Homemade: Whole-Grain Mustard

I guess you could say I’ve been a fan of mustard for a long time. I have always loved all the different styles and variations, and often times the refrigerator had two or three (or more) jars of it at any given time. But a couple of years ago I discovered the joys of homemade mustard. Since then I’ve been making it myself, and now I rarely buy mustard anymore. It’s so simple to do, and economical, that today I want to share how to make your very own whole-grain mustard.

Spicy Whole-Grain Mustard

Spicy Whole-Grain Mustard

By definition, a whole-grain mustard is one where the seeds are visible, with some perhaps left whole. In other words, if it were a peanut butter, it would be the chunky style! A basic mustard needs only two ingredients: mustard seeds and a liquid. The mustard seeds can be yellow, brown or both, and can be whole or ground.

brown and yellow mustard seeds

brown and yellow mustard seeds

Yellow seeds (Brassica hirta or B. alba, aka White Mustard) are the mildest tasting ones and used in many American-style prepared mustards. Brown seeds (B. juncea) are more pungent and are popular in European-style mustards.  There is also a black mustard seed (B. nigra) that is even more potent than the brown seed, and is usually used whole in Indian cooking. You can often find whole mustard seeds in ethnic grocery stores, or in spice shops. Penzeys Spices has them, and if you aren’t lucky enough to have one of their stores in your area you can also order from them online.


The liquid used can be anything from water or vinegar to beer or wine. Water tends to make a hotter finished product, while acidic liquids like vinegar and wine tend to mellow the heat as well as add some flavor. Aging the mustard also help to mellow the flavor. Beyond the basic ingredients, sugar, honey and numerous spices can be also be added to make it your very own one-of-a-kind mustard. And that’s part of the fun of making it yourself – trying out all those variations!

mustard seeds soaking

mustard seeds soaking

I’ve made several different batches of this Whole-Grain Mustard. Today I’ll share two slightly different variations, and hopefully that will give you the basics for coming up with your own version. The first step in both is to soak the seeds in liquid overnight or at least for 8 hours. That softens up the seeds and makes them easier to process.

using food processor to grind the seeds

using food processor to grind the seeds

After soaking, you can use either a food processor or blender to grind up the seeds. I find that the food processor makes for a grainier product, while the blender grinds the seeds to a finer consistency. It all depend on your own preference. You might make one batch each way and decide which way your prefer. I like it both ways! A stick blender also works well for this recipe, and I think it makes for easy cleanup.

Basic Whole-Grain Mustard

Basic Whole-Grain Mustard

The final thing you need to do is age the mustard. Right after processing, it will still be rather harsh and bitter tasting, but aging will mellow it considerably and allow the flavors to meld together. Mustards that are made with whole seeds instead of powder are milder to start with, so age this whole-grain mustard for a few days at room temperature or slightly cooler. If you like your mustard hot, it may be ready in a matter of hours. Taste occasionally, and refrigerate when it has reached the desired level of pungency. Homemade mustard also makes a great gift, so have some fun and experiment with your own mustard creations.


Basic Whole-Grain MustardPrint This Recipe Print This Recipe

1/4 cup brown mustard seeds
1/4 cup yellow mustard seeds
1/2 cup white wine vinegar
1/2 cup water
1/2 tsp sea salt
additional water or vinegar as needed to thin to desired consistency

Soak mustard seeds in vinegar and water overnight, or at least 8 hours. Be sure and use a non-reactive glass, plastic or stainless steel bowl. After soaking, add any additional ingredients and grind mixture using food processor or blender, adding water and/or vinegar if necessary until desired consistency is reached. Cover and let age for a few days or longer. Refrigerate and use within 6 months.

YIELDS: about 1-1/2 cups

Spicy Whole-Grain MustardPrint This Recipe Print This Recipe

1/4 cup brown mustard seeds
1/2 cup yellow mustard seeds
1/4 cup cider vinegar
3/4 cup water
1/2 tsp sea salt
2 tsp honey
dash of ground cloves
dash of ground allspice
hot paprika or cayenne pepper (to taste)
additional water or vinegar as needed to thin to desired consistency

process same as for Basic Whole-Grain Mustard

YIELDS: about 1-1/2 cups

You might also be interested in these related recipes :

1. Homemade Yellow Mustard
2. Homemade Tomato Ketchup
3. No Rooster Chili Garlic Sauce
4. Basic Fermented Hot Sauce
5. Sriracha-Style Hot Sauce


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5 Responses to Homemade: Whole-Grain Mustard

  1. Daphne says:

    Those mustards look wonderful. I like making mustard too. I still haven’t found a dijon recipe that I like though. So that is the one I still buy.
    Daphne recently posted…Milk and MushroomsMy Profile

    • Dave says:

      I’ve not had any luck making a Dijon style mustard either. The ones I tried calling for wine all seem to overpower the mustard taste.

  2. Shirl says:

    thanks for this post I have been interested in making my own mustard- I have planted mustard plants in hopes of collecting the seed.
    Shirl recently posted…Tour of Garden and Hydroponic Systems UsedMy Profile

  3. I’ve been making home-made mustard for a while now and tried all sorts of ingredients from expensive wine to Guinness. Funnily our favourite is with the cheapest box wine that we happened to have at home once. It’s all about trying new combinations!
    The Pink Cucumber recently posted…War on High CholesterolMy Profile

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