We Tried 10 Gluten-Free Cracker Brands And This Is The Best One

Assorted gluten-free crackers brands
Assorted gluten-free crackers brands - Becki Ledford / Static Media

As a person with celiac disease who has been eating a gluten-free diet for more than a decade, I know firsthand that gluten-free snacks have come a long way in that time. That said, there's no denying that some brands and varieties have come farther -- in perfecting the flavor and texture of gluten-free crackers -- than others. Whether you're new to eating gluten-free or you've been eating that way for years, you might be looking for a great brand of gluten-free crackers. Luckily for you, we did some legwork to figure out which brand has the best gluten-free crackers.

We chose the 10 brands we tried based on what was available at supermarkets and retail corporations in our region and then tried a few different cracker styles from each brand (when they were available). We ranked the brands from worst to best based on the flavor, texture, sturdiness, and comparative value of these cracker products. A more in-depth explanation of how we critiqued these products will appear at the end of the article.

Read more: 5 Rice Brands To Buy, And 5 To Avoid

10. Simple Mills

Two Simple Mills cracker varieties
Two Simple Mills cracker varieties - Becki Ledford / Static Media

We tried two varieties of Simple Mills' gluten-free crackers: Seed Flour Crackers and Almond Flour Crackers. Although the texture of the varieties differs slightly from one another, they both fall victim to the same problem. While the crackers feel soft to the touch, when you bite into them, they have the mouthfeel of cardboard, landing them at the bottom of our ranking.

The Almond Flour Crackers have a more appealing texture than the Seed Flour Crackers. However, the seasoning of the Almond Flour Crackers is overpowering -- as if it were intentionally designed to mask the flat flavor of the cracker itself. Both varieties leave an unpleasant aftertaste. They require some accompaniment (like creamy cheese) to balance the flavor and mask the off-putting mouthfeel. These crackers are not worth the price (over $1 per ounce) and are our least favorite of all the brands we tried -- with or without a topping.

9. Good Thins

Two Good Thins cracker varieties
Two Good Thins cracker varieties - Becki Ledford / Static Media

Coming in at the number nine spot in our ranking of gluten-free cracker brands is Good Thins Gluten-Free Rice Snacks. We tried two styles of these Rice Snacks: Garden Veggie and Parmesan & Garlic. With the Parmesan & Garlic variety, the "made with cheese" label might lead a consumer to believe that cheese is the primary ingredient in this style. However, the first ingredient is rice flour, just like the Garden Veggie variety, which is labeled with the phrase "made with rice." That said, parmesan cheese powder is listed as the third ingredient in the Parmesan & Garlic style, so there is still a significant amount of cheese involved in the recipe.

The Garden Veggie crackers are very hard and have an overpowering pumpkin flavor to them. They also have a strange aftertaste. While not our favorite, they are salvageable, with a tangy-yet-savory flavor that helps cut through this strong seasoning. Good Thins' Parmesan & Garlic crackers are softer (thanks to the use of parmesan, we think) and still have a desirable crunch. The seasoning of this variety is better balanced. Additionally, while there is some of that characteristic rice cracker flavor found in many gluten-free crackers, there is no weird aftertaste. While this variety is much better than Simple Mills' offerings, since these crackers are around $1 per ounce, we think Good Thins is still not your best option.

8. Schär

Schär table crackers
Schär table crackers - Becki Ledford / Static Media

Schär has everything from rolls, pizza crust, and artisan breads to desserts, candy, and (you guessed it) crackers. We tried Schär's Gluten-Free Table Crackers and found them perfect for the gluten-free consumer who misses saltine crackers and is looking for a good substitute. These table crackers are soft, long, rectangular crackers with a perforation that implies they are meant to be broken in half to form two square crackers. Unfortunately, this perforation is just for show. It is seemingly impossible (and we tried many times) to break these crackers along the perforation.

Another issue with these crackers -- and the main reason why they only make it to number eight on our ranking -- is that they are incredibly fragile. While their packaging appears to keep them relatively safe in transport, as soon as we reached into the packaging to remove the crackers, they started crumbling. Their delicious softness (and they are delicious — it pains us to rank them so low) is also their downfall. These would be delightful crushed up in soup, or as a crunchy topping for an easy broccoli casserole, but they can't stand up to dips, cheeses, or even basic snacking.

7. Milton's Craft Bakers

Milton's gluten-free crackers
Milton's gluten-free crackers - Becki Ledford / Static Media

Milton's Craft Bakers' Gluten-Free Baked Crackers are unique in this ranking, in that our impression of them after one bite is very different from our impression after a few crackers. They are thin, crunchy crackers that don't break apart when used to scoop dips (and are largely unbroken in their bag). Although their first ingredient is brown rice flour, they have a much softer texture than other brown rice crackers. We contribute this to the addition of gluten-free oats and corn. The seasonings are well-balanced, and at first bite, we thought these would make Milton's Craft Bakers a strong contender for the top spot, but then the aftertaste set in.

After just a few of these crackers, there's an almost raw flour aftertaste that only becomes more prominent the more crackers you eat. Luckily, the unpleasant undertones are pretty easily masked by boldly flavored toppings. But our inability to tolerate the aftertaste of these crackers on their own made them fall to the number seven spot in our ranking.

6. Good & Gather

Good & Gather crackers
Good & Gather crackers - Becki Ledford / Static Media

Target's in-house Good & Gather brand offers two different styles of gluten-free crackers in our local store (Multigrain Rice Crackers With Flaxseed and Rice & Almond Flour Crackers With Sea Salt). It does so at the best value of all the cracker brands we tried ($2.99 for 3.5 ounces).

The base for both crackers is rice. The main ingredient listed for the Multigrain Rice Crackers With Flaxseed is white rice meal, and, for the Rice & Almond Flour, rice flour. Likely due to a slight difference in these main ingredients, the crackers have different textures. The Rice & Almond Flour Crackers With Sea Salt are much harder than the Multigrain Rice Crackers With Flaxseed.

That said, both crackers have a nice crunch, hold up well during transport, and are sturdy enough to dip into hummus or stand up to a variety of cheeses. Both serve as a delicious canvas for other toppings, however, only the Multigrain Rice Crackers With Flaxseed are good enough to eat on their own, preventing this brand from landing higher than the number six spot on our ranking.

5. Real Food From The Ground Up

Real Food crackers
Real Food crackers - Becki Ledford / Static Media

Real Food From The Ground Up carries two primary styles of crackers in our local market. While they sound quite similar in name — Sea Salt Cauliflower Crackers and Everything Snacking Cauliflower Crackers — they are very different in size and snacking application. The Everything Snacking Cauliflower Crackers are larger and thinner, with a delicious crispy texture, making them great for scooping soft dips. The smaller, square Sea Salt Cauliflower Crackers also have a wonderfully crispy texture, but are much smaller, which makes them great for eating by the handful during a movie, but too small to be paired effectively with accompaniments. For both crackers, it was hard to differentiate the taste of the cracker itself from the seasonings used to flavor it.

Unfortunately, the very ingredient that likely gives both styles of crackers their airy, crunchy, crispy texture (cauliflower) is also responsible for the bland and forgettable flavor that lands them in the middle of our list at number five. There are certainly ways to make cauliflower actually taste good, but its inherent flavor is delicate at best. Both varieties of these crackers use cauliflower as their base, and they're largely forgettable because the flavor just isn't there.

4. Crunchmaster

Crunchmaster gluten-free crackers
Crunchmaster gluten-free crackers - Becki Ledford / Static Media

Crunchmaster's gluten-free crackers certainly live up to their name, with what is arguably the ideal amount of crunch. With the Multi-Grain Sea Salt variety we tried, these crackers were very balanced in flavor. The cracker itself shines through in the form of delicate sweetness and nuttiness, complemented by the seasonings rather than competing with them. The crackers are very sturdy and pair perfectly with dips and spreads, but are also delicious with cheese. Surprisingly, they have ingredients that are similar to that of a lower-ranking cracker brand from this list (Milton's Craft Bakers), but they turn out much better.

Both varieties are made with oats and corn, but the crackers by Milton's Craft Bakers have issues with taste and texture, Crunchmaster's Multi-Grain Sea Salt crackers have a much more desirable texture and flavor, and none of the weird aftertaste. Crunchmaster's crackers also contain sesame seeds and flaxseeds. These further balance the flavor and texture, allowing them to be a great canvas for the flavors of whatever you pair with them. Unfortunately, what keeps them at number four is that they aren't as good eaten on their own as some other crackers at a similar price point.

3. Mary's Gone Crackers

Two Mary's Gone Crackers varieties
Two Mary's Gone Crackers varieties - Becki Ledford / Static Media

Mary's Gone Crackers are famous for containing a lot of different textures. In addition to their originally seedy crackers, a Super Seed variety is also available. We tried both the Original Herb Crackers and Super Seed Everything varieties. Both are savory and umami-rich, thanks to the brown rice, quinoa, flaxseeds, and sesame seeds used as base ingredients, and the well-balanced seasonings available in both. In addition to those grains and seeds, the Super Seed Everything variety also contains pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds, which contribute a wonderful chewiness that is missing from the original style. Comparable to several other brands at about $1 per ounce, they aren't cheap, but aren't astronomically expensive, either.

The flavor of Mary's Gone Crackers is our favorite out of all the brands in this ranking, but unfortunately, the texture of the crackers holds them back. While they are sturdy enough to hold their own on a well-designed charcuterie board with a variety of accompaniments, they tend to shed bits of their seed and grain ingredients when used to scoop up dips and soft cheeses.

2. Blue Diamond

Two Nut Thins cracker varieties
Two Nut Thins cracker varieties - Becki Ledford / Static Media

Although not suitable for people with nut allergies, almonds and almond flour are common ingredients in gluten-free products -- and there's arguably no bigger name in almonds than Blue Diamond. For our evaluation of Blue Diamond as a gluten-free crackers brand, we tried both the Almond Nut-Thins and the Artisan Nut-Thins. These really surprised us, even though we'd had them in the past. We'd all but forgotten about their balanced texture and flavor, particularly because they appear much harder than they are. They are very crunchy and sturdy, but not hard to bite into or chew, likely thanks to the potato starch in both styles.

The crackers have a slight sweetness, likely thanks to the almonds themselves. The seasonings aren't overpowering. The taste is delicious -- both on their own, or with a variety of dips, cheeses, and spreads. Both varieties of Nut-Thins are also relatively affordable, at less than $1 per ounce. It was difficult to rank these, but ultimately, the lack of a chewy or soft component in the crackers landed them in the number two spot.

1. Breton

Breton gluten-free crackers
Breton gluten-free crackers - Becki Ledford / Static Media

Without further ado, we have made it to the best gluten-free crackers brand on our list: Breton (by Dare Foods). The regular, non-gluten-free Breton crackers have been around since 1982, but the brand launched Canada's first certified gluten-free cracker in 2013 -- and we're so glad they did. Breton's Gluten-Free Herb & Garlic Crackers have a nice crunch and hold up very well to shipping. None were broken when we opened the package, but the crackers are somewhat soft inside. This subtle softness meant that, once we bit into the crackers, they crumbled in our mouths (but thankfully not in our hands or hummus). These crackers are great on their own or as a sturdy base for dips, firm and soft cheeses, and virtually any other toppings. They have a buttery base flavor and the seasoning does not overwhelm the cracker.

The only downside is that these crackers aren't cheap. Retailing for just under $1 per ounce in our market ($4 for 4.76 ounces), these delicious crackers come at a premium -- especially considering their large size, which means you get fewer of them for the same weight. But if you're looking for a gluten-free canapé base to use as an impressive passed appetizer at your next dinner party, or you're just willing to pay for a good gluten-free cracker, Breton is your best gluten-free cracker brand.

How We Decided Which Gluten-Free Cracker Is The Best

Assorted crackers on paper towel
Assorted crackers on paper towel - Becki Ledford / Static Media

When comparing these 10 brands of gluten-free crackers, we tried some gluten-free crackers made by each brand. When the same brand had two different styles of crackers available -- meaning different ingredients were used for the cracker itself -- we tried both. We did not try different flavors within the same style of any given brand. Then, we critiqued each product's texture, flavor, ingredients, and balance of seasonings. The texture of the crackers was evaluated based on crunch, crumbliness, mouthfeel, and sturdiness — both concerning how the crackers stood up to accompaniments like dips and cheeses, as well as how well they held up during shipping (we disliked crackers that showed up more in a broken form than not).

We chose the brands based on what was available at local retail grocery stores in our area. We tried the varieties in a head-to-head comparison (straight out of the box and with accompaniments). Luckily, nearly all of the crackers had positive qualities and were good enough that we'd buy them again, proving that gluten-free snacks are moving in the right direction. We can't wait to see what the future of gluten-free snacks holds.

Read the original article on Daily Meal