Stone Ground Mustard vs. Dijon: Differences & Uses

Stone Ground Mustard vs. Dijon
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As someone who loves to cook and experiment in the kitchen, I’m always looking for new ingredients to spice up my meals. Mustard is a staple condiment for me, but I’ve recently discovered there’s more to mustard than the bright yellow bottle of regular one that I grew up with. Stone ground mustard and Dijon mustard are two varieties that are worlds apart in flavor and texture. So, what’s the difference between stone ground mustard and Dijon?

Stone ground mustard is made from crushed brown mustard seeds, so the texture is chunkier than Dijon’s, which uses completely ground seeds. Dijon is also milder than stone-ground mustard, so their uses are quite different. Dijon is great in dressings and marinades, while stone ground goes great with any meat.

If you’re anything like me and love robust, tangy flavors, discovering stone ground and Dijon mustards will transform your cooking. There’s also a table summary in the end if you’re too lazy to go through everything in detail. Exploring the differences between these two versatile mustards has opened up a whole new world of culinary possibilities for me. Open it up for yourself and read all about these two delicious types of mustard!

Ingredients and Preparation

Stone ground mustard is made from crushed brown mustard seeds, giving it a chunky, tangy flavor. Dijon uses completely ground seeds, so it’s smoother and sharper. The stone ground tends to be spicier, while Dijon has a bit of kick but is more balanced.

Ingredients also set them apart. The stone ground contains just mustard seeds, water, and salt, while sometimes, it can contain white wine vinegar as well. Dijon adds vinegar, wine, or wine must, which contributes subtle fruity notes. Some Dijons also contain herbs, spices, or sugar.

When it comes to appearance, the stone ground is speckled with hulls and seeds, giving it a rustic vibe. Dijon has a uniform yellow color from the ground seeds.

If you want to know more about stone ground mustard’s texture, here’s how you can make it at home!

Appearance and Flavor Profile

When it comes to mustard, I’m all about flavor. As much as I love the tang of Dijon, stone ground mustard is my jam. The differences between the two are striking.

Stone ground mustard has, as the name suggests, whole mustard seeds that are coarsely ground, giving it a chunky, rustic texture. This is why it is also called whole-grain mustard. This is also the reason why stone ground mustard is stronger in taste than Dijon. Dijon is super smooth in comparison. In the flavor department, stone ground packs way more heat from those crushed seeds, with spicy notes that linger on your tongue. Dijon’s flavor is less acidic but more winey.

Looks-wise, stone ground mustard has visible whole grains throughout, while Dijon has an even, creamy yellow color. When I want to add texture and a kick of heat to sandwiches, sausages, or pretzels, stone ground mustard is my go-to. If I’m making a creamy salad dressing or marinade, the silkiness of Dijon works better.

Spiciness Level

Regarding heat, stone ground mustard and Dijon are on opposite ends of the spectrum. If you are someone who can’t handle too much spice, then the mild flavor of Dijon is your choice. Made from white wine and brown or black mustard seeds, Dijon gets its kick from the seeds alone. The seeds are ground up and mixed right into the mustard, giving it a tangy, zesty burst of flavor without too much heat.

Stone ground mustard, on the other hand, is made from coarsely ground brown or black mustard seeds. Since the seeds are crushed whole instead of ground into a paste, stone ground mustard retains more of the mustard oils that give it a robust, spicy flavor. 

The crushed seeds also give stone ground mustard a coarser, chunkier texture than the smooth and creamy Dijon. For those who like some heat, stone ground mustard can be quite piquant and biting.

Uses in Cooking

Stone Ground Mustard on Meat vs. Dijon-based sauce

When it comes to adding mustard to your cooking, I prefer to use stone ground mustard and Dijon interchangeably in most recipes. That said, there are certain uses where one variety works better than the other based on their different flavors and spiciness.

I opt for the robust, tangy flavor of Dijon mustard for marinades, sauces, and dressings. Its sharpness helps cut through rich ingredients like oil, mayonnaise, or creamy cheeses. Dijon’s potent flavor also helps season and permeate meats, seafood, or vegetables during marinating.

With hearty meats such as beef, pork, or duck, the spiciness of stone ground mustard is ideal. Its coarse, whole grains provide texture, and its slightly milder heat won’t overpower the meat’s natural flavors. Spread stone ground mustard on roast beef sandwiches, mix it into sausage stuffing, or use it to coat a pork tenderloin before roasting.

Are Stone Ground Mustard and Dijon Interchangeable?

If you don’t mind some heat, the answer is yes. For example, either Dijon or stone ground mustard will work when making a glaze, depending on how spicy you want the end result.

You can use stone ground mustard as a substitute for Dijon mustard, especially if it is made with vinegar. However, if you need it for dishes with a smoother consistency, then it is not a good idea to use it as a substitute. 

When it comes to vice versa, you can usually substitute stone ground mustard with Dijon mustard, but in case you have a problem with heat, you can add a little bit of honey or sugar to tone it down.

If you need to find a substitute for either of these two mustards, however, you can easily go with creole mustard. Originating in Louisiana, Creole mustard is typically made with brown mustard seeds and spices like turmeric, garlic, and hot peppers. This gives it a vibrant yellow color and a kick of heat.

Creole mustard has a coarser texture than Dijon or stone ground mustard, with whole mustard seeds that you can see and taste. The seeds pack some serious spice! I’ve found Creole mustard to be quite a bit hotter than most Dijon mustards, though not as intensely spicy as some stone ground mustards. The heat builds slowly, so you may not notice it at first. 

Creole mustard is a delicious discovery for those wanting to add more spice and regional flavor to their cooking. However, its bold heat may be overpowering for some. I advise starting with a small amount and adding more to taste. 

Which one is your favorite — stone ground or Dijon? I can’t wait to read all about how you use it in the comments below!

DifferenceStone Ground MustardDijon Mustard
Ingredients & PreparationCrushed brown mustard seedsCompletely ground brown mustard seeds
Appearance & TasteRustic texture, spicier notes than DijonSmoother in texture, milder in taste, less acidic, more winey 
Spiciness LevelRobust and spicier flavorMilder in flavor, a zesty burst of flavor without too much heat
UsesHearty meatsMarinades, sauces, and dressings
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