- Bacon is a delicious source of animal protein and fat.
- It comes from animal meat, and hence, it’s naturally gluten free.
- The process of making bacon from meat does not include glutinous ingredients.
- Smoked bacon may contain gluten if malt flour is used in the process.
Does bacon have gluten? I love bacon, I just do, and when I stopped eating gluten this was one of the first questions I asked belive it or not, when you love eating something or used to it for so long, when you suddenly need to cut back, you ask a lot of questions.
For every carnivorous human being, bacon is a staple. Whether it’s on a piece of bread for breakfast or in the bowl of pasta for dinner, bacon rules, some say that it’s too fatty and unhealthy.
Ask people who follow the keto diet, and they will tell you the other side of the tale; every strip of bacon is laced with good fat and protein! But, is bacon gluten free?
If you’re sensitive to gluten, or have celiac, you start questioning the gluten content of every food or beverage. Now, bacon is an animal protein, and gluten is only present in certain cereals.
By that logic, bacon is gluten free. But, just to be on the safe side, check the ingredients list to ensure that your favorite bacon does not have traces of gluten due to cross-contamination, smoking process, or additive ingredients.
Does bacon have gluten?
There’s little that can be said to sing the glory of bacon. It’s the Meryl Streep of the food world – versatile, and capable of making everything better. And, it’s healthier than people may think; it can single-handedly meet the fuel needs in the body of a ketoer looking to cut out carbs completely.
Now, if you are allergic to gluten, any food that comes from animals is probably good news for you. After all, gluten is plants-based. It’s a family of proteins present in barley, wheat, rye, and triticale. So, as an animal protein, bacon is naturally free from gluten.
Commonly, when we say “bacon”, we mean the ones made from pork meat. There are alternatives, too, made from the meat of animals like turkey, lamb, goat, or beef. And, unless you’re talking about vegetarian bacon, the real stuff is made of animal protein.
Let’s assume from here on that the “bacon” in question is traditional pork bacon. It can be made from any cut or type of pork meat. The meat is either wet-cured in brine, or dry-cured in salt crystals.
Other ingredients are additives to add extra flavors to the bacon, and these ingredients may vary largely.
And, because God is not completely cruel, bacon, like all animal proteins, is completely safe for you to consume – even if you can’t put it on a slice of white, soft bread. Remember that the diet of the animal from which the meat is derived is irrelevant here.
How Can You be Sure that Bacon is Gluten Free?
Are you confused about whether your favorite bacon is gluten free or not? Well, here’s why you shouldn’t have to worry:
- Its key ingredient is animal protein – pork, beef, turkey, goat, or sheep – which is gluten free.
- The animal meat is cured in salt, sugar, and spices. Whether it’s wet-cured or dry-cured, the process involves gluten free ingredients, unless it is cured in beer.
- The label on the bacon packages always mentions whether it’s gluten free or not.
- In the case of smoked bacon, you should be safe if the fuel used is not malted barley flour.
Gluten in Smoked Bacon
If you try spiced bacon, you’ll thank the people who played food-God and succeeded. Spices are used in the curing process to give you those deliciously flavorful strips of fatty meat. Smoked bacon is also extremely popular. A gentle, charred flavor is added to the bacon when it is smoked.
Now, the flavor in the smoked bacon will depend on the type of wood or fuel being used. Smoke flavoring may also result from malted barley flour. So, if you’re about to pick a package of smoked bacon, make sure to look at the list of ingredients. This is one of few instances of glutinous bacon.
In America, smoke flavoring is mentioned on the list of ingredients. So, if the bacon you love is smoked using malted flour, then the label should mention that. So, as we always say, you just cannot ignore the list of ingredients on the packaging!
As in the case of any other food or beverage, bacon, too, has the possibility of cross-contamination; it can contain remnants of gluten if it has been in physical contact with gluten-containing products.
This usually happens because of shared processing and packaging facilities.
Your favorite bacon may not contain gluten because of how it is processed; however, it is possible that the facilities used for its processing and manufacturing also deal with items that contain gluten.
As a result, your bacon may end up with small amounts of it. Usually, such information about shared facilities is mentioned on the label. So, be careful.
When Does Bacon Contain Gluten?
Typically, bacon is gluten free. However, it can end up with gluten traces because of the following:
- It is smoked using malted barley flour.
- It is cured with traditional, gluten-containing beer.
- It has come in physical contact with gluten-rich ingredients due to cross-contamination.
- It is a vegetarian or vegan bacon alternative made with gluten-containing protein sources.
- It is “Fake Bacon”, made using actual bacon bits, with glutinous binding agents.
- It contains a gluten-containing taste or texture enhancer.
Gluten-Free Bacon Brands
Let’s take a look at some of the safest brands that bring you gluten free bacon.
Armour: This trusted brand offers many bacon varieties, all of which are gluten free. It also takes significant measures to prevent cross-contamination.
Bob Evans: The brand is noted for its range of no-gluten products, including bacon as well as Canadian bacon, which are safe for consumption by gluten-intolerant people.
Beeler’s Pure Pork: This brand is known for raising pigs with no growth hormones or antibiotics. You’ll get various types of bacon, which are gluten free.
Farmland Foods: The bacon varieties by this brand are marked gluten free, and hence, can be considered safe. The additives are also free from gluten.
Jones Dairy Farm: There are five different bacon varieties that this company produces. These are certified gluten free products, and the status is marked on the label.
Gluten free Bacon Recipes
From breakfast to dinner, bacon can be the hero of all your meals. You can even make a dessert out of it! Put it anywhere, and you have a gorgeously flavorful, protein-rich dish with good fat and a delicious texture. Here are a few gluten free recipes with bacon in them!
A. Bacon Chicken Corn Chowder in Microwave
A moreish, creamy soup with bacon bits – what could be better than that? You can whip up a bowl of this delicious in the microwave!
- Onion (large): 1 piece
- Celery: ⅓ cup
- Potatoes (medium): 6 pieces
- Chicken stock (gluten free): ½ cup
- Milk: 1 ½ cups
- Turkey/chicken (diced): 2 cups
- Creamed corn (or canned/frozen corn): 1 can
- Gluten free flour: 2 tbsp
- Bacon: 4 slices
- Layer a microwavable tray with parchment papers and line bacon slices on it. Place another layer of parchment paper. Microwave on HIGH for 4-6 minutes.
- Cook chopped celery and onion in the microwave on HIGH for 30 seconds.
- Pierce potatoes with a form, and cover with salt, pepper, and olive oil. Bake them in the microwave for 10 minutes, turning them in between.
- Remove the peels and take the pulp of three potatoes and mash them. Place them in a microwavable bowl.
- Dice the other three potatoes and add them to the mashed potato.
- Add milk and chicken stock. Microwave on HIGH for 5 minutes.
- Add diced turkey/chicken, corn, seasoning, gluten free flour, and half of the cooked bacon strips cut into small pieces. Stir well and cook for another 5 minutes.
- Top the soup with the remaining bacon bits.
It’s ready! If you’re in the mood for some indulgence, you can start your day with it!
B. Bacon and Clam Stuffed Mushrooms
There’s something fancy about stuffed mushrooms. You can enjoy it as a snack or as an appetizer.
- Mushroom (medium/large): 12 pieces
- Bacon: 3 slices
- Onion (chopped): ½ cup
- Clam (minced): 1-5 oz
- Almond flour: ¼ cup
- Clam juice: 1 tbsp or as needed
- clean, remove stems, chop stems
- Salt and fresh ground pepper for seasoning
- Clean mushrooms. Take the stems out and chop them.
- Preheat the oven to 350 F.
- Chop bacon and cook the pieces. Once cooked, drain the fat. Don’t throw the fat out. Set the bacon aside.
- Saute chopped mushroom stems and onions in the bacon fat until they are soft.
- Crumble the bacon pieces. Add to the sauteed mushroom stems and onions.
- Add chopped clam and almond flour and start mixing. Add clam juice as necessary to moisten the mix.
- Form 12 small balls once the mix comes together. Your stuffing is ready.
- Turn the mushrooms upside down and put the stuffing balls in them.
- Take a shallow pan and put the stuffed mushrooms in it.
- Put half a cup of water. It should cover the bottom of the pan.
- Bake for 15 minutes.
Your delicious stuffed mushrooms are ready to be served and enjoyed!
C. Bacon Chicken
This simple and delicious recipe is a complete meal all by itself, whether or not you’re looking for a no-carb option.
- Boneless chicken breast: 3-4 pieces
- Bacon: 6 slices
- Onion: 1 (small)
- Garlic: 3 cloves
- Red bell pepper: ¼ cup
- Sea salt: ½ tsp
- Pepper: ¼ tsp
- Sun-dried tomato: 1 tsp
- Jalapeño pepper: 1 tsp
- Preheat the oven to 350 F.
- Cut every chicken breast into 2-3 pieces lengthwise.
- On medium heat, cook the bacon strips for around 4 minutes. Don’t forget to turn them every now and then.
- Remove the bacon strips from the pan and set some of the bacon fat aside.
- Saute the cut-up chicken pieces in the bacon fat in the pan for 8-10 minutes and transfer the pieces to a baking tray.
- In the remaining bacon fat, add chopped onion, minced garlic, and finely chopped red pepper. Add salt and pepper and start sauteing.
- Turn the cooked bacon pieces into crumbles and toss them with the mix in the pan.
- Smear the mixture on the chicken pieces in the baking tray.
- Use aluminum foil to cover the tray and bake for 12-15 minutes.
The delicious bacon chicken is ready to be enjoyed, perhaps with some salad – and a glass of wine.
D. Gluten Free Bacon Cupcakes
A gluten free dessert with the goodness of maple syrup, paired with the saltiness of bacon – it’s a win in every possible way!
- Bacon slices: 8 (refrigerated overnight)
- Almond flour: 2 cups
- Coconut flour: ¼ cup
- Salt: ¼ tsp
- Baking powder: 1 tsp
- Butter (softened): ¼ cup + 2 tbsp
- Coconut sugar: ½ cup
- Maple syrup: ¼ cup + 2 tbsp
- Egg (large): 2
- Vanilla extract: 1 tsp
- Maple extract: 1 tsp
- Butter (softened): ½ cup + 1 tbsp
- Bacon fat (refrigerated): 3 tbsp
- Maple syrup: ½ cup + 2 tbsp
- Put a large pan on medium heat. Cook the bacon slices till they turn crispy and golden-brown.
- Strain the excess fat into a glass jar and refrigerate it.
- Chop four cooked bacon slices finely.
- Preheat the oven to 350 F.
- Place cupcake liners in a muffin tin.
- Take a medium-sized bowl and put coconut flour, almond flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix them well and set aside.
- In another large bowl, put butter and add coconut sugar to it. Beat them together with a hand mixer on high speed.
- Add eggs, maple syrup, maple extract, and vanilla extract into the butter and beat them again.
- Add the dry ingredient mixture and the chopped up bacon pieces to the beaten butter. Mix well. Let it sit for 5 minutes.
- Using a spoon, put the batter in the muffin liners, filling 3/4th of each, to give the batter enough space to rise and spread.
- Bake for around 22-23 minutes, until the cupcakes look golden brown.
- Let the cupcakes cool for about 5 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack.
- For the frosting, put softened butter and the refrigerated bacon fat in a bowl and mix with a hand mixer on high speed, till it’s fluffy and light. Now, add the maple syrup and beat again.
- Transfer the frosting to a piping bag and start covering the cupcakes with it.
- Crumble the remaining bacon and sprinkle on top of the cupcakes.
As long as you are precise with the measurements, these cupcakes will turn out great, and will leave you asking for more!
Bacon, made from animal meat, can be an excellent source of protein and fat for you. And, it’s gluten free, unless it is smoked or cured with gluten-containing additives or is contaminated.
So, make the ingredients list on the package your best buddy and pick the right type of bacon. Put it in a cupcake, in soup, or just beside your sunny-side-up – and you’ll have a complete, delicious meal!