When you finally make the switch to go gluten free, you’ll inevitably spend a lot more time in your kitchen. Of course, some of the side benefits of this are that you’ll eat fewer processed foods, learn to cook more dishes yourself, plus you’ll start to appreciate where your food comes from.
That doesn’t mean it’s any easier though!
Personally, I’ve found being gluten free far easier when there’s a small number of choice gadgets in my kitchen. We’re not talking big or expensive here, just simple changes and “upgrades” that make the whole process of providing for your gluten free diet a little easier.
I know some of you might feel that spending any money on gadgets and appliances is silly (Talking to you mother!). Yet let’s face some facts, going fully gluten free takes you well away from what I’ve always referred to as the “boil in the bag lifestyle”. Although the number of companies serving the gluten free community has increased, there’s still nowhere near enough availability to allow those following a gluten free diet to eat as freely as normal people.
It’s not just appliances that you need to think about either. If your family kitchen hasn’t gone completely gluten free, there’s a lot of opportunities for cross contamination to occur. I know from the early days of my gluten free journey; frequent cross contamination would occur where my children put the wrong knifes in the wrong butter tray, or gluten free bread would find its way into the standard bread bin and vice versa.
Thankfully, our family has moved slowly to fully gluten free status over the years, helped in no small part by the increase in products being sold to the gluten free community. Even so, I learned a lot in those early days, and have some awesome tips for you to try out.
- Use different colored jars, lids or Tupperware containers to denote gluten free and standard foods.
- Using different chopping boards.
- Using a different toaster.
- Different wooden rolling pins and boards.
- Separate cookie sheets, in fact anything to do with baking.
- Separate wood utensils that could harbour gluten.
As you can see, most of my tips are to do with cross contamination. As a busy mother with rather unruly children (yes, I know, I’m not mother of the year!), this was a huge issue for me! I eventually found that color coding everything was the key to helping my kids understand what type of foods went where.
So, with the basics covered, what types of appliance and gadget should you be looking for? Nobody likes to waste money, and if your home is anything like mine you’ll have no doubt suffered the impulse gadget purchase; inevitably used twice, buried once at the back of a cupboard and left until archaeologists discover the remnants in years to come.
In this guide, I’ll take you on a whistle stop tour of gluten free kitchen appliances, and let you know which ones you need on your life, right now!
Breville BBM800XL – Bread Maker
If you’re serious about going gluten free, the biggest issue has to be bread products. Almost all bread manufacturers use gluten in their recipes, and even though things are changing, the gluten free bakery aisle still looks like a ghost town!
To counter this, a bread making machine must be on the top of your shopping list. Making bread isn’t difficult at all, and with new recipes from the likes of Jamie Oliver, you’ll never feel short changed in the bread department again!
The model we recommend, the Breville BBM800XL, is a well-priced bread maker that ticks a lot of boxes. It offers an automatic fruit and nut dispenser, collapsible kneading paddle, plus it’s one of a few bread makers to include an LCD screen that lets you know how it’s getting on!
Personally, I’ve been a fan of the 800XL for a few years now, the fruit and nut dispenser and specific gluten free settings make it a winner for any household making the switch. The only catch with this bread make, is that it doesn’t have any gluten free specific settings; however, you can find the correct settings online, and simply program the Breville to your exact requirements.
It’s a small problem, yet doesn’t detract from a fantastic gluten free kitchen tool.
What We Like
Easy to use programs, fruit and nut dispenser, plus it’s special kneading paddle make the 800XL an awesome bread maker for the gluten free kitchen. The programable settings make it a snap to setup your own perfect bread bake!
Juiceman JM400 Classic – Speed Juicer
Frequently, going gluten free is part of a much wider change that people are trying to make. It’s not just about giving up the gluten, it’s about exercise, quitting smoking, and generally switching your diet to something much healthier.
I remember when I started my gluten free journey; quitting smoking was part of my “starting a family” life change. I didn’t want to be one of those mothers smoking in front of their kids, or setting a bad example by puffing outside the back door!
If like me, you need a little help with the fruit and veggie part of your diet, please say hello to the Juiceman Classic Juicer. You can make a smoothie from almost anything with this machine, berries, vegetables or fruits; the 2-speed function is a great bonus too, as it helps to create an ultra-smooth juice if that’s your preference.
As for features that make this a gluten free winner? Well, everything is large on this model, meaning you can juice just about anything you want. It also has a 700-watt motor to handle all those veggies, plus it has one of the best foam separators I’ve seen on a home juicing machine.
The Juiceman also has a pulp collector at the bottom, this allows you to keep the leftovers post juicing, and use them for whatever you want. I know friends who make lollies, jams and even face scrubs out of used juice pulp.
I know this isn’t strictly a “gluten free” gadget, yet I had to include it because it’s made such a huge difference to my own family’s life. We wouldn’t be anywhere near as healthy if we didn’t have access to a juice machine!
What We Like
Best foam separator in its class, 700-watt motor and a huge lid for veggies – the Juiceman Classic is the perfect juicer for people looking to up their veggie intake. It’s not an emergency issue for the gluten free household, yet it should be on your “nice to have” list!
Zojirush NS-ZCC10 – Rice Cooker
In its natural form, rice is completely gluten free; however, that doesn’t stop food manufacturers pairing it with sauces and flavorings that are anything but! There’s also the sticky issue of gluten cross contamination, something that many companies are working to improve.
So, if you still want to cook fluffy rice and include your own flavorings, then it makes sense to purchase a dedicated rice cooker to take care of it for you. The benefits are strong once you have one, you’ll be able to add your own flavorings, sans artificial preservatives, plus you’ll know 100% your nice is gluten free!
Depending on your family size, the Zojirush comes in 1-liter and 1.8-liter sizes; and includes a huge range of settings, including warm, reheat and extended warm cycles. If your gluten free kitchen has to cope with busy lives and different work shifts – Zojirush is a fantastic piece of kit to own! You’ll be suppressed just how well rice retains its fluffiness when it’s being kept warm within a rice cooker.
As with most rice cookers, the Zojirush comes with a rice measuring cup, LCD screen output and non-stick utensils; however, the devil is in the detail, and the Zojirush includes multiple small touches to make your gluten free life a little easier. The small footprint and retractable power leads are a definite winner in my opinion.
What We Like
Large 1.8-liter capacity is available if you need it, plus useful warming and reheat modes to suit the busy household. There are other nice touches too, such as the retractable lead that seem small, yet all come together for a winning package. This rice cooker is so small you can clean it up and tuck it away in a cupboard with ease.
Kitchen Aid Artisan Series 5 – Kitchen Mixer
I know, the word artisan is so passé it’s not even funny anymore. Yet for those willing to look past a little clumsy branding, there’s a lot to like about Kitchen Aids most recent kitchen mixer.
With more than 15 attachments, the Kitchen Aid Artisan can power through most jobs, including the standard gluten free ones of bread making and batter aerating. It also boasts an impressive choice of color combinations, including silver, butterscotch and more modern ones like ruby red and imperial grey.
Of course, you don’t strictly need a stand or hand mixer in your gluten free kitchen; however, life becomes a lot easier when you have access to one! Personally, I love using my mixer for veggies, nuts and making bread dough for buns and rolls. It also helps me look after my wrists, as I suffer terribly with carpel tunnel syndrome!
What We Like
Range of color combos, large capacity and huge range of attachments. It’s by far the best way to make a bread dough for French loaves or rolls. Also worth a look if you suffer with arthritis or similar wrist complaints.
Cuisinart FP-8SV Elemental – Food Processor
If you’re anything like me, you’ll love recipes that involve crushing nuts or pureeing veggies. Unfortunately, many over the counter flavorings include gluten, so for those of us who so like a bit of flavor – we need to introduce it ourselves.
If that sounds like you, then the Cuisinart FP-8SV is by far the best food processor I’ve personally used. How do I know this? I own one!
There’s several details that set this model apart. For a start, it comes with a 350-watt motor, making it powerful enough to tackle any task. I’ve owned lesser powered processors in the past – never again! It’s also super easy to keep clean, and the bowl and attachments are all dishwasher safe. I can’t stress enough how important being able to throw these items into a dishwasher is, especially when you’re busy and don’t have the time to mess about! I remember my mother laughing at me for purchasing a dishwasher, “it’s posh” she said – yet she was a stay at home mum, and I don’t have that luxury!
Dishwasher safe is kitchen perfection in my opinion!
The Cuisinart Elemental is available in white, gunmetal and silver color combinations; weirdly, the silver and gunmetal versions most more. My advice? Stick with the white version, it’s cheaper and to be honest, you’ll be putting it away to save counter space once cleaned anyway.
What We Like
Easy to clean, dishwasher safe and comes with a motor powerful enough to tackle any food processing job. It’s so much easier to use than an electric spiralizer. This model is also at the heart of my own gluten free kitchen! Don’t stress about getting the silver or gun metal grey version, be a cheapskate like me and go for the white!
Vitamix 5200 Blender – Food Blender
In a very similar vein to the juicer featured at the start, a quality food blender is a really important tool for making foods rich in different vegetables and fruits. And for all you foodies out there, it’s also a vital item in any budding amateur chef’s toolkit! One of the major issues for gluten free diet followers, is the fact most commercial flavors are packed with it – a blender means you can make your own!
So, what makes the Vitamix stand out amongst the crowd? 64-ounces for a start; Vitamix has one of the largest capacities around for a food blender, making it a hugely powerful tool for those going gluten free. Add to that its ability to heat foods whilst blending, the Vitamix can heat blended foods to steaming in about 6 minutes – opening a huge range of soups and broths you can create easily.
For a gluten free or vegetarian household, a blender that can heat is a real time saver!
The Vitamix also comes with dishwasher safe parts, and has a mammoth 7-year warranty, it gets my vote every time.
What We Like
Great for creating hot soups in minutes, the Vitamix doesn’t stop there. It creates purees, spreads and many other foods no gluten free home should be without. Easy clean and dishwasher safe cups and attachments sweeten the deal.
Crock-Pot Cook’ N Carry – Slow Cooker
As a frequent slow cooker user, I know exactly how game changing one can be, especially when trying to move away from processed foods and flavorings. And believe me when I say there’s no greater feeling than coming home after a busy day to a cozy house; slow cooker filling it with home cooked goodness! The smell a slow cooker can pump out during the 4 to 8 hours cooking time is immense – almost as good as baking bread!
The Crock Pot Cook’ N Carry has a number of benefits in comparison to similar models. For a start, it comes with dishwasher safe insides, plus a handy pair of lid clips to keep the heat in whilst it’s cooking. I must say, I’ve never owned a slow cooker with clips before. Now I’ve tested this model, I can see why they’re such a great idea – they lock in that heat really well.
As with most slow cookers, the Crock-Pot comes with a Warm, Low and High setting; whilst this isn’t a ground-breaking feature alone, the warm setting is much lower than on many cheaper slow cookers – genuinely keeping your pre-cooked food at a nice temperature ready for serving. We got incredibly geeky at this point, using a thermometer to test the temperature pumped out by the CrockPot warm setting. It’s about 10 degrees less than my own slow cooker, a major improvement!
Another feature that I love, is the red colored model. It’s incredibly smart, and should fit into a kitchen where glossy red is the theme with ease – it’s far smarter than the traditional aluminum/stainless steel finish! Sadly, my own kitchen is a riot of old fashioned laminated white cupboards – no posh red for me!
What We Like
Decent capacity, a Warm heat setting that’s much better compared to the competition, plus great features like lid clips and a dishwasher proof design. I were to upgrade my own slow cooker, this would be the model I’d go for.
Hamilton Beach 26030 – Waffle Maker
Like your waffles in the morning? Can’t cope with the gluten products sold at your local store? We hear you loud and clear, and with the Hamilton Beach waffle maker, you’ll still be able to get your daily waffle fill, without a trace of gluten in your diet.
There are a huge number of gluten free waffle recipes to look at on the internet, which means that if one doesn’t produce the result you want, you can keep trying until you discover fluffy perfection! Ina Garten has the best recipe in my opinion, closely followed by Nigella Lawson.
The Hamilton Beach waffle maker, is recommended for several reasons. It’s a small design that’s just perfect for storing in a cupboard whilst not in use, plus it manages to pack many features that much more expensive models have – such as adjustable browning control, ready to cook indicator and dishwasher safe trays and lids. One of the reasons I’m a huge fan of packing multiple features into a small space, is the sheer fact my own kitchen is small! If you cook in a small space too, you’ll begin to love my approach!
Unfortunately, my own waffle maker is a Russell Hobbs bought many years ago. Whilst it’s perfectly fine (and I own it now, so no backsies!), if were to buy one today, it would be a Hamilton Beach.
What We Like
Small scale design, east to use and has awesome features like ready to cook indicator, dishwasher safe attachments and browning control.
Presto 06300 – Electric Food Dehydrator
Ah snacks, the perennial annoyance that all vegetarians, vegans and gluten free diet followers must bear. Almost all chocolate bars are packed with gluten, as are many cereal bars and snacks.
So, what’s a girl to do? Start creating dehydrated snacks, that’s what!
I personally dehydrate all kinds of snacks for on the go. Beginning with basic things like berries and fruit, I now dehydrate vegetables and heaven forbid – a little beef jerky for my long-suffering husband! Of course, you’ll want to wash the trays thoroughly if you do find yourself cooking jerky!
Dehydrating snacks for a busy lifestyle is something that’s made my gluten free life much easier. And the Presto 06300 is just about the best food dehydrator I’ve discovered. First plus point, is the fact it’s much cheaper than most models out there, and it includes handy features like fruit rolls, mesh screens and jerky guns – if that floats your boat.
One of the other benefits to this model, is the one size fits all temperature of 165 degrees. I know many de-hydrator gurus might baulk at this, yet for us busy people who’d rather not have to worry – I’ll take the simple option thanks!
What We Like
Super easy to use, four tray capacity and single temperature functionality. Also comes with handy additional tools, such as a mesh screen and fruit rolls – albeit at a higher price.
Cuisinart GR4NR – Griddle
As a mother whose great grandparents hailed from Pembrokeshire in Wales, I can testify to the tasty treats a griddle can produce. Welsh cakes are a delicacy to behold, not to mention the traditional pancake and griddle cake.
Maintaining a gluten free lifestyle doesn’t preclude you from all this fun either, many traditional recipes are gluten free, and a horde of clever chefs are working to create celiac friendly versions. Most pancake and griddle recipes are ridiculously simple anyway, so you might even be able to modify one to suit your dietary needs.
The Cuisinart GR4NR is a simple machine to use, and comes with a variety of settings depending on what you need to cook. There’s a panini setting, grill setting, plus lower griddle settings for getting those pancakes and Welsh cakes cooked through. Remember – this is our recommended best panini press.
As with all things Cuisinart, their griddle has been well thought out, with an adjustable lid to cope with different thicknesses, plus a handy plastic scrapping tool that will clean the griddle surface, without ruining the non-stick coating.
What We Like
Simple to use and easy to keep clean. Also comes with a huge range of settings to suit both panini toasting and pancake making. For my family, the griddle we where most of our sweet based treats are made!
How We Chose the Top Products in Our List
Most of our tests include us using the product for an extended amount of time, usually a couple of weeks. During this time, we take these products home, introduce them to our families and generally abuse them in the same way your busy family will!
Occasionally, our choice for the top model was made even easier! As busy people trying to maintain families, careers and gluten free lifestyles, we occasionally own one of the models above ourselves. This was especially true of the Cuisinart Elemental food processor; something I’ve owned for a year now, and did a lot of my own research to purchase. In these cases, choosing the best product was a snap, my family had done the legwork and testing for us!
To test specific features, we often get a little scientific too. A great example of this, was the warm setting on the Crock Pot slow cooker. I had a hunch that the warm setting was far superior to other cookers I had used; a thermometer sample later proved my thoughts.
I know, we’re just a bunch of cookery geeks, for shame!
Why You Need These Gadgets in Your Home?
I touched on this at the start of our review, yet it’s worth saying again because it’s one of the toughest issues for celiacs and those following a gluten free diet to cope with.
The issue, is convenience.
In out busy lives, food manufacturers have done a lot to help us cook faster, quicker and introduce us to foods we might have never eaten 30-years ago. Unfortunately, much of this good work has been at the expensive of making things high in gluten, or high in salt/sugar.
Once you make the commitment to do away with the nasty stuff, life becomes a whole lot harder, as convenience foods we might have taken for granted come off the menu.
To combat this, we must take care of the prep work on our own, ensuring that no gluten makes its way into our diet. It’s tough work at the start, and means changing your thoughts on cookery in general, yet with a few changes in your kitchen, things can become easier over time.
It’s here, that all the gadgets and tips above will give you a leg up. Most of the review team, including myself own the gadgets above, and we use them in our daily lives to make a gluten free life just that little bit easier.
In my opinion, a bread machine is a must for celiacs, especially those who loved bread before they discovered it was harmful to them. They make the while process of making a loaf easy, plus there are loads of tasty recipes for any gluten free bread addict.
Not so much a gluten free gadget, but more of a health booster, juicing machines are a great way to pack in that 5 a day that governments have been telling us to eat for years now. There’s nothing quite like a fresh smoothie or juice that you’ve made yourself, and if you’ve been throwing the pulp away, STOP! Fruit pulp based lollipops are amazing!
Another gadget I wouldn’t be without, is the de-hydrator. These clever little devices can make all sorts of fruit, veggie and berry based snacks for on the go. Even with the huge boost in companies making gluten free snacks, there’s a real health benefit from making snacks that contain absolutely nothing but what you placed in the de-hydrator – now that’s healthy!
Above all, you’ll need to look at these gadget on a case by case basis. Not all of them will suit your tastes and lifestyle, and yet some of them will easily make the difference between making a full go of being gluten free, and suffering that awful “kinda gluten free” diet period where you still suffer!
Good luck guys, as a gluten free family mother, I know you can make it!
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