9 Surprising Hacks for Mayo

When you think of mayo what are you thinking about? A nice ham and cheese sandwich? A tuna fish sandwich? Or maybe even an ingredient in your favorite potato salad recipe? Yeah, me too. I never thought of it used in any other way other than those things. Pretty much just a condiment or maybe for use in salads. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine it could be the secret to a moist cake, or anything else along those lines!

Now, before you’re kind of grossed out by the thought of mayo in a cake, (like I was too ;) ) just think about it this way: you’re already putting those kind of ingredients in a cake anyway. Oil, eggs, etc. Those are all ingredients found in cakes all the time so it’s really not as bizarre as it sounds.

Here are a few examples of ways you can enhance foods with good ol’ mayo:

1. Add it to cake batter to make your cakes extra moist.

Like I said, this sounds a little crazy, but many people swear that mayonnaise is the secret ingredient for extra moist cupcakes! It’s definitely worth it to look up a recipe and try it out!

2. Brush your meats with mayo before you grilling or cooking them to prevent them from sticking

Some chefs swear by brushing their fish with mayo before grilling it. A thin coat of mayonnaise can prevent things from sticking and promote even browning. Who would have thought?!

3. Try frying your grilled cheese in mayonnaise instead of butter.

I have heard of this one before, but since I love butter so dang much and I already feel I have perfected my grilled cheese, I have never felt the need to try this. But now, my curiosity has gotten the better of me and I can’t wait to try this!

Apparently this method gives you the crispiest crust if you brush your bread with a thin layer of mayo instead of butter. Supposedly you can’t even taste the difference at all but it will give you a beautiful, crunchy texture and deep golden color!

4. Add it to mashed potatoes to make them super creamy and rich.

Here’s another one where my heart is telling me “Stop! What are you thinking?! What’s wrong with good ol’ butter??” but my head says “Well alrighty then. Let’s give this a whirl! Why not?!”

I mean who doesn’t love creamy, rich mashed potatoes? Apparently adding about a half a cup gives them beautiful texture and subtle tang (kind of like sour cream).

5. Rub your chicken in it before roasting to give it a beautiful golden color.

Mayonnaise makes the perfect rub because it helps the skin crisp up and is thick enough that you won't have to baste or reapply it. You can add chili sauce and herbs to mayo or try this with any spices you have on hand.

6. Use it to make breaded chicken breasts without having to use flour or eggs.

Most breaded chicken breasts get a coating of flour, egg, then breadcrumbs, but you can actually streamline things by ditching the eggs and flour and using mayonnaise. The mayo helps the breadcrumbs stick to the chicken (kind of like glue) and gives it a nice golden color.

7. Mix it into lean ground meat to make it super moist and add just enough fat.

This hack is especially helpful when you’re working with a lean ground beef or turkey. It helps the meat stay moist and adds just enough fat to give them flavor without becoming overly fatty.

8. Make an easy marinade with it.

Mayonnaise has both fat and acid in it, two things that make a killer marinade. You can add herbs, garlic, and spices to jazz it up, but feel free to add whatever flavors you want to the mayo.

9. Make scrambled eggs with it.

In Alton Brown’s cookbook EveryDayCook, he suggests adding a dollop of mayonnaise to your eggs instead of milk or water to keep them moist—and if Alton swears by it, it must be good!

Have you ever used mayo for any of these reasons?? Are you there any listed here that you might try? Please share in the comments below

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    Mary Richardson
    Weekly Newsletter Contributor since 2014
    Email the author! mary@dvo.com

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