You cannot think of an English breakfast without a couple of bacon slices. Sourced typically from pork belly, bacon is common as a side dish or a flavoring ingredient in many recipes. While most people don’t have to think twice before serving themselves a piece of bacon, celiacs often wonder, is bacon gluten free?
Yes, bacon is gluten free. Bacon is a meat product that naturally does not contain gluten. It’s pure animal fat and free from grains like wheat or barley. But some brands may add gluten as additives, so be careful with packaged bacon.
Keep reading to learn everything about bacon, the possibilities of its having gluten, and more here in this article.
Table of Contents
- 1 Is Bacon Gluten Free Or Not?
- 2 What Is Bacon Made Of?
- 3 When Is Bacon Not Gluten-Free? And Why Should You Care?
- 4 Gluten-Free Bacon Brands You Can Trust
- 5 Is Bacon Dairy-Free?
- 6 Amazing Gluten-Free Bacon Recipes
- 7 FAQs
- 8 Final Thoughts
Is Bacon Gluten Free Or Not?
Bacon is totally gluten free. This pork belly meat does not have any gluten traces. In fact, all meat products are free from gluten since gluten naturally occurs only in a few specific plants.
If you have gluten sensitivity, you should avoid food that contains wheat or barley. But plain natural bacon does not contain these grains hence celiacs or anyone unable to digest gluten should not worry about that.
But supermarkets sell flavored bacon as well, which may contain wheat. Some additives like dextrins, starches, and flavors like soy sauce may have gluten. Even though ingredient-wise, bacon may not contain gluten, most of them are prepared in shared utensils, and it is another risk of gluten contamination.
So never forget to check the ingredient list while buying bacon to avoid gluten reactions. Also, you must be careful about bacon served at the breakfast buffets, as these have cross-contamination risks.
What Is Bacon Made Of?
Bacon is a lean piece of meat derived from pork belly, sides, or back. These less fatty meat pieces are cut into stripes, and then producers cure the meat to make it more flavorful. Earlier, people followed curing to prevent the meat from spoiling, but since we now have refrigeration, the purpose of curing the meat has changed.
Manufacturers prepare a mixture of salt, sugar, and sodium nitrate and inject it into the bacon pieces. The meat pieces are then left on racks for about seven days to let the meat soak the flavors.
Once the curing process gets over, the next step is to smoke the bacon at a very high temperature which makes the flavors even stronger. Next, the meat is left to cool down; then, the meat is sliced into desired shapes.
When Is Bacon Not Gluten-Free? And Why Should You Care?
Bacon is not gluten free when makers add wheat based flavorings or preservatives while curing the meat. Makers always state the products they use for curing in the ingredient label, so make sure to read the same.
It’s crucial to be picky about food when you have a gluten allergy. Eating bacon treated with wheat or barley based additives may lead to allergic reactions like skin rashes, headache, nausea, diarrhea, bloating, etc.
The safest option is to pick packages that bear the gluten free tag. Brands that don’t come with a gluten free tag may indicate cross-contamination.
Gluten-Free Bacon Brands You Can Trust
There are only a few brands that label their bacon gluten free. Such a label indicates not only the absence of gluten in ingredients but also means they have prepared bacon in a special facility. Some of such gluten free bacon brands you can trust are-
Armour makes pre-cooked bacon, raw bacon, and pre-cooked bacon bits. The food company has mentioned that none of their products contain wheat or barley, and they strictly disclose the presence of such ingredients in their packaging.
#2. Applegate Farms
Applegate Farms is another safe brand for gluten intolerant people. The manufacturers have listed all their gluten free products on their website, and it includes their bacon as well.
#3. Boar’s Head
Boar’s Head is another labeled gluten free brand. Almost all Boar’s head foods are free of gluten, including their bacon.
#4. Beeler’s Pure Pork
Here is another safe bacon brand for anyone following a gluten free diet. You can safely eat Beeler’s Pure Pork bacon without fearing any side effects. The best part is you get multiple bacon types to pick from Beeler’s Pure Pork.
#5. Dakin Farm
You get to pick so many gluten free bacon from Dakin Farm, including- cob-smoked turkey bacon, cob-smoked bacon, cob-smoked maple glazed bacon, and more.
Is Bacon Dairy-Free?
Yes, bacon is dairy-free. Raw bacon is free from milk, cheese, butter, etc. But cooked bacon may include these dairy products.
Amazing Gluten-Free Bacon Recipes
Following are some of the amazing gluten free bacon recipes you should definitely try your hand at-
1. Bacon And Roast Onion Salad
- 2 slices of smoked bacon
- 1 red onion (cut into wedges)
- A handful of frozen peas. You can use fresh peas as well.
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- 1 tsp sherry vinegar
- 1 baby lettuce
- 1 slice of gluten free bread (cut into small pieces)
Heat oven to 220°C. Place the onion wedges on a baking tray, drizzle olive oil and add some salt. Roast the onions for 15 minutes
Boil peas for 2 mins, strain, and rinse in cold water. Add ½ tsp olive oil, vinegar, and dijon mustard in a bowl, and mix well.
Take out the onions from the oven, and add bacon and bread pieces to the same tray. Drizzle the remaining olive oil on the bread cubes and put the tray back in the oven for 12 minutes more.
It’s time to assemble everything. First, mix the dijon dressing with lettuce pieces and peas. Then add the onions, bread, and bacon (break the bacon pieces) on top and give everything a nice mix.
2. Bacon & Ricotta Oven Baked Frittata
- 8 back bacon rashers (chopped and fat removed)
- A knob of butter
- 2 sliced leeks
- 6 nicely beaten eggs
- 100ml single cream
- 250g ricotta
- Bunch of chopped chives
Heat the oven to 220°C and line a baking tin with parchment paper. Take butter in a frying pan and cook the leeks for about 10 minutes. Take out the leeks in a dish, and in the same pan, cook bacon.
Mix all the remaining ingredients with cooked bacon and leeks. Transfer everything to the baking tray and bake for 20 to 25 minutes.
Q: Is Kirkland Bacon Gluten Free?
A: Yes, Kirkland bacon is gluten free. It is a certified gluten free brand.
Q: Is Smoked Bacon Gluten Free?
A: Smoked bacon may not always be gluten free. Some liquid smoke flavors are made with barley malt, which contains gluten.
Q: Can Bacon Contain Gluten?
A: Yes, bacon may contain gluten. Especially flavored bacon has more chances of containing gluten.
Did you find your answer to if bacon is gluten free or not? As I said, you can enjoy bacon as long as the makers don’t use wheat based additives and flavorings. There is no better solution than reading the ingredient list to find out gluten, so never skip that part.
Do check out the amazing gluten free bacon recipes I mentioned and if you have further queries, let me know in the comments.