What is the difference between whole grain mustard and ground mustard?

In this brief article, we will provide you with the answer to the question: “What is the difference between whole grain mustard and ground mustard?”, discuss what is mustard, and talk about some of the mustard’s types. 

What is the difference between whole grain mustard and ground mustard?

Whole Grain mustards are made from whole mustard seeds. They have the greatest texture, which may lend a distinct touch to sauces and dressings.

Ground mustard, as the name says, is the mustard seed that was grounded. Different brands or varieties will use different seed mixtures to achieve different degrees of heat.

What is mustard?

Mustard is a popular condiment prepared from the seeds of the mustard plant, which belongs to the Brassica and Sinapis genera. There are three basic varieties utilized to produce a wide range of mustards, ranging from mild to strong:

White mustard seeds (Sinapis alba); Brown mustard (Brassica juncea);

Black mustard (Brassica juncea / Brassica nigra).

Mustard seeds can be purchased whole, powdered, or bruised. Powdered mustard is frequently marketed as a mixture of powdered mustard powder, turmeric, and a little amount of wheat flour.

Mustard is prepared by blending mustard seeds, some liquids, and salt to create a paste with a sauce-like consistency. The liquids differ based on the kind of mustard: depending on the type of mustard, they may include:

Water; Vinegar; Wine; Beer; Juice of lemon; Verjus (a highly acidic juice produced by pressing unripe grapes, apples, and other acidic fruits).

Adding liquids helps to stabilize the mustard oil, but the type of liquid you employ determines the heat’s pungency: more acid, less heat.

What are the types of mustard?


Dijon mustard is spicy mustard from Dijon, France. It is produced with the spicier end of the spectrum of brown mustard seeds and white wine.

Verjuice, an acidic juice derived from unripe grapes, can be used in this smooth, brown seed mustard. Because acidity inhibits the interaction that generates mustard’s high heat, using a less acidic liquid gives Dijon mustard a robust character, heightened heat, and a more pungent flavor.

Most Dijon mustards today are prepared with different low acidity liquids, most often white wine, and use hotter brown and/or black mustard seeds. 

Dijon is especially effective in vinaigrettes, mayonnaise, and sauces, where a little goes a long way toward generating flavor.

Spicy brown

Spicy brown mustard, like Dijon, but hotter, depends on partly crushed brown mustard seeds, a few toasty spices, and reduced acidity to amp up the straight mustard flavor and heat. Because of its capacity to bring cold meats to life, spicy brown mustard is also known as deli mustard.


Yellow mustard, with its gentle heat and fresh acidity, is an excellent choice for dishes that require a little lift, such as barbecue sauce or marinades.

It is prepared with finely powdered yellow mustard seeds and the potent coloring ingredient turmeric. To make a thick, squeezable sauce, these two components are combined with vinegar and water, as well as a few other mild spices.


Honey mustard is a one-to-one combination of honey and mustard (usually yellow) that tempers the heat and bitterness of traditional yellow mustard with a silky sweetness, making it immensely more sophisticated and pleasant as a dip or side sauce.

It is ideal as a dipping sauce: a chicken finger dipped in honey mustard yields nothing but a smooth and sweet flavor that is simple to digest. It is also ideal for sweeter sauces and meals that benefit from a milder mustard approach, such as this grilled chicken and spinach salad with honey mustard dressing.

Whole grain

Whole grain mustard seeds are crushed just enough to make a thick paste, but not so much that the entire seed is broken down. As a result, the mustard has a spicy, fragrant heat with a crackly texture.

It is used wine instead of vinegar and dark and black seeds instead of yellow, so it is very spicy.

The added texture and bite of whole-grain mustard matches perfectly with cheese plates or ham sandwiches. It also works nicely in dressings, adding roughness to otherwise smooth sauces.

Hot mustard

To reduce the inherent heat of a mustard seed, combine it with hot water and/or acid. When both of these factors are removed from the equation, the entire mouth-scorching power of mustard is revealed.

Begin with ground brown or black mustard seeds and whisk in a proportional amount of cold water to make hot mustard. The mustard then steadily heats up, reaching a peak in about fifteen minutes before starting to cool down. 


In this brief article, we provided you with the answer to the question: “What is the difference between whole grain mustard and ground mustard?”, discussed what is mustard, and talked about some of the mustard’s types. 


MasterClass. “A Culinary Guide to Mustard Types and How to Use Each Mustard Variety – 2022.” Accessed January 18, 2022. https://www.masterclass.com/articles/a-culinary-guide-to-mustard-types-and-how-to-use-each-mustard-variety.

Serious Eats. “Mustard Manual: Your Guide to Mustard Varieties.” Accessed January 18, 2022. https://www.seriouseats.com/mustard-manual-guide.

Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.