Traditional hot sauces have never contained wheat or wheat products in their recipes. The exploration of gourmet hot sauces over recent years has caused manufacturers to include wheat as thickening agents or as part of the recipe. There are very few hot sauces that contain wheat or are made with equipment that also uses wheat products, where traces of wheat are distributed in the sauce.
Is hot sauce gluten-free?
Most traditional and classic hot sauces that contain only hot peppers, vinegar, and spices are naturally gluten-free. However, some manufacturing plants where the sauces are made may carry trace amounts of wheat and not all hot sauces carry the gluten-free label. In addition, some thickening agents can have small amounts of gluten in them. If it is not labeled gluten-free, then it’s probably not gluten-free.
Gluten-free is the absence of wheat products…but you already knew that. My mother, wife, and two daughters are all on a gluten-free diet but unfortunately, they do not enjoy hot sauce as much as I do. I prepare gluten-free breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day for them, so I know, understand, and accept the need to avoid wheat. My mother had a severe sensitivity that even the seasoned coating on French fries would upset her stomach.
Now, I only feed them food products labeled gluten-free. Although I read the ingredient labels of products I only trust that the manufacturer has abided by the stringent concerns of making a gluten-free product and they understand the legal implications of misleading package labeling.
My mother, wife, and daughters have celiac disease, and according to the FDA eating wheat products can trigger antibodies that could cause other serious health problems. Choosing hot sauces with a gluten-free label, if you are on a gluten-free diet, is as equally as important especially if you eat it every day like I do.
How do you know if a hot sauce is gluten-free?
The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has set the limitations on the minimal amount of wheat a product can contain to be labeled as gluten-free and that is 20 ppm (parts per million). This means that some products labeled gluten-free could contain minuscule amounts of wheat products. Only in the last decade has the FDA refined and defined gluten-free labeling on products.
The disease has been around for centuries but has only recently gained the attention of consumers and manufacturers. Companies are now voluntarily labeling their products as gluten-free even though they may have always been free of wheat. This is a direct communication to the customer on which products are gluten-free but it also is used as a marketing tool so companies can reach consumers who are on a gluten-free diet or have celiac disease.
What makes a hot sauce gluten-free?
Many hot sauces are gluten-free but may not carry any label, logo, or indication on the packaging that they are. Carefully reading the ingredient label can also provide information about the contents even if a product is not labeled gluten-free. The level of comfort for consuming a hot sauce without the gluten-free label depends on the individual.
Are all hot sauces gluten-free?
It has been my experience through the research of products and product labels that nearly all traditional, classic or Lousianna style hot sauces are gluten-free. That is a bold statement and is not necessarily 100% accurate but if you compare it to other products and condiments the number of gluten-free hot sauces is staggering.
Like many food allergies, there is an organization that provides information, support, and certified gluten-free product labels. The Gluten-Free Intolerance Group is the leading organization to provide a certified gluten-free label. They are currently undergoing rebranding so two labels will be in circulation as the new logo replaces the old. I am more familiar with the original but I am also OK with the words gluten-free or the symbol GF on packaging labels. Of the 50 sauces on the list below only two, Tia Lupita and Noble Made by The New Primal Buffalo, carry the certified gluten-free label.
Labeled gluten-free packaging
Many manufacturers voluntarily label their hot sauces as being gluten-free or sometimes with the letters GF. I look for this on all new products to become confident that they are safe to consume on a gluten-free diet. Unfortunately, some very well-known name brands of hot sauce do not carry a gluten-free label and many hot sauces may advertise as being gluten-free but may not provide it on the label. The level of comfort in deciding on consuming a hot sauce without any indication on the label is up to the individual.
The following list of sauces contains the words gluten-free, GF, or a symbol indicating gluten-free somewhere on the packaging. Amazon is not a precise search engine…yet. Not all the sauces that come up in a search on Amazon may be gluten-free.
50 Gluten Free Labeled Hot Sauces
This is not a comprehensive list of every gluten-free hot sauce on the market. There are 1,000’s of great hot sauce products on the market with little or no recognition as being gluten free. Some gourmet, craft or artisan hot sauces will contain non-traditional ingredients to explore the possibilities of hot sauce creations. If you are on a gluten-free diet always red the product label for the gluten-free stamp before consumption.