May 2015


Posted on May 29, 2015 at 8:33 pm in

I find American mustard very frustrating. Even the stuff called “hot mustard” has barely any perceptible heat. As usual, I have turned to my culinary patron saint, Alton Brown, for the base recipe and adapted it to allow me to dial in the right level of sinus scorching!

  • 1/4 cup dry mustard powder
  • 2 teaspoons light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup mustard seed
  • 1/2 cup sweet pickle juice
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar (or your preferred type)

    Mix the powders

    In a small, microwave-proof bowl whisk together the dry mustard, brown sugar, salt, turmeric, paprika, and garlic powder. In a separate container, combine the pickle juice and cider vinegar and have standing by.

    Place the mustard seed into a spice grinder and grind for a minimum of 1 minute, stopping to pulse occasionally. Once ground, immediately add the mustard to the bowl with the dry ingredients and add the water. Whisk to combine. Place the bowl into the microwave and heat on high for 1 minute.

    How hot do you want your mustard?

    The heat and bitterness peak during the first 5 to 15 minutes from adding the water to the ground mustard seed. A shorter delay before adding the acid will result in a mild, sweet mustard: waiting 10 minutes will result in a pungent, hot mustard similar to the commercial British mustards. Once you add the acid (vinegar and pickle juice), the heat and bitterness will be locked in at that level. You’ll just have to experiment with different timings to lock in your preferred level. For me, waiting 11 minutes before adding the acid gives a similar heat level to Coleman’s mustard (similar heat level to “Chinese mustard” for those on the right hand side of the Pond).

    Add the acid

    Remove from the microwave, add the acid ingredients after your preferred delay, and puree with a stick blender for 1 minute. Pour into a glass jar or container and allow to cool uncovered. Once cool, cover and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.

    Other tweaks

    Instead of using water, try substituting the same volume of flat beer. The beer you add will contribute its own distinctive note to the overall flavour profile.

    Which mustard seed you use will also affect flavour and heat: the darker the mustard seed, the higher the pungency and heat.

    Read more at:

    For the base recipe, go here.