I Asked 5 Chefs to Name Their Favorite Mayo, and They All Chose the Same Brand

“It’s luxuriously creamy, pleasantly tangy, and more or less bulletproof,” one raves.

<p>Getty Images/Allrecipes</p>

Getty Images/Allrecipes

Sure, you could make your own mayonnaise, but it's hard to resist store-bought when there are so many solid options that can hang out in your fridge safely for 10 times as long. (We’re not exaggerating. It’s best to use homemade mayo within three days, while you should polish off store-bought mayo within three months of opening, according to our guide for how long open condiments last.

If a grocery store mayo Olympics existed, which we’d gladly volunteer to “judge” if it ever does, three contenders would be mainstays on the podium, depending on who you ask and what the intended use might be: Japanese Kewpie mayo, Hellman’s/Best Foods, and Duke’s.

Since our mayo taste test awarded honors to each of those contenders in three categories: best gourmet dinner ingredient (Kewpie), best for sandwiches (Hellman’s), and best for salads (Duke’s Real Mayonnaise), we turned to the a panel of chefs and cookbook authors to help us devise a definitive answer to the question: Which sauce reigns supreme?

“It’s Duke’s or nothing for me,” Surti says, and Hereford echoes that sentiment, adding, “I'm a Duke's man, tried and true.”

Earning top ranks for its luscious texture, desirable tangy flavor, and versatility, “all I buy is Duke’s Mayo, and I always look for the squeeze bottle because I don’t like to dirty up a knife and have to wash it,” Surti says. “There’s a great heritage associated with it, especially for those who were raised in the South, like me. It’s what we grew up eating, and it’s what feels like home.”

Hereford discovered Duke’s a little later in life, during his quest to find a “mayo that didn't taste weird. I sort of assumed they all tasted funky when I was a kid,” he tells us.

Once he found Duke’s, which he describes as “luxuriously creamy, pleasantly tangy with some well rounded acidity, and more or less bulletproof,” Hereford was officially drafted onto Team Mayo.

You need not have any nostalgic ties to summer picnics and potlucks in the South to be sweet on Dukes. Chambers and Pelosi dig the fact that the Duke’s formula calls for zero sugar and a splash of apple cider vinegar, which makes the finished product extra tangy and more flexible than its competitors.

“Duke’s is a light, creamy mayo that does its job perfectly,” says Chambers. “It's not the star of the show, it just adds a richness to anything you put it on.”

Pelosi admits that he stocks seven brands of mayo in his fridge at all times, “but my most versatile is Duke’s.”

These culinary pros aren’t the only ones who dig Duke’s. It actually took home the trophy as the write-in winner for the wild card category in Allrecipes’ 2024 Golden Cart Awards.

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As for how to put the best mayonnaise to good use, Coleman believes that “the possibilities are endless.”

“We literally have only one self-serve sauce dispenser at our flagship restaurant, Turkey and the Wolf, that pumps out Duke's mayo, so I might not be the best one to ask for just two or three ways to use it,” Hereford tells us, with a laugh.

So we’ll dish up a few more than that to help you make the most of your bottle or jar. Consider the following expert-recommended ideas for how to use Duke’s mayonnaise (or another brand, if your loyalty lies elsewhere):

  • In creamy salads, such as coleslaw, potato salad, broccoli salad, egg salad, or chicken salad.

  • Or to make vinaigrettes creamier. Shake or whisk a spoonful into any vinaigrette to lend a richer texture and flavor.

  • As “glue” for breading to create crispy baked chicken, fish, or pork. Our Simple Chicken Mayo with Parmesan and Bread Crumbs shows exactly how to ace this method.

  • In a tomato sandwich. You need nothing more than two slices of white or sourdough bread, a schmear of Duke’s, thick slices of peak-season tomatoes, a pinch of salt, and a few cracks of black pepper. Don’t miss this Southern Tomato Sandwich “that tastes like summer,” according to the creator.

  • For spreads. The base for Chambers’ signature pimento cheese recipe starts with Duke’s.

  • As a dip for French fries. Add a few shakes of malt vinegar or hot sauce to perk things up, if you like.

  • To boost the golden-brown factor. Spread a one-to-one mix of Duke’s mayo and butter on the outside of grilled cheeses, “and it will brown perfectly,” Surti says. Or coat the outside of chicken in a thin layer of Duke’s before you roast it, “and you’ll achieve a great crispy skin,” he adds.

Read the original article on All Recipes.