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Ten Kitchen Items To Label “Gluten-Free”

What You Need If You Can't Have A Gluten-Free Kitchen

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Updated October 16, 2008

If you can't have a gluten-free kitchen because foods containing gluten are also prepared in it, then having duplicates of the following items will help insure the safety of the gluten-free dieters. Buy these items in a different color, label them, keep them in a different drawer… do whatever you need to do to avoid contamination with gluten.

Colander

For one thing, having two colanders makes life easier when your family has pasta for dinner. (Of course, you’ve cooked the gluten-free pasta in one pot and the “regular” pasta in a different pot, and used two very different spoons to stir the pots.) If you don’t have a dedicated gluten-free colander, you always must remember to drain the gluten-free pasta first, or little pieces of “regular” pasta will stick to the colander and contaminate the gluten-free food. If space is an issue, get one of those collapsible colanders.

Spatula

Same issue as with the "Colanders," above. For example, if you’re flipping gluten-free and “regular” pancakes in two different pans, you need two different spatulas.

Cooking Spoons

I keep a collection of plastic and wooden cooking spoons. I use the plastic ones for the gluten-free food and the wooden ones for the “regular” food. Event though they look different, when I’ve got gluten-free and “regular” pots going at once I still have to concentrate carefully to make sure I don’t stir the wrong pot with the wrong spoon. (In those circumstances, I also put the gluten-free pot on the back burner, to reduce the danger of contamination from spoon drippings.)

Muffin Tins

Do not bake gluten-free muffins or cupcakes in the same tins used for wheat-based baking. As with muffin tins, you should not bake gluten-free cookies on the same cookie sheets used for “regular” cookies. With cookie sheets, however, you can cheat and line them with either heavy-duty aluminum foil or a silicone pad.

Flour Sifter

Flour sifters are difficult to clean, so it’s best to have two if anyone in the house will be sifting “regular” flour. Note: Handling wheat flour in a kitchen used to prepare gluten free food is dangerous, as wheat flour can stay airborne for hours. If you must sift wheat flour, cover or remove all gluten-free food from the area.

Dough Board

Don’t work with your gluten-free doughs on the same wooden boards used for wheat-based doughs.

Toaster

Either use a separate toaster for gluten-free breads, or use a toaster oven but place aluminum foil on the rack to avoid contamination.

Frying Pans

With pots and pans, the issue is not so much that it's difficult to clean the gluten off. The reason it's good to have more than one is so you can use separate pans for cooking gluten-free and “regular” foods simultaneously.

Pyrex Baking Dish

These are easier to clean than metal baking dishes. If they’re used for gluten by mistake, you can scrub them clean with steel wool.

Cutting Board

If possible, get a cutting board with a crumb-catcher underneath it, to limit the spread of gluten-containing crumbs. Wipe up any stray crumbs immediately.
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