It won't do you any good to carefully source gluten-free hot dogs if the mustard you're putting on your dog isn't safe. Fortunately, decent gluten-free mustard choices abound for those of us following the gluten-free diet, and they range from basic yellow mustard to more exotic varieties such as honey mustard and dijon mustard.
You have plenty of options even if you're particularly sensitive to trace gluten — there's at least one family of mustards on the market that are certified gluten-free, meaning those products contain fewer than 10 parts per million, or ppm. Here's more on why you should care about ppm levels in gluten-free products:
In addition, many of us react to vinegar that's been distilled from gluten grains (in this case, usually wheat). Keep in mind that companies are not required to divulge the source of vinegar in condiments, even if that source is wheat (one of the top eight allergens). If I've been able to obtain information on the source of vinegar in these mustards, I've listed it below.
Here's the list of major mustards and mustard brands sold in the U.S., along with their gluten-free status and vinegar sources, where available:
- Annie's Naturals. Annie's Organic Honey Mustard, Organic Yellow Mustard, Organic Dijon Mustard, Organic Horseradish Mustard and Lite Honey Mustard Vinaigrette (a salad dressing and marinade) all are considered gluten-free to 20 ppm (GF-20). Annie's uses distilled white vinegar that's derived from corn or beets, not wheat, according to a customer service representative.
- French's. French's, one of the more popular brands of mustard in the U.S., says that all of its prepared mustards are gluten-free to 20 ppm (GF-20). "Because product formulations may be modified occasionally, we recommend that persons on special diets always read ingredient statements carefully even on products which previously have been found acceptable," the company says in its gluten-free statement. French's states that the vinegar in its mustards and other condiments is ethyl alcohol, another term for grain-derived alcohol or ethanol, so that alcohol can be derived from wheat.
- Grey Poupon. This upscale mustard is produced by a subsidiary of Kraft Foods, which will disclose all gluten-containing ingredients on food labels. That being said, Grey Poupon isn't labeled gluten-free, and in fact may be subject to gluten cross-contamination during manufacturing.
- Gulden's. Gulden's, a subsidiary of ConAgra Foods, makes Spicy Brown Mustard, Yellow Squeeze Mustard and Zesty Honey Mustard. Like Kraft, ConAgra maintains a policy of divulging gluten ingredients on its product labels. However, Gulden's mustards aren't labeled gluten-free. Vinegar in Gulden's products can be derived from corn or wheat, according to the company.
- Heinz. In the U.S. and the U.K., all varieties of Heinz mustard are considered gluten-free to 20 ppm (GF-20), according to the company's gluten-free product list. In Canada, only Heinz Yellow Mustard is considered gluten-free. Heinz reports that it uses corn, not wheat, as the source for its vinegar.
- Koops' Mustard. Koops' makes eight different flavors of mustard, including Horseradish, Honey Mustard and a flavor called Arizona Heat (which includes red and green peppers). The company labels its products gluten-free.
- Organicville. Organicville makes organic Stone Ground Mustard, Yellow Mustard and Dijon Mustard. The company is gluten-free certified by the Gluten-Free Certification Organization, which requires testing to below 10 ppm (GF-10). Company founder Rachel Kruse reports that Organicville uses vinegar that's also certified organic to make its mustards, and the vinegar is derived from either corn or cane, not wheat.
Once you've found a mustard (or maybe several) you like, you're all set to make the perfect frankfurter — don't forget the gluten-free hot dog buns. Enjoy!