What Seasoned Salt is gluten free?

For those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, following a gluten-free diet is essential. This means avoiding foods that contain wheat, barley, rye, and possibly oats. For many, this makes cooking and seasoning food more challenging.

One common seasoning that often gets overlooked is seasoned salt. While plain table salt is naturally gluten-free, many seasoned salt blends do contain gluten. This can come from added flavorings or anti-caking agents. So checking labels is a must.

Below we’ll explore what seasoned salt is, why it may contain gluten, and provide a list of top gluten-free seasoned salt options. This guide should help simplify shopping and allow you to safely add flavor to meals.

What is Seasoned Salt?

Seasoned salt is a seasoning blend made by combining plain salt with other herbs, spices, vegetables, or flavorings. The goal is to create a versatile all-purpose seasoning with more complex flavor than regular salt.

Common additions to make seasoned salt include:

  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • Paprika
  • Chili powder
  • Crushed herbs like oregano, basil, or parsley
  • Lemon or lime zest
  • Ground pepper
  • Celery seed

Other seasoned salt blends highlight ingredients like sun-dried tomatoes, jalapeños, rosemary, fennel, or smoked flavors. The combinations are endless.

Seasoned salt first became popular in the United States in the 1940s. Morton Salt introduced its trademarked Morton Seasoned Salt in 1949, although many other brands now exist. The seasoning has maintained popularity over the decades because it’s so versatile.

The premixed blend of herbs and spices allows you to quickly add flavor to almost anything. It can be used before, during or after cooking on foods like:

  • Meats
  • Poultry
  • Seafood
  • Potatoes
  • Vegetables
  • Rice
  • Pasta
  • Casseroles
  • Soups
  • Salads
  • Popcorn

A dash of seasoned salt is a great way to finish off grilled foods like meats, fish and veggies. The possibilities are endless. It provides a flavor punch while keeping sodium levels in check compared to regular table salt.

Why Seasoned Salt May Contain Gluten

While the core ingredients in seasoned salt are naturally gluten-free, several factors can lead to gluten being added during processing:

1. Flavorings

Many seasoned salt blends highlight unique flavors like garlic, sun-dried tomato or jalapeño. These dried vegetable ingredients and spices do not contain gluten. However, certain added flavorings do.

For example, many companies add natural flavorings like maltodextrin or hydrolyzed wheat protein. Both of these are derived from wheat and contain gluten.

Onion, garlic or other dried chopped veggies may even be tossed in flour to keep them from clumping in the blend. Flour contains gluten.

Bottom line, you’ll need to read the ingredient list carefully if unique flavorings are added.

2. Anti-Caking Agents

To keep salt and seasonings flowing freely and not clumping up, anti-caking agents are often added.

Some potential anti-caking ingredients like calcium silicate or magnesium carbonate are naturally gluten-free.

However, one common anti-caking agent is wheat starch. As you probably guessed, wheat starch contains gluten.

3. Cross-Contamination

Lastly, there is potential for cross-contamination during manufacturing and processing.

Shared equipment, facilities and production lines may mean trace amounts of gluten get introduced into otherwise gluten-free mixtures.

For those highly sensitive, certified gluten-free products are the safest choice when it comes to any processed food with multiple ingredients including seasoned salt.

How to Check if Seasoned Salt is Gluten-Free

So how can you determine if a seasoned salt is gluten-free or not? Here are a few tips:

1. Read the Ingredient List

This is the most important thing. Thoroughly read the list of ingredients on the back of the package.

Watch out for any ingredients containing wheat, barley, rye or malt. Terms like maltodextrin, wheat starch, flour or hydrolyzed wheat protein indicate gluten.

Ideally you want to see ingredients like salt, spices, garlic, onion and natural flavorings only.

2. Look for a Gluten-Free Label

If you see a certified gluten-free symbol or claim on the packaging, you know it has been tested to verify below 20 ppm of gluten. This is the gold standard.

Some brands simply make a “gluten-free claim” without certification. In this case, you need to carefully check the ingredients yourself and determine comfort level.

3. Call or Email the Company

If ingredient lists look borderline or you want to ensure no cross-contamination, reach out to the company directly.

Most are happy to verify manufacturing processes and confirm if their facility is dedicated gluten-free. Don’t be afraid to ask questions!

4. Purchase Dedicated Gluten-Free Brands

To eliminate any doubt or need to contact companies, purchase dedicated gluten-free brands.

There are many seasoned salt options from brands that specialize in allergen-friendly foods and operate gluten-free facilities. We’ll highlight some of the top ones below.

7 Gluten-Free Seasoned Salt Brands

If you’re looking for a trusted gluten-free seasoned salt, here are some great options to get you started:

1. Spice Hunter Sea Salt

– Naturally gluten-free and vegetarian
– No anti-caking agents
– Flavored with garlic, onion and spices
– Certified gluten-free

2. Tony Chachere’s Famous Creole Seasoning

– Gluten-free certified
– Bold Creole seasoning blend
– Contains salt, spices, garlic, red pepper
– Great on a variety of meats, seafoods and veggies

3. Jane’s Krazy Mixed-Up Salt

– Gluten-free certified
– No MSG or anti-caking agents
– Flavored with oregano, basil, rosemary, garlic, onion and lemon peel

4. Spicely Organic Steak & Grill Seasoned Salt

– USDA Organic certified
– Verified gluten-free
– Seasoned with peppercorn, paprika and celery seed
– Contains no anti-caking agents

5. Simply Organic All-Purpose Seasoned Salt

– Certified gluten-free
– Contains less sodium than regular salt
– Free of GMOs, MSG and anti-caking fillers
– Seasoned with garlic, onion and herbs

6. sendsalt Seasoned Sea Salt

– Gluten-free certified
– Crafted in small batches
– Flavored with garlic, herbs and spices
– Free of additives and preservatives

7. The Spice House Signature Seasoned Salt

– Naturally gluten-free
– Hand blended in small batches
– Contains garlic, onion, red pepper and herbs
– Verified in a dedicated gluten-free facility

What About Homemade Seasoned Salt?

Making your own gluten-free seasoned salt at home is also an option. This lets you control the exact ingredients and avoid questionable additives.

You can start with fine grain sea salt or kosher salt. Then experiment mixing in your own desired herbs, spices, citrus zest, garlic, onion and other flavorings.

Store extra homemade blend in an airtight container to have on hand anytime. Tailor the recipe to your taste and seasoning needs.

Here are a few recipe ideas to get you started:

Italian Seasoned Salt

– 2 tablespoons garlic powder
– 2 tablespoons onion powder
– 2 tablespoons dried oregano
– 2 tablespoons dried basil
– 1 tablespoon dried parsley
– 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
– 1⁄2 teaspoon dried thyme
– 1⁄2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
– 1 cup fine sea salt

Taco Seasoned Salt

– 3 tablespoons chili powder
– 1 tablespoon paprika
– 2 teaspoons ground cumin
– 1 teaspoon garlic powder
– 1 teaspoon onion powder
– 1⁄2 teaspoon dried oregano
– 1⁄4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
– 1 cup fine sea salt

Lemon Pepper Seasoned Salt

– Zest of 2 lemons
– 2 tablespoons cracked black pepper
– 1 tablespoon garlic powder
– 1 tablespoon onion powder
– 1 cup fine sea salt

Feel free to create your own signature blends as well using your favorite herbs and spices. Homemade is a great way to save money while controlling ingredients.

Tips for Using Gluten-Free Seasoned Salt

Once you’ve found or made your own gluten-free seasoned salt, use these tips to maximize the flavor:

– Add early and often. Season meat, poultry and veggies with it before cooking. Then sprinkle again as food cooks. And finish with a final dash before serving for optimal impact.

– Rub it in. For meats, make a quick rub by combining seasoned salt with a bit of cooking oil. Generously coat meat before grilling or roasting. The oil helps the seasoning stick.

– Shake it up. Transfer some seasoned salt to a clean, empty shaker bottle. This makes it easy to shake on food right at the table.

– Sprinkle sparingly. Because seasoned salt packs concentrated flavor, you typically need less than regular salt. Start with a small amount and add more to taste.

– Pair with pepper. For an extra flavor punch, combine with freshly cracked black pepper. The duo is a timeless classic.

– Use anywhere. Popcorn, eggs, pasta, roasted veggies – the possibilities are endless. Let this versatile seasoning enhance anything.

With so many gluten-free options now available, there’s no need to miss out on flavorful food. A quality seasoned salt can effortlessly elevate home cooked meals. Use the recommendations here to shop smarter and cook more deliciously on your gluten-free diet.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the most common ingredients in seasoned salt?

Most seasoned salt blends contain salt along with some combination of garlic, onion, paprika, black or red pepper, oregano, basil, cumin, and other dried herbs and spices.

Why does seasoned salt need to be gluten-free?

People with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity must follow a strict gluten-free diet, avoiding any products containing wheat, barley, rye or malt ingredients. Many seasoned salts contain questionable additives like wheat starch or maltodextrin that can introduce gluten.

Are national brand seasoned salts gluten-free?

Some are, but you need to check labels carefully even on brands like Morton. Avoid anything with maltodextrin, hydrolyzed wheat protein or wheat starch. Your safest bet is to choose certified gluten-free products specifically marketed to gluten-free diets.

What herbs and spices make good gluten-free seasoned salt?

Onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, oregano, basil, parsley, cumin, and black pepper are all safe, common seasonings. You can also experiment with additions like lemon zest, crushed red pepper, celery seed, sage, rosemary, and more.

Can you make your own gluten-free seasoned salt at home?

Absolutely! Making a custom blend at home lets you control the ingredients. Start with fine grain salt and add your own desired dried herbs, spices, citrus zest, garlic, onion, etc. Store in an airtight container. Add flavor and avoid gluten.

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