Call Us the Mayo Clinic Because We Ranked the Best Mayonnaise

I’m sure this list will be incredibly divisive; mayonnaise always is. Folks down South love Duke’s, while the Northeast loves Hellmann’s. Meanwhile, the West Coast’s version of Hellmann’s is Best Foods (they’re allegedly the same product, but we’re not so sure about that). The point is this: Not all mayonnaise is the same. This fatty, gloppy, tangy condiment varies from state to state and country to country, and some people think it’s gross. (They’re wrong.)

For this taste test, we ate mayonnaise from a spoon with Good Mythical Morning director Morgan Locke. So, what did we look for in a good mayo? It turns out, the main thing we wanted was a nice, custardy texture. Some of the mayos here felt a little too…slick. A good mayonnaise, to me, shouldn’t seem oily (yes, I’m fully aware that mayonnaise is an emulsion of egg yolks, oil, and acid, but some of the mayos we tasted were just too glossy). The texture of a mayonnaise is paramount. It should be viscous, but not gelatinous. Moreover, mayonnaise should have great flavor. We looked for salt and acidity in addition to umami. Mayonnaise shouldn’t be too sweet. And before you ask, yeah, we tasted Miracle Whip. It didn’t make the list, dawg.

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Best Mayonnaise: Hellmann’s Real Mayonnaise

Best of The Best

Hellmann’s Real Mayonnaise

This was tough, but I stick by the choice. Hellmann’s is triumphantly decadent. It’s just so eggy, rich, and flavorful. Mythical Chef and town madman Josh Scherer described it as “eggy pudding.” That’s because it’s the mayonnaise that most resembles a custard, and it’s jam-packed with flavorful fat. This savory mayo has less acidic bite than say, Duke’s, but the texture is indisputable. Hellmann’s is less citrusy than some other mayos, but it’s still perfectly tart, with an accessible flavor to please the masses. That means you can use it for just about everything (see: cupcakes). Most of all, it feels like a human being made this mayonnaise in a kitchen with a whisk, as opposed to a robot in a factory. To me, that’s incredible. Hellmann’s reigns supreme.

Credit: Merc / Instacart

Rating:

10/10

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Best Mayonnaise: Duke's Real Mayonnaise

Best Flavor

Duke’s Real Mayonnaise

I freaking love Duke’s, and I discovered it later in life. Duke’s is what homemade mayo should taste like. It’s just got such a lovely, sharp, citrusy bite. Staff writer Jordan Myrick pointed out that while some mayos taste like vinegar, Duke’s actually tastes like citrus. Plus, it’s got a touch of paprika. The flavor here is that of a fresh aioli. The only downside is that the texture is a bit too slick. It feels kind of oily, whereas Hellmann’s has that nice eggy consistency I described above. The way I see it: Hellmann’s has better texture, whereas Duke’s has better flavor. But overall, Hellmann’s wins out.

Credit: Merc / Walmart

Rating:

9.5/10

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Best Japanese Mayonnaise: Kewpie Mayonnaise

Best Umami

Kewpie Mayonnaise

The taste of Kewpie is certainly striking. This classic Japanese mayonnaise tastes like a cold hollandaise sauce, with a strong, predominant egg flavor.. Kewpie is like a smooth, spreadable egg salad. I would eat it all by itself on some white bread—how many condiments can you do that with? While the most prominent flavor here is egg, there’s also a lot of additional savoriness, probably from the added MSG. As far as I know, it’s the only mayonnaise to add MSG. I applaud that. Kewpie is great with sandwiches, french fries, sushi, salads, and so much more. It’s an acquired taste, but the world loves it and we must recognize that.

Credit: Merc / Amazon

Rating:

9/10

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Best Mayonnaise: Blue Plate Real Mayonnaise

Best for Everything

Blue Plate Real Mayonnaise

I just got turned on to Blue Plate, and it absolutely rules. It’s got a sharp, tart bite like Duke’s, only it’s a bit more eggy. Morgan actually thought this was the best mayonnaise we tasted, and you could soundly make the argument that it is. It’s a happy marriage of Hellmann’s and Duke’s, but I still don’t think it’s quite as good as either. Still, Blue Plate is a stellar mayo that’s great to keep around. I like to combine it with Hunt’s ketchup to make a tangy and savory special sauce for burgers. Man, the South just does mayo right. I’m glad I discovered both this and Duke’s.

Credit: Merc / Walmart

Rating:

8.5/10

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Best Flavored Mayonnaise: Truff Black Truffle Infused Mayonnaise

Best Flavored

Truff Black Truffle Infused Mayonnaise

This is one to savor. “I have eaten a sickening amount of this before,” said Jordan. The intense, earthy truffle flavor vaults this mayonnaise into fancy territory, but it’s subtle enough to warrant using it for just about anything. Put it in potato or chicken salad, slather it on a sandwich, or, hell, use it as a dip for chips. People love to hate on truffle oil, but you know what? The flavor just works. This mayonnaise is pungent and rich with flavor. We’re fans.

Credit: Merc / Amazon

Rating:

8.5/10

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Best Mayonnaise for Elote Corn: McCormick. Mayonesa

Best for Elotes

McCormick Mayonesa

This mayonnaise is thick. I mean, it’s got some serious body to it. It’s not eggy so much as it is a full, gelatinous pudding. It’s more like a Latin American crema in that way, and is definitely meant to be paired with spicy food. McCormick is a product of Mexico and it’s got lime juice in it, giving it more of a fruity, citrusy kick than the others. I’d drizzle this on a fish taco or spread it on some elotes. I really like this one. 

Credit: Merc / Amazon

Rating:

7.5/10

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Best Mayonnaise: Burman's Real Mayonnaise

Best Grocery Store Brand

Burman’s Real Mayonnaise

Burman’s, an Aldi product, is a fine, standard mayonnaise. I actually really like the taste; it’s rich and sharply flavored. The only major knock against it is that it’s very oily. The texture isn’t eggy and custardy, but instead very slick. Still, if you find yourself at an Aldi, and you need to make potato salad for a big party, a jar of this won’t steer you wrong.

Rating:

7/10

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Best Cage Free Egg Mayonnaise: Whole Foods 365

Best Cage Free

Whole Foods 365

This mayonnaise came in a squirt bottle, and I really, really hate when mayonnaise comes in a squirt bottle. Mayonnaise should be spread with a knife, not unceremoniously squirted onto a piece of bread. You want to get even coverage on your bread, and a squirt bottle doesn’t really give you that. That said, Whole Foods 365 mayonnaise has a nice, lemony tang, and it’s made with cage-free eggs. If the cage-free thing is important to you, go Whole Foods. Oh, and get the jar of mayonnaise pictured here to the left.

Rating:

7/10

Sporks

The rest of what we tasted: Best Foods Real Mayonnaise, Primal Kitchen Avocado Oil Mayonnaise, Great Value Mayo, Kraft Real Mayo, Primal Kitchen Chipotle Lime Mayonnaise, Miracle Whip, First Street Real Mayonnaise, Sir Kensington’s Avocado Oil Mayonnaise, Sprouts Organic Mayonnaise, Boar’s Head Real Mayonnaise, Trader Joe’s Organic Mayonnaise, Stokes Real Mayonnaise.

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About the Author

Danny Palumbo

Danny is a comedian, cook, and food writer living in Los Angeles. He loves gas station eggs, canned sardines, and Easter candy. He also passionately believes that all the best chips come from Pennsylvania (Herr's!). If you can't understand Danny when he talks, it's because he's from Pittsburgh.

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  • What about Cains mayo? Lol

    Reply
    • haven’t tried it! what’s the deal with it?

      Reply
  • Heinz real mayo got robbed

    Reply
  • I hate to eat mayo in any form but I bought Duke’s from Amazon Fresh for someone I know who loves mayo. He loves it so much he won’t go back to Best Foods which he has eaten his whole life and he is over 70 years old.

    Reply
  • A true New Orleanian only uses Blue Plate. Hellmann’s is heresy around here. Go to any reputable po boy shop and they’ll use only Blue Plate.

    Reply
    • that’s good to hear. Blue Plate surprised the hell out of me. It’s the one I’ve been using at home the most since I discovered it. Awesome product.

      Reply
  • Kind of hard to believe that you would rank Hellmann’s number one without bringing up the point that in half of the country it’s known as Best Foods.

    Reply
    • I mention it in the intro, and in another article entirely.

      We found the products to taste differently.

      Reply
  • I had a lady comment about how Caines mayonnaise here in Maine is the only kind they use. Maybe it’s not available for you to on the West Coast

    Reply