What Cooking Oil Is Gluten Free? [Healthy & On the Budget]

Those individuals who have Celiac disease or other gluten sensitivity must be truly vigilant about not eating anything with gluten in it. While some foods are easy to identify as gluten or potentially gluten, other foods are less obvious. You may have found the perfect recipe for gluten-free fried chicken, but have you considered how safe the oil is you need to fry the chicken in?

The good news is that cooking oil in and of itself is gluten-free. You should be aware of whether or not the cooking oil was manufactured in a factory that also creates products with wheat gluten.

The issue is not with the cooking oil but with cross-contamination. Some oils and brands of oil are less likely to be cross-contaminated, so you should read the labeling carefully to ensure that the oil you use is produced in a gluten-free facility. Continue reading for details about different types of oils and cooking sprays.

What Is Gluten?

Gluten is a protein found in certain grains, specifically in wheat, rye, barley, and triticale. Gluten is also found in many processed foods as a binder. It is a kind of stretchy protein, and it holds foods together. 

Nutritionists and doctors note that eating whole grains, even those that include gluten, is a healthy part of a balanced diet. Whole grains reduce rates of heart disease and stroke. Some studies have indicated that gluten helps promote healthy gut bacteria by feeding the good bacteria in your intestines. 

Who Needs To Eat Gluten-Free?

There is a lot of information in the media about gluten, gluten intolerances, gluten sensitivity, and Celiac Disease. Some people must eat gluten-free due to these medical conditions. If your doctor has instructed you to eat gluten-free foods, you should follow the prescribed diets specifically in order to keep your body as healthy as possible.

Other people have seen information in the media about gluten being harmful and choose to eat gluten-free foods. However, there is no medical research evidence proving this to be true.

When you are following a gluten-free diet, you may feel that you have been denied all the deliciousness you had been eating. Thankfully, with the explosion of gluten-free foods and the awareness of the importance of eliminating gluten for certain people, many products are available for people with gluten sensitivities. 

Which Cooking Oils Are Gluten-Free?

One of the benefits of this general awareness is that even naturally gluten-free foods are labeled to show whether or not they have any cross-contamination in the production process. Cooking oil is one of these kinds of food products. The oil itself does not have gluten, but you should check carefully to see if the manufacturing facility produces foods containing gluten.

Canola Oil

If you like using canola oil, be sure that you choose pure canola oil to ensure that it is gluten-free. Be careful to avoid any canola oil blends. One potential problem with canola oil is that canola is grown near wheat, rye, and barley, so any poorly processed canola oil may contain traces of gluten.

Properly prepared canola oil is gluten-free. It also has a high smoke point, so you can use it for safely frying foods. 

As with any product, read the labeling carefully to ensure that it is gluten-free and processed in a gluten-free facility. Try any of these brands for gluten-free canola oil options: Amazon Brand, Crisco, Healthy Harvest, Kirkland Signature, Mazola, Native Harvest, Spectrum, Thrive Market, and Wesson.

Using Canola Oil in a Gluten-Free Diet

Canola oil has a high smoke point, about 400 degrees Fahrenheit. This means that it is a safe oil to use for frying in a skillet or a deep fryer. It is a great choice for making gluten-free fried chicken or for your homemade french fries.

Due to its neutral flavor, canola oil is a perfect choice to use in baking. Try it in these gluten-free sugar donut muffins (seriously, they are amazing) or in this zucchini bread offering.

Olive Oil

Extra Virgin Olive Oil, sometimes referred to as EVOO, is gluten-free as it comes from olives, a fruit from the olive tree. As long as the oil is not cross-contaminated, it is gluten-free. 

Olive oil is a healthy oil for cooking and for making salad dressings. It has monounsaturated fats and antioxidants that can support a healthy diet. Eating a small amount of EVOO during the week may protect against cardiovascular disease and prevention against some forms of cancer.

EVOO has a low smoke point, so it is best when used in a dressing or cooked briefly. If you want to cook or fry with olive oil, you will need light olive oil. 

The best Olive Oil brands for gluten-free eating are Bariana EVOO, Filipp Berio Olive Oil, Jovial EVOO, Mary Ruth Organics Ice-Pressed Raw EVOO, Palermo Olive Oil, and Pompeian Olive Oil. The manufacturers labeled these brands gluten-free or their facilities gluten-free. If you are looking for another brand or a flavored variety of olive oil, read the label carefully to ensure that it is gluten-free and processed in a gluten-free facility.

How to Include Olive Oil in Your Gluten-Free Menu?

Each grade of olive oil can be used for a different purpose in your kitchen. The Extra Virgin Olive Oil may be as low as 375 degrees Fahrenheit.  EVOO also will have the strongest flavor, so use this oil for sauteeing, coating vegetables for roasting, or as a salad dressing.

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Take a mixture of purple potatoes, red new potatoes, and Yukon gold potatoes and cut them into 1/2 inch to 1-inch cubes. Arrange them in one layer in the bottom of a glass or stone pan. lightly coat the potatoes with EVOO, then sprinkle on kosher salt, black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and dried oregano. Roast in the oven for 30 minutes or until the potatoes are fork-tender. The olive oil coating will make a crispy coating for these roasted potatoes.

Try this Greek-inspired salad dressing on a gluten-free pasta salad with cucumber, tomato, olives, broccoli, and bell peppers. Start with 3/4 cup of EVOO and mix in 6 tablespoons of red wine vinegar, 3 teaspoons of dried oregano, 1 teaspoon of garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper. Store any unused dressing in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Sunflower Oil

Sunflowers are a plant native to North America. The oil from sunflower seeds offers health benefits because it is low in saturated fats and high in monounsaturated fats. It is also high in vitamins E and K.

Choosing a sunflower oil high in oleic acid may reduce coronary heart disease. Sunflower oil has a high smoke point, so you can use it for frying. 

Sunflower Oil is naturally gluten-free. Be sure that you check for pure sunflower oils and not blends or flavored oils. As always, read the labels to ensure that the oil and factories are gluten-free.

Try the following brands for gluten-free options: Healthy Harvest makes their sunflower oil in a gluten-free facility. Simply Sunflower Oil is non-GMO and gluten-free.

La Tourangelle Organic Sunflower Oil is made in California with regenerative farming practices. Be aware that it is made in a facility that handles tree nuts, peanuts, sesame seeds, and soy, but not gluten.

Adding Sunflower Oil to Your Gluten-Free Recipes

Sunflower oil has a slightly nutty flavor and a high smoke point, making it an extremely versatile resource. The 450-degree smoke point means that you can fry on the stovetop and even use this oil in a propane deep fryer. Try using it for deep-frying your Thanksgiving turkey.

Although it does have a slight flavor, it is still mild, and you can use this for baking or sauteing.

Avocado Oil

Avocado oil is rich, delicious, and high in antioxidants and healthy fats. It doesn’t get as much attention as olive oil, but it also can contribute to cardiovascular health and lower cholesterol.

Avocado oil may also help with the absorption of certain nutrients. It is good to eat cold as part of a dressing and suitable for roasting or frying due to its high smoke point (up to 520 degrees). 

Producers make Avocado Oil by cold-pressing and then refining the oil from pure avocados. Chosen Foods brand guarantees their avocado oil is gluten-free. The Celiac Disease Foundation Website highlights Chosen Foods avocado oil. Other gluten-free avocado oil brands are Better Body Avocado Oil, Wickedly Prime Avocado Oil, Spectrum Refined Avocado Oil, Nutiva Organic Avocado Oil, and De La Rosa 613 Avacado Oil.  

How to Use Avocado Oil in a GF Kitchen?

Avocado oil has a mild, buttery flavor which makes it a delightful option for almost any recipe. Use it instead of butter to sautee shrimp for tacos. Top them with a slaw made from cabbage, jalapenos, and cilantro with a gluten-free ranch dressing.

Avocado Oil’s buttery taste makes a delightful contribution to baked goods. Try it in these chocolate banana muffins (you’ll need to substitute your favorite all-purpose gluten-free flour).

Coconut Oil

A popular option is coconut oil. It is an excellent oil to use for baking and sauteeing, but it has a low smoke point, only 350 degrees Fahrenheit, so it is not a good choice for frying. Coconut Oil has some health benefits and some controversies around it, but it is a good substitution for butter and other oils.

As you look for gluten-free coconut oils, read the labels to ensure that the manufacturers ensure a gluten-free production line. Try these brands for gluten-free options.

Native coconut oil is certified organic, non-GMO, and gluten-free. CocoGoodsCo is Climate Pledge Friendly, Organic Refined, gluten-free, and non-GMO. BetterBody Foods is also gluten-free and suitable for cooking at medium temperatures.

Incorporating Coconut Oil into Your Cooking Routine

If you are new to coconut oil, you may be surprised to find that it is generally solid at room temperature. Depending on the recipe, you may have to melt it before using it. It melts very easily at a low temperature, so you will find it easy to work with once you have tried it once or twice.

Coconut oil has a slightly sweet taste that is faintly like coconut. It’s not strong enough to distract from your main dish, but you can taste the sweetness. Try baking with coconut oil in this gluten-free carrot cake or these chocolate chip cookies.

Introduce your family to the flavors of India with this simple Butter Chicken recipe that uses coconut oil. Serve this mild curry over rice for a fantastic family dinner options everyone will love.

Gluten-Free Cooking Oil Spray

The basic components of cooking sprays are gluten-free. They are primarily oil and an emulsifier like lecithin (which comes from soy).

However, some spray products have some added ingredients that contain gluten for flavor and stabilization. Cross-contamination is a possibility in the manufacturing process.

You should carefully read the labeling to ensure that any spray is gluten-free before using it. Some good options for gluten-free cooking oil spray are Chosen Foods brand Avocado Oil spray, Pompeian Coconut Oil Non-Stick Spray, La Tourangelle All-Purpose Baking Spray, or Pompeian Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil spray. Each of these products is in non-aerosol containers, so your choice is good for the environment.

You can also make your own spray with the oil of your choice. You can purchase a Misto and put your favorite light oil in it. Then you pump it up and spray it on. Alternatively, you can simply brush olive oil or your favorite oil onto your pan or griddle with a brush or a paper towel. 

Final Thoughts

Vegetable Oils like olive, avocado, sunflower, canola, and coconut, are naturally gluten-free. The only times that gluten may show up in your cooking oil is due to cross-contamination during the production process.

Using a high-quality oil can add depth of flavor to your cooking, and it is a necessary component in most recipes. Choose quality oils for monounsaturated fats and vitamin contents. Be sure to carefully read labels for cooking oils and spray oils that are certified gluten-free and produced in gluten-free facilities. 

Related Questions

  • Which cooking oils are soy-free?
  • What common allergens are in cooking oils?
  • How do you avoid gluten when eating out?
  • Which gluten-free flour is best?

Leave a Comment