Today, we’re going to be looking at which Little Smokies gluten-free products there are on offer – if any, at all! So are Lil Smokies gluten-free? Let’s take a closer look. You’ll likely come across them every time you’re in your local grocery store and already be familiar with the brand.
What Are Little Smokies?
Hillshire Farms are the maker of the infamous Lit’l Smokies. They fall under the category of cocktail links and they’re essentially mini sausages that have been smoked to absolute perfection. They’re extremely popular and absolutely delicious. They come in a range of flavors. These include:
- Beef Lit’l Smokies
- Cheddar Lit’l Smokies
- Lit’l Beef Franks
- Lit’l Polskas
- Turkey Lit’l Smokies
- Lit’l Smokies
- Lit’l Wieners
They’re great in meals, but also make a delicious snack. I’m usually extremely wary with sausages, as lots of sausages do contain gluten ingredients – so let’s take a closer look at the ingredients themselves.
What Ingredients Are In Little Smokies?
Lit’l Smokies are the most popular choice of the bunch, so let’s look at what ingredients are in them. The ingredients are:
“Pork, Mechanically Separated Chicken, Water, Corn Syrup, Contains 2% Or Less: Potassium Lactate, Salt, Dextrose, Natural Flavors, Sodium Phosphate, Monosodium Glutamate, Sodium Diacetate, Sodium Erythorbate, Sodium Nitrite, Hydrolyzed Beef Stock”
There are no allergen warnings on their website or the packaging for Lit’l Smokies. The only product that contains any allergen warnings at all is the Cheddar Lit’l Smokies. They contain milk. We’ll be looking at all of the ingredients of other flavors later in the article.
Are Little Smokies Gluten-Free?
As you will have seen above, there are no gluten-containing products in the original Lit’l Smokies. Frustratingly, the brand is very vague about their manufacturing methods and do not provide a clear statement on their packaging, or their website.
There is a question in their FAQ’s which asks if their products are gluten-free? Instead of a yes or no answer, their response is:
“Ingredients are on the packaging of your Hillshire Farm product and on our website”.
They don’t like to make things easy for us, do they?! The company does not test for gluten and does not make any gluten-free claims. However, Lit’l Smokies are considered to be gluten-free and safe for consumption when following a gluten-free lifestyle.
Which Flavors Of Little Smokies Are Gluten-Free?
Lit’l Smokies may be the original flavor, but the flavors do not stop there. And neither do the gluten-free products – hurrah! Let’s take a look at which other flavors in the Lit’l Smokies range are gluten-free.
Good news for fellow mini sausage lovers – all of their Lit’l Smokies range is considered gluten-free. Let’s look at the other gluten-free flavors and their ingredients.
- Turkey Lit’l Smokies. These mini sausages are lower in fat and full of protein, making them the far healthier alternative. The ingredients are: turkey, corn syrup, water, natural flavors, potassium lactate, dextrose, salt, monosodium glutamate, sodium diacetate, sodium nitrate, beef collagen casing
- Beef Lit’l Smokies. Full of flavor and the mini sausage you’ll most often see in your local grocery store. The main ingredients include: Beef, water and corn syrup
- Cheddar Lit’l Smokies. These mini sausages are perfect for a party, or as a snack. The main ingredients are pork, chicken, water, cheese, and corn syrup. It’s worth noting that this style of cheese lists milk as an allergen. While milk is obviously gluten-free, it’s an intolerance that often goes hand in hand with gluten, so thought it was worth mentioning
- Lit’l Beef Franks. These little sausages are great for on the go. The main ingredients include beef, water, and corn syrup.
- Lit’l Polskas. These are perfect for a little taste of Polish food. The main ingredients are pork, chicken, water, and corn syrup.
- Lit’l Wieners. And last, but by no means least – the little wieners. The main ingredients are pork, chicken, water, and corn syrup.
All of the flavors listed above are considered safe for gluten-free consumption. The Gluten-Free Bar is often a reliable source I check regularly to double-check whether foods are safe. They agree that all flavors are gluten-free. You can see their answer here. They score Lit’l Smokies 9/10 on their safety scale.
Other Gluten-Free Sausage Brands
Lit’l Smokies are the perfect option for mini sausages. However, there are plenty of gluten-free brands out there that you may want to try. There are several brands that meet the FDA requirements for being gluten-free and claim that their sausages are free from any gluten. These brands include:
- Wellshire Farms
- Niman Ranch
- Jones Dairy Farm
- Hebrew National
- Aidells Sausage Co
- Applegate Farms
- Al Fresco
The companies above test their products for gluten to ensure it’s below the legal requirement of 20ppm of gluten. Some are even certified. This means that the products are as safe as they can be.
I find sausages one of the most difficult gluten-free products to source. Especially ones that taste good! I’ve found that the cheaper the sausages are, the higher chance they’ll contain gluten. I’m assuming that’s because gluten is a great filler product, which makes the sausages much easier to make. Frustrating, but understandable.
I hope this article has helped to answer the question of whether Lit’l Smokies are gluten. I think it’s safe to say, that they are safe for us to enjoy – hurrah! It’s always a small victory to celebrate when you realize one of your favorite foods is still safe to eat, after your diagnosis. We may miss out on some foods – but not Lit’l Smokies!
Which Little Smokies flavor is your favorite? Are there any gluten-free sausages that didn’t make the list, which you think are worthy of a mention? If so, please feel free to leave any answers in the comments below. I love to read your responses.