If you're following a gluten-free diet due to celiac disease or gluten intolerance, you may be wondering if rotisserie chickens are a safe option. Rotisserie chickens can be found in most grocery stores and are a popular item due to their convenience and cost-effectiveness. However, it's important to check the ingredient label to ensure that they're gluten-free before consuming because not all rotisserie chickens are gluten-free or safe for those on a gluten-free diet.
- The Quick Answer
- What Is Celiac Disease?
- Are Store-Bought Rotisserie Chickens Gluten-Free?
- How to Find a Gluten-Free Rotisserie Chicken
- Where to buy Gluten-Free Rotisserie Chickens
- Ingredients in Rotisserie Chickens
- What About the Cooking Process?
- Are Rotisserie Chickens Healthy?
- Are Rotisserie Chickens a Good Buy?
- How to Prepare Rotisserie Chicken
- How to Store Rotisserie Chicken
- The Final Word
- Gluten-Free Recipes You Can Make With Rotisserie Chicken
- Comments and Ratings
The Quick Answer
Although some rotisserie chickens may have gluten-containing ingredients, there are plenty of gluten-free options available, such as Costco or Sam's Club.
Always read through the list of ingredients, look for a gluten-free claim on the label or an allergen statement, and ask questions of the grocery store employees to determine the safety of a particular rotisserie chicken.
What Is Celiac Disease?
Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder where the ingestion of gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye, triggers an immune response in the small intestine. This immune response causes inflammation and damage to the lining of the small intestine, which can lead to malabsorption of nutrients and other health issues. People with celiac disease must follow a strict gluten-free diet to manage their condition.
Are Store-Bought Rotisserie Chickens Gluten-Free?
The answer is: it depends. While most rotisserie chickens do not contain gluten ingredients, only a few are actually labeled gluten-free.
Always use caution; some rotisserie chickens may contain gluten ingredients or wheat in the seasoning mixture. They may also be made in a shared environment with gluten-ingredients.
It's important to read the ingredients listed on the label and ask questions of the deli staff to make sure that the chicken is gluten-free.
How to Find a Gluten-Free Rotisserie Chicken
Rotisserie chickens are a convenient option for a quick meal and the good news is there are plenty of gluten-free options available for individuals with gluten allergies, celiac disease, or non-celiac gluten sensitivity. Several brands also cater to other special needs as well, like organic chickens or low-sodium options.
Determining if your grocery store's rotisserie chicken is gluten-free is easy and can be done in just three steps:
- Look for a gluten-free claim on the packaging. If the chicken is labeled as gluten-free, it means that the ingredients are safe to consume, and the store is taking steps to make sure the chicken is free from gluten.
- Check the ingredient statement for any ingredients that could contain gluten, such as wheat, barley, rye, or malt. Also look for an allergen statement such as, "contains wheat" or "may contain wheat".
- If there is no gluten-free claim, but the ingredients look okay, ask the staff about the preparation process. Are the chickens made in shared ovens with other items that may contain gluten? Is the staff confident in the safety of the chickens?
If you pass all three of these steps, it is likely that the rotisserie chicken is gluten-free and safe to eat. However, if there is a gluten ingredient or the staff conveys they can't guarantee the safety of the chickens, it is best to look for another option.
Where to buy Gluten-Free Rotisserie Chickens
When it comes to gluten-free options, it's important to always check the ingredient label. Some grocery stores carry gluten-free rotisserie chickens, while others do not.
- Costco's Kirkland rotisserie chicken is a popular choice. Their rotisserie chickens are labeled gluten-free do not include any gluten-containing ingredients. The Costco chicken is also a great deal at only $4.99.
- Sam's Club offers its Member's Mark rotisserie chicken, which is also labeled gluten-free. The Sam's Club chickens are marinated and seasoned with Lawry's Seasoned Salt, which does not contain gluten ingredients.
- Freshness Guaranteed - Marketside rotisserie chickens from Walmart do not contain gluten ingredients.
- Whole Foods provides organic rotisserie chickens and two standard variety chickens each with only a few ingredients, none of which contain gluten. Their Organic Plain Rotisserie Chicken contains only organic chicken without any artificial flavors or additives.
Other store's, like Mariano's, Jewel, and BJ's, may also have gluten-free rotisserie chickens, but you'll need to asses this on a case-by-case basis. Check the ingredients listed on the package for wheat or other gluten-containing ingredients and ask the store employees about any potential cross-contact risks.
Ingredients in Rotisserie Chickens
Rotisserie chickens have different ingredients depending on where you buy them from. It's important to check the ingredient lists to make sure the chicken is safe to eat.
- Whole Foods Rotisserie Chickens come in three different varieties and are the "cleanest" of the bunch:
- The Organic Plain Rotisserie Chicken has only one ingredient, which is chicken.
- The Classic Rotisserie Chicken has chicken, salt, and organic black pepper.
- The Garlic Herb Rotisserie Chicken has chicken, organic herb and garlic seasoning, organic dehydrated vegetables, sea salt, organic spices, and organic arrowroot powder.
- Costco's Rotisserie Chicken has whole chicken, water, and a seasoning mix that contains salt, rice starch, sodium tripolyphosphate, food starch-modified and potato dextrin, sugar, dextrose, natural flavors, maltodextrin, carrageenan, silicon dioxide, and polysorbate 80.
- Meanwhile, Sam's Club Member's Mark Seasoned Rotisserie Chicken includes fully cooked whole young chicken, water, sodium phosphate, seasoning, spice rub, and natural flavors. The spice rub used is advertised as Lawry's seasoning.
- Freshness Guaranteed (Formerly Marketside) Rotisserie Chickens from Walmart contain chicken, water, sea salt, seasoning; dried chicken broth, rosemary extract, carrageenan, spices, garlic powder, salt, dehydrated lemon peel, citric acid, corn starch, dehydrated parsley, and natural flavors.
No matter where you're shopping, it's essential to read the ingredient list to ensure that there are no ingredients containing gluten. That's because once in a while, you may be surprised to find a gluten ingredient! A great example of this is chicken bouillon, which can sometimes contain gluten.
What About the Cooking Process?
Rotisserie chickens are cooked using a rotating spit that turns constantly, making sure that the chicken cooks evenly. When cooking, the chickens are put on the spit and are rotated around a heat source. However, the seasonings and juices from the chicken can drip down into the oven or onto other chickens.
This can be important because grocery stores tend to carry a variety of rotisserie chickens, including chickens that might have gluten in the seasonings. This can lead to cross-contact with other chickens and make them unsafe for people who are highly sensitive to gluten.
This is why it is important to ask store staff about shared cooking equipment and take note of all types of rotisserie chickens available. Even if the chicken is inherently gluten-free, you may wish to avoid it if the chicken is prepared along with other chickens that are not gluten-free.
Are Rotisserie Chickens Healthy?
When it comes to the nutritional profile of rotisserie chicken, it's important to note that the majority of the meat is chicken breast, which is a lean protein source.
If you're concerned about sodium content, it's worth mentioning that the seasoning used on rotisserie chickens may vary. Some brands, like Kroger, offer rotisserie chickens with reduced sodium levels. However, it's always a good idea to check the nutrition facts or ingredient list for the exact sodium content, especially if you have specific dietary restrictions or health concerns.
Are Rotisserie Chickens a Good Buy?
In terms of cost and availability, store brands like Sam's Club's Member's Mark and Costco's Kirkland provide good quality rotisserie chickens at a competitive price.
These store brands often serve as a loss leader, offering a product at a lower price to attract customers into the store. Coupled with the convenience of already cooked poultry products, it's no wonder rotisserie chickens are a favorite among busy individuals.
How to Prepare Rotisserie Chicken
When it comes to the cooking time, rotisserie chickens are already fully cooked, so you simply need to reheat them or shred the meat to add to your favorite gluten-free chicken noodle soup, gluten-free chicken taco casserole, or gluten-free chicken salad.
For those who prefer crispy skin on their rotisserie chicken, an air fryer provides an easy way to crisp up the skin. You can also pop the chickens into a preheated oven to reheat. Check the package for heating instructions.
How to Store Rotisserie Chicken
To ensure the best quality, it's important to store rotisserie chickens properly. If you don't finish the whole bird, refrigerate the leftovers in an airtight container for up to three days.
The Final Word
Rotisserie chickens offer a convenient and flavorful option for a quick meal. Remember these three things before purchasing: check the ingredient list, look for a gluten-free claim, and ask questions of the store staff.
Gluten-Free Recipes You Can Make With Rotisserie Chicken
Costco and Sam's club offer rotisserie chickens labeled gluten-free. Other stores also carry safe options, just check the list of ingredients and ask the staff about any cross-contamination concerns.
Yes, someone with celiac disease can eat rotisserie chicken but you need to verify there are no gluten-containing ingredients in the seasoning and that the chicken was prepared in an environment without any potential risk of cross-contact.
Yes, Costco's Kirkland brand rotisserie chickens are labeled gluten-free.
Yes, Boar's Head rotisserie seasoned chicken is labeled gluten-free.
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