Today, let’s talk about how to prepare to make your kitchen gluten free kitchen.
So, there are a lot of things to think about for a gluten free kitchen. We have to talk about pots and pans, cutting boards, storage containers, and hidden gluten places.
Pots and pans – the hub of any working kitchen. If it is a non-stick pot or pan, check the surface for scratches. If it is scratched, then it can be cleaned by running it through the dishwasher. Over time, the non-stick surface will degrade because of the dish washer cycles. Typically, I replace my inexpensive, non-stick cookware every year. I buy an inexpensive ($10-$15) pan every year because the surface starts to degrade and stick.
I would recommend moving most of your other cookware to stainless steel. It is expensive, but it is worth it. It will stand up to a lot of dish washing cycles and will not retain any gluten even if you hand wash. Also, you will need some steel wool to get some of the more stubborn bits off, but because its steel the pots and pans can take it. I also think you can get a nice sear on proteins when using stainless vs. non-stick.
All wooden utensils, spoons, bowls, salad serving dishes, cutting boards (even butcher block), etc. must be tossed. They cannot be cleaned to remove gluten. If you have a butcher block counter top, you will have to put something between whatever gluten free item you are preparing and the butcher block. Sorry. That one stinks – that’s the first time I’m thinking of that one. 🙁
Cutting boards – anything wooden must go. Run the plastic or glass ones through the dishwasher to be cleaned and sanitized. If you have plastic ones too big for the dishwasher, then it has to be tossed. If you have the soft plastic ones, I would say toss them. They are cheap and not work the risk. We use them for “art” mats in our house.
Storage containers, mixing bowls, and colanders should all be glass or stainless steel. Plastic can harbor gluten cross contamination and if we are making a clean slate, let’s do it right. Anything that was used to store flour or other gluten containing grain should be tossed.
Cookie sheets, cupcake pans, and other baking items should go too. You can run it through the dishwasher to clean and sanitize.
Toasters and toaster ovens should go.
There is some controversy about convection ovens. Some say the gluten gets sucked into the convection fan gears and could turn loose and could contaminate your gluten free cooking. I’m not sure this is tested or accurate or if this is just people fear mongering. Last I heard, someone’s sister’s brother’s girlfriend’s parents got cross contaminated from their convection oven. Not sure I’m on board.
I hop this gets you going. Ask questions if I forgot something!!