Are Johnsonville Smoked Brats Gluten-Free?

Updated September 21, 2022
Roasted sausages in frying pan

If you're looking for gluten-free food ideas and love the taste of Johnsonville smoked brats, you're in luck. Johnsonville makes a variety of smoked brat products, and many are gluten-free. In fact, you have about a dozen different flavors of brats to choose from, including several smoked options. You'll need to avoid a few specific brat varieties that contain beer, but fortunately, Johnsonville carefully labels gluten-free products.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations for gluten-free labeling say manufacturers who use the label "gluten-free" are accountable for using the claim truthfully. The FDA criteria for a gluten-free food is the item must have a gluten limit of less than 20 parts per million (ppm), which is the lowest level that can reliably be detected in foods.

Gluten-Free Johnsonville Smoked Brat Options

Not all brats are gluten-free, but Johnsonville smoked brats are labeled gluten-free by the manufacturer. It's safe to include these food items in gluten-free meal plans because they do not contain more than 20 parts per million of gluten, including any cross-contamination from other products.

Examples of Johnsonville smoked brats that are labeled gluten-free include Johnsonville smoked beef brats and Johnsonville smoked brats links:

  • Johnsonville's smoked pork brats include pork, water, salt, corn syrup, sugar, preservatives, flavor enhancers, and natural and artificial flavors. They do not contain gluten.
  • Smoked beef Johnsonville brats contain the same ingredients as pork brats, but consist of beef instead of pork. They are also gluten-free.

Other Gluten-Free Johnsonville Brats

In addition to Johnsonville smoked brats, several other brats made by the company are labeled as gluten-free. These include the following:

  • Blackened Cajun and Cheddar Brats
  • Cheddar Brats
  • Firecracker Brats
  • Grilling Chorizo Brats
  • Hatch Green Chili Links
  • Hot and Spicy Brats
  • Irish O'Garlic Brats
  • Jalepeno and Cheddar Brats
  • Original Brats
  • Queso With Pepper Jack Cheese Brats
  • Stadium Style Cooked Brat Links
  • Sweet and Spicy BBQ Brats

It's essential to note that Johnsonville brats made with beer are not gluten-free because beer contains gluten.

Potential Sources of Gluten in Brats

Some brands of brats may include ingredients that add gluten to the food. So it is important to read labels carefully. But not all ingredients are cause for concern.

For instance, in the past, the additive monosodium glutamate (MSG) was a source of concern for some people with Celiac and gluten sensitivity. Johnsonville smoked brats do contain MSG, but MSG is not related to gluten. The US Food and Drug Administration reports that people with celiac do not need to be concerned about a reaction with MSG.

Beer

When choosing smoked brats, it's important to watch out for certain ingredients if you have to follow a strict gluten-free diet. Beer is one of them. So is Worcestershire sauce, modified food starch, malt products, soy sauce, and barley malt unless these ingredients (or food products containing them) specifically state the term "gluten-free" on the label, says the Gluten Free Society.

Cross-Contamination

Cross contamination is also always a concern when you're trying to eat gluten-free, and brats are no exception. If you're ordering Johnsonville smoked brats from a restaurant or ball game or eating brats at a cookout with friends, you'll need to think about the potential for cross-contamination. That's because traditional brat buns are a source of gluten. These tips can help:

  • Ask the cookout host or restaurant to cook your brat in a separate part of the grill to avoid contamination from items that night have gluten.
  • If you're at a ballpark or hot dog stand ordering a Johnsonville brat, ask the person serving you to change their gloves before touching your brat and gluten-free bun.
  • Try to go through the buffet line first at parties and cookouts so you can get your brat and put it in a gluten-free bun before anyone touches the brats with regular buns.

If you're making Johnsonville brats at home and choose gluten-free buns, you should be okay (as long as you take normal precautionary measures to avoid cross contamination).

It can be difficult to avoid gluten entirely when on a strict gluten-free meal plan, but socially, it can feel isolating to eat something different than everyone else at a party or event. Gluten-free options like Johnsonville smoked brats let you join in the fun as long as you're careful to avoid potential cross-contamination.

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Are Johnsonville Smoked Brats Gluten-Free?