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Mistakes Everyone Makes With A.1. Sauce

A.1. Sauce has been a staple condiment in kitchens for over a century. As Let's Look Again explains, the sauce's inventor Henderson William Brand once worked as a head chef in the royal kitchen of King George IV. He presented a product he called Brand's International Sauce at an exhibition in London, and the condiment was so well-liked that it received an A1 rating. This prestigious score inspired the product's present-day name, which has remained since it became available to the public in the late 1860s.

Although A.1. Sauce was once touted as the perfect accompaniment to steak, the brand has since adopted a more multi-purpose image. According to PR Newswire, The Kraft Heinz Company removed the word steak from the product's name as part of a 2014 advertising campaign. However, despite its long history and recent re-branding, consumers still make plenty of mistakes when using A.1. Sauce. 

For example, although diehard fans agree that A.1. Sauce is delicious, many have limited imaginations about how to use it. Others fail to store it in optimal conditions or wrongly believe it can't be a part of their diet. Overall, consumers still have a lot to learn to unlock the full potential of this tried-and-true sauce.

Not eating it on wings

The versatility of A.1. Sauce is regularly underrated. Although most consumers solely use it on steak, one YouTube user demonstrates that it is a perfect addition to smoked chicken wings. In the video, the content creator uses A.1. Sauce to baste dry-rubbed wings while they finish cooking in a pellet smoker. They also recommend serving unused basting liquid as a dip for the finished wings. Ultimately, the tangy flavor of A.1. Sauce blends seamlessly with the smoked chicken.

Many of the viewers express surprise at the combination in the comments, and several are excited to try the recipe themselves. However, this creator is just one of many to suggest this pairing. One Reddit user started a thread arguing that this beloved condiment is one of the best sauces for chicken. They describe trying it on a whim after running out of their usual wing sauce and instantly becoming hooked on the flavor. Several commentators agree with the original poster, sharing original ideas for pairing the sauce with chicken. For example, some suggest making a custom condiment by mixing it with barbecue sauce. Use that as a starting point and get inspired the next time you're saucing up a plate of wings. 

Not making your own

The signature flavor of A.1. Sauce is beloved by many, but the condiment can become expensive if used regularly. The standard-size bottles are relatively small and typically sold in five, 10, or 15-ounce formats. Not to mention, they cost far more than popular options such as ketchup and barbecue sauce. Unfortunately for steak sauce lovers, larger quantities cost even more. For example, Amazon sells one-gallon jugs for around $80. Instead of paying a premium for their favorite steak sauce, fans can make it at home for far less. 

Most copycat recipes combine ingredients like raisins, balsamic vinegar, and orange juice along with various spices. These items are common in home kitchens, so there's only a minimal expense associated with whipping up a batch of homemade steak sauce. However, the benefit of making homemade A.1. Sauce isn't just saving a bit of cash. 

Home cooks can tweak basic recipes to highlight specific flavor notes or change the texture. For example, those who wish the original sauce was spicier can add more heat by including cayenne pepper. Furthermore, homemade sauces are free of processed ingredients such as preservatives and corn syrup, which makes them a healthier choice.

Not using it on vegetable dishes

Although people historically used A.1. Sauce on meat, there are plenty of ways to serve it with vegetables or vegetarian dishes. For example, in a Reddit thread dedicated to meat-free options to enjoy this sauce, users suggest trying it on green beans, sauteed mushrooms, and even tofu. The most common recommendation, however, is to pair A.1. Sauce with either baked or mashed potatoes. Given this consensus, the sauce would also likely complement the flavor of french fries. Furthermore, some fans suggest pairing it with plant-based meat options such as seitan to mimic the classic pairing. 

Another popular vegetarian combination is A.1. Sauce and broccoli. One Reddit user devoted a thread to spreading the word about this combination, and several comments support this duo. Surprisingly, this thread is just one of many examples of Reddit users expressing their love for pairing broccoli with this sauce. Yet another fan created a Reddit thread focused on this combination and suggested using the sauce with ranch-seasoned broccoli. Additionally, multiple self-proclaimed vegetarians assert that using A.1. Sauce on vegetables is an excellent option when they miss the taste of steak. Of course, experimenting with it as a condiment to season your choice of vegetables is a good place to start.

Not trying other varieties

Most people are accustomed to seeing the original A.1. Sauce in stores, but the classic flavor is only part of the story. According to the condiment's product page, six other varieties are available. Options include smoky chipotle, sweet and spicy garlic, and hickory blended with barbecue sauce. The brand also offers five pre-mixed marinades, many of which represent regional flavors. For example, consumers can try a Texas mesquite flavor inspired by traditional Texas barbecue ingredients or a tart spicy variety reminiscent of marinades from New York steakhouses.

However, the array of A.1. Sauce products is broader than just bottled condiments. For instance, many reviewers on Influenster rave about the brand's line of dry rub seasoning mixes, particularly the original flavor. Reviewers are pleasantly surprised by the balance of spices in this dry rub, and many people note that the product is reasonably priced. While some believe the rub is too salty, others feel the flavor is perfectly suitable for various types of meat and poultry. Unfortunately, several users have expressed issues finding this product, so A.1. Sauce lovers may struggle to buy it at their local grocery stores.

Not adding it to cocktails

While some A.1. Sauce fans may joke about loving the condiment enough to drink it, one Reddit user actually devoted a thread to the idea of enjoying it "straight out of the bottle." Although most people would agree that drinking it isn't ideal, A.1. Sauce can be a great addition to various cocktails. For example, in a thread about Bloody Mary ingredients, one user suggests adding A.1. Sauce to create a smokier flavor. Several other threads also mention adding it to different variations of Bloody Mary recipes, so this combination is definitely worth a try. 

However, other brunch-friendly drinks can also benefit from the sauce's tangy flavor. For those who enjoy beer cocktails, The Washington Post offers a recipe for a drink it calls The Red Eye, with A.1. Sauce, tomato juice, Schlitz beer, and various other seasonings. This brew reflects the drink's original inspiration, a similar offering once served at The Passenger Cocktail Bar in Washington, D.C. Of course, home cooks can substitute with other American-style lagers to customize the cocktail's flavor. Fans of the Mexican drink may notice that the ingredients are similar to those used in a michelada recipe.

Skipping it at breakfast

Not only is A.1. Sauce still mostly associated with steaks, but most consumers only eat it at dinner. People are missing out because this classic sauce makes a delicious addition to breakfast dishes. Steak-friendly condiments such as A.1. Sauce are among the best sauces to serve with eggs, because of their ability to balance out rich, fatty recipes. In a Reddit thread about alternate uses for steak sauce, one user also suggests using the popular condiment on fried egg sandwiches. In addition, several people recommend A.1. Sauce with other traditional breakfast foods, including hash browns and conventional scrambled eggs. 

Since this sauce obviously pairs well with meat, it also makes an excellent dip for breakfast meats such as bacon, sausage, or ham. Another fan on Reddit suggests adding it to a sausage biscuit, a popular sandwich at many fast-food restaurants. It would also be a perfect match for other meat-heavy breakfast foods such as breakfast burritos or even corned beef hash. However, the best breakfast match for A.1 Sauce is probably the classic steak and eggs, which combines the two proteins that benefit most from the sauce's flavor profile. 

Assuming it isn't vegan

Due to its longtime association with steak, many people wrongly assume that A.1. Sauce can't be part of a vegan diet. Although many similar condiments contain animal products such as anchovies, honey, or ambiguous natural flavors, the ingredients list for A.1. Sauce primarily features tomato puree, corn syrup, and spices. Even potassium sorbate, the primary preservative used in the sauce, is appropriate for vegan diets (via Vegan Decoder). 

Furthermore, despite lacking an official vegan certification, this product has endorsements from several vegan-friendly sources. For example, PETA includes it in a list of condiments that are usually vegan. Since the organization is considered a trusted source of information about vegan foods, consumers can feel confident enjoying this condiment. 

However, the vegan distinction only applies to the original flavor — PETA doesn't include any other A.1. Sauce varieties. This fact doesn't automatically exclude the other varieties from a vegan diet, but consumers should double-check ingredient labels before purchasing. For example, the A.1. sweet chili garlic sauce and assorted bottled marinades contain sugar, which strict vegans may prefer to avoid (via Treehugger). Simply double-check the ingredient list to avoid eating anything unsuitable for your diet. 

Not adding it to shepherd's pie

Traditionally, shepherd's pie is a humble dish with ingredients such as ground meat (usually lamb or beef), peas, and carrots cooked in a brown gravy-style sauce. Recipes for the gravy can vary greatly and include everything from tomato sauce to beef broth. However, many cooks swear by using Worcestershire sauce to achieve this dish's signature taste. Although Worcestershire sauce is at the heart of several Shepherd's Pie recipes, the original A.1. Sauce is also an excellent addition. The two sauces combine well because they contain many complementary flavor notes.  

One Quora user compares the ingredient list of both A.1. Sauce and Worcestershire sauce, and it's clear that the two have similar sweet, acidic, and savory components. For example, both condiments contain vinegar, onion, and garlic. Another Quora user agrees that the sauces are very similar but notes that A.1. Sauce has a thicker consistency. Therefore, for those who prefer a thicker gravy in their shepherd's pie, adding A.1. Sauce is an easy way to improve the texture of this dish. However, the sauce does contain more sweeteners than Worcestershire sauce, so home cooks may need to experiment with ratios to achieve the perfect flavor.  

Not storing it properly

A common debate about A.1. Sauce is how to store it. Although the label recommends refrigerating it after opening, many consumers keep the sauce at room temperature. In a Reddit thread about this issue, some users report storing A.1. Sauce in a cupboard or pantry, while others swear by keeping it with other condiments in the refrigerator door. In support of room temperature storage, several comments reference the preservative qualities of the sauce's ingredients. However, as We Want The Sauce explains, just because refrigeration isn't required doesn't mean it isn't the best storage option. 

According to the source, A.1. Sauce remains fresh in the refrigerator for a staggering two years, even after opening. While this extended shelf life is primarily due to vinegar's anti-microbial properties, cold temperatures slow bacteria growth even further. Ultimately, the best way to store A.1. Sauce depends on how quickly consumers finish an open bottle. For those who use it occasionally, refrigeration will preserve the quality for longer. On the other hand, if you're the kind of person who uses this sauce as your go-to condiment, simply skip refrigeration and store it in a dry place away from heat sources. For example, a pantry is a great option, but cabinets near the stove aren't ideal.

Not eating it with tuna

The 1950s was a decade during which people experimented with many fantastic and strange recipes, including a tuna fish mold made with gelatin and A.1. Sauce. The recipe was initially printed as a magazine ad and even included a mail-in coupon for the signature fish mold. Despite the dish's rather strange collection of ingredients, reviewers generally agree that it is worth trying. According to Dr. Bobb's Kitschen, this long-forgotten recipe is quick and easy to make. Although it looks like a science experiment gone wrong, the site's taste testers even give it top marks for flavor.  

One Reddit user made an effort to replicate the recipe, right down to using the same kind of fish-shaped mold. In the end, they were shocked by how good this strange concoction tasted but advised that it was a little too strong to eat on its own. Instead, they suggested enjoying it as a spread on bagels or crackers. Meanwhile, if the idea of tuna gelatin sounds too unappetizing, A.1. Sauce fans can simply try it on plain tuna instead. Two hosts of "The Q Morning Show" ate the sauce on canned tuna as part of a "Gross Food Week" segment, but both agreed that the combination was surprisingly tasty. 

Not using it as a marinade

Marinating is an excellent way to tenderize and add flavor to beef, poultry, and pork. There are countless types of marinades, but most recipes include an acidic element such as vinegar or citrus juice to soften proteins before cooking. A well-balanced marinade also contains fat (in the form of oil), salt, and other seasonings. Since distilled vinegar is one of the primary ingredients in A.1. Sauce, this condiment makes a perfect acidic ingredient for any marinade recipe. Furthermore, the sauce's combination of spices makes it easy to season a marinade without having to add multiple extra components. 

Simply combining the sauce with olive or vegetable oil would make a suitable marinade for any meat. However, A.1 Sauce blends well with many other flavors, so consumers can use the sauce as a base and add other ingredients. For example, try mixing it with Italian dressing, Worcestershire sauce, and lemon juice, or tweak the components and customize it to your liking. 

Not trying the recipe on the bottle

Most people are accustomed to reading nutrition facts and ingredient lists on their favorite condiments, but there's one section of the A.1. Sauce label consumers might miss: the recipe suggestion. Several Pinterest users have uploaded the recipe in question, a cheddar potato pie. This dish is a straightforward casserole that only requires five ingredients: ground beef, shredded cheese, onions, mashed potatoes, and of course, A.1. Sauce. It's a riff on shepherd's pie that's vastly simplified to highlight the flavor of its star condiment. According to the label, the recipe takes thirty minutes to prepare and serves four people, which makes it perfect if you're looking for a quick family meal.

The recipe is also available on the Kraft Heinz website, where consumers can easily adjust ingredient amounts based on the desired number of servings. Since this dish is very basic, it offers endless room for customization. For example, although the recipe features the original A.1. Sauce flavor, consumers can easily substitute any of their favorite varieties. This dish could also work with ground lamb for a more classic Shepherd's Pie flavor or ground turkey for a lower-fat option. Furthermore, home cooks can add more vegetables, including mushrooms, peas, or carrots — the possibilities are endless.