Do hot dogs have gluten? While hot dogs are meat and mostly meat is gluten free, some hot dog brands do contain gluten, so it’s important to read the label of the package before eating. Here are a few gluten free hot dog brands:
|Sabrett||Dietz & Watson|
|Boar’s Head||Wellshire Farms|
As an avid hot dog fan, this was the most painful question I asked when going gluten free. I wanted to know straight up, can I eat hot dogs or not? The article below will outline the answer with some useful information for celiac people.
Hot dogs may have come from Germany, but they are a national favorite in the US. From summer barbecues on the porch to camping trips with the family – hot dogs are everywhere.
Grilling the delicious wieners and placing those juicy babies inside a slit bun, and then gorging on them, with some ketchup and mustard sauce – what could be better than that?
When we say “hot dogs”, we can mean the entire sandwich with the bun, as well as just the sausage. For the sake of our discussion, let’s consider only the sausage.
Hot Dogs Gluten Free Confidence Score
The gluten free confidence score for hot dogs is 6/10
A hot dog is simply a sausage inside a bun with some ketchup or mustard and some relish. Some even put mayonnaise inside.
While originally from Germany, the hot dog as most know it today was hugely adopted in the United States especially by working class population sold in street corners and food carts.
The first image that comes to mind when thinking of a hot dog is a baseball game and enjoying a bun with hot sausage inside during the game.
Among the little delights that enrich an American’s life, hot dogs definitely feature among the top. It’s fast food that’s also filling.
Who could possibly dislike it? Nowadays, even vegans have developed their own plant-based versions, so that they don’t miss out on all the fun that revolves around the meaty hot dogs. But, are hot dogs gluten free?
The answer depends on the ingredients used by a brand in the making process. Remember that by hot dogs, we are only referring to the sausages, to exclude the gluten-filled buns from the conversation.
While the main ingredient of the traditional hot dog is meat, the sausages may not always be gluten free. That’s because of the additives that some brands use in these hot dogs.
Hot dogs often contain:
- Flavoring agents
- Thickeners and more.
And, many of these fillers can be glutinous, making the sausage unsafe for you if you are allergic to gluten.
Plus, there’s always the possibility of cross-contamination. So, it is essential to look at the ingredients list and ensure that the hot dog you’re about to buy is gluten free.
What About Cross-Contamination?
Another thing that you should be worried about at the time of buying hot dogs – or any food item, for that matter – is cross-contamination.
This is when a naturally gluten free item ends up with traces of gluten when they come in touch with gluten products. This happens due to shared facilities of manufacturing, processing, or storing.
If the hot dogs are made, processed, or stored in the same facilities that deal with gluten-containing items, there’s always the possibility of cross-contamination.
However, some brands take special care to eliminate all chances of cross-contamination. Sometimes, brands mention shared facilities to warn consumers. But, this may not be true for all brands.
Importance of a “Gluten Free” Label on Hot Dogs
Finding gluten free hot dogs can be more complicated than you think. The FDA does not regulate hot dogs. As a result, it is free from any requirement imposed by the FALCPA to list out the presence of allergens.
So, looking for allergen warnings or the common names of allergy-inducing ingredients might not help you at all. To be on the safe side, you will need to go the extra mile.
You must look for a “gluten free” label. If a product is certified as gluten free, then it contains less than 20 ppm of gluten.
Apart from that, make sure to scan the ingredients list properly. The gluten sources may be mentioned on the label using their easy-to-recognize common names.
Gluten Free Hot Dog Brands
Fortunately, there are hot dog brands that have developed delicious sausage recipes without using gluten ingredients.
They have also made it a point to take necessary precautions to prevent cross-contamination.
This way, these brands ensure that everyone, even those with gluten intolerance, can enjoy hot dogs. These brands contain less than 20 ppm of gluten.
Let’s take a look at the brands that produce healthy, gluten free hot dogs:
Sabrett – The GFCO, i.e., Gluten Free Certification Organization, certifies the hot dogs, as well as other meat products, as gluten free. That means in all these products, the level of gluten content is less than 10 ppm, which lower than the permissible gluten limit, i.e., 20 ppm.
Applegate Farms – This company offers six types of hot dogs made of different kinds of meat. These are organic and healthy, and all the products can be considered gluten free, with less than 20 ppm gluten. They are also made in a gluten free environment.
Boar’s Head – Also known for its luncheon meats and cheeses, this brand’s hot dogs are made from ingredients that are completely free from gluten. Further, the company only works with ingredient suppliers who assure gluten free products.
Dietz & Watson – Most of the products manufactured by the brand, including the hot dogs, are gluten free, though you should avoid their bockwurst and scrapple. The National Celiac Association certifies that its products have less than 5 ppm of gluten in them.
Kunzler – This brand is known for its hot dogs, as well as other meat-based products like lunch meats, ham, and bacon. The company claims that its hot dogs are naturally free from gluten content. Besides, made in a separate room with gluten free ingredients.
Wellshire Farms – This company strives to manufacture products, including its different types of hot dogs, which are quite allergy-friendly. This means that it is also free from gluten. In addition, the brand also takes conscious steps to avoid cross-contamination.
Complete Gluten Free Hot Dog Experience
Now that we chose our hot dog, that’s not enough. To make your complete hot dog experience healthy and gluten free, you need buns and condiments that are also free from gluten-containing ingredients.
Gluten Free Buns – There are a couple of options for gluten free buns, including:
- Udi’s Gluten-Free buns that are quite similar to classic buns in taste and texture.
- Pure Knead buns that are also free from dairy content.
- Gluten Free Condiments – Since ketchup, relish, and mustard sauce are an indispensable part of the hot dog sandwich experience, you can try gluten free condiments like:
- Mustard by French’s or Heinz
- Ketchup and relish by Heinz.
Though it’s probably not the healthiest option to eat or serve every day, hot dogs can be your answer whenever you’re looking to fix a quick snack or even meal.
Everyone from kids to adults can enjoy hot dogs, even if they have gluten intolerance. The key is to pick brands whose wieners are certified as gluten free.