Is A1 steak seasoning gluten-free?

A1 steak seasoning is a popular spice blend used to flavor steaks, burgers, chicken, fish and more. Its unique blend of herbs and spices gives food a delicious, savory flavor that many people love. However, for those with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity, determining if A1 steak seasoning is gluten-free is an important consideration.

What is A1 Steak Seasoning?

A1 steak seasoning is a pre-mixed blend of spices and herbs manufactured by Kraft Foods. The original A1 steak sauce, featuring a ketchup-like flavor, was invented in England in the 1820s. A1 steak seasoning made its debut much later in the United States. This seasoning mix contains:

– Salt
– Tomato powder
– Spices (including paprika)
– Flavorings (including garlic, shallots and molasses)
– Corn maltodextrin
– Dried sugarcane syrup
– Less than 2% silicon dioxide added to prevent caking

The exact blend of spices and flavorings in A1 steak seasoning is proprietary, but it typically includes onion, garlic, black pepper, basil, oregano, thyme, rosemary, and more.

What Makes a Food Gluten-Free?

Gluten is a protein found in grains like wheat, barley and rye. People with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity cannot eat gluten, as it causes damage and inflammation in their bodies.

For a food to be considered gluten-free, it must contain less than 20 parts per million (ppm) of gluten. This is the lowest amount that can be reliably detected. Foods labeled “gluten-free” must meet this requirement.

Many grains and flours contain gluten, including:

– Wheat
– Barley
– Rye
– Triticale
– Malt

Oats are inherently gluten-free, but are often contaminated with gluten during growing and processing. Some oat products may be labeled gluten-free if steps are taken to avoid contamination.

Other grains and flours that don’t naturally contain gluten include:

– Rice
– Corn
– Quinoa
– Millet
– Buckwheat
– Amaranth
– Soy
– Potato starch
– Tapioca starch

Evaluating Ingredients in A1 Steak Seasoning

To determine if A1 steak seasoning is gluten-free, we need to thoroughly evaluate each ingredient on the label:


Table salt is inherently gluten-free. Salt used in processed foods is extracted from salt deposits or seawater – no gluten risk.

Tomato Powder

Tomato powder is made by dehydrating tomatoes. Fresh tomatoes are naturally gluten-free fruits. Tomato powder is not a concern.


Pure spices, including paprika and the other spices in A1, don’t contain gluten. However, spice blends can sometimes contain wheat flour or malt as an anti-caking agent. A1’s ingredients state the product contains “spices” but don’t call out any potentially gluten-containing additives. This indicates the spices are gluten-free.

Garlic, Shallots, Molasses

Whole garlic, shallots and molasses don’t contain gluten and are safe for a gluten-free diet.

Corn Maltodextrin

Maltodextrin derived from corn does not contain gluten. However, maltodextrin derived from wheat or barley would contain gluten. The A1 ingredients specify this is corn maltodextrin, making it gluten-free.

Dried Cane Syrup

Sugarcane and dried cane syrup do not contain gluten and are naturally gluten-free.

Less than 2% Silicon Dioxide

Silicon dioxide is an anti-caking agent added to powders like seasoning blends. It is a naturally occurring mineral and does not contain gluten.

Is Cross-Contamination a Concern?

When evaluating whether a food is gluten-free, cross-contamination is always a potential concern. Cross-contamination occurs when a gluten-free food comes into contact with a food that contains gluten. This can happen:

– During growing and harvesting if crops are rotated with gluten-containing grains
– In manufacturing facilities that also process gluten-containing foods
– During transportation and storage
– In restaurants through shared kitchen equipment

Cross-contamination is a particular concern with oats, which are often processed on equipment shared with wheat.

However, Kraft states that A1 Steak Seasoning is produced in a gluten-free facility that does not process wheat, rye, barley or oats. This significantly reduces the risk of cross-contamination.

Is A1 Steak Seasoning Labeled Gluten-Free?

No, Kraft Foods does not label A1 steak seasoning as “gluten-free.”

But the lack of a gluten-free label does not necessarily indicate the presence of gluten. Foods that inherently don’t contain gluten, like salt, pepper, herbs and spices, are not always certified gluten-free.

Kraft does label some products as “gluten-free”, such as their gluten-free BBQ sauce. So they do certify some foods as gluten-free, when appropriate.

Expert Opinions

Expert opinions are split on whether A1 steak seasoning is gluten-free:

According to Kraft:

On Kraft’s FAQ page, in response to the question “Is A.1. Steak Sauce gluten-free?” they state:

“A.1. Steak Sauce contains wheat and barley ingredients. However, A.1. Steak Seasoning is produced in a gluten-free facility.”

This indicates A1 Steak Seasoning does not contain gluten, according to Kraft.

According to Gluten Intolerance Group (GIG):

GIG lists A1 steak seasoning as gluten-free on their Gluten-Free Product Listing, which evaluates products for gluten content.

According to Gluten Free Watchdog:

Tricia Thompson of Gluten Free Watchdog, an independent gluten testing organization, states:

“Gluten Free Watchdog always recommends that individuals with celiac disease and gluten sensitivities contact manufacturers directly about flavorings listing only “natural flavors” on the label when there is no gluten-free statement.”

So while they cannot confirm A1 seasoning as gluten-free without a test, their guidance is to contact the manufacturer (Kraft) directly. And Kraft confirms the product is produced without gluten-containing ingredients.

Should You Trust A1 Steak Seasoning is Gluten-Free?

While Kraft Foods does not label A1 steak seasoning as certified gluten-free, all available information indicates the product does not contain gluten:

– Kraft states it is produced in a gluten-free facility
– All ingredients are gluten-free
– There is low risk for cross-contamination
– Expert opinions consider it safe for gluten-free diets

Of course, personal sensitivities vary. If you are highly sensitive, you may want to take extra precautions and contact Kraft directly for the most up-to-date information.

But overall, A1 steak seasoning appears to be a good gluten-free option that most people on a gluten-free diet can safely enjoy. As with any product, buy from a reputable seller and check the ingredients each time you purchase.

Cooking Gluten-Free with A1 Steak Seasoning

A1 Original Steak Seasoning is a versatile blend that can be used to prepare all kinds of delicious gluten-free meals. Try using it to make:

– Juicy grilled steaks
– Flavorful burgers and meatloaf
– Oven-baked chicken or fish
– Grilled shrimp, scallops or veggies
– Savory roasted potatoes
– Scrambled eggs or omelets

A1 seasoning can also be added to gluten-free marinades, dressings and sauces for extra flavor. Mix it into ground beef or turkey before making patties. Sprinkle it on popcorn, homemade fries or chips for a tasty snack. The possibilities are endless.

Enhance your favorite gluten-free recipes with a dash of A1 steak seasoning. Its unique blend of spices and herbs will give every dish an extra dash of bold, savory flavor.

Bottom Line

Based on an analysis of the ingredients, manufacturing practices, expert opinions and product labeling, A1 steak seasoning appears to be gluten-free and safe for most people following a gluten-free diet. Kraft Foods states it is produced in a facility free from gluten-containing grains. While not certified gluten-free, multiple reputable organizations consider A1 steak seasoning safe for celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity. Individuals with celiac disease or gluten sensitivities should always thoroughly check ingredient labels and contact manufacturers to make their own determinations about product safety. But for most gluten-free consumers, A1 Original Steak Seasoning can be enjoyed to add signature flavor to steaks, chicken, seafood, vegetables and more gluten-free dishes.

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