What Is Prepared Mustard?

Prepared mustard is a versatile and widely used condiment found at the grocery store. It is typically packaged in a jar or bottle and comes in many forms. Unlike unprocessed mustard seeds or mustard powder, prepared mustard refers specifically to the ready-to-use condiment. Whether you are a restaurant owner, caterer, or concession stand manager, prepared mustard is an essential condiment that you should always have on hand.

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What Is Mustard Made Of?

Mustard is made primarily from mustard seeds, liquid, and a spice blend. The seeds, which come from the mustard plant, can be used whole, ground into mustard powder, or partially crushed to create different textures. Water, vinegar, wine, and lemon juice are common liquids used in mustard recipes.

What Is Dry Mustard?

Dry mustard, sometimes called ground mustard, is the powdered form of mustard seeds. It contains no liquids but can include turmeric powder for added color. You can make mustard powder by grinding mustard seeds in a spice grinder, coffee grinder, or mortar and pestle.

Types of Mustard Seeds

Mustard seeds come in three main varieties: white, brown, and black. Each variety has distinct characteristics, making them suitable for different culinary applications. We'll outline each type and what sets them apart below.

  • White mustard seeds: Sometimes referred to as yellow mustard seeds, they are slightly tangy, making them a popular choice for traditional yellow mustard. The mildness of white mustard seeds allows the other flavors, such as vinegar or spices, to shine through.
  • Brown mustard seeds: Brown mustard seeds offer a more robust flavor. They have a spicier and sharper taste, which adds depth and complexity.
  • Black mustard seeds: Black mustard seeds have a distinct flavor and are the rarest and most expensive variety. They are hand-picked and have a higher concentration of pungent compounds.

What Does Mustard Taste Like?

Most mustards have flavor profiles with varying degrees of bitterness, pungency, and acidity. The more acidic liquid used to prepare mustard, the less pungent its flavor will be. Much of mustard's flavor comes from compounds called glucosinolates. Sometimes called mustard oils, these natural compounds create warmth on the tongue and the sinuses.


Types of Mustard

Mustard is one of the most popular condiments in the world and comes in several different forms. Understanding what sets each type of mustard apart and how to use them helps you make informed purchasing decisions and complement your signature dishes.

1. Yellow Mustard

yellow mustard

Yellow mustard is the most popular and widely used type of mustard. It is distinguished by its vibrant yellow color, which doesn't come from mustard seeds, but rather from turmeric. Yellow mustard features a mild taste and has a broader appeal. As a result, it is used for a wide range of applications. This is partly because it features a significant amount of vinegar, keeping its pungency low and creating a sharp, acidic flavor.

  • Yellow mustard ingredients: Mustard powder, vinegar, turmeric, and other spices
  • Yellow mustard flavor: High acidity with low pungency
  • Yellow mustard uses: Sandwich spread, hot dog condiment, burger condiment, ingredient for sauces

2. Dijon Mustard

dijon mustard

Dijon mustard is a prepared mustard primarily made from brown mustard seeds and white wine. It has less vinegar than yellow mustard, giving it a creamy texture and a strong mustard flavor and making it ideal for those who prefer a bold taste. Its roots can be traced back to Dijon, France, and it had a protected designation of origin until 1937. Today, Dijon mustard refers to the style and flavor profile of the mustard rather than its specific origin.

  • Dijon mustard ingredients: Brown mustard seeds, white wine, vinegar, water, salt
  • Dijon mustard flavor: Low acidity with high pungency and a creamy texture
  • Dijon mustard uses: Sandwich spread, sauces, salad dressings

3. Honey Mustard

honey mustard

Honey mustard is a combination of prepared mustard, honey, and mayonnaise. Its creamy texture, in combination with the sweetness of the honey and mild pungency of the mustard, creates a unique flavor profile that appeals to a wide range of taste preferences. This type of mustard is used as a dipping sauce for chicken nuggets and other fried foods as well as a salad dressing.

  • Honey mustard ingredients: Dijon or yellow mustard, honey, mayonnaise, vinegar, spices
  • Honey mustard flavor: Very mild pungency and acidity, sweet and tangy
  • Honey mustard uses: Salad dressing, dip, condiment, marinade

4. Whole Grain Mustard

whole grain mustard

Whole grain mustard features a combination of whole mustard seeds and crushed mustard seeds. The whole seeds absorb liquid and become slightly soft, releasing a mild pungency when bitten. Beer or wine is the dominant liquid used in the recipe, which tones down the acidity of the mustard. The result is a mild mustard with a pleasant grainy texture. Whole grain mustard is a popular condiment for sausages and deli meats.

  • Whole mustard ingredients: Yellow and brown mustard seeds, beer or wine, vinegar, sugar or honey, and spices
  • Whole mustard flavor: Low acidity with medium pungency and a grainy texture
  • Whole mustard uses: Sandwich spread, vinaigrettes, charcuterie boards, pretzel dip

5. Hot Mustard

hot mustard

Hot mustard, sometimes referred to as Chinese hot mustard, adds a kick to a variety of dishes. Despite its name, hot mustard is not spicy in the traditional sense. Rather, it provides a unique and intense heat reminiscent of the sensation you might experience from wasabi. The lack of vinegar in the recipe allows the pungency of the mustard seeds to shine through, giving the condiment its distinct flavor profile. Hot mustard is popular in Asian cuisine and often served in American-Chinese restaurants.

  • Hot mustard ingredients: Mustard powder and water
  • Hot mustard flavor: Extremely pungent
  • Hot mustard uses: Condiment for American-Chinese dishes and appetizers

6. Spicy Brown Mustard

spicy brown mustard

Spicy brown mustard is made from brown mustard seeds, which are more potent than yellow seeds and raise the heat level in the recipe. The seeds are coarsely ground with the outer husk, or bran, still intact, resulting in a slightly grainy texture and causing brown specks to appear. Spicy brown mustard also has additional spices that increase the earthiness and complexity of its flavor.

  • Spicy brown mustard ingredients: Brown mustard seeds, vinegar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg
  • Spicy brown mustard flavor: Strong pungency and heat, low acidity, complex maltiness
  • Spicy brown mustard uses: Pretzel dip, sandwich spread, condiment for meats like pastrami, knockwurst, or kielbasa

Mustard Substitutes

When it comes to replacing mustard in a recipe, there are several options you can choose from. These ingredients, which vary in taste and texture, might not be a perfect replacement, but can serve as a viable mustard substitute in a pinch:

  • Mustard seeds or mustard powder: As the main ingredient in prepared mustard, mustard seeds and powder will allow you to achieve a similar taste. They are a suitable replacement for mustard in sauces and marinades. For every 1 tablespoon of mustard, use a combination of 1 teaspoon dry mustard, 1 teaspoon vinegar, and 1 teaspoon water. Let the mixture sit for a few minutes so the mustard flavor will develop. You can also use 1 tablespoon of prepared mustard in place of 1 teaspoon of dry mustard.
  • Turmeric: Turmeric is a type of spice commonly used as an ingredient in yellow mustard. Using it as a substitute can help to mimic yellow mustard's color and impart a subtle mustard flavor.
  • Worcestershire sauce: This sauce can be used in marinades and sauces to add a similar tang to mustard. However, it has a different texture than mustard and will not provide the same thickness or creaminess.
  • Horseradish: Horseradish has a similarly sharp and pungent flavor that can add depth to your recipes. For a creamier texture, you can combine horseradish with mayonnaise.

Prepared Mustard Recipe

Making your own mustard is very easy, and you probably have all the ingredients on hand already. Try our simple yellow mustard recipe below.

Yellow Mustard Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup mustard powder
  • 3 Tablespoons white vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/8 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

Yellow Mustard Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients into saucepan and whisk together until smooth.
  2. Bring mixture to a boil.
  3. Reduce heat and allow liquid to simmer for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring often.
  4. Once the sauce has thickened to the desired consistency, remove from heat and allow mustard to cool.
  5. Refrigerate mustard in an airtight jar for up to one month.

Hot liquids actually neutralize the heat and pungency of the mustard. If you want to make a spicy mustard, use cold liquids and skip the boiling step.

Back to Top

Prepared mustard is one of the most popular condiments available and can be used in many different ways. It adds zesty flavor to your signature dishes and is a must-have at burger joints, concession stands, and restaurants. By familiarizing yourself with what prepared mustard is and the different types of mustard to choose from, you'll be able to elevate your service and satisfy customers.

Posted in: Kitchen & Cooking Tips|By Rachel Jenkins
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