5 Ingredients or Fewer

Homemade A1 Steak Sauce

February  5, 2020
7 Ratings
Photo by Julia Gartland. Prop Stylist: Amanda Widis. Food Stylist: Anna Billingskog.
  • Prep time 1 minute
  • Cook time 2 minutes
  • Makes about 1/2 cup
Author Notes

My cousin used to always eat her steak with ketchup (she might still—hi, Elizabeth), which used to mystify me, but now makes complete and utter sense. Ketchup provides the acid—albeit with a ton of sugar—to cut through the richness and ironiness of beef. Or, as Samin Nosrat has taught us, ketchup provides the acid to the steak’s salt, fat, and heat.

There are sauces for your steak, and then there’s steak sauce—which, in my humble, steak-loving opinion, is A.1., period. As Steven Raichlen tells it in Barbecue Bible, in 1824, King George IV tasted a sauce of Henderson William Brand’s creation, and deemed it “A.1.” A literal royal stamp of approval! No wonder the name stuck.

While the back of the bottle states that A.1. is composed of “tomato purée, raisin paste, distilled vinegar, corn syrup, salt, crushed orange purée, dried garlic and onions, spice, celery seed, caramel color, potassium sorbate, and xanthan gum,” all I really taste is Worcestershire and ketchup. (Do any of you pick up on the “crushed orange”? If so, I applaud you and your impressive taste buds.)

This version keeps the tangy sweetness and thicker body of King George’s beloved original, but gets a much-needed umami oomph with the addition of light soy sauce. Not to be confused with “lite” soy sauce—which is soy sauce that’s lighter on sodium—“light” or “white” soy sauce is made with soybeans and wheat that’s been toasted a bit less than shoyu. —Coral Lee

What You'll Need
  • 1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 2 teaspoons light soy sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  1. Stir everything together. The sauce will last indefinitely in the fridge.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • mark47ab
  • Jennifer
  • Mary Cooper
    Mary Cooper
  • Lavender

7 Reviews

mark47ab October 1, 2023
A quick follow-up to my previous comment - as it's hard, if not impossible to find raisin paste, use date syrup. Trader Joe's carries it. "TJ's Organic Date Syrup is made from 100% Deglet Noor dates." Also, you might try Kroger's Steak Sauce. It's a bit sweeter - more raisins, I'd guess - but it's got a pretty good, rich flavor for half the price of A1.
Jennifer October 1, 2023
This is great, taste better to me than A-1. Thanks for a fantastic recipe!
Mary C. December 29, 2022
Super easy and pretty on target! I didn't add any salt, because soy and Worcestershire sauces are both plenty salty. I think I also didn't use as much Worcestershire...so the consistency is pretty much just like A1! Woohoo!
Lavender August 3, 2022
If you're looking for an exact replica of A1 sauce this isn't the right recipe. The taste is pretty similar but the consistency is way off. It's more of a watery consistency. However, if you're in a pinch and just want the taste of the sauce, then this is the way to go. Some of my family members thought it was even better than the original sauce itself! Overall I'd say it was pretty good and I'd recommend the sauce to others.
Cambro June 23, 2022
Measurements are waaaay off! Very thin sauce.
mark47ab April 8, 2022
Pretty good. A1 has a certain distinctive taste that is hard to identify, soI added some garlic powder and cardamom and it's very close. So I poured the rest into my half-empty A1 bottle.
Siubobo95 June 12, 2020
Now I understand why I enjoyed my steak with A1. It wasn’t because of the A1 commercial!