Gluten-Free Bisquick

The Gluten Free Bisquick/Betty Crocker booth | glugleglutenfree.com
The Gluten Free Bisquick/Betty Crocker Booth

I don’t understand what all of this fuss is about.

Sorry, but I just don’t get it.

Well, maybe I do, but…

Here’s the thing. There have been great gluten-free pancake mixes available for a while, now. When I had to go gluten-free about four years ago, the first thing we looked for was a gluten-free pancake mix. We just LOVE our Sunday morning pancakes. And we had a few to choose from.

When my step-mother-in-law went wheat-free on the advice of her doctor, she immediately went out a found a wheat-free (gluten-free) pancake mix. They also LOVE their Sunday morning pancakes.

But, here’s the real reason I am ranting a bit. These small-ish companies are what America is all about. Most of the companies that make gluten-free products are started by people who either have celiac disease or take care of someone who has celiac disease. They created these great recipes/concoctions and pursued the American dream of starting their own business to help support other who have to eat gluten-free.

Then, there are the larger companies that see a way to make money in the market, take over, and push the little-guys out. (It doesn’t help that this is encouraged by Never mind. I’m not getting all political here. Not the place.)

Now, I know that this is the only option for some people. And for them to finally have a gluten-free option near them, Great! I am very happy.

But, most of us have other options. So, why are we all so quick to abandon the products we’ve been using for the name – Bisquick.

Now, I have tried quite a few brands, including Bisquick. None of them were horrible. If fact, they were all quite good. (I got to have the Gluten-Free Bisquick pancakes at the Celiac Disease Foundation Conference. So, I have not actually purchased the products.)

Which brings me to my other point. Gluten-Free Bisquick is very, very expensive. I saw it at my local Safeway, and it was $6.59 for a 16 oz. box. Very tiny compared to any of the other Bisquick boxes. And costs twice as much. So, I decided to do a price comparison. With all of the talk about how expensive gluten-free products are, why are people choosing a more expensive one because of the name?

I checked out my local Whole Paycheck Foods for their gluten-free pancake mix options. I found all different sizes of containers. (No two were the same. Weird.) So, I decided to break it down into price per ounce. Here is what I found.

  • Arrowhead Mills – $0.214/oz.
  • Bob’s Red Mill – $0.199/oz.
  • Gluten-Free Pantry – $0.25/oz.
  • Namaste Foods – $0.256/oz.
  • Pamela’s Products (24 oz.) – $0.25/oz
  • Pamela’s Products (64 oz.) – $0.234/oz.
  • Gluten-Free Bisquick – $0.412/oz.

So, if you have other options, you might want to check them out. Even if it’s just for you pocketbook’s sake.

Gluten-Free Pancakes with Pamela's Pancake Mix  | glugleglutenfree.com
Gluten-Free Pancakes Made with Pamela’s Pancake Mix and Blueberries

There is one thing that I do think is great about General Mills (owns Bisquick) getting on the gluten-free band-wagon. They are showing that it can be profitable for a major brand to have gluten-free products, and it brings awareness to the Celiac Disease/Gluten-Free community. (OK, that’s two points.) So, for that, I thank you. Maybe people will learn more about it. Realize it’s not just a choice for a lot of us. And, maybe even find out more about it and realize that they might have an issue and get checked out.

So, what do you think? Do you love the new gluten-free bisquick? Do you prefer another brand? Do you make your own? Do you skip pancakes altogether?

Until later, here’s to…Living better, easily!

(She types as she is climbing down from her soapbox.)

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27 Responses to “Gluten-Free Bisquick”

  1. I’m SO glad you chimed in on this! I need to write about it myself, but I agree with you wholeheartedly. My biggest frustration is how unhealthy the mix is. Not a single whole grain and there are SO many gf whole grains to choose from. But honestly I like your point even more. I like buying from these small family businesses. I like working with companies who truly understand why I have to eat gluten free. I like knowing they really “get it” and while they do need it a profit, it’s not the only reason they are providing great products! Fantastic post. Thanks so much for writing this and being bold enough to share!

    • Thanks, Carrie! I appreciate that. I was expecting a bunch of comments about how crazy I was.

      I agree about the health aspect, too. Forgot to put that in there. I have been paying so much more attention to what I eat, obviously, that I really don’t want all of the stuff that I grew up on any more.

      Plus, living in a small town has really made me appreciate mom-and-pop businesses all the more.

      xoxo,
      Tia :P

  2. Interesting! Safeway tends to be the most expensive in my area. For example, the price at Safeway is about $2 more on Gluten-Free Cafe frozen meals compared to Giant and Whole Foods. You may want to double check the price of GF Bisquick at some other stores.

    • I will have to check out my local Raley’s, then. That’s the only other regular grocery store that we have here. But, my Raley’s also has a great selection of gluten-free products. They have a whole section. I guess Safeway should be called Take-away? I can’t think of a good Whole Paycheck equivalent moniker for them. :)

      xoxo,
      Tia :P

  3. I bought a box. Only about $4.49 at Wegmans. I say ” only ” because it was less than your price. It’s still expensive.

    I haven’t tried it but I buy those brands because it brings me back to a time where I could buy regular products. I want Cheddar Bay Biscuits!

    There was a blog post somewhere about the GF Bisquick and how it was still missing a few ingredients like the shortening and a leavener and then there was a copycat recipe for it and the person cut off the front of the box and taped it to the container where they made their own mix.

    Okay, now I need biscuits. Seriously. Off to the kitchen. :)

    • Hi Kathleen,

      So nice to hear from you. I don’t have a Wegmans near me, but I did look at our local Raley’s today. They don’t have it, yet. I calculated your price, and it’s much closer in price, but it still tops the list at $0.28/oz.

      I do understand about wanting to buy regular products. I guess I just don’t have the wheat cravings anymore. It’s still weird to me because I would crave bread/cakes/cookies/etc. so much for so long. But, not anymore.

      I hope you enjoyed your biscuits. :)

      xoxo,
      Tia :P

  4. Amen to this post, Tia!! Exactly what you wrote is the reason I have not even one time attempted to promote this product. They are in it for one reason. All of these other companies that were built from the ground up with sheer love and passion for this cause are the ones I will support with my dollars!
    Thank you so much for saying what many of us have been thinking! ;)
    xox
    Hugs
    k

    • Hi Kim,

      Thanks for the encouragement. I must say, I am really surprised by the outpouring of support. Not that I didn’t think I would get support. I just didn’t expect that so many people felt the same and wanted to be vocal about it.

      I’m not usually a soapbox person. I guess the economy has made me really want to support the “little” guy. :P

      You’re just so sweet. I really appreciate it.

      xoxo,
      Tia :P

  5. Hi Tia,

    As a celiac, I really appreciate your post. It brings light to many issues that the consumer may not have thought of. I live in Canada, so I have yet to see the Betty Crocker/Bisquick items hit the shelves, but I can definetely understand where you are coming from.

    As a manufacturer, we’re happy you’re still choosing based on quality and end-product, not just on the fancy name. Although, I will admit I was slightly disheartened that Kinnikinnick did not make the list of mixes. We have a superb Pancake & Waffle Mix which is a definite staple for many celiac families. We hope that you will have the chance to try it, and perhaps add us to your arsenal of gluten-free baking options.

    For further information, visit our website (www.kinnikinnick.com) or give us a call at 1-877-503-4466

    Take care!
    Danielle Wiebe
    Kinnikinnick Foods

    • Hi Danielle,

      First, let me state that I really like Kinnikinnick products. I think they taste great. When I can find them.

      I am in a smallish town, about an hour north of San Francisco. I am, therefore, dependent upon my local Whole Foods, Trader Joes, and Raley’s for my GF products. The above list is all that was available on the shelves at Whole Foods here. I just happen to have tried them all at one time or another, except Namaste Foods. It’s still on my shelf to try.

      My WFs seems to be lacking in selection of your products. I have really liked the bagels and graham crackers (what I have found so far). The only other product of yours that I see is the donuts. I actually don’t like donuts very much. I never really have. Yes, I am one of about 5 people on the planet who doesn’t like donuts. One of the others is my husband. :( I think they have the hamburger and hot dog buns on occasion, but they always seem to be out when I need them. :(

      I have visited you website in the past, wishing a lot of your products were available to me. Since I do have gf products at my local stores, I am lazy about ordering them on the internet.

      So, I will keep my eyes open, and if I ever see your pancake mix, I will pick it up and be sure to let you and others know what I think. Because I really do like to support smaller (-ish) businesses that really know where their customers are coming from. :)

      xoxo,
      Tia :P

  6. Barbara Bemis

    Hi Tia

    I make my own pancake mix from a recipe from allrecipes.com. They have gluten free recipes on their web site. I like them also because they have reviews from people who have tried the recipes, including ways that they have tweaked them. I made the dry part of the mix and packed it in my checked luggage when I went to Arizona in March. When we stayed in a time-share, we had pancakes for breakfast. It doesn’t take long to make the dry mix especially if you make more than one batch.

    Barb

    • Hi Barbara,

      That is a great idea. I was actually thinking about that after I wrote this post. I have been making more things at home instead of buying them at the store, lately, so why not make my own pancake mix. I will check it out. Maybe I will add that to my list of homemade Christmas gifts, since I have others in my family who cannot eat gluten and/or wheat.

      xoxo,
      Tia :P

  7. I think this is a great post, Tia! I agree with Barbara on the ease of making one’s own gluten-free pancake mix or any other recipe instead of a mix. I’ve always been the way … even when eating gluten. Homemade is just so easy, tastes better, and is far more economical. Folks think it’s hard, but once they do it once or twice they see how easy it is.

    General Mills has gotten lots of publicity as the friend of the gluten free, but I’ve never seen where their products are certified gluten free. And, I’ve gotten sick every time I’ve tried them .. from Rice Chex to brownie mix. I don’t know if that is a cross contamination issue as Devan asked about, but I’ve read that others have the same issue. We are not the majority, but we do exist. Of course, I have issues with some other major manufacturers of gf products, too, so it could be that I and others are in the group that can’t handle 20 ppm.

    Finally, I’d say at the hefty price GM is charging for their Bisquick that doesn’t even contain shortening that yes, they will make money from their gf products indeed. I don’t believe that the prices have to be that expensive since they are not using whole grain, high quality ingredients, especially when I can buy a 1-lb bag of white rice flour for $1.

    Anyway, nice job, Tia!

    Shirley

  8. Devan @ Accustomed Chaos

    I am happy the Bisquick mixes are not available in Canada. I am hesitant to purchase any product that has a facility that contains gluten. Do you know if they are processing the GF Bisquick in a dedicated facility?

    I am sad that newly diagnosed celiacs will likely flock to the “bigger brands” and think that all GF foods are that expensive – because they are not. The Kinnikinnick brand is a reasonable price & in a dedicated facility. In Canada we also have another brand El Peto who are also in a dedicated facility & have reasonable priced products.

    We don’t even have the Betty Crocker mixes here in Canada yet & I am also happy about that.

    Great post Tia!

    • Hi Devan,

      I did a quick internet search, and while I did not find anything stating they were NOT made in a dedicated facility, I also didn’t find anything that said they WERE made in a dedicated facility. I guess that’s just one more reason (that I forget about sometimes) to support the smaller brands.

      I went to a natural foods trade show once and was amazed at the larger companies that had employees that seemed a little lost when I was talking to them about things like cross contamination. :( Just a job instead of a passion for them.

      I wish I could find the Kinnikinnick brand more here. Maybe we need to move to Canada? :P

      xoxo,
      Tia :P

  9. Hi Shirley,

    Making my own mix is such a great idea. I really need to get into this more. I just like the idea of eating more home made food. I like knowing what is in it. And, I can already picture my son rebelling against it when he is a teenager. :)

    Now, you have me really wondering about the GF bisquick. I got sick at the CDF Conference, and I just attributed it to getting a wrong dinner. (They ran out of salmon, and I had to wait for 45 minutes. Figured they weren’t careful with mine.) Now I wonder if it was from eating the bisquick pancakes and betty crocker cupcakes. I don’t use those at home. Hmmmmm. And, now I don’t think I will.

    As far as cost, we are lucky to not have to worry too much, but I still don’t like the idea of spending so much money for a big corporation that doesn’t need it, when I can spend less to support a company that does need it and is working based on a passion.

    Thanks for stopping by. I always love hearing from you.

    xoxo,
    Tia :P

  10. Misa Ramirez

    Have you tried King Arthur’s new flour products? They’re not GM. I like their other products and hope this is a good baking flour.

    • Hi Misa,

      Welcome! Thanks for commenting.

      I haven’t checked King Arthur, yet. I want to, though. I have been looking for it. Let me know how it goes. I will keep my eyes open to see if it ever comes to my little town.

      xoxo,
      Tia :P

  11. misa Ramirez

    I’m always glad to find a new informative site. My son has celiac, I love help in trying to empower him. He and his sister are doing a cooking challenge and blogging about it. They’re taking off with their skills, empowerment, and have really seen how they can eat pretty normally.

    It’s good!

    • That’s wonderful. I think it’s great when kids learn to cook. Whether they have Celiac Disease or not. But, especially so when you are on a “restricted” diet, as some like to say. Personally, I have much less restricted since it has made me explore more foods. What is the web address of their blog? I would love to read how they are doing.

      xoxo,
      Tia

  12. A few thoughts came to mind while reading this entry and thought I’d share (esp. since it seems I’m on the other side of the coin here!).

    GF Bisquick is easier for some to find and costs *less*. I unfortunately live in a state that has only one Whole Foods store and while this store happens to be in my metro area, it’s kind of a pain to plan a special trip to get there. Trader Joes? No one’s ever heard of that here. WF is also 1-2$ more expensive than, say, Wal-Mart here. (One of my favorite GF crackers is nearly 6$ a box there while just over 4$ elsewhere.) Even at W-M, other GF items are scarce or just straight out breaking the bank. (As an aside, I have just as hard a time finding GF kosher products in this land of Wheat, Pig, and Cheesy Beef whatevers.)

    Aside from this, GF Bisquick is relatively easy for those who have only very recently discovered their gluten intolerance. I don’t think it’s anywhere close to the standards of those who have had to adapt and concoct over many years but it’s a good starter. It’s also good for those, like me, who can’t stand the taste of soy or some of the other flours available.

    Overall, it’s not a bad product. It’s not the holy grail of anything at all but it’s not bad. Perhaps I’m just happy that I was able to make a lovely blueberry toffee coffee cake from it and have it taste amazing (instead of like some of the weird GF cookies lurking on the shelves that makes me question the point). I’ve not used it in any other recipe but I’ll keep you posted.

    • Hi,

      I just want you to know that I do understand where you are coming from. Although I was not gluten-free at the time, I used to live in a place that felt like the middle of nowhere. Especially after living in Los Angeles, where I had just about anything I wanted available to me. We would drive for an hour each way to buy the meat and produce we were used to.

      I also know that I am very lucky to be living where I do now. In fact, I live within just a few hours of Amy’s, Annie’s, and Pamela’s. (Sounds like a bunch of girlfriends.) I know I have many more options than most. But, I have also been seeking out these options for a while. When I first went gluten-free, I bought everything on line because I couldn’t find it anywhere else.

      And, I feel for you having to be gluten-free AND kosher. That is not easy. No matter where you live.

      I’m not knocking the idea of gluten-free bisquick, though. I think it is great for people to have more choices and to be able to use a product they are familiar with. My problem is that it isn’t as good as it could/should be. General Mills has the resources to make a much better gluten-free product. And, the fact that they are charging so many people so much for it is taking advantage. I think General Mills needs to do better.

      I hope, someday, you get access to more. In the meantime, please let me know how your baking endeavors turn out.

      Tia :P

  13. I have to say that I’ve been living under a rock (yay thesis!) for the past few months and had completely missed the fact that there was gluten free bisquick on the market.

    Even reading about it is underwhelming. First off, when they very casually say “may contain soy ingredients”, my “oh dear” meter goes off. I know the companies that I prefer to use when I explicitly set out to bake gluten free.

    (I have no time; if I can get away with not using anything with flour of any kind in it, so much the better.)

    And. Why would I want to shell out 7 dollars for it? I tried the cookie mix when it was released. Sibling and I threw it out and made something from scratch. Betty Crocker does not have a good track record in our house, and I’m not wasting money for it.

    That said, I kind of want to tell people who are new to gluten free that yeah, some recipes are complex. Sometimes, needlessly complex. Yes, things cost more. On the other hand, once you’re used to it, it isn’t the most annoying thing in the world to just not eat things like bread or pasta or even cookies.

    …Though I might make up a batch cookies sometime soon. Just because they’re yummy.