Copycat A.1. Sauce Recipe

A.1. Sauce is one of America's most popular steak sauces, but as you've undoubtedly noticed, grocery store prices are constantly rising. This means that if you've got a serious steak sauce habit, you might find it more budget-friendly to make the sauce yourself. Saving money isn't the only reason to try making developer Milena Manolova's A.1. copycat recipe, however: "The nice thing about making this recipe vs. buying A.1. sauce is that you can control the level of sweetness, tanginess, and spiciness to suit your taste," she says, and the result is " a delicious spin on the classic, store-bought version with a similar flavor to the original." But, the homemade sauce is free of any of the preservatives, coloring agents, or thickeners found in the commercially produced condiment.

While this sauce contains a number of ingredients, the directions couldn't be much simpler: Stir them together, cook them, strain them, and voilà! You have yourself a sauce. While you don't need to wear out your arm stirring the sauce the whole time it's cooking, you should spin a spoon around the pan fairly often to make sure it doesn't stick. Once the sauce is done, let it cool down, then pour it into a bottle or jar and seal it up nice and tight. That way, it can last for up to a month in the refrigerator.

Collect the ingredients for the copycat A.1. Sauce

This copycat A.1. Sauce calls for a wide variety of ingredients to replicate the condiment's distinctive flavor. These include Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, orange juice, tomato paste, Dijon mustard, onion powder, garlic powder, pepper, brown sugar, and raisins.

Step 1: Mix the ingredients

In a saucepan, combine all of the ingredients and whisk them until homogeneous.

Step 2: Cook the sauce

Cook on medium heat for 25–30 minutes, until the sauce reaches your desired thickness.

Step 3: Strain the sauce

Pass the sauce through a sieve to remove the raisins.

Step 4: Put the sauce to good use

Use as needed.

What is the history of A.1 sauce?

A.1. Sauce may be a staple on the table at all-American diners, but the condiment is British in origin and dates back to the reign of King George IV in the early 19th century. The steak sauce was developed by a cook in the royal kitchens, and an apocryphal tale of its origin has the king exclaiming "A-one!" upon tasting it for the first time, thus inadvertently christening the new creation. In the 1830s, the inventor — one W.H. Brand by name — went into business bottling and selling the sauce. Even though his company has been sold several times since then, and in the U.S is now operated under the Kraft-Heinz umbrella, the sauce itself has remained largely unchanged over the years.

It wasn't until 1895 that A.1. Sauce was first sold in the United States, but once we latched onto it, we never let go. In fact, A.1. isn't all that popular in the U.K. these days, perhaps because a similar brown sauce called H.P. has the lion's share of the market there. A.1. is well known by our neighbors up north, although Canadian bottles bear an A1 logo without any punctuation.

How can you use A.1. sauce?

While A.1. is often referred to as a steak sauce, the company itself has been downplaying this aspect of it for decades. Ever since the 1960s, it has been encouraging people to eat its product on meats such as chicken, pork, and seafood, and in 2014 it officially removed the word "steak" from its name and began advertising itself as an all-purpose sauce. Manolova also endorses alternate uses for her copycat version and says she enjoys it on burgers, pulled pork sandwiches, and vegetables.

A.1. sauce — either our homemade version or the stuff from the bottle — can also be an ingredient added before cooking. It can be used to flavor a marinade for steak, pork, or chicken. Or, slather it on shrimp skewers before they're grilled. Brush it on top of a meatloaf as a glaze, or stir it into stew, sloppy Joe mix, or baked beans. Pretty much anywhere you might think to use barbecue sauce, you can try A.1. for a tangier, less-sweet twist.

Copycat A.1. Sauce Recipe
5 from 10 ratings
Our copycat A.1. sauce takes just like the original, and you can use it as a dipping sauce, in a marinade, as a glaze, or in any number of other contexts.
Prep Time
Cook Time
brown sauce on meat
Total time: 30 minutes
  • ¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ cup orange juice
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ cup raisins
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  1. In a saucepan, combine all of the ingredients and whisk them until homogeneous.
  2. Cook on medium heat for 25–30 minutes, until the sauce reaches your desired thickness.
  3. Pass the sauce through a sieve to remove the raisins.
  4. Use as needed.
Calories per Serving 212
Total Fat 1.2 g
Saturated Fat 0.1 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Total Carbohydrates 47.4 g
Dietary Fiber 3.4 g
Total Sugars 34.8 g
Sodium 2,234.0 mg
Protein 5.2 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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