Why you should avoid freezing mayonnaise

We fully support buying extras of condiments and the like when they go on sale, or using up ingredients on the verge of being past their use by date to make bulk batches of frozen food. However, there are simply some foods and beverages that should never be frozen, one of which is mayonnaise. Mayonnaise is a food people either love or hate. It can trigger a lot of emotions, leading to some people even calling this sandwich spread and salad dressing the "Devil's Condiment," according to BuzzFeed. Ouch, right? 

But if you end up trying to freeze your mayonnaise, it may actually live up to that moniker when it comes time to thaw. According to the University of Minnesota, when you freeze some foods, you may find that the food has changed in color, flavor, texture, and even nutrients when you defrost them. And sadly for mayo lovers, this condiment is not immune to these changes. Per Masterclass, mayonnaise is a pretty simplistic. In its most basic form, it is egg yolks and olive oil, along with a little lemon or vinegar and mustard to perk-up the flavor for your taste buds. But it's these very ingredients that cause us issues when we try to freeze mayo. Here's why.

The ingredients in mayonnaise will separate when they thaw

According to Real Simple, if you freeze mayo it isn't its frozen state that's the problem; it's when you thaw your mayo. You will notice a separation of ingredients and a change in the texture as it slowly warms up. This is because it's an emulsion. As explained by How Stuff Works, an emulsion is when you combine two ingredients that don't mix — think about the ubiquitous water and oil example.

When you emulsify ingredients, you are adding one of these ingredients to the other while quickly mixing. This causes droplets of liquid to scatter and dangle. To bind the two ingredients together, you need a third to act as the glue to hold it all together. In the case of mayo, the eggs are the emulsifier and the oil and lemon juice or vinegar are the two ingredients that don't mix. 

So, as you defrost your mayo, the emulsion basically falls apart, leaving an oily, vinegary mess. Real Simple stresses that the thawed mayo isn't going to cause any health issues, but trust us when we say it certainly won't taste very good on your favorite BLT sandwich. The publication did note that you can try whipping your spread back into shape with an electric mixer, but that would require adding a little water which could change the viscosity of your mayonnaise. Your safest option is to buy it as you need it!