Butterball Now Offers Gluten-Free Gravy!

turkeyWhile doing research for an article about gluten-free turkeys, I called the Butterball Turkey Talk-Line just to make sure their turkeys were still gluten-free as long as you threw out the gravy packet that comes with their frozen and fresh whole turkeys. Both the fresh and frozen whole turkeys are gluten-free, by the way. They make a stuffed turkey that is not. But the big news is that the Butterball gravy concentrate packets were recently reformulated to be gluten-free! The representative explained that some gluten packets are likely still in the stores so you have to read the ingredient label before using  the gravy packet.

It’s my bet that there might be a lot of gluten gravy packets out there and we might have a situation like we did a couple of years ago when Honeybaked Hams changed their glaze to be gluten-free. It took well over six months for all the existing gluten glazed products to be sold. In fact, it was a bit of a PR nightmare for the corporate office. So, please don’t rush out and expect that all the gravy packets that come with some Butterball turkeys are going to be the new gluten-free gravy version. That is likely not the case.

The gluten-free gravy concentrate ingredients include rice flour instead of wheat flour. There is no rye, barley or oats in the new formulation and the company considers it to be gluten-free. But this new gravy item is not available in the old fashioned frozen Butterball turkeys, according to the Turkey Talk-Line representative I spoke to at length about it.

The woman I spoke to made it clear that this new gravy concentrate is only available in some of the Butterball specialty items like Ready to Roast turkeys, ‘Lil Butterball turkeys and whole turkey breasts. You would think the company would include this item in the traditional frozen whole turkeys, but for now they are not doing so – unless the person I spoke to was confused. I let her know that this information is nowhere to be found on the Butterball website, nor is there a press release about it. She explained that this is very new information.

After confirming this information with two other calls to the Turkey Talk-Line, I called Butterball’s Consumer Affairs office as well. The person I spoke to in that department gave me the new gluten free gravy ingredients over the phone but I did finally locate them on the Butterball website (with the stuffed turkey ingredients).

NEW Butterball gluten-free gravy ingredients:

Modified Corn Starch, Maltodextrin, Salt, Rice Flour, Cooked Turkey, Onion Powder, Caramel Color (yes, it is gluten-free), Garlic Powder, Spices.

The consumer affairs representative also said that many of the old formulation gravy packets are in stores so we MUST read the ingredient list before consuming any gravy related items from Butterball. Additionally, she told me the new packet is included with the stuffed whole turkeys. That’s right – a gluten turkey with a gluten-free gravy packet. There is a learning curve for companies too when it comes to the gluten-free diet.  I give them credit for trying. When I mentioned that they might want to offer the gravy with a whole turkey that is not stuffed, the representative explained that if the response to this gravy is positive, that might be something the company will do later.

I’m familiar with the ‘Lil Butterball turkey but have never seen the Ready-to-Roast version. You can bet I’ll be looking for it on my next trip to the grocery store, even though I don’t care that much for gravy. I just want to check it out because I can. For me it’s kind of like the movie ‘Field of Dreams’ – make gluten-free gravy and they will come!

The Turkey Talk-Line toll free number is 1-800-BUTTERBALL, in case you have questions or just want to thank the company for making gluten-free gravy.  I am very thankful that a company like Butterball is paying attention to the gluten-free market and this is the season to give thanks, after all.

If you want to make your own gravy from scratch, you might want to check out the gluten free gravy recipe that Kay secretly serves to glutenoids!


16 thoughts on “Butterball Now Offers Gluten-Free Gravy!”

  1. Maltodextrin is gluten-free, according to Shelley Case. On page 52 of her book, it is documented that even maltodextrin made with wheat (and it’s rarely made that way anymore) is so highly processed that ELISA tests show low or no gluten. It’s well below the 20 ppm that is allowed on the gluten-free diet. Malt on the other hand is generally made with barley and that is not gluten-free, of course.

  2. Maltodextrin is gluten-free, according to Shelley Case. On page 52 of her book, it is documented that even maltodextrin made with wheat (and it’s rarely made that way anymore) is so highly processed that ELISA tests show low or no gluten. It’s well below the 20 ppm that is allowed on the gluten-free diet. Malt on the other hand is generally made with barley and that is not gluten-free, of course.

  3. Ali-kat and Adam, hear hear! Maltodextrin doesn’t come from a farm so I don’t want to eat that, neither do I want to eat turkey that has not been raised near me, scratching in the grass and eating bugs.

    Grass fed meat contains omega 3 fatty acids, and anything else does not. Plus, buying local and free range or organic means that you are supporting local economy and the environment by keeping things small scale and cutting out all that packaging and transport.

    Finally (yes I’m on a roll – sorry…) gravy is naturally gluten free if you make it with the scrapings from the tin that you cooked the bird in, loosened off with some water and maybe a slosh of wine or madeira. If you cook some quartered onions around the bird then you can even mash them in a bit, all caramelly and flavoursome.

    Who needs maltodextrin, rice flour, modified cornstarch, and caramel in their gravy? Who needs to add cooked turkey to something that is already there in the tin you cooked the bird in?

    Come on people – celiacs have the opportunity to eat well, eat real food and make a difference to the world. Let this thanksgiving be local, free range and packet free!

    x x x

  4. Ali-kat and Adam, hear hear! Maltodextrin doesn’t come from a farm so I don’t want to eat that, neither do I want to eat turkey that has not been raised near me, scratching in the grass and eating bugs.

    Grass fed meat contains omega 3 fatty acids, and anything else does not. Plus, buying local and free range or organic means that you are supporting local economy and the environment by keeping things small scale and cutting out all that packaging and transport.

    Finally (yes I’m on a roll – sorry…) gravy is naturally gluten free if you make it with the scrapings from the tin that you cooked the bird in, loosened off with some water and maybe a slosh of wine or madeira. If you cook some quartered onions around the bird then you can even mash them in a bit, all caramelly and flavoursome.

    Who needs maltodextrin, rice flour, modified cornstarch, and caramel in their gravy? Who needs to add cooked turkey to something that is already there in the tin you cooked the bird in?

    Come on people – celiacs have the opportunity to eat well, eat real food and make a difference to the world. Let this thanksgiving be local, free range and packet free!

    x x x

  5. All year long people who can’t eat gluten have to deal with reading labels. Most of us love eating real food – at least I do. However, not everyone cares to do so and even I, during the holidays want to do everything as easily as possible. I don’t even like gravy but so many people do that I know this is exciting news for them. Several years back we purchased a ridculously expensive turkey from Whole Foods. Everyone agreed that a frozen Butterball turkey was better. One time a year (ok twice since we do turkey at Christmas too) I feel comfortable buying and enjoying something I grew up on – as long as it’s gluten-free, of course.

    People should buy whatever turkey and gravy they want to. Everyone does not have the same philosophy about food – or life for that matter – just because they can’t eat gluten. Thank goodness it’s a free country – you buy the bird you want and I’ll do the same 😉

  6. All year long people who can’t eat gluten have to deal with reading labels. Most of us love eating real food – at least I do. However, not everyone cares to do so and even I, during the holidays want to do everything as easily as possible. I don’t even like gravy but so many people do that I know this is exciting news for them. Several years back we purchased a ridculously expensive turkey from Whole Foods. Everyone agreed that a frozen Butterball turkey was better. One time a year (ok twice since we do turkey at Christmas too) I feel comfortable buying and enjoying something I grew up on – as long as it’s gluten-free, of course.

    People should buy whatever turkey and gravy they want to. Everyone does not have the same philosophy about food – or life for that matter – just because they can’t eat gluten. Thank goodness it’s a free country – you buy the bird you want and I’ll do the same 😉

  7. Well – for those of us in the city, who aren’t snobs and don’t have unlimited budgets to afford free range, or go shoot our own… I am THRILLED with Butterball! Thanks Butterball!

  8. Well – for those of us in the city, who aren’t snobs and don’t have unlimited budgets to afford free range, or go shoot our own… I am THRILLED with Butterball! Thanks Butterball!

  9. I just today 11-19-11 looked on the Butterball website and they are showing their frozen turkeys contain modified food starch, with no indication whether it’s modified corn or wheat starch. Not worth the risk for me.

  10. Just bought a l’il butterball turkey and noticed the rice flour in the gravy mix. Did a search on it and this site came up. Didn’t realize it has been going on since 2009, forgot to look at the full size birds, I assume still gluten in those gravy packets.

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