Thursday, May 10, 2012

Gluten Free Cooking Tips #4 -- Preventing cross contamination

Cooking Tip#4 
Preventing Cross-Contamination in your Gluten Free Kitchen 

When you have a gluten free family member, one of the biggest obstacles is learning how to prevent cross-contamination in your kitchen. This is especially true if you have a “shared” kitchen or a kitchen where gluten-containing food is prepared along with gluten-free food. I recommend that people try to become a gluten free family. If all the food in your kitchen is gluten free, cross contamination isn’t a problem.

However, I realize this isn’t always feasible due to cost or simply because it’s not a decision shared by other family members. So for people who prepare both gluten-free and gluten-containing foods, here are 8 tips to help you prevent cross-contamination in your home kitchen.

● Have a gluten free cutting board and a regular cutting board, keep them in separate designated areas in your kitchen.

● Prepare gluten free foods and/or meals on a clean counter or a designated cutting board before preparing gluten-containing foods. If you prepare gluten free foods first, there is much less risk of cross-contamination.

● Use a color-coded and/or sticker system to mark gluten free items from gluten containing items. This is especially helpful for young children in the family to know the difference.

● You don’t necessarily need separate cooking pans. Simply make sure to wash all cooking pans thoroughly in hot, soapy water before cooking a gluten free meal.

● If in doubt, use foil to cover baking pans to keep foods safe.

● Store gluten free foods above gluten-containing foods in the pantry, to prevent any crumbs from coming into contact with gluten free foods.

● Have a separate color-coded area or stickers to discern gluten free condiments in the refrigerator.

● If you’re concerned that gluten free food has come in contact with gluten, stick with the old adage, “If in doubt, throw it out."

Make sure to have a dedicated gluten free toaster!

Reader’s Tip of the Day: 
“Don't be afraid to substitute ingredients. I usually just do a quick search on the net for an alternate ingredient if I find I'm out of something I thought I had. Sometimes it even makes the outcome even better!” -- Chasity A.

Please visit each topic in "10 Days of Gluten Free"
From: May 7th - May 18th

10 Days Gluten Free GIVEAWAY!
Included with this awesome series is a giveaway on each blog once the two weeks are over! I will be giving away a brand new copy of Carol Fenster's cookbook, "100 Best Gluten-Free Recipes." This is one of my FAVORITE gluten free cookbooks with an awesome collection of Carol's absolute best recipes.

The Giveaway Nitty Gritty: 
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  • You are allowed one entry per "10 Days of Gluten Free" blog post for a total of 10 entries on this blog. 
  • Enter by leaving a comment (WITH an email address to contact you) on this post (and other 10 Days of GF posts). 
  • The giveaway begins May 7, 2012 and ends at 11:59 pm eastern time on May 18, 2012. 
  • No purchase is necessary. 
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  • The winner will be randomly chosen and will be contacted by email. 
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  1. Another tip...have a gluten free zone that way you know you are safe. :)

  2. Another tip is to have a gluten free zone so you know you will always be comfortable in one space.

  3. I know it isn't feasible for everyone, but our life is so much easier having removed the gluten from our pantry. It took many, many times through to actually find it all.

    Love your tips.

  4. I am so thankful that we are able to have a completely Gluten-Free kitchen. We tend to get sick when we visit other people and eat from their kitchens, so some of these tips will help! :) Thanks!

  5. I cook and bake everything gluten free, however I haven't asked my BF to give up his convenience foods like frozen pizzas, and hotdog/hamburger buns. This hasn't posed any problems yet, my BF is very careful about cleaning up after himself and keeping his gluten foods away from everything else.

    It works for us because I don't have to worry about having any of the cooking essentials ingredients in the house that (in my opinion) are a large cause of XC, but at the same time he's not making a mess in the kitchen or spending lots of money on GF foods that he doesn't need when all he really wants is a Digiorno. :)


  6. New to GF and its an ongoing struggle to keep my GF portion of the kitchen safe. Lots of constant reminders.. We will eventually get it. Thanks for your tips and info

  7. We have 4 GF & 1 who has some gluten. XC is pretty much our biggest GF issue right now @ home... my DH insists I am paranoid about XC. He thinks his simply brushing crumbs off a counter, off his hands, etc. is enough... I tell him everything in contact w/it needs to be washed w/SOAP & water. Many people just DON'T GET IT!! Say your child (or you) have a peanut allergy & people get it, well most do, but say gluten & they have a whole different demeanor... they don't realize many symptoms can be silent & one doesn't know until cancer, autoimmune disease, etc. is diagnosed, & even then most docs won't say it is because of G. I try to only buy G for when DH is going to take it PACKAGED up OUT of the house (like sealed crackers, sealed bakery/Little Debbie snacks, etc.) but he will bring home hamburger buns or bakery bread (from church) every so often, & I literally sweat when I see it. I just see a HUGE pain in the butt because I know I have to then scour anything he was near w/the stuff that is poison to our bodies :(. Overall he has become far more supportive & informed, which I am grateful for... & he really does care, he just doesn't get it like most others who don't have a food issue.

  8. I just don't buy any products with gluten. If non gluten-free people in the house want a gluten fix, they can get it in town, at school, ect. DH has given it up, even though he isn't gluten intolerant, and says he actually feels much better for it and doesn't want it.


  10. I'm getting closer to gf for everyone but not there yet so thanks for the tips.

  11. I label things like peanut butter and jelly so no dirty knives get into my stuff!

  12. The only things not gluten-free in our kitchen are my husband's bread and his peanut butter...everything is made by me. My husband is a good sport about eating gluten free, but likes his peanut butter sandwiches every once in a while. pauladecaria(at)

  13. I had been wondering about dedicating a gluten free toaster...thank you for answering that question!

  14. With only the 2 of us it makes it very simple with cross-contamination. But, if I go else where I almost have to put my thinking cap on !


  16. Thanks for this! I am new to gluten free baking and cooking, so this was helpful. I have been struggling a little with missing old favs since I found out I was sensitive to gluten. I just started my very own blog, and can't wait to join the community!

  17. Thanks so much! thecroleys(at)yahoo(dot)com

  18. I am the only one gluten free in my house. My best tip is to fix my food first and put it aside, then fix the gluten food.

  19. Great tips,

  20. Our house is 99% gluten free. It's just easier not to have that stuff in the house. Makes me a nervous wreck on the rare occasions we indulge in a gluten-filled item (usually after our son goes to bed). Not worth it!