Are hot dogs gluten free? Well, that depends on the brand. Some hot dogs (and sausages) contain wheat gluten, so it’s important to read the labels thoroughly. Here are some gluten-free hot dog brands you can trust.
- Applegate Farms’ beef, chicken, turkey and pork varieties
- Bar-S (note that its corndogs are not gluten free)
- Boar’s Head
- Dietz & Watson (certified gluten free by the National Celiac Association)
- Nathan’s Famous hot dogs (they are also produced in a gluten-free facility)
- Sabrett hot dogs (certified gluten free by the Gluten-Free Certification Organization)
Don’t forget the bun!
Show off and make your own with these tips from our resident baking expert or pick up a package of your favorite gluten-free hot dog buns (we recommend Udi’s, Schar, Canyon Bakehouse, Kinnikinnick or ALDI brand) before you fire up the grill.
What about when I go out to eat?
If your friends want to grab some hot dogs at a restaurant this summer, refer to our guide on Eating Out Gluten Free for tips. Tell your server you have celiac or gluten intolerance and need to avoid anything with wheat, barley or rye and most oats. Be clear that this includes flour, breading, soy sauce or teriyaki sauce, and seasoning that might contain flour. Also ask about preparation, because this can cross-contaminate foods that would otherwise be gluten free.
How can I eat hot dogs safely at a loved one’s home?
A cookout at a friend’s or relative’s home can be easier or harder than a restaurant depending on the menu and the host. Some friends and relatives will be very conscious of your diet needs and work with you to make sure there is something you can eat. Others are less aware, and some can be defensive or hostile.
Always call ahead to see if there is something you can bring. In fact, it is a good idea to always bring something (a summer side dish or your own gluten-free hot dog buns) just to be sure you’ll have at least one gluten-free choice. If your host is interested in preparing a gluten-free item, suggest one of the above gluten-free hot dog brands.
If you do bring something to a BBQ, a picnic or party, it’s a good idea to provide a disposable serving spoon. Let others know the item is gluten free and that the spoon should not be shared with other dishes.
What other gluten-free foods can I grill this summer?
Though many brands of hot dogs are gluten free, there are plenty of other grill-worthy foods that are as well! If you want to mix it up this summer, try one of these recipes when you fire up the grill.
What is gluten?
Gluten is a name for the proteins found in wheat, rye and barley. According to the Celiac Disease Foundation, gluten helps foods maintain their shape, acting as a glue that holds food together. It is found in many types of foods, even ones that would not be expected.
Many people choose to follow a gluten-free diet because of celiac disease. Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder in which the body mistakenly reacts to gluten as if it were a poison. When someone with celiac consumes gluten, the immune system reacts by destroying the part of the small intestine that absorbs vital nutrients. This malabsorption can lead to serious illness. Learn more about celiac disease here.