How to Make Mustard

Try these savory, tangy — even hot! — recipes for delicious mustard.

| Dec. 31, 2008


Spicy or sweet, mustard is easy to make at home, and the flavor possibilities are endless!


“Oh yes mustard! That'll do ... Mustard? Don't let's be silly. Now lemon, that's different.” —Mad Hatter, Alice in Wonderland 

Tangy or sweet, subtle or potent or super spicy, mustard is a lot of things, but even made with limes (or lemons, if you rather), it’s hardly silly. Delicious is more like it. In fact, the only silly thing about mustard may be sticking to the ordinary types in squeeze bottles you find at supermarkets. But there’s no reason to just be silly. You can make zippy, zingy and easy mustards with truly unique flavors right at home.

There are three types of mustard seeds generally used for cooking: black, brown and white (sometimes called yellow), which you can find at your local grocery store. Black and brown seeds are often used in hotter, more pungent mustards, while white seeds are usually used in the milder mustards favored in the United States. Mustard powder can be found in the herbs or bulk herbs aisle at your grocery store, or made by finely grinding mustard seeds using a mortar and pestle.  

Using any type of mustard seed, the flavor is most potent when the prepared mustard is fresh, and becomes less intense over time. And while a basic mustard simply involves soaking tangy mustard powder (or ground mustard seeds) in vinegar, water or other liquid, once you start experimenting with herbs and other flavors, the possibilities are endless!

Lime Mustard with Coriander, from Mustards, Ketchups & Vinegars, by Carol W. Costenbader

2 1/8 cups white mustard seeds, ground2 tbsp mustard powder1/2 cup water2/3 cup white wine vinegar1/4 cup honey1/4 cup sugar2 tsp salt2 tsp ground coriander seedsGrated zest (rind) of 1 lime2 1/4 tbsp lime juice 

mark andrews
6/4/2011 7:16:11 AM

Being a complete novice at making mustard from scratch, I am really looking forward to trying the honey mustard recipe and, hopefully will try a few ideas of my own. Will keep u posted on my success!

John Mishler-Tomshany
1/16/2011 2:05:45 PM

Guinness is not an English stout-- it's Irish. Otherwise, it sounds tasty.

Joan Dwight
1/14/2011 12:12:33 PM

What is a water bath? What kind of seeds do I purchase to grow my own? I love cranberry honey mustard. Thanks Joan

11/14/2010 12:24:13 PM

I made myself some of this cranberry honey mustard in December 2009, and had an opened jar of it in my fridge until I finally finished it just last week. All I did was the boiling water bath for my jar, and the mustard was good to the last drop almost a year later. My question is, can I let the 48 hour soak happen in the fridge, or is it better left out on the counter? I can't remember what I did last time...

1/21/2009 7:15:48 PM

Since the mustard lasts so long in the refrigerater, I would not can it. I did considerable research on pumpkin butter last year when I wanted to give it away as gifts and found that the FDA does not recommend canning it. I believe that they said it wasn't acidic enough to can at home. I wouldn't do it.

Ramona Herner
1/11/2009 2:12:41 PM

I would think that a water bath would suffice since the gift receipient would be opening it and using soon after they got it! I did a waterbath on Pumpkin Butter this last season and for some reason, the seals kept popping long after I took them out, days after! Needless to say those were all used quickly! Didn't want to take any chances!

ellen ward_1
1/9/2009 7:44:36 AM

where can i get seed to grow my own mustard ,and what kind of seed should i use? none of the seed catalogs tell me what kind of seed the mustard will produce

1/2/2009 3:09:13 PM

I'd like to make some of these mustards to give as gifts. Would water-bathing them for about 7 minutes bsufficient to seal and can them?

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