Mustard VS Horseradish (Differences, Uses + More)

Condiments are used to amp up the flavor of food, and condiments can be sweet, spicy, sour, or more. When it comes to both acidity and heat, there is a silent battle between mustard and horseradish lovers.

Which is better among the two, mustard or horseradish? I looked up the facts, and here is what I discovered!

Mustard VS Horseradish

Both mustard and horseradish come from the same plant family, which is why aside from the physical difference, they are almost the same in flavor and pungency. Horseradish is a little more intense and more pungent, but that is because horseradish’s preparation is kept fairly simple. Mustard has added flavors and ingredients that sometimes tame the pungency. 

Are mustard and horseradish used the same way? What is the difference between horseradish and mustard? Keep reading to know more!

How Do You Use Mustard And Horseradish?

Horseradish is a root that is grated to release its pungency and comes from the same family as mustard so mustard and horseradish have the distinct kick of heat.

Typically, horseradish is used to make wasabi, the commercial green paste in a tube that we squeeze out.

Additionally, horseradish is easier to access, so horseradish is used in place of the actual wasabi plant and mixed with more seasonings.

Moreover, horseradish can be used as a spread, grated, and mixed with vinegar. Plus, horseradish is added to sandwiches and burgers or used as a dip for meats and accompaniment to cheese.

In the United Kingdom, it is tradition to serve roast beef with horseradish as a Sunday roast.

While horseradish is not as well-known as mustard, horseradish can actually serve the same purpose since they are almost the same in flavor.

Mustard, the more common of the two, can be used in various ways since mustard is more popular as a condiment, and mustard is also widely accepted as a dressing and dip.

With its different varieties, mustard can be paired with almost anything since mustard can be served with deli meats, cheese, pretzels, leafy vegetables, pickling spice, and fruits.

Mustard has been used since the early Roman times, and maybe even before that. Mustard was first used as medicine before people discovered its potential as a spice and condiment.

What Is The Difference Between Mustard And Horseradish?

Mustard and horseradish come from the same plant family, but they are very different.

Horseradish is a root and is typically bulbous and more like ginger in physical form. Plus, horseradish is already pungent as a root and just needs to be grated to be used.

Prepared horseradish is grated horseradish mixed with vinegar because prepared horseradish is white and has a creamy texture with a more pungent taste.

Some preparations mix horseradish with beets, giving horseradish a red hue, but horseradish is mostly white to beige.

Unlike mustard, horseradish will last for a few months when refrigerated because horseradish can darken over months and lose its flavor and pungency, whereas mustard can last years before losing color and flavor.

Mustard is not a root but is made from mustard seeds, and these seeds are soaked in liquid or ground up to release their pungency.

While horseradish may also need a little acidity, horseradish is already pungent even without the added liquid.

One significant difference is that mustard or any prepared mustard is usually bright yellow to dark brown, unlike horseradish which is mostly white.

What Is Similar Between Mustard And Horseradish?

What Is Similar Between Mustard And Horseradish?

Horseradish and mustard both come from the same family, which is why they both have the same pungency and kick because they contain the same enzymes.

Both the heat they give when consumed does not stay in your tongue, but rather travels and is felt at the back of your throat and nose, which is where the burn is felt most.

Is Mustard Or Horseradish Better On Ribs?

If used as a side dish or a condiment, horseradish would be better on ribs because ribs are full of flavor.

Therefore, horseradish will serve as a tasty bit of heat to cut through the richness and full flavors of the rib.

If you need a rub for ribs, mustard will take the cake. Mustard is a great binder and emulsifier, so spices will stick to the meat.

Plus, mustard tenderizes the meat when you let the mustard marinade on the ribs and mustard will give your ribs a flavorful crust and bark that horseradish cannot do.

Both are great with ribs, it is just a question of how the condiment will be used.

Is Mustard Or Horseradish Better As A Spread On Sandwiches?

This is a question that can only be answered by personal taste and preference. Honestly, both are great with any type of sandwich because both condiments are great with the meat.

Horseradish and mustard pair very well with deli meat sandwiches like pastrami, roast beef, corned beef, hot dogs, shredded pork, and taste great with cheese sandwiches.

They both cut through the meat very well without overpowering the meat’s flavor and richness while providing the spicy kick needed to make the sandwich tastier.

Therefore, the answer to the question of which is better is whichever one of the two you like.

Read our other articles to find out if mustard tenderizes meat, if mustard has sugar, and where mustard originates from.


No matter what your preference is, both mustard and horseradish will give you the same flavor profile you are looking for.

Both condiments are delightfully pungent and acidic that every bite will make you want more. They are perfect with almost the same types of food and are enjoyed with recipes that need more flavor and more spice.

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