Review: Gluten-free Bisquick
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Jul 27 2010

Review: Gluten-free Bisquick

Some of our readers might have been excited by the news in this post from Anne Steib about the introduction of gluten-free Bisquick. I know I was as excited as anyone and I never even used regular Bisquick when I ate gluten. Finally, the new Betty Crocker mix arrived in my area. When I read the ingredients on the box of the much anticipated gluten-free Bisquick, I was somewhat disappointed. The first ingredient is rice flour and the second one is sugar. Generally speaking, something with a lot of rice flour doesn’t appeal that much to me. At least, it doesn’t when it comes to baking mixes. I decided that I’d just make biscuits with the new Bisquick because I could not imagine that pancakes made with it could compete with my three favorite pancake mixes.

The pancake mixes from Gluten-Free Naturals, Pamela’s Products and King Arthur Flour all make excellent pancakes. Even though all of those mixes contain rice flour, there are enough of other types of flours to counteract the negatives of rice flour. There is nothing wrong with rice flour, of course. I just personally tend to like things that are lighter on it than other flours. The Gluten-free Naturals mix contains soy flour which I think mimics gluten flour very well. Pamela’s mixes are heavy on almond flour. The King Arthur mix must contain enough tapioca starch and potato starch to keep the pancakes from tasting grainy or bland.

Even though I’d originally planned to wait and make biscuits with the new Bisquick, I decided that making pancakes with it was the most important test I could do with the new mix. The 16 oz. box sells for $4.19 at Publix in the Atlanta area. There are only about 2 ¾ cups of flour in the small pouch inside the box so it’s a fairly pricey mix. With two strikes against it (ingredients and price) I tried to be hopeful about how pancakes made with the gluten-free Bisquick would taste.

I mixed up the batter very quickly. You add an egg, some milk and some canola (or vegetable) oil to the flour and that’s it. The batter seemed thin but I wanted to follow the instructions to a ‘t’ so I did. The amount of batter the recipe on the box yields is supposed to make 10 pancakes. Apparently, I poured too much batter out for mine (it called for ¼ cup each), since I only got 7 pancakes out of it. As they cooked, bubbles formed just like with other pancakes. The pancakes turned golden brown and were easy to flip. They seemed a bit heavy on the spatula as I moved the cooked pancakes to our plates. I hoped I was imagining that part of the experiment.

Unfortunately, the pancakes were very heavy in terms of texture – unlike all the gluten-free pancakes we make with the brands noted above. They had a bit of a grainy taste as well. However, the worst part was the fact that they had a “skin “on them. My husband actually came up with that term. He said “I don’t remember the pancakes we usually eat having a thick skin like these do”. No, he wouldn’t because none of them have any type of  “skin”. I might be able to overlook that weird aspect of the pancakes if they tasted good. They were much too dense for pancakes and tasted rather bland. I was so disappointed in the taste and texture of the pancakes that I didn’t finish eating mine.

With any new product, there are usually some pros and cons. I listed what I thought those were regarding pancakes made with the long awaited gluten-free Bisquick from Betty Crocker (a General Mills company).

Bisquick Gluten Free – the good and the bad (my personal opinion).

  • Pros: sold in mainstream grocery stores; easy to mix; manufactured in gluten-free facility; made by a respected mainstream (Big 5) food company.
  • Cons: grainy texture; thick “skin”; too heavy; not enough pancakes per batch of batter (only makes 10 if pancakes are quite small).

Ever since General Mills jumped on the gluten-free gravy train, I’ve tried to support their efforts in any way I could. I would like to do the same with this new mix. Even though I personally won’t be making pancakes with the gluten-free Bisquick again, I think everyone should absolutely buy the mix and decide for themselves if it’s for them or not. What one person likes has nothing to do with what others might like. It would be best for everyone to make their own mind up about this new mix. General Mills definitely deserves that much from our community.

Article Written by:

Tiffany is considered a gluten-free advocate as well as the most discriminating gluten-free diner around. Her goal is to help others learn that there is life after a celiac diagnosis. Gluten-free dining and travel are two of her favorite things to do. Tiffany is a contributing writer and the Advertising Manager at "Delight gluten free" magazine. Check out her local blog, Gluten-Free Atlanta, for tips and tricks about living gluten-free in the ATL! Follow Tiffany on Twitter!

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  • Carolyn Acuff

    We enjoyed the GF Bisquick making the Dessert Idea on the back of the box, “Strawberry Shortcakes.” The drop shortcakes were tasty with some nice strawberries & juice. You might try it just to give the mix a second chance. I am grateful that General Mills is in our Celiac corner….GF Bisquick is pricey but convenient. Walmart has the best price here in the Knoxville, TN area. I really enjoy your website. Thank you.

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  • Tania Courtney

    My 12 year old daughter has made the impossible apple pie, the biscuits, and the cheese garlic biscuits with the new gluten free bisquick and they were all delicious. The extended family, all gluten lovers, thought they were fantastic as well. They could not believe the recipes were gluten free. I did not like the pancakes as well. I will use other mixes for those.

  • http://www.glutenfreepromotions.com Tiffany Janes

    The more reviews I read about this product, the more I see that many people don’t love the pancakes made with it but enjoy many other things they’ve used it for. I’m going to try the biscuits with the rest of my mix. It will be a month or so before I get to it, but I’m looking forward to trying something else and hopefully finding out that I like something made with it. I still think Jules flour is a better product that offers better value, but realize not everyone can find it on their local grocery store shelves.

    • Mary

      I added blueberries to the pancakes for Christmas morning. My son was so happy!! He loved them! Finally blueberry pancakes again! I will continue to buy the GF Bisquick for him.

  • Samantha Ward

    I agree completely with the pancake comments. I tried them. They were flavorless and grainy. So were the plain biscuits, which I made last night. I found a better biscuit mix and recipe online that I like so much better. So the bisquick stuff all tastes the exact same. Boring! OMG, and all that sodium, 14% for 1/3 cup, and the eggs, way too many.

    • lorii

      For those of us on VERY restrictive diets because of serious digestive diseases such as Crohn”s, we realize that living gluten-free/wheat free, as well as sacraficing so many other food entities that we so dearly love, we are so very happy to have a product that enables us to enjoy even at a minimum those luxuries that we love so dearly. GO Bisquick Gluten-FREE!!!

  • Gail Mendelson

    I am so grateful that General Mills has recognized the need to produce regular name brand products for the celiac population. They should be commended for their effort and dedication to produce food in a safe, gluten free environment. I applaud their effort and hope that other major brand companies will follow suit.

  • http://celiac-disease.com Kyle Eslick

    I finally got around to trying out the gluten-free bisquick pancakes this past weekend and wasn’t unhappy with them. Of course I’m not much of a pancake eater so i’m not sure if there are just better mixes out there, but the pancakes were certainly edible!

    Hopefully this upcoming weekend we can try making waffles or something else as well and find a good use for this mix as I also want to support General Mills efforts!!

  • Joan

    I saw this at my local Safeway but at $6.59 a box I didn’t purchase any. Went home and found a recipe to mix up my own with flours that I already had.

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  • Jackie

    just one comment…..I just don’t get it…..I have been visiting the cooking/food/recipe sites for the last few hours looking for info on the elusive Gluten free bisquick product because my sister just told me that she found this at the store where she lives. I do not have celiac disease. I am allergic to wheat (violently), yet I can still have gluten (I eat spelt). She was so happy to find this product so that when we visit her she can make pancakes and biscuits. What I don’t understand is that it doesn’t take anymore effort to make those things from scratch than it does to use the mix. OK….it might take a minute more, but REALLY!! You mix your preferred flour (regular, gluten free, etc.) with baking powder and salt and WALLA…. you have the same base as gluten free bisquick. I felt the same way about regular bisquick before I stopped eating “normal” wheat. Just add the fat (I prefer Lard since it’s natural), mix it up and you’re good to go If time constraints are the problem, just mix the stuff up in a big batch ahead of time and use it like you would the box of bisquick. Sorry to go on…I just don’t understand the need to avoid the add’l minute of adding the other ingredients……just my opinion. Thanks for letting me express.

  • http://www.glutenfreepromotions.com Tiffany Janes

    Wow – pricing for this product is really all over the place. Interesting.

    Jackie – thanks for sharing your valid points. What I think people like about being able to buy gluten-free Bisquick is that it makes shopping at the regular store easier. Also, it’s about being able to do the things you did before going gluten-free and having some sense of normalcy that you had before. Many people grew up eating items made with Bisquick so it’s about memories and family. It’s about more than the product itself for some of us.

  • Heidi

    I am really surprised to read the mostly negative reviews of the GF Bisquick mix. Maybe, I am deluding myself into thinking they were good but I absolutely love the mix! I even fed my family the pancakes and they all commented that they thought the pancakes were like “normal pancakes” and my family does not do Gluten free. I was dismayed when I first picked up the box and saw basically all rice flour and thought the pancakes were going to give me the after taste of rice in my mouth and turn out really dense but they came out light, fluffy, and I could barely pick out the rice after taste. Anyone, who has not tried it I encourage you to give it a chance. I have tried so many mixes spending so much money and this is the only one I love so far. I am about to try King Author’s mult-purpose flour for chocolate chip cookies which I have yet to find one that I like.

    • Anita Patry Lampus

      Im not GF but my son is and I love this product. This is one I look forward to eating. I make these as fruit pancakes and with chicken broth instead of milk and add all savory ingredients…veggies gr. chicken…,then freeze the patties for quick easy access and his lunches.

  • http://www.glutenfreepromotions.com Tiffany Janes

    Glad you like the mix Heidi. Obviously, we all have different tastes. Compared to the pancakes mixes from King Arthur Flour, Pamela’s and Gluten-free Naturals, the Bisquick didn’t stand a chance at our house. I won’t give up taste for a price or convenience consideration. I would love to love the Bisquick but it’s definitely not for me.

  • Amelia

    I just recently tried making pancakes with the new Bisquick, and despite a lot of the comments here, really enjoyed them. They tasted to me as I remember pancakes tasting–granted they are a bit more dense, but that was really it. I should also mention that I added a teaspoon of vanilla and (for a seasonal twist) a tiny bit of pumpkin pie spice–I think the vanilla really helped to bring out the flavor because I didnt find them to be bland at all.

    • Aracely

      I agree with Amelia, I really enjoy these pancakes and also added my own flavor to it. I used a hint of Vanilla and cinnamon. I actually like the fact that they are heavier, two-three small/medium size pancakes are more than filling versus 3-4 large regular pancakes. I will say the price is pretty steep since you get 3 full batches out of one box. I am looking into making my own mix as recommended by Jackie.

  • marlu kay

    I have just tried the Bisquick gluten free product. I made the pancakes and added blueberries and we liked them very much. I find that the recipe does make 10 pancakes.

    I also made the struesel coffeecake and it was also very good

  • http://www.glutenfreepromotions.com Tiffany Janes

    Since I got yet another box of this mix I’m going to try making the coffee cake with it. I’ve heard from several people that it’s much better than the pancakes. I find that lots of cinnamon and sugar can overwhelm the taste of rice flour fairly well ;)

  • jlo

    made the waffles with vanilla soy milk and applesauce instead of eggs (1/4 cup) and added cinnamon. We all ate it and loved it! (and we’re picky!)

  • Debbie

    Today I made pancakes with the gluten free Bisquick. I used the ‘original’ flavored soy milk and added a little double strength vanilla. They were fantastic and my family & guests gobbled them up.

  • Shelley

    I just tried the GF Bisquick for waffles and they are the BEST waffles ever! I put in a spoonful of yogurt and used soymilk. I actually forgot to put in the oil and had used PAM on the waffle iron. Nothing happened and they were delish! I then added the oil and that was good too. I’d rather cut down on the fat, personally. Spectacular. I want to get a large sized econmical box. Any such thing?

  • http://www.glutenfreepromotions.com Tiffany Janes

    I wonder if soy milk is the trick with this mix…everyone who uses that really loves the pancakes made with it. The mix is too pricey for me to buy it unless it’s fantastic and to answer Shelley above – as far as I know, there is no larger box of this mix available at this time.

    • Tina

      We also use soy milk, vanilla and lemon juice. Yes lemon juice, 1TBSP it makes them nice and fluffy and most days they turn out better than the “normal” pancake.

  • harmonious1

    My issue with it is that it’s not ‘really’ anything like Bisquick, because the deal with Bisquick was that it had the shortening already in there. What is the benefit of buying this very expensive gluten free flour blend (because that’s really all it is) when I can find cheaper ones or make up my own with less sugar? And then I still have to cut in the shortening if I want to use all the bisquick recipes out there.
    I appreciate your review. I was wondering what other people were thinking about it. I was very excited when I first heard it was coming out, but disappointed when I went to make biscuits and had to cut in my shortening just like usual. On the pro side, they were very good, but I give myself the credit for that,(blush) and maybe it was just that they were so sweet?
    It is nice though that these kinds of things are finally becoming easy to get, and mainstream sort of.

  • http://www.glutenfreepromotions.com Tiffany Janes

    Different strokes for different folks as always, but I’m glad some people like the new mix. It’s actually cheaper to use Jules Gluten Free flour to make your own Bisquick and even cheaper to mix up your own flour (which I have no desire to do). General Mills is on the right path, but they have a few things to tweak, I think.

  • Ken

    So far, so good.
    My wife and I used Bisquick GF pancake mix in Banana Bread, and the results were terrific. I’m a very touchy Celiac, and one hour after, using dedicated utinsils and bakeware, all is well. Here’s the recipe:

    2 1/3 c. Bisquick
    1 c. sugar
    1/3 c. vegetable oil
    3 eggs
    3 lg. very ripe bananas
    1 tsp. vanilla
    3/4 c. chopped nuts

    Mix together Bisquick, sugar, oil and eggs, beat well. Stir in bananas. Add vanilla and nuts. Bake at 350 degrees for 55 to 60 minutes in loaf pan.

  • Darren Mann

    I was wondering if anyone has had a “gluten” reaction to this mix. I tried them 3 different times and had similar reaction to gluten based mixes. Not as severe but a reaction I haven’t had to any other pancake mixes we’ve tried. I was quite disappointed since I felt these had a better flavor than the others.

    • anita

      YAY!! finally…yes my son is having reactions everytime he eats bisquik….
      I think this product is too good to b true
      how can we find out who tested it and wht the results were?

  • Justin Ayers

    Does this mix use aluminum baking powder and trans fat (partially hydrogenated oils) like other Bisquick?

    I won’t use products that contain either one.

  • Denise Landrum

    I am not happy wiht the Product at all.I made some fish last night,dipped it in the Gluten-Free Bisquick,and now Im up very early with Celiac symptoms.If you are super-sensitive,this product is NOT for you.

  • Nick

    I haven’t tried the Bisquick but I did try some other King Arthur pancake mix that made me VERY ILL. Much more than I’ve been in a long time. The thing that amazes me is that they have the GF certification.

    I will NEVER buy another King Arthur mix again. I do not need to feel that ill because of phony labelling.

  • Patience

    I love this mix. I don’t have celiac but I like to eat gluten free. I use the mix and add coconut oil and they crisp up beautifully. I use dark agave nectar as my syrup and love these things to death. I just made chicken popped pie with it and the crust turned out perfect. I used to use Pamela’s gluten free mix but didn’t like the buttermilk and sugar in it so I switched. I might try to make my own after reading this site though. I just wanted to chime in and say how good I think they are. I think that if they taste grainy you need to cook them longer and they are a lot more dense but that is how I like my pancakes to be. I actually make a batch of silver dollar ones and freeze them, I take them out and put them in the fridge the night before and pop them in the toaster. Yum!!

  • Sam

    Bisquick is $4 for 16 oz, naturals are $6 for 12 oz – and you’re complaining of the price of bisquick?

    • http://www.glutenfreepromotions.com Tiffany Janes

      Sam – I order Gluten Free Naturals from Amazon and get fabulous pricing and free shipping. My point about pricing was that a larger company usually sells so much product that they are able to sell at lower margins than small food companies. And I don’t choose products based on the price anyway – I buy what I like.

  • Aaron

    Definitely agree the pancakes weren’t close enough to real pancakes to bother trying again. I was raised in the south so the thing that hurt the most was not being able to have biscuits and gravy. The Bisquick mix actually makes a great gravy (just use it exactly like flour). So happy with it that we tried it for chicken fried steak with excellent results. But, still, the price is going to keep it a “just as a treat” item.

  • Mike Flournoy

    Sorry for being late to this but… I use this mix every Sat. morning for breakfast. My wife has celiac so this is a little weekly treat for her. And it’s great. What we do different: First, we found that it makes waffles much better than pancakes. Also rice flour has too little flavor of it’s own so I add corn meal. Lastly, the balance of ingredients has to be nearly perfect or they just aren’t “on”. I use the recipe from the box but then add 1/2 cup gluten free corn meal. I stir up the dry stuff with a whisk to get a really good mix. Then I use skim milk and bump it up from 1 cup to 1 1/4. I whisk it all up good with a close eye to the thickness of the batter, it usually takes a touch more milk before it’s right. ( this only comes with practice but it’s important, a little thinner than regular, but only a little.) A sit time helps but isn’t essential. Set your waffle iron heat pretty high but not quite full heat, when it’s ready spray with Pam ( only spray once, not for each waffle ) and pour your first waffle. The first one never comes out right ( I think the oil messes up the crust) so be prepared to toss it. After that they will be much better, the only other thing is, when the light goes off on your griddle don’t assume they are ready, if there is still a lot of steam wait for it to slow down but not quite stop. When right these waffles have a thin crisp crust and a light ( not qooey ) interior. The corn meal really helps a lot. Very tasty with a little real maple syrup or good apple butter. Eat right off griddle, if they sit around they wilt fast.
    Good Luck!

  • Tracy

    Just new to the wheat/celiac issue. Self diagnosed 2+ wks ago. Was overwhelmed at all products that contain wheat or wheat byproducts and gluten. Seems every label contains wheat or gluten or malt something or other! For someone like me who was almost in tears in 3 local stores because I could not find either a gluten free bread or a mix, a cereal, or pasta, or any product in the store that I could eat after a 12hr day work, was soooo relieved to see the bisquick gluten free!! I know all of you who have been at this puzzle or maze of finding and making gluten free meals can “poopoo” the taste and texture of this product since your all experts, but to the newcomer this was a godsend. I felt so lost as to what I could use to cook with that night for diner at 8pm, How do i get around a way to dredge chicken or thicken sauce!! I have made blueberry waffles with vanilla and cinnomin and they came out just fine. No they were not like regular wheat flour ones, but for a substitute without any tweaking of the flour, to perfectly honest, it was wonderful for me. For that I am greatful to Betty Crocker/Bisquick for even having something identifiable as gluten freeeeee!!! I am sure as I search and buy and bake with different combo’s of flour as time goes on, it will get close to perfect, as I am a perfectionist at heart. But never dismiss something of this nature for the newcomer who is at their wits end. I knew there was wheat allergy if not celiac in my body. I could not take another wheat product into my body that very morning I discovered what all my symptoms keeping me in misery where from. Bisquick gluten free kept me from a sizeable emotional breakdown in the store so for that alone it gets a #10. As well as a #10 on my 1st diner gluten free – from my husband and son when i used it to dredge chichen breasts and thicken gravy for diner!! The price is high at 4.99 in shoprite, but at the moment I saw it I think I would have paid anything. Priceless.

  • deenie

    We use coconut flour for all baking including pancakes. Very health enhancing and more delicious than any other flour. Get the book by Bruce Fife on Amazon.com and you will never look back. Peace, deenie

  • mandy

    I personally LOVE the Bisquick gluten free pancakes…..As a mother of an Autistic son, gluten free has made a HUGE change in his behaviors…..He cant have mile products, so we use white Almond milk…soooo good!!!! I can’t seem to make a good biscuit, that is what he asks for all the time…any ideas?

    • Mandy

      I mean milk products, sorry!

  • Patricia

    I am an senior citizen on social security, so I have to watch how I spend for food Products. I saw your Gluten free Bisquick ,Its a high price to pay for two batches of biscuits. They Were very good, I didn’t feel bloated or drop dead tired! I wish the Price could come down and that more stores would carry the product. Keep up the good work. I Will purchase it again when I can afford it, especially since I can’t have any corn or high fructose corn syrup and gluten products. Best regards.

    • Patricia

      Sorry I almost for got to say I’m allergic to soy of all kinds too!.

  • Brandi E

    I find that the GF Bisquick makes great gravy. My family also likes it for a chicken fried steak breading, but not for fish. I love the biscuits and often make a full box worth and refrigerate for me to take to work. I am the only one in my family medically gluten free, but finding products like this has certainly made making only one meal that everyone likes easier. I agree that the waffles are better than the pancakes, but my happiest has been with fried chicken and chicken fried steaks and awesome gravy.

  • Katie

    I have to agree…not good for sweet things like pancakes. I tried making strawberry shortcake with it yesterday, and it was more like eating cornbread. I’d try it for non-sweet baked goods, though, I think.

  • http://habayitah.blogspot.com/ neshama

    Thank you very much for the review. I tried to order from Amazon, and ship to me in Israel, and they wanted to charge me $238 for shipping. Out of this world; they have a little problem over there.