Gluten-Free Ham List: 10 Safe Brands, Plus Hams to Avoid

Ham

Verywell / Claire Cohen

Most ham manufacturers are willing to report that their hams contain no gluten ingredients, but they're not willing to state that their products necessarily meet the accepted definition of "gluten-free" (containing fewer than 20 parts per million of gluten).

That's because ham isn't always safe on the gluten-free diet—spices and glazes can (and frequently do) contain gluten ingredients, and the meat itself can be subject to gluten cross-contamination in processing.

Gluten-Free Ham Makers

However, there are a few ham makers that will guarantee some or all of their products are gluten-free, including two that are certified gluten-free:

  • Boar's Head
  • Cook's Ham
  • Dietz & Watson (certified gluten-free)
  • Farmland Foods
  • Jones Dairy Farm (certified gluten-free)
  • Kentucky Legend
  • Nodine's Smokehouse
  • Nueske's
  • Wellshire Farms
  • Wright

If you're particularly sensitive to trace gluten, you may want to stick with one of those brands. Otherwise, lots of brands contain no gluten ingredients.

Regardless of your sensitivity level, always read the ingredients on any ham you buy, since glaze packets often contain gluten (if in doubt, throw it out and make your own with the recipes using the list included below). There's also a chance that the ham itself will include a problematic ingredient.

Also, keep in mind this list only applies to the United States; ham sold in other countries (even by the same company or brand name) can have different ingredients and different manufacturing procedures.

Here's our list of U.S. ham manufacturers and their gluten-free status.

Armour Meats

A division of Smithfield Foods, Inc., Armour Meats sells five different types of ham, ranging from deli-style ham to whole hams. A spokesperson tells Verywell that the company does not use ingredients with barley, rye or oats, but it does use wheat in some products. The label will disclose if there are any wheat-based ingredients, she says.

Shared lines may be a problem: even if a ham product appears gluten-free by ingredients, it may still be made on shared lines, she says, although the company follows cleaning protocols to minimize cross-contamination. Therefore, you should only use an Armour ham that does not include wheat-based ingredients on its label.

Beeler's

Iowa-based Beeler's Pure Pork sells several different types of ham, including bone-in and boneless uncured varieties. Company spokesperson Julie Beeler says all Beeler products are made in a gluten-free facility with no gluten ingredients. The company prides itself on raising pigs naturally in an environment where they can socialize and have access to the outdoors, without antibiotics or growth hormones.

Boar's Head

All Boar's Head deli meats are gluten-free, including its wide range of ham products, according to the company. It's best to purchase Boar's Head in the original packaging because the risk of gluten cross-contamination is high if you have your ham sliced at the deli counter. Many mid-range and upscale grocery stores offer a wide range of Boar's Head products in the original packaging. Gluten-free hams from Boar's Head include a wide variety of flavors, such as:

  • All-natural uncured ham
  • Applewood-smoked uncured ham
  • Bold BourbonRidge uncured smoked ham
  • Bold Peppenero garlic ham
  • Deluxe ham
  • Gourmet Pepper Brand ham
  • Italian roasted uncured ham
  • Lower-sodium deluxe ham
  • Maple-glazed honey coat ham
  • Rosemary & Sun-dried Tomato ham
  • Smoked Virginia ham
  • Smokemaster Beechwood Black Forest ham
  • Tavern ham

Broadbent's Hams

Broadbent's, which is based in Kentucky (the home of excellent ham, as some would say), makes both "country" and "city" hams. However, a company rep tells Verywell that Broadbent's doesn't test for gluten or make any sort of gluten-free claims. It does make some products that contain gluten.

Butterball

Butterball makes a lower-fat turkey ham that's usually sold in the deli section. The company's Frequently Asked Questions page states that only two Butterball products (one variety of meatballs and a frozen stuffed turkey) contain gluten. Therefore, you can assume that Butterball's turkey ham contains no gluten ingredients. However, the company doesn't test for trace gluten.

Cook's Ham

Cook's, a division of Smithfield Foods, Inc., makes nothing but ham and beef briskets. According to the company's Frequently Asked Questions page, "the manufacturing objective for all Cook's branded meat products is that they be gluten-free."

Cook's specifies that all ingredients used in its ham production be gluten-free, but the company still warns that its suppliers may change their formulations without telling Cook's ahead of time. Nonetheless, this company seems pretty diligent when it comes to crafting gluten-free hams. Products include:

  • Half ham
  • Ham steaks
  • Pre-sliced deli-style ham
  • Spiral-sliced ham
  • Whole ham

Dakin Farm

Vermont-based Dakin Farm features both bone-in and boneless hams, some of which are spiral-sliced. It also sells ham steaks. According to the company, which does label some products gluten-free, none of its hams are considered gluten-free.

Dietz & Watson

Dietz & Watson is certified gluten-free by the National Celiac Association, which requires products to test below 5 parts per million of gluten (currently the lowest level of commercial testing available). The company has plenty of gluten-free ham options available at both the deli counter and the meat department, including:

  • Applewood Smoked ham
  • Black Forest Smoked ham
  • Honey Cured ham
  • Peppered ham
  • Virginia ham

Eckrich

This is another division of the Smithfield Foods, Inc. Like Armour hams, Eckrich hams will disclose any added wheat on the label, although there may still be a risk of cross-contamination. The company does not use barley, rye, or oats in its products.

Farmer John

Farmer John, a division of Smithfield Foods, Inc., makes several different whole and half bone-in hams. According to a representative, the hams are not considered to be gluten-free.

Farmland Foods

Farmland, another division of Smithfield Foods, makes an extensive variety of hams and ham products. The Farmland hams that appear on Smithfield's gluten-free list include:

  • Bavarian brand ham, water added
  • Black Forest ham
  • Breakfast ham
  • Brown sugar ham
  • Carvemaster flat ham
  • Cooked ham, water added
  • Deli ham, water added
  • Deli-style honey ham
  • Sliced ham
  • Special Select brown sugar cured ham

Hatfield

Hatfield has five bone-in hams, 16 boneless hams, and seven ham steaks. However, Hatfield's list of gluten-free products does not list any these hams. Some of the hams may be manufactured on the same lines as gluten-containing products (although the lines are cleaned thoroughly in between product runs), according to a company representative.

Hillshire Farm

Hillshire Farm, a division of Tyson Foods, Inc. (which also owns Ball Park franks, Sara Lee cakes, and Jimmy Dean sausages), sells several different kinds of ham. Right now, Tyson Foods, Inc. only labels a small handful of products as gluten-free (none of them are from Hillshire Farm).

Holiday Ham 

This company produces mail-order hams and turkey breasts that it ships throughout the U.S. The company does not label any of its hams as gluten-free.

HoneyBaked Ham

This chain of franchise ham shops reformulated its glaze years ago to make it gluten-free. HoneyBaked Ham states that its Signature meats—HoneyBaked Ham, Sliced & Glazed Turkey and Boneless Ham—all are considered gluten-free. However, be warned that many people have reported reactions to these products in the past.

Regardless of whether the culprit is the glaze (double-check the glaze ingredients—people have reported finding "wheat" listed even though the ham is supposed to be gluten-free), cross-contamination of the ingredients, or problems at the individual franchises, tread carefully when purchasing HoneyBaked Ham.

Some people have had success when asking an individual HoneyBaked Ham store to make the ham for them without the glaze, but be aware that there still could be cross-contamination issues with this approach.

Hormel

Hormel maintains this list of products "with formulas that do not contain gluten in the form of wheat, rye, oats, and barley" (note that even though it's labeled as a gluten-free list, it does not address cross-contamination). The gluten-free list includes:

  • DiLusso ham
  • Hormel Black Label canned hams
  • Hormel Chunk Meat ham
  • Hormel Cure 81 ham and ham steaks
  • Hormel ham patties
  • Jennie-O Turkey Store refrigerated turkey ham
  • Several ham varieties sold as lunch meats (Hormel Black Label chopped ham, Hormel diced ham, cubed ham and ham steaks, Hormel Natural Choice cooked deli ham, honey deli ham and smoked deli ham)

Always check the label, as ingredients can change.

Jones Dairy Farm

Jones Dairy Farm makes whole hams plus packaged ham slices and steaks. The company has been certified gluten-free by the Gluten-Free Certification Organization (GFCO), which requires all products to contain less than 10 parts per million of gluten.

Jones Dairy Farm also is a supporter of two other celiac organizations: the National Celiac Association and the Celiac Disease Association. Check Jones Dairy Farm's gluten-free list for the current ham options. Gluten-free products include:

  • bone-in fully-cooked ham
  • semi-boneless ham
  • Hickory-smoked antibiotic-free Heritage ham
  • boneless ham

Kentucky Legend

This company is a subsidiary of Specialty Foods Group Inc. Kentucky Legend will label foods it considers to be gluten-free. The ham options labeled gluten-free include:

  • Original Hickory-smoked ham steak
  • Honey ham steak
  • Brown sugar ham
  • baked honey ham
  • Original Hickory-smoked ham
  • Black Forest ham
  • BBQ ham
  • Kentucky Legend Hickory-smoked ham

Look for the prominent "gluten-free" designation on the ham packaging to be certain the product you're purchasing is safe.

Nodine's Smokehouse

Nodine's makes "artisanal hams," with the options of bone-in, boneless, apple-smoked, spiral cut, and ham steaks. Varieties vary by season. These hams are considered free of gluten ingredients and are naturally smoked. Two Nodine's products (Irish and English bangers) do contain gluten.

Nueske's Applewood Smoked Meats

Nueske's, based in Wisconsin, sells smoked hams, party packs featuring ham and ham gift baskets. The company's Frequently Asked Questions page reports that everything Nueske makes itself (which would include the ham but possibly not other components of the company's party packs or gift baskets) is gluten-free. Ham options from Nueske's include:

  • Applewood-smoked boneless petite ham
  • Applewood-smoked peppered bone-in ham
  • Applewood-smoked spiral bone-in ham
  • Applewood-smoked spiral boneless ham
  • Old-fashioned Applewood-smoked boneless ham
  • Old-fashioned Applewood-smoked bone-in ham

Smithfield

This is a huge producer of hams. Most of the hams that are readily available in the local grocery store come from Smithfield. Ham flavors featured on Smithfield's website include Pecan Praline and Caramel Apple (not to mention Paula Deen's Crunchy Glaze). Smithfield's gluten-free list (linked above in the Farmland Foods section) includes several hams, including:

  • Royal Danish ham
  • Smithfield ham medallions
  • Spring Hill cooked ham
  • boneless ham steaks
  • Smithfield cooked ham, water added

A customer service representative says the company will clearly identify gluten ingredients on labels, so always double-check the label of a product prior to purchasing. In addition, Smithfield has been working to eliminate their use of gluten and other allergens in its products, and most of its processing plants are now gluten-free.

In cases where cross-contamination is a concern, Smithfield utilizes a program that includes full equipment washdowns and a change of personal protective equipment, with documented verification between allergenic and non-allergenic ingredients.

Wellshire Farms

Wellshire Farms' gluten-free ham options (found on its searchable allergen database) include both deli products and dinner hams. The company specializes in allergen-free foods and avoids the use of nitrates/nitrites. It also sources humanely-raised pork. Gluten-free hams include:

  • Black Forest seasoned deli ham
  • Black Forest sliced deli ham
  • Boneless glazed spiral-sliced seasoned ham
  • Carving uncured boneless ham
  • Seasoned turkey ham

Wright

Wright, a Tyson Foods, Inc., subsidiary, sells hams under its own label and under the Corn King brand name. A Tyson representative tells Verywell that the company will clearly indicate any gluten-containing ingredients on its labels. Products may be processed on shared production lines, but those are cleaned between runs, she says. Gluten-free-labeled products include:

  • Boneless smoked pit ham
  • Carving ham with natural juices
  • Healthy Trim ham
  • Mini pit ham
  • Old-fashioned party ham
  • Timeless recipe ham

A Word From Verywell

You probably don't think of ham as a processed food (processed foods have a higher risk of gluten cross-contamination). But ham is more likely to have gluten ingredients or to have been cross-contaminated with gluten than a fresh pork loin, for example.

If you have a brand of ham you like and you haven't experienced a reaction, then stick with that. But if you're new to the gluten-free diet and you're searching for the safest ham possible, your best bet is to choose one that's certified gluten-free, such as Dietz & Watson and Jones Dairy Farm.

Was this page helpful?
3 Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. U.S. Food & Drug Administration. Gluten and food labeling. Updated July 16, 2018.

  2. National Celiac Association. GF Certification Seal Program. Updated August 11, 2018. 

  3. Gluten Intolerance Group of North America (GIG). GFCO Certification Scheme Manual Rev. 2020.1. Published 2020.

Additional Reading