You Can Make Your Own: Whole Grain Mustard

It may be too early for me to say this, but I think I am going to really like working on this project.  It gives me an excuse to make something that I wouldn’t otherwise, and I have a job!  Ok, so task is maybe a better term since it doesn’t pay anything and it doesn’t provide me with health or dental coverage.  But it’s something to complete, something that I have to work on and research and something that has tangible results.  If you are a stay at home mom or wife, you may feel like your days are a little monotonous.  Don’t get me wrong, being a mom is wonderful and rewarding.  But day in and day out doing laundry, washing dishes, grocery shopping, fixing meals, changing dirty diapers etc. sometimes starts to feel a little ho-hum.  Anyone with me?  I know those women who don’t need to do anything else but be at home, but I think a part of me needs a little something that is not baby or house related.  I know this is still technically a household task, and so I am a bit of a 50’s housewife cliche, but my place is in the kitchen and I’m OK with that.

I chose to make whole grain mustard.  I found a few recipes, all using the same basic ingredients and process.  There are some differences here and there and if I run out of this batch and feel like making some more I will think about maybe trying something a little different to see how it changes the results.

The recipe I ended up using was from The Feed, an America’s Test Kitchen blog, that I just came across and am now subscribed to.  America’s Test Kitchen is great.  I have about 3 years worth (2004-2007) of Cooks Illustrated that I go back to when I want some detailed and informative recipes complete with illustrated step-by-steps.  I would like to spend a day or two (or maybe a full week) with those people.  Testing recipes, kitchen gadgets, pots, pans, knives and food products.  What a life!  I wonder, does it even feel like a job?

This recipe uses yellow and brown mustard seed.  I found yellow at the grocery store, but had to order the brown seeds from My Spice Sage.  4 ounces of the mustard seed only set me back $3, which made me wish I’d bought my yellow seed there also.  I still have half the bag of brown seed left.  Each little jar of yellow seed cost me $2.50, so order all your seed in bulk if you have the time.  This site also has free shipping, but only if you spend $10, so buy some cinnamon and fancy salt!  My shipment came pretty quickly, which was really nice.

The other ingredients are probably things you have in your kitchen all the time; apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, salt and beer.  The beer is optional, you can use water instead.  I used Shiner Bock, and while the mustard doesn’t taste like beer, I think it does add a nice flavor.  I let my seeds sit in the vinegar and beer for 24 hours on the counter.  I tasted the mustard right out of the food processor and it tasted spicy enough, so I put it right in the fridge.  The only thing I might do is to go back and process my mustard again as it is quite coarse.  The seeds might have softened more if I’d soaked them longer, so try to exercise some patience and let it sit for 2 days.

If you are almost out of whole grain mustard, don’t go buy a new jar, try this recipe.  A nice, 8 or 9-ounce jar of whole grain mustard can cost you $5.  I doubled the recipe and it made two 10-ounce jars.  I spent roughly $9 on ingredients. More mustard for a little less money, and you can say that you made your own mustard.  The recipe below is one batch, so double (or triple) if you want some to give away to friends and family.

Whole Grain Mustard

From America’s Test Kitchen


  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup yellow mustard seed (exactly one jar of the McCormick seeds)
  • 1/4 cup brown mustard seed
  • 1/4 cup beer or water
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar (or more to taste)
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  1. Combine vinegar, mustard seeds and beer or water in a bowl, stir, cover in plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for 8-48 hours.
  2. Process soaked mustard seeds with sugar and salt in food processor until coarsely ground and thickened, about 1 minute, scraping down bowl as necessary.
  3. Transfer mustard to container and let stand at room temperature until it achieves desired spiciness, then refrigerate for up to 2 months.