How to make gluten free at home and restaurants

How to make gluten free at home and restaurants

How to make gluten-free at home and restaurants. I’m not talking about gluten-free at your entire house here. I only focus on the kitchen at your house. I’ll give you tips on how to avoid cross-contamination for your “gluten-free” diet at the kitchen and restaurants.

How to make gluten free at home and restaurants

Learn how to make gluten-free at home and restaurants. For people who choose to go gluten-free diet for health/diet reasons, creating a gluten-free environment might not be as important as people with celiac disease. But for people with celiac diseases and sensitivity, it’s very important to avoid cross-contact.

Even a small amount of crumbs could be harmful to someone with celiac diseases and gluten sensitivity. Accidentally eating gluten may result in headache, abdominal pain, nausea, vomit, or diarrhea, and more.

Cross contact occurs when gluten-free foods or ingredients come into contact with products with gluten. Generally, it’s by shared utensils or a shared cooking or storage environment.

That’s why you should never use the same boiled water for regular pasta or never simply pick the croutons off a salad.

Whenever possible, buy (naturally) gluten-free grains, flours, and starches with gluten-free labels. Also, purchase certified gluten-free products by a third party.

Note: Consider all grains are “high risk” for cross-contact. Because they are often grown, milled, and manufactured near gluten-containing grains.

How to make gluten free at home and restaurant


To make gluten-free at home, set up a gluten-free zone from the start. Take the time to do it right.

  • Store gluten-free and gluten-containing foods in designated places.
  • Keep cooking surfaces and food storage areas clean.
  • Wash dishes and cooking equipment thoroughly.
  • Have separate cooking tools for gluten free – toaster, knife, cutting board, spoon, pans
  • Read the food label – be familiar with some of the many names for potential gluten sources like malt flavoring, malt vinegar or any unspecified thickeners, stabilizers, starches or flavorings. If these ingredients are wheat-based, wheat must be noted on the ingredient label. However, if they are barley or rye-based, they are not specifically required to be called out.
  • All the family members go gluten-free – it’s easier not to worry about separating foods.


How to make gluten-free at restaurants could be tricky unlike setting up a gluten-free kitchen at home since you don’t have much control over the kitchen at restaurants.

  • Certain restaurants don’t offer options for a gluten-free diet: Fast food restaurants, buffets, salad bars, and most bakeries.
  • Now we have so many more restaurants, cater to the vegetarian and gluten-free diet. Call ahead.
  • Read restaurant menus online ahead of time if possible.
  • Tell your server and chef about your special food attention. Before ordering, give them as much information you could. They must know all the details so that they could prepare food for you. 
  • Eat out early or late. When a restaurant is less busy, you can communicate with them better and they can take better care of your needs. 
  • Stick with the same types of items you eat at home, such as grilled meats and steamed vegetables.
  • Avoid fried foods, certain sauces, or anything that has been fried in the same pan with a gluten-containing food. 

Places where cross-contact can occur

  • Toasters used for both gluten-free and regular bread. Consider separate toasters.
  • Colanders
  • Cutting boards
  • Flour sifters
  • Deep fried foods cooked in oil shared with breaded products
  • Shared containers including improperly washed containers
  • Condiments – butter, peanut butter, jam, mustard, and mayonnaise may become contaminated when utensils used on gluten-containing food are double-dipped
  • Wheat flour can stay airborne for many hours in a bakery (or at home) and contaminate exposed preparation surfaces and utensils or uncovered gluten-free products
  • Oats – cross-contact can occurs, so select only oats specifically labeled gluten-free
  • Pizza – pizzerias that offer gluten-free crusts sometimes do not control for cross-contact with their wheat-based dough
  • French fries
  • Non-certified baked goods
  • Bulk bins at grocery stores or co-ops

Easily contaminated foods

  • Oats – look for oats that are specifically labeled gluten-free
  • Pizza – pizzerias that offer gluten-free crusts sometimes do not control for cross-contact with their wheat-based dough
  • French fries
  • Non-certified baked goods

What’s “gluten”?

Gluten is a food protein found in grains – wheat, barley (malt), and rye. Besides those, there are plenty of other cousin grains that contain gluten. Read every food label and every menu carefully. If you need to make gluten-free at home and restaurants, remember this list of foods to avoid and grains to avoid:


  • Couscous
  • Durum
  • Einkorn
  • Emmer
  • Farina
  • Farro
  • Freekeh
  • Graham flour
  • Kamut
  • Kernza
  • Matza/Matzoh
  • Seitan
  • Semolina
  • Spelt
  • Triticale
  • Wheat
  • Varieties and derivatives of wheat 
  • Wheat bran
  • Wheatberries
  • Wheat germ
  • Wheat protein
  • Wheat Starch that has not been processed to remove the presence of gluten to below 20ppm.


  • Barley (flour, pearl)
  • Bulgur
  • Beer (unless made from GF grains)
  • Brewer’s Yeast
  • Malt in various forms: malted barley flour, malted milk or milkshakes, malt extract, malt syrup, malt flavoring, malt vinegar


Regular oats are contaminated. Buy certified gluten-free oats and “purity protocol” oats.


  • Rye
  • Rye flour

What does “Gluten free” mean?

“Gluten-free” means less than 20 parts per million (ppm) gluten. This amount is the proportion of the food you are eating. So it’s not zero gluten – a typical gluten-free diet can contain between 6 and 10 mg of gluten per day.

So, the amount of food eaten is important. One cracker with 20 ppm gluten contains a lot less gluten than a piece of bread with 20 ppm gluten.

Now you understand how to make gluten-free at home and restaurants better!

If in doubt, don’t eat it!

When you can’t verify ingredients for the food item, just do not eat it. A strict gluten-free diet is the only known treatment for those with gluten-related disorders.

More Resources

List of foods with gluten you want to know
Medical News Today
National Celiac Association: Find a restaurant

Conclusion: Now you know how to make gluten free at home and restaurants. Gluten free diet is good for even people without celiac diseases and sensitivity. Startch makes you fat - so it's good to start gluten free diet if you want to lose weight. You don’t want to risk your health by cross contamination, so set up the good systems - total separation - so that you’re be well prepared for your cooking without gluten. And be prepared when you eat out so that your gluten free dining experience would be safe and comfortable. 

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