Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
Bottom Line
Pros
Cons
Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

18 Models Considered
7 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
455 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best gluten-free all-purpose flour

Last Updated November 2019

Gluten is a catch-all name for the proteins found in wheat, rye, and barley. For those who choose to follow gluten-free diets, either by choice or for health reasons, it can be challenging to find a suitable alternative to wheat flour, which is present in many foods. Thankfully, gluten-free all-purpose flour reopens the door to home cooking and baking.

Gluten-free all-purpose flour is typically made from a creative mixture of ingredients, including tapioca, rice, or sorghum flour. While there’s no official combination recipe for these flours — as recipes vary widely among manufacturers — they all aim not only to be gluten-free but also to be produced on gluten-free equipment.

Of course, cooking with gluten-free all-purpose flour comes with a different set of rules. Recipe balancing, substitution ratios, and trying out different combinations all come into play. Fortunately for you, our team has assembled a buying guide to help you choose the right gluten-free flour to suit your needs. Read on to learn more about this unique type of flour and why it belongs in your pantry.

While it might optimize your time to bake gluten-free and regular items at the same time, it’s much safer to bake them separately. Be sure to account for the extra time to cook them back-to-back if you have a busy day of cooking on a tight schedule.

Key considerations

Popular gluten-free all-purpose flour ingredients

Gluten-free all-purpose flour is typically made from a mix of ingredients often including tapioca flour, sorghum flour, and brown rice flour. The blend, which often includes potato starch, xanthan gum, or guar gum, is specially formulated to behave as closely to regular flour as possible. Blends made without the xanthan or guar gum will generally require that these ingredients be added in separately to your home recipes.

Besides this gluten-free flour blend, there are other popular flours derived from certain grains and foods which are naturally gluten-free. Almond, coconut, oat, chickpea, and arrowroot flour are also popular gluten-free flour choices, though they’ll need to be balanced for successful substitution. Sometimes this balancing involves adding other ingredients and precisely measuring each.

What “measure for measure” means

Gluten-free all-purpose flour has a totally different formula than regular flour. Since cooking and baking boils down to basic chemistry, it’s no surprise that a certain amount of recipe adjustment or balancing is required when it comes to gluten-free cooking. If you’re not thrilled at the thought of measuring, weighing, and figuring out ratios, opt for gluten-free all-purpose flour that is marked “measure for measure.”

Measure-for-measure flour means you won’t need to deal with the headache of balancing or substitutions. Instead, these flours have unique combinations of ingredients that mimic the cooking qualities of regular flour. As a result, if a regular recipe calls for one cup of flour, you can use one cup of gluten-free flour. While it sometimes makes the flour more expensive, it’s a real time-saver when it comes to food preparation.

Buy in bulk for better value

You can buy gluten-free all-purpose flour in an individual package, or in bulk quantities. Individual packages are anywhere from 8 to 32 ounces apiece. It’s a good idea to stick with individual bags if you don’t plan on using gluten-free flour often, especially since gluten-free flour is only shelf-stable for a few months.

If you expect to use a lot of it on a regular basis for daily cooking and baking, you’ll save big if you buy gluten-free all-purpose flour in bulk. This usually entails buying three to ten packages at a time from a store or seller. The initial cash outlay may make it seem costly, but in the long run you can end up saving a few dollars per pound.

Role of xanthan gum

Xanthan gum is a thickening agent that keeps recipe ingredients from separating. Given the unique ingredient list and consistency of gluten-free all-purpose flour, many gluten-free recipes require at least half a teaspoon of xanthan gum. While there are some flour blends that already include xanthan gum, you’ll need to have it on hand for other gluten-free flours.

EXPERT TIP

Store your flour in airtight containers made of tin, plastic, or glass. Place containers away from direct sunlight to prevent flour from going rancid. Your best bet is to keep containers inside pantries and cupboards.


Staff  | BestReviews

Gluten-free certifications and recognition

When you take a look at gluten-free all-purpose flour packaging, you’ll notice a variety of unique markings, medallions, and key words. These indicate whether the flour is certified or recognized by organizations or communities with strict gluten-free or food-quality standards.

Certified gluten-free

Products that are certified as gluten-free are usually marked on their packaging with “GF” in a bubble. This marking means the product has been tested and verified by one of three gluten organizations as officially gluten-free. The certifying organizations are the Gluten-Free Certification Organization (GFCO), the Allergen Control group/Canadian Celiac Association (ACG/CCA), and NSF International.

USDA organic

This marking reads “USDA organic” in a red or green bubble. These products have undergone a rigorous organic certification by including 95% or more of certified organic products in their ingredient list. Earning this label also requires that products meet specific production and sourcing standards.

Non-GMO verified

The Non-GMO verified stamp is a box featuring a butterfly. Products with this seal of approval are confirmed to have undergone third-party testing and verification to meet the Non-GMO Project’s guidelines. These products contain 0.9% or less of genetically modified or engineered organisms.

Facility standards

If you have Celiac or other food allergies, another thing you’ll probably look for on a gluten-free all-purpose flour package is information regarding how it’s packaged or manufactured. Some packages will list whether it’s made in a “gluten-free,” “nut-free,” or “soy-free” facility, just to name a few restrictions. Unfortunately, facility standards compliance is not always listed. If it’s not, you will have to contact the manufacturer regarding their facility’s production methods.

EXPERT TIP

If someone special to you follows a gluten-free diet, give them gluten-free all-purpose flour as a gift.


Staff  | BestReviews

Accessories

Xanthan gum: Judee’s Gluten Free Xanthan Gum 15 oz. Package
Xanthan gum holds ingredients together to achieve the desired consistency in recipes that call for gluten-free all-purpose flour. We like this xanthan gum from Judee’s Gluten Free, which is USA packed and filled as well as manufactured in a nut-free facility. It’s a top pick as a binder in gluten-free recipes, and also receives high marks from the keto community.

Gluten-free cookbook: America’s Test Kitchen How Can It Be Gluten-Free Cookbook
If you’re new to gluten-free cooking, invest in a cookbook that lets you discover a new world of recipes. We like this cookbook by America’s Test Kitchen, which includes gluten-free cooking techniques and gluten-free versions of favorite recipes like fried chicken and lasagna.

Airtight containers: Chef’s Path Extra Large Food Storage Container SetTo keep flour from going bad, invest in airtight containers. We like this set that comes with two 175-ounce BPA-free canisters, four measuring cups, and a chalk labeling kit. This space-saving pair can be stacked with others in the Chef’s Path line if you’re looking to build a full-scale stacking system as well.

Gluten-free all-purpose flour prices

Gluten-free all-purpose flour typically costs from $2 to $8 per pound. Price depends on whether you’re buying in bulk, which is a good idea provided you’re using the flour before it expires. Bulk purchases end up pushing the price per pound much closer to the $2 mark.

Price also depends on whether the flour is recognized as gluten-free by leading food communities and organizations. Generally speaking, the more awards and seals of approval the flour has, the more expensive it will be.

EXPERT TIP

Have a dedicated measuring cup for your gluten-free all-purpose flour to avoid cross-contamination with regular flour or other ingredients that may contain gluten.


Staff  | BestReviews

Tips

  • There’s trial and error. If you’re new to cooking with gluten-free all-purpose flour, keep in mind there’s a learning curve. It’s essentially a new ingredient, so give yourself time to get used to it. Sometimes that means trying the same recipe a couple of times before getting it right.
  • Do your research. With gluten-sensitivity or a gluten allergy, you can never be too careful. In addition to reading the packaging, visit the manufacturer’s website for more information regarding production facilities, ingredients, and sourcing.
  • Check out expiration dates. Gluten-free all-purpose flour typically lists its expiration date. If it’s not listed, you can expect it to last between three and six months on the shelf. Some people opt to keep it in the freezer instead, in which case it can last up to a year.

Other products we considered

Beyond our favorite gluten-free all-purpose flour favorites, there are many other worthy options on the market. We like Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free All-Purpose Baking Flour. This flour from a top brand in healthy cooking ingredients has a unique blend of flour from garbanzo beans, fava beans, tapioca, and potato starch. The Bob’s blend is ideal for baking anything from pizza dough to fluffy pancakes and receives high marks from home bakers.  

We also like the XO Baking Co. Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour Blend, which is made with organic coconut flour and has a fluffy texture. Made in a dedicated gluten-free facility, this flour is also free of dairy and soy. Best of all, it’s actually a measure-for-measure substitute for regular flour — so baking and cooking your favorite recipes gluten-free has never been easier.

Some gluten-free all-purpose flour mixes contain sulfites as a preservative. If you or someone you cook for suffers from migraines, be mindful of this ingredient, as it could be a migraine trigger for some people.

FAQ

Q. How do I know if something was baked with gluten-free all-purpose flour?
A.
Pre-packaged items typically indicate on the label whether they’re gluten-free, though it’s a good idea to double-check the ingredients as well. There are some restaurants and bakeries that feature gluten-free menu items, and in some cases, they keep these foods in a separate area. If you’re not sure whether something contains gluten-free flour, err on the side of caution and choose something else.
 

Q. Why is gluten-free all-purpose flour so much more expensive than regular flour?
A.
For one, gluten-free all-purpose flour ingredients are far more expensive than the cost of wheat, which is used to make regular flour. Another reason for the higher price tag is the cost of manufacturing the flour in a gluten-free, allergy-free facility. Gluten-free products are required to follow different allergen-conscious sanitation and production methods to achieve and maintain a flour’s gluten-free status.


Q. What does GFCO-certified mean, and why do I see it on some packages of gluten-free all-purpose flour?
A.
GFCO stands for Gluten-Free Certification Organization. This voluntary organization and certification is dedicated to promoting safe and healthy product information on gluten-free foods. If a product has GFCO certification, it has undergone rigorous testing and meets stringent requirements to be considered gluten-free.

The team that worked on this review
  • Ciera
    Ciera
    Digital Content Producer
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer
  • Sian
    Sian
    Writer

BestReviews wants to be better. Please take our 3-minute survey,
and give us feedback about your visit today.

Take Survey