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Store-Bought Gluten-Free Flour Blends

How We Tested

In traditional baking recipes, which all-purpose flour you use isn’t terribly important. That’s because all of them contain the same single ingredient—wheat flour. Yes, protein levels in the wheat will vary slightly among different flours, but this typically has a minimal effect on the finished product. But in gluten-free baking recipes that call for a gluten-free flour blend, the blend used has significantly more impact on the final baked good. That’s because each flour blend relies on a mix of different ingredients, yielding cookies, cakes, breads, and muffins with varying textures, colors, and flavors.

To find the best, we tested 10 store-bought all-purpose gluten-free flour blends in three well-vetted gluten-free test kitchen recipes for chocolate chip cookies, blueberry muffins, and sandwich bread. Twenty tasters from our test kitchen participated in these blind taste tests, which also included samples of each recipe made with the ATK homemade flour blend (the control). Tasters were asked to rate how close each sample came to the control.

While all of the blends produced edible cookies, muffins, and loaves of bread, there were significant textural and flavor differences. Our two favorite blends are made with neutral-tasting white rice flour as their main ingredient, and they produced relatively light, tasty baked goods. While some of the lower scoring options also included white rice flour, they either contained additional distinctly flavored ingredients (like sorghum or bean flours) whose flavors were detectable in the baked goods, or they made breads, cookies, and muffins with heavy, dense textures.

For the best results with our gluten-free recipes, we recommend that you use our custom-designed homemade ATK flour blend, which has the added advantage of being cheaper than store-bought blends. If you choose to use a store-bought blend, King Arthur Gluten-Free Multi-Purpose Flour is our winner. Our second choice is Betty Crocker All-Purpose Gluten Free Rice Flour Blend.

A WEIGHTY ISSUE

When using a store-bought all-purpose flour blend, we strongly recommend that you weigh it (as opposed to measuring by volume). Because each blend is made with different ingredients, it packs into dry cup measures differently. A scale ensures that you have the right amount of flour, no matter the blend.

Methodology

We tested these 10 store-bought blends in three of our own gluten-free recipes—for blueberry muffins, chocolate chip cookies, and sandwich bread—and compared them to baked goods made using the ATK All-Purpose Gluten-Free Flour Blend.

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The Results

Winner
Recommended

Design Trifecta 360 Knife Block

Admittedly expensive, this handsome block certainly seemed to live up to its billing as “the last knife block you ever have to buy.” The heaviest model in our testing, this block was ultrastable, and its durable bamboo exterior was a breeze to clean. Well-placed medium-strength magnets made it easy to attach all our knives, and a rotating base gave us quick access to them. One tiny quibble: The blade of our 12-inch slicing knife stuck out a little

Winner
Recommended

Lodge Classic Cast Iron Skillet, 12"

Our old winner arrived with the slickest preseasoned interior and only got better. Broad enough to cook two big steaks, it browned foods deeply, and its thorough seasoning ensured that our acidic pan sauce picked up no off-flavors. Though its handle is short, the pan has a helper handle that made lifting easy. It survived abuse testing without a scratch. An excellent pan, at an excellent price, that you’ll never have to replace.

Lodge Classic Cast Iron Skillet, 12"

Our old winner arrived with the slickest preseasoned interior and only got better. Broad enough to cook two big steaks, it browned foods deeply, and its thorough seasoning ensured that our acidic pan sauce picked up no off-flavors. Though its handle is short, the pan has a helper handle that made lifting easy. It survived abuse testing without a scratch. An excellent pan, at an excellent price, that you’ll never have to replace.

Winner
Recommended

Lodge Classic Cast Iron Skillet, 12"

Our old winner arrived with the slickest preseasoned interior and only got better. Broad enough to cook two big steaks, it browned foods deeply, and its thorough seasoning ensured that our acidic pan sauce picked up no off-flavors. Though its handle is short, the pan has a helper handle that made lifting easy. It survived abuse testing without a scratch. An excellent pan, at an excellent price, that you’ll never have to replace.

Lodge Classic Cast Iron Skillet, 12"

Our old winner arrived with the slickest preseasoned interior and only got better. Broad enough to cook two big steaks, it browned foods deeply, and its thorough seasoning ensured that our acidic pan sauce picked up no off-flavors. Though its handle is short, the pan has a helper handle that made lifting easy. It survived abuse testing without a scratch. An excellent pan, at an excellent price, that you’ll never have to replace.

Winner
Recommended

Lodge Classic Cast Iron Skillet, 12"

Our old winner arrived with the slickest preseasoned interior and only got better. Broad enough to cook two big steaks, it browned foods deeply, and its thorough seasoning ensured that our acidic pan sauce picked up no off-flavors. Though its handle is short, the pan has a helper handle that made lifting easy. It survived abuse testing without a scratch. An excellent pan, at an excellent price, that you’ll never have to replace.

Lodge Classic Cast Iron Skillet, 12"

Our old winner arrived with the slickest preseasoned interior and only got better. Broad enough to cook two big steaks, it browned foods deeply, and its thorough seasoning ensured that our acidic pan sauce picked up no off-flavors. Though its handle is short, the pan has a helper handle that made lifting easy. It survived abuse testing without a scratch. An excellent pan, at an excellent price, that you’ll never have to replace.

Winner
Recommended

Lodge Classic Cast Iron Skillet, 12"

Our old winner arrived with the slickest preseasoned interior and only got better. Broad enough to cook two big steaks, it browned foods deeply, and its thorough seasoning ensured that our acidic pan sauce picked up no off-flavors. Though its handle is short, the pan has a helper handle that made lifting easy. It survived abuse testing without a scratch. An excellent pan, at an excellent price, that you’ll never have to replace.

Lodge Classic Cast Iron Skillet, 12"

Our old winner arrived with the slickest preseasoned interior and only got better. Broad enough to cook two big steaks, it browned foods deeply, and its thorough seasoning ensured that our acidic pan sauce picked up no off-flavors. Though its handle is short, the pan has a helper handle that made lifting easy. It survived abuse testing without a scratch. An excellent pan, at an excellent price, that you’ll never have to replace.