Tabasco sauce adds some tanginess and heat to dishes. And it’s a popular condiment at dinner tables and diners alike. But is Tobasco gluten free?
Made with just three ingredients, Tabasco sauce can be a great way to infuse foods with a bit of heat. But is this best-selling hot sauce safe for those with gluten sensitivities?
Original Tabasco Sauce is gluten free, as none of its 3 ingredients – Tabasco red peppers, vinegar, and salt — contains gluten.
But the company behind this spicy condiment makes several different hot sauces, as well as a line of BBQ sauces. And there are at least two Tabasco products that are not gluten free.
What is Tabasco Sauce
The McIlhenny company, which makes Tabasco sauce, was founded by Edmund McIlhenny in the mid-19th century on Avery Island, Louisiana. And that’s still where the company is headquartered today.
He began working on this now-iconic sauce as a way to spice up the typically bland diet prevalent in the American South at the time. Using seeds from the Capsicum frutescens red peppers, he produced his first crop in 1868.
Then he created his signature sauce, bottled it, and labeled it “Tabasco,” a Mexican Indian word that can mean “a place of the coral or oyster shell” or a “place where the soil is humid.”
The taste was equal parts tangy, salty, and spicy. Today, the same basic recipe is used to make the sauce. But now each batch is aged for up to 3 years in white oak barrels to help give the sauce a richer, deeper flavor. And it falls within the 2,500-5,000 range on the Scoville chart, which ranks the heat of various peppers.
Now the company makes 9 hot sauce flavors of various heat levels, from original to cayenne chili garlic and jalapeño green pepper sauce to Tabasco sriracha sauce. It also produces various flavors of BBQ sauce.
Are all Tabasco sauce flavors gluten free?
The original variety of Tabasco sauce contains only Tabasco chili pepper, white wine vinegar, and salt. None of those contain gluten, so while it’s not certified gluten-free, it does adhere to U.S. Food and Drug Administration guidelines for what is considered gluten free.
Other flavors of Tabasco include:
- Green Jalapeño Sauce
- Chipotle Pepper Sauce
- Cayenne Garlic Sauce
- Habanero Pepper Sauce
- Sriracha Sauce
- Buffalo Sauce
- Scorpion Sauce
- Sweet & Spicy Sauce
- Raspberry Chipotle Sauce
Some note additional items on their list of ingredients, including cornstarch, cane sugar, xanthan gum, and various spices, but the good news is that these are all gluten free hot sauces. Many are also non-GMO, kosher, and halal.
Are Tabasco brand BBQ sauces gluten free?
Now that we’ve looked at Tabasco sauces, let’s see whether the company’s BBQ sauces contain gluten or not.
The Tabasco brand makes 4 types of BBQ sauce:
- Original BBQ Sauce
- Jalapeño Mesquite BBQ Sauce
- Habanero Jerk BBQ Sauce
- Honey BBQ sauce
Like the line of Tabasco sauces, none of these BBQ condiments contain gluten, as their product labels note only gluten-free ingredients.
Is Tabasco Soy Sauce gluten free?
Soy sauce in general is not gluten free, and Tabasco soy sauce is no exception. A main ingredient is wheat, which contains gluten protein. So if you have Celiac disease, a gluten allergy, or another gluten intolerance, you may want to avoid it.
In addition, Tabasco teriyaki sauce is also not gluten free, as it contains soy sauce in its ingredients list.
Is Tabasco Bloody Mary Mix gluten free?
The company’s Bloody Mary mixers include Worcestershire sauce as part of its product information. In many cases, Worcester sauce contains barley malt vinegar, which is made from gluten-containing barley.
But the kind used in Tabasco’s Bloody Mary mix uses white distilled vinegar instead, so this mix should be safe for those with gluten sensitivities.
What are some ways to use Tabasco sauce?
This versatile sauce can be used in a variety of ways to enhance foods and intensify their flavors.
- Add it to marinades or other sauces to add a bit of spice tanginess.
- Sprinkle some on chicken wings for a pleasant spicy kick.
- It’s a great complement for a range of Mexican cuisine, including tacos, burritos, quesadillas, and chili con carne.
- Used to spice up deviled eggs.
- Use it in Bloody Mary cocktails for a bit of heat.
How do you store Tabasco sauce?
Keep unopened Tabasco sauce in a cool, dry place like a pantry. It should keep for up to 2 years. Your package will have a best-by date information indicating when it will have peak freshness, but it will likely still be good for some time after that as the ingredients are not highly perishable.
Even after you open your bottle of Tabasco, you don’t need to keep it in the fridge, though doing so won’t harm it. Either way, it should stay good until the expiration date.
Tabasco Scorpion sauce is the hottest. As the name implies, it uses scorpion peppers and measures between 23,000-33,000 on the Scoville scale. The next hottest sauce is the Habanero pepper flavor. It comes in at around 7,000 on the Scoville chart.
Yes, Texas Pete hot sauce is gluten free. Its product label lists natural ingredients including vinegar, peppers, salt, and water, along with xanthan gum and benzoate of soda. None of them contain gluten.
More answers about gluten in foods
Find out whether some of your other favorite foods and beverages have gluten. Check out these posts.