked mayonnaise with other kinds of wood as well.
I have a big list of the available wood chips / wood pellets that I recommend for smoking, with flavour and intensity notes on each in my post on Crispy Smoked Chicken Wings.
You’ll also need 2 containers: 1 to smoke the mayonnaise in, and one to hold the ice in. The ice pan needs to be bigger than the mayonnaise container.
I recommend using a disposable foil pie pan for the mayonnaise, and an 8" x 8" or 9" x 13" pan to hold the ice in.
I’ve also done it by filling one 8" round cake pan (2" tall) with ice, and placing a second cake pan on top - filled with the mayo.
Ingredients for Making Smoked Mayonnaise
This is the simple part - you need mayonnaise.
You can use whatever mayonnaise you like, in whatever amount you like. We tend to do an entire 30 oz / 890 ml container of mayo at a time.
You’ll also need ice cubes - plenty of ice cubes.
The ice is for keeping the mayo nice and cold throughout the smoking process.
You’ll want enough ice to fill the pan that your mayo plate will be resting on, plus more ice to keep refilling it as it melts.
How to Cold Smoke Mayonnaise
On a cool - or cold day - get your smoker set up with the cold smoker attachment.
Soak the chips if you want to, set them up in your smoker according to your smoker's instructions.
Get the smoke started, let it settle to a light, smooth smoke - let the billowy, plume smoke subside before adding the mayonnaise.
Spread your mayonnaise evenly in a disposable foil pie pan.
Place the pie pan in a larger pan of ice.
Cold smoke 45-60 minutes. Stir well every 15 minutes or so, until it reaches desired flavour.
Total time for smoking will depend on how much mayo you are smoking, how thinly it’s spread out in the pan, and how smoky you want it to taste.
Keep replacing the ice as necessary - you need to keep the mayonnaise cold
How Long Does Smoked Mayo Last?
Check the best before date on the mayo that you’re smoking. If you keep it cold as you work, that’s the expiry date for your homemade smoked mayonnaise.
Making Smoked Mayonnaise in Warm Temperatures
Due to the risk of food borne illness from warm mayonnaise, it’s vitally important that you do your cold smoked mayonnaise on a cool - or cold! - day.
We’ll usually make this anytime between fall and mid Spring, or on a really cool, rainy summer day.
If that’s not really an option where you live, you can still make smoked mayonnaise, you’ll just need to add a couple of steps, and work with completely different ingredients!
Rather than buying premade mayo, you’ll be making it from scratch, and rather than smoking the mayonnaise, you’ll be smoking some of the ingredients.
The eggs in mayonnaise are what necessitate the cold - the oil and acid are fine at room temperature, or even higher temps.
You will need:
- A small food processor or a stick blender with cup.
- 1 egg
- An acid: apple cider vinegar, fresh lemon juice, or even fresh lime juice.
- Dijon mustard
- 1 cup Neutral flavored oil like avocado oil.
If you’d like, you can use 1 cup of olive oil - or even a blend of oils - as the smoke will mask the strong flavour of olive oil.
- Cold smoke your acid and oil, in separate containers.
I like to smoke a bit more of each than I’ll need, to allow for any possible evaporation or thickening.
Using the smoked ingredients, follow my Homemade Mayonnaise Recipe to make the mayonnaise.
Smoked Mayo Variations
We usually just smoke mayonnaise straight, but cold smoking also works really well for other ingredients - like sour cream, BBQ sauce, or maple syrup! - or for flavoured mayonnaise.
You can make smoked chipotle mayo by adding some of the adobo sauce - and finely chopped chipotles, if you’d like - from a can of chipotle peppers.
This can be done either before or after the mayonnaise itself is smoked.
Smoked paprika can be added to smoked mayonnaise - to taste - to add complexity to the flavour.
Peeled fresh garlic cloves can be cold smoked with the mayo - in a separate container.
Press or mince them, blitz the mayo and garlic together for a smoky garlic aioli.
More Smoker Recipes!
Looking for an excuse to smoke some food? I've got you...
Back Bacon [Canadian Bacon]
Cold Smoked Potato Salad
Crispy Smoked Chicken Wings
Montreal Smoked Meat
Smoked Cheese Balls
Smoked Chicken Breast
Smoked Chicken Salad
Smoked Corn on the Cob
Smoked French Fries
Smoked Jalapeno Poppers
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Cold Smoked Mayonnaise
- 30 oz Mayonnaise 890 ml
- Ice cubes
- Get your smoker set up with the cold smoker attachment.Soak the chips if you want to, set up in your smoker according to your smoker's instructions.
- Get the smoke started, let it settle to a light, smooth smoke - let the billowy, plume smoke subside before adding the mayonnaise.
- Spread your mayonnaise evenly in a disposable foil pie pan.
- Place the pie pan in a larger pan of ice.
- Cold smoke 45-60 minutes. Stir well every 15 minutes or so, until it reaches desired flavour.
- Keep replacing the ice as necessary.