When you craft some of the world’s best tasting stuff and you put it in a jar for consumers to eat, you get questions. Sometimes, a lot of questions. For us at House of Q, we get asked ‘is it gluten-free’ and ‘does it contain…’ all the time. So here are the answers.
Can BBQ Sauces and Spices be Gluten Free?
Of the two “categories” of products House of Q creates there are sauces and then there are spices. We will need to comment on each of these categories.
For spices, we take pride to use mostly single-source, natural spices. For example we use garlic not garlic-salt. We use black pepper not pepper blend. For these spices, there is naturally no reason to believe there are any other ingredients within or included with those ingredients. They are what they are!
For some spices (such as House Rub or Competition Beef Rub) however there are indeed blended ingredients such as ‘seasoning salt’. This is a mixture of a number of ingredients to create the ‘blend’ called seasoning salt. Never-the-less, none of the sub-ingredients in any of the spices for House of Q product mixtures have any source of gluten. Yay! That’s good right?
For BBQ sauces there are a few things to take into account. Like spice mixtures for us at House of Q, we like using single-source ingredients as much as we can. But there are a couple of ingredients that have a list of sub-ingredients such as Worcestershire sauce, ketchup and mustard.
For mustard, this ingredient includes the allergen mustard and mustard seed. Health Canada requires House of Q (and all food manufacturers for that matter) to indicate on their food label that the product includes allergens. All of our BBQ Sauces contain mustard – either in powder form or as the primary ingredient for Slow Smoke Gold. This sauce, Slow Smoke Gold BBQ Sauce is the only sauce that uses a ‘prepared mustard’ in the final product. The sub-ingredients for prepared mustard include distilled white vinegar, turmeric and other spices.
The ketchup we use in Slow Smoke Gold is a commercial ketchup product that is very clean for ingredients and includes tomato paste, distilled white vinegar, sugar and spices. No worries here either!
The culprit that most people are interested in when reviewing products for the question ‘is it gluten-free’ is Worcestershire Sauce. For the most part most commercial Worcestershire Sauces are indeed gluten-free. The key to answer the question confidently is “what type of vinegar is in the Worcestershire?”
For us as House of Q, the Worcestershire Sauce we use has a base of distilled white vinegar. Distilled vinegar, or acetic acid, is created from the distillation process from fermenting grains. The distillation process removes any form of gluten. The National Celiac Association provides this description:
“…plain distilled vinegars are gluten-free even when made from gluten-containing grains. Gluten is removed during the distillation process rendering the final product gluten-free.”Is Vinegar Gluten-Free? National Celiac Association
Further, the Gluten Intolerant Group indicates:
“Most vinegars are gluten-free. Most varieties are distilled and made from inherently gluten-free ingredients such as grapes. The only vinegar that needs to be avoided is malt vinegar. Malt vinegar is not distilled, and malt is derived from barley, a grain that is not gluten-free.”Should a person with celiac disease avoid vinegar and products containing vinegar? Gluten Intolerant Group
So, House of Q is Gluten-Free? Yup!
It wasn’t an objective when we create our products – that is, did we intentionally decide that we want to create gluten-free products? No, it just became that way. If we think back over time as each product was created starting in 2007, we stuck to using really good ingredients, sticking to our priority to keep the ingredients simple and easy to read and in the end, that ended up being gluten-free products too.
So, please read your food labels carefully and ask the producer about ingredients and even sub-ingredients. That will both prompt the producer to test their integrity if they know their products as good as they should but also provide an element of “service” to the consumers.
At the end of it all, all products at House of Q are gluten-free and if that is a priority for you, cook on! You’re good to go! Happy cooking!