Gluten-free diets have become increasingly popular, with many people avoiding gluten for medical reasons or simply as a lifestyle choice. For those avoiding gluten, finding tasty gluten-free burger buns can be a challenge. Thankfully, there are more high-quality options available now than ever before.
What is gluten?
Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye. It gives elasticity to dough, helping baked goods keep their shape. For most people, consuming gluten is not a problem. However, for those with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity, gluten triggers an immune response that damages the small intestine.
Why choose gluten-free burger buns?
For those following a gluten-free diet, using regular burger buns is not an option. Thankfully, several brands now offer tasty gluten-free buns that can be used to make burgers at home or to order gluten-free burgers at restaurants. Reasons to choose gluten-free burger buns include:
- Avoiding gluten-related illness and symptoms
- Adhering to a gluten-free lifestyle or diet
- Eating a burger without gastrointestinal discomfort afterwards
- Enjoying the taste and texture of a traditional burger on a bun
What to look for in gluten-free burger buns
When evaluating gluten-free burger bun options, here are some key factors to consider:
- Ingredients – The bun should be made without any wheat, barley, rye or oats (which can be cross-contaminated with gluten). Look for buns made with gluten-free flours like rice, quinoa, buckwheat, millet, etc.
- Texture – A good gluten-free bun should be soft and pliable, without crumbling or falling apart too easily.
- Flavor – While gluten-free buns may taste a bit different than regular buns, they should still have a pleasant, mild flavor and enhance the burger.
- Size and shape – Look for buns that are an appropriate size for burgers and have a rounded dome shape.
- Freshness – If buying pre-packaged buns, check the ‘best by’ date and look for buns without mold, staleness or a dried out texture.
Review of popular gluten-free burger bun brands
There are a growing number of reputable brands producing gluten-free burger buns, available at grocery stores and online. Here is a review of some popular options:
Schar Gluten-Free Classic Burger Buns
Overview: Schar is a leading gluten-free brand. Their classic burger buns are perhaps the closest to regular wheat buns in taste and texture.
- Ingredients: Water, potato starch, buckwheat flour, sunflower oil, modified cellulose, yeast, vinegar, salt, sugar
- Texture: Soft interior with a slightly chewy crust
- Flavor: Nutty, sweet
- Shape/Size: Standard burger bun shape and size
- Where to Buy: Well-stocked grocery stores, online
Overall: A great choice that’s very close to traditional burger buns. The taste and texture make them one of the top choices.
Canyon Bakehouse Gluten-Free Hamburger Buns
Overview: Canyon Bakehouse is another leading gluten-free brand. Their hamburger buns are soft and airy.
- Ingredients: Rice flour, tapioca starch, yeast, water, xanthan gum, eggs, sugar, salt
- Texture: Light, airy and soft
- Flavor: Sweet and eggy
- Shape/Size: Good burger bun shape and proportion
- Where to Buy: Grocery stores, online retailers
Overall: A lighter gluten-free bun that’s great if you prefer an airy, sweeter taste. browns and crisps nicely.
Udi’s Gluten-Free Hamburger Buns
Overview: Another leading brand, Udi’s is known for quality gluten-free baked goods.
- Ingredients: Water, brown rice flour, tapioca starch, potato starch, soybean oil, potato flour, eggs, yeast, cultured corn syrup solids, vinegar, baking powder, psyllium seed husk
- Texture: Dense and sturdy
- Flavor: Neutral
- Shape/Size: Good dome shape, slightly smaller than regular buns
- Where to Buy: Well-stocked grocery stores, online
Overall: A dense and sturdy bun that can stand up to juicy burgers. Less airy than some other options but has a pleasant taste.
Gillian’s Foods Gluten-Free Hamburger Buns
Overview: Gillian’s offers vegan, non-GMO verified gluten-free buns.
- Ingredients: Filtered water, rice flour, tapioca starch, high oleic safflower oil, pear juice concentrate, psyllium husk, yeast, apple cider vinegar, guar gum, salt
- Texture: Soft and spongy
- Flavor: Sweet and tangy
- Shape/Size: Good domed burger bun shape
- Where to Buy: Online, specialty health food stores
Overall: A soft gluten-free vegan bun with lots of sweetness and tang. Great for those avoiding eggs and dairy.
Against the Grain Gluten-Free Pub Buns
Overview: Against the Grain offers gluten-free buns made with sprouted buckwheat and quinoa.
- Ingredients: Filtered water, buckwheat flour, quinoa flour, tapioca starch, cane sugar, yeast, psyllium husk, calcium sulfate, sea salt, guar gum, cultured corn syrup solids.
- Texture: Hearty and dense
- Flavor: Earthy, nutty
- Shape/Size: Good dome shape, not too large
- Where to Buy: Select grocery stores, online
Overall: A hearty gluten-free bun with lots of texture. Offers a unique, earthy flavor.
Making your own gluten-free burger buns
While store-bought buns offer convenience, you can also make tasty gluten-free burger buns at home. This allows you to control the ingredients and customize the flavor and texture. Here are some recipe tips for homemade buns:
- Use a blend of flours like brown rice flour, sorghum flour, tapioca starch, potato starch, etc.
- Add xanthan gum or psyllium husk powder to help bind the dough.
- Consider eggs or dairy substitutes to make vegan buns.
- Add seasonings like garlic powder, onion powder, sesame seeds for flavor.
- Proof the shaped buns twice for optimal rise.
- Brush tops with egg wash and sprinkle sesame seeds before baking for enhanced appearance and crunch.
With the right combination of ingredients and some practice, you can make bakery-quality gluten-free burger buns at home.
Storing and freezing gluten-free burger buns
To maintain freshness and texture, proper storage of gluten-free burger buns is important. Here are some tips:
- Store at room temperature up to 3 days after opening package.
- Refrigerate up to 5-7 days in a sealed container.
- Freeze up to 2-3 months in freezer bag or airtight container.
- Allow refrigerated/frozen buns to come fully to room temperature before using.
- Avoid excessive moisture or the buns may become soggy.
- Refresh stale buns by dipping briefly in water and microwaving 10 seconds.
Gluten-free burger bun recipes to try
Once you have some quality gluten-free burger buns, you’ll want delicious burger recipes to go with them! Here are some tasty burger options perfect for gluten-free buns:
Bison Burger with Caramelized Onions
Lean bison cooked to medium, topped with sweet caramelized onions, arugula, and dijonnaise on a gluten-free bun.
Black Bean Burger with Avocado and Pepper Jack
Spicy black bean veggie patty topped with melted pepper jack cheese, avocado slices, tomatoes, and chipotle mayo on a gluten-free bun.
Turkey Burger with Bacon and Blue Cheese
Juicy turkey burger topped with crumbled blue cheese, bacon bits, shredded lettuce, and cranberry mayonnaise on a gluten-free bun.
Salmon Burger with Lemon Dill Sauce
Grilled salmon patty with lemon dill aioli, sliced cucumber, and mixed greens on a gluten-free bun.
Portobello Mushroom Burger with Goat Cheese
Marinated and grilled portobello cap topped with herbed goat cheese, roasted red peppers, and pesto mayonnaise on a gluten-free bun.
Where to order gluten-free burgers with bun
Thanks to greater awareness of gluten-free diets, many restaurants now offer gluten-free burger options served on gluten-free buns. Here are some restaurant chains that offer gluten-free burgers on their menus:
|Restaurant||Gluten-Free Bun Brand|
|Burger King||Cybele’s Free-To-Eat|
|Five Guys||Lettuce Wraps or Bowl|
Some local and regional chains may also offer gluten-free buns. Just be sure to confirm that proper precautions are taken to avoid cross-contamination when preparing your burger.
Being gluten-free and eating burgers
Burgers are a summer staple, and going gluten-free doesn’t mean you have to give them up. With so many quality gluten-free bun options available in stores and restaurants, enjoying a satisfying burger is possible on a gluten-free diet. Some final tips:
- Research restaurant menus online before you go to scout gluten-free options.
- Call ahead to alert the restaurant staff about your gluten allergy.
- Stick to basic burgers instead of buns layered with breaded toppings.
- Bring your own gluten-free bun if you don’t trust the restaurant’s practices.
- Opt for a lettuce wrap or protein bowl if no gluten-free bun is available.
- Have fun experimenting with gluten-free bun brands and burger recipes at home.
There’s no need to deny your burger cravings just because you are avoiding gluten. With the information provided above on gluten-free bun options, recipes, and ordering tips, you can continue to enjoy juicy burgers all summer long.