If you're following the gluten-free diet, you probably know that most conventional crackers at the store are off-limits, since they almost always contain wheat (and sometimes barley and/or rye, too).
Once upon a time, our only gluten-free cracker option was the rice crackers you can find at Asian food stores. But the growing gluten-free movement has led food manufacturers to create a bunch of great crackers in gluten-free form: you can find saltines, crisps and flatbreads, all safe for people with celiac disease and gluten sensitivity.
Here's a list of the brands producing gluten-free crackers, along with a rundown of what types of crackers each company makes. I've also included information on the trace gluten levels to which each company tests (for more on that topic, see: Why Gluten PPM Numbers Matter and Gluten PPM Table - How Much Trace Gluten in Different Brands).
- Absolutely Gluten-Free. This Australian company exports some of its crackers to the U.S., where you can purchase them on Amazon and at some supermarkets. Varieties include plain and flavored crackers, plus a couple of different flatbreads. Australia requires testing of gluten-free products to "not detectable" gluten limits, which in practice means that they will have fewer than 5 parts per million (ppm) of gluten in them — i.e., GF-5 levels.
- Back to Nature. Back to Nature Foods, owned by Mondelez International, makes three flavors of rice thins that the company considers gluten-free to 20ppm (GF-20). Be aware that these crackers are manufactured in shared facilities with gluten-containing products. Also, the company warns, "as formulas change, we always recommend that you read the ingredient lines before you purchase."
- Crunchmaster. Crunchmaster, a California-based company, makes only gluten-free crackers out of various combinations of seeds and grains. Flavors include Rosemary & Olive Oil, Sea Salt, Roasted Vegetable and Cracked Pepper & Herb. Crunchmaster's crackers are certified gluten-free by the Gluten-Free Certification Organization (GFCO), which requires testing to at least 10ppm (GF-10) levels. The company tests each production run of crackers to make certain they meet its standards.
- Dr. Schar. This dedicated gluten-free company, also known simply as Schar, makes flatbread, table crackers (like saltines) and snack crackers. The company tests to below 20ppm (GF-20) trace gluten levels.
- Edward & Sons. Brown Rice Snaps — round rice crackers that come in clear plastic packages — are made by Edward & Sons, and are available in a wide variety of supermarket chains. Flavors of Brown Rice Snaps include Plain, Cheddar, Black Sesame and Tamari Seaweed. The crackers are tested to below 20ppm of gluten, or GF-20 levels.
- Ener-G. This well-known manufacturer of gluten-free bread and other allergy-friendly foods makes several different types of crackers, including cinnamon and flax flavors. Ener-G tests its products to make sure they contain fewer than 5ppm of gluten (GF-5).
- Foods Alive. Foods Alive makes only gluten-free, dairy-free vegetarian products in a dedicated gluten-free facility. Its cracker line includes seven flavors of organic raw flax crackers: Original, Onion Garlic, Mexican Harvest, Italian Zest, Maple & Cinnamon, Hemp, and BBQ. Order the crackers online or find them at natural foods stores (including Whole Foods).
- Glutino. Another well-known gluten-free food manufacturer, Glutino manufactures seven different types of snack crackers and table crackers (more like saltines). Flavors include Sea Salt, Vegetable and Multigrain. Glutino tests its products to ensure they contain fewer than 20ppm (GF-20).
- Mary's Gone Crackers. Organic, vegan, Kosher and entirely gluten-free, Mary's Gone Crackers makes five different cracker flavors (Original, Onion, Caraway, Black Pepper and Herb) using seeds and brown rice. All are certified by the GFCO, which requires testing to below 10ppm of gluten, or GF-10 levels.
- Mediterranean Snack Foods. Mediterranean Snack Foods makes lentil-based chips in six different flavors: Sea Salt, Cracked Pepper, Cucumber Dill, Parmesan Garlic, Rosemary, and Roasted Pepper. All are certified gluten-free by the GFCO to GF-10 levels and are manufactured in a dedicated gluten-free facility, according to the company.
- Nabisco. This maker of many gluten-based crackers launched its own line of gluten-free rice crackers in fall 2013. Nabisco Rice Thins come in Original, Sea Salt & Pepper, and White Cheddar flavors. All are gluten-free to 20ppm (GF-20) and are made in a gluten-free facility. The White Cheddar flavor crackers contain dairy ingredients, and both the cheddar and the Sea Salt & Pepper contain potato and corn ingredients.
- Natural Nectar. This small company makes Cracklebred crackers in three flavors: Original, Sun-Dried Tomato and Multigrain. All are gluten-free to 20ppm (GF-20), and can be found online or in some specialty stores.
- Orgran. Orgran, best known for its gluten-free pasta, makes Crispibread (i.e., flatbread) crackers in Multigrain, Essential Fibre, Rice and Corn flavors. All Orgran products are gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, yeast-free, GMO-free and vegan. The company makes its crackers (and everything else) in a dedicated gluten-free facility.
- Sesmark. Sesmark makes "gluten-free"-labeled rice thins, savory rice thins, mini rice crackers and Ancient Grain crackers, many of which are available in conventional supermarkets in the cracker aisle. The company advertises these crackers as containing "no gluten ingredients," but notes that they're made in facilities that also handle wheat ingredients.
Even if you don't normally eat crackers yourself (as I don't), it's nice to have them on hand for guests when you entertain — rice crackers and seed crackers have gone so mainstream that no one even blinks anymore when you serve them.