The Flavorful Difference Between Steak And Barbecue Sauce

Both steak sauce and barbecue sauce can be used to flavor meat, but that doesn't mean they're interchangeable. If you visit a steakhouse and ask for barbecue sauce, you'll receive a completely different product than if you ask for A1 or Heinz 57. As its name suggests, steak sauce is usually a better choice for steak, whereas barbecue sauce tends to complement pork and chicken. It's not necessarily about these specific meats; steak sauce is better for food that's grilled quickly, while barbecue sauce is better for slower-grilled meats.

However, some people prefer barbecue sauce for their steak, even if it isn't common. On r/unpopularopinion, one Redditor revealed that their favorite way to enjoy steak is with barbecue sauce. Most of the commenters, though, thought the concept was outlandish. "A1 is the best part about eating steak," one user wrote. Another roasted the original poster for having "the taste buds of a child." The differences between these two sauces don't stop with their intended purpose, though.

The aspects of barbecue sauce

Barbecue sauce is a versatile condiment, as it works with meats, on sandwiches, and as a dip for french fries. Though it doesn't taste like ketchup, it often includes tomato paste, as well as spices, onions, sugar, and garlic. Tomato-based barbecue sauce is easily the most popular, but there are numerous ways to switch it up. You could create a vinegar-based barbecue sauce with red peppers and apple cider vinegar, or a mustard-based barbecue sauce with Worcestershire and even honey.

Barbecue sauce has a thick texture and a sweet taste. Along with using it as a topping for meat, it can also be used as a marinade. When barbecue sauce is heated on a grill, it typically evaporates quickly, and it's not a good choice if you're trying to moisturize your grilled meat. Still, it's not a bad idea to add barbecue sauce to your meat during the cooking process, as long as you don't do it too early — it's a great way to incorporate additional flavor.

The uniqueness of steak sauce

Steak sauce is essentially meant for one easily-guessable purpose, and it's rarely used any other way. Most of the time, it's made with tomato paste, onions, vinegar, sugar, Worcestershire sauce, and a slew of seasonings. Steak sauce provides a salty and savory flavor and a semi-thin consistency, and it's used most often in dipping sauce or marinade form. Unlike barbecue sauce, it doesn't evaporate while grilling, so it's great at penetrating meat and providing valuable moisture to dry dishes.

In recent years, steak sauces have been decreasing in popularity. Basically, with the quality of meat increasing in the United States, they simply aren't needed. As Chef John Tesar explained to Thrillist, "American sauces are made to add things to a dish or to cover up meat that isn't as good. Steak sauce became a cover-up and not a complement." Another reason could be attributed to its limited use. Regardless of its waning popularity, don't worry, steak sauce probably won't disappear completely anytime soon.