You love a spicy kick when it comes to food, but is Tabasco gluten free? If you’re on a strict gluten free diet, keep reading more to find out!
What is tabasco sauce?
Tabasco sauce is a hot sauce made from vinegar, chili peppers and salt. As the name suggests, the specific peppers used in this deliciously spicy condiment are tabasco peppers! (You’ll totally win the next round of trivia with that little tidbit of information.)
Tabasco Brand Pepper Sauce is made by McIlhenny Company of Avery Island in south Louisiana and was created over 150 years ago. (Again, you’re welcome for the trivia info!)
Can celiacs eat hot sauce?
To all those celiacs out there who love burning their mouths with spicy food, rejoice - you CAN eat hot sauce as long as it’s gluten free.
If the ingredients in your favourite hot sauce are free from gluten and there are no warnings on the product packaging, hot sauce is perfectly fine for anyone with celiac disease.
Bring on the heat!
What’s in Tabasco sauce?
So now that we’ve established that hot sauce is perfectly fine for celiacs if it’s gluten free - naturally we’ve got to talk about Tabasco ingredients. Let’s dive in!
The classic Tabasco brand hot sauce is made with three natural ingredients: chili peppers, vinegar and salt.
If you’ve been doing some research about gluten free diets, you’ll know that the type of vinegar matters a lot. Malt vinegar is NOT gluten free, since it’s derived from barley. Thankfully, Tabasco sauce is made with distilled vinegar - which is gluten free.
So, yes, my friends - Tabasco sauce is gluten free! Yay!
What is distilled vinegar?
If you're on a gluten free diet, know this:
- malt vinegar = bad
- distilled (white) vinegar = good
Distilled vinegar is white vinegar that’s made by fermenting a grain alcohol which turns it into acetic acid. There’s only about 5-8% acetic acid in a bottle of distilled vinegar and it’s what gives vinegar its distinctively tangy, lip-smacking taste.
The word grain up there might have you freaking out a bit, but just know that all distilled vinegars, even if made from a gluten grain, are gluten free. Gluten is removed in the distillation process. (Malt vinegar is NOT gluten free - so don't eat it!)
So distilled vinegar is good. It’s gluten free and can be used to pickle anything - from eggs, to Pink Pickled Onions (highly recommend that recipe).
Choose your Tabasco flavour
This might feel like an ad for Tabasco, but who cares! It’s really just a celebration of all these flavours that you can use in your recipes, because all of these flavours are gluten free:
- Tabasco Original Red Sauce: made with peppers, distilled vinegar and salt.
- Tabasco Green Jalapeno Sauce: made with distilled vinegar, jalapeno pepper, water, salt, cornstarch, xanthan gum and ascorbic acid.
- Tabasco Chipotle Pepper Sauce: made with chipotle peppers, distilled vinegar, water, salt, sugar, onion powder, garlic powder, spices and pepper pulp.
- Tabasco Cayenne Garlic Sauce: made with red peppers, distilled vinegar, water, salt and garlic.
- Tabasco Habanero Pepper Sauce: made with distilled vinegar, habanero peppers, cane sugar, Tabasco pepper sauce, salt, mango puree, dehydrated onion, banana puree, tomato paste, tamarind puree, papaya puree, spices, garlic, and Tabasco pepper mash.
- Tabasco Scorpion Sauce (it’s as scary as it sounds!): made with scorpion peppers, distilled vinegar, sugar, guava puree, pineapple, salt, guava powder, pineapple powder and Tabasco pepper sauce.
- Tabasco Sriracha Sauce: made with red jalapeno peppers, water, sugar, salt, garlic, distilled vinegar, xanthan gum, and Tabasco pepper sauce.
- Tabasco Sweet and Spicy Sauce: made with sugar, red pepper, water, distilled vinegar, pear concentrate, garlic, onion, Tabasco sauce, ginger, salt, xanthan gum, and spices.
- Tabasco Buffalo Style Hot Sauce: made with red cayenne peppers, distilled vinegar, water, salt and garlic.
Tabasco Scoville ratings
Each Tabasco sauce flavour has a different scoville rating, so take this into consideration before using them. Not all spicy sauces are made the same.
A scoville rating measures spiciness by determining the amount of capsaicin, which is the active component in chili peppers. A rating of zero would mean something is not spicy at all. Mild is about 100-2500 scoville, medium is 2500-30,000 and hot is 30,000 to 100,000.
Tabasco products range from 100 (Tabasco Sweet and Spicy Sauce) to 30,000 (Tabasco Scorpion sauce). Choose wisely according to how hot you like your heat!
How to use Tabasco sauce
There are so many ways you can use Tabasco sauce in your gluten free cooking. You can basically put it into any recipe that needs an extra bit of heat and spiciness!
Try using Tabasco in your next batch of chili, or add it to your favourite soup. It can be added to any pasta sauce, or used as part of a marinade for meat before BBQing.
If your family doesn’t share your love for hot sauce, add it separately to tacos, burritos, fajitas or even your favorite bowl of gluten free mac and cheese!
Love buffalo chicken? Use the Tabasco Buffalo Style Hot Sauce to make these amazing Buffalo Chicken Stuffed Peppers.
Other brands of hot sauce
If your local grocery store is out of Tabasco (the shock and horror!) here are some details on other brands of hot sauces:
- Frank’s Red Hot sauce is gluten free! There are no gluten ingredients listed on the product.
- Cholula Original Hot Sauce does not have any gluten ingredients listed, so it should be safe for anyone on a gluten free diet.
- Texas Pete Original Hot Sauce is gluten free. The company states their Original, Sauteed Garlic, and Hotter Hot sauces do not contain any gluten allergens.
As always, be sure to check for gluten ingredients and any warnings on any hot sauce product before purchasing it.
Now go spice things up!