What Is Mustard Powder? (Types, Uses + Substitutes)

Most people are familiar with the mustard condiment but not as many have heard of mustard powder, let alone know its purpose and uses.

For some reason or other, you may find yourself wondering what mustard powder is. I did the research and here is what I discovered!

What Is Mustard Powder?

Mustard powder is simply ground-up mustard seeds. It is typically a mixture of brown and white/yellow mustard seeds and is the base ingredient for prepared mustard which is the store-bought condiment commonly found in every spice aisle. 

So how is it as a spice, and how is it as an ingredient? Keep reading to find out!

What Is The Origin Of Mustard Powder?

Romans first experimented with ground mustard seeds in ancient times, mixing them with unfermented grape juice.

A recipe for a Roman mustard glaze was discovered to contain ground-up mustard seeds with a mixture of other spices like dill, black pepper, and grilled coriander seeds.

In 1720, Mrs. Clements from Durham invented the method of preparing mustard powder, which earned it the name “Durham mustard.”

What Is Mustard Powder Made Of?

Mustard powder is typically made of brown and white mustard seeds. The seeds are finely ground and then mixed with a little bit of turmeric or saffron for added flavor and color.

Additional spices and flavorings can be thrown in with the mustard powder depending on what it is made for or how it is intended to be used.

What Does Mustard Powder Taste Like?

Mustard powder itself has no flavor or taste. In order for it to have flavor, it must be combined with water or any liquid agent to release the oils which give it the mustard taste.

If you want to inject more flavor after it has been mixed with water, you can add your preferred spices or flavorings to get your desired taste.

What Is Mustard Powder Used For?

Mustard powder is great to add to dry rubs as it does not have the lingering intensity that you get from chili and peppers. It brings a distinct tanginess to the flavor of most meats and enhances their flavor.

Salad dressings are also infused with mustard powder because it acts as an emulsifier and brings together the oil and water to make the vinaigrette without the addition of moisture.

Additionally, the mustard powder is great with sauces that have cream as one of their ingredients because its flavor is best for cutting through the creaminess and fattiness.

Moreover, when making homemade mayonnaise or hollandaise, the mustard powder can add flavor and help bind the sauces together.

But aside from food, the mustard powder is used for the most obvious reason of all—to make prepared mustard.

What Is Yellow Mustard Powder?

What Is Mustard Powder?

Yellow mustard powder is made by grinding yellow/white mustard seeds until they are fine enough and in powder form.

What Is Colman’s Mustard Powder?

Colman’s mustard powder is made with Norfolk-grown mustard seeds because according to Colman, “local tastes better.”

Mustard powder by Colman’s is made of 100% pure brown and white mustard seeds that are double-milled for a more intense flavor.

According to Colman advertising, you just have to add water to the powder and it is the perfect addition to any recipe you can think of.

What Is English Mustard Powder?

English mustard powder is a mixture of finely ground mustard seeds, turmeric, and wheat flour.

Usually a bright yellow color, English mustard powder has a strong, somewhat bitter flavor that is more pungent than hot.

This powder is typically used to make hot table mustard by mixing it in with water, wine, or vinegar to the desired consistency.

English mustard powder is a specialty of England and is rarely seen or bought anywhere else.

What Is Hot Mustard Powder?

Hot mustard powder is usually made with brown mustard seeds. The oriental brown mustard variety is the one used to make Chinese hot mustard.

This type of hot mustard powder that makes Chinese hot mustard typically has no other additional spices or flavorings, only pure finely-ground brown mustard seeds.

What Are The Best Substitutes For Mustard Powder?

Dijon mustard is the best substitute for mustard powder. 1 teaspoon of dry mustard is equal to 1 tablespoon of Dijon.

Your next best option if you don’t have Dijon within reach is any other prepared mustard. The closest in flavor is Dijon but any other variety of mustard will work.

Turmeric powder is also another great substitute because it will give the same color and almost the same flavor, minus the intense heat and kick.

Wasabi powder is another option but start with half the amount required for the mustard powder. Wasabi is spicier, so give the recipe a taste before you start adding more.

Whole mustard seeds are also an alternative since you can ground them up yourself and add them to the recipe you are making.

However, it is sometimes better to omit the mustard powder if the substitutes do not mix well with the other ingredients. If your recipe has a lot of spices, you might not even need the mustard powder anymore.

If you want to learn more about mustard, you can see our related posts on what mustard flour is, what stone ground mustard is, and what dry mustard is.


Mustard powder is the most important ingredient in making the world-famous condiment but it is not limited to that.

On its own, the mustard powder can stand as an amazing spice and a great addition to a lot of well-loved recipes.

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