What Does A1 Sauce Taste Like?

If you decided to make a steak for dinner and are wondering which sauce to choose to complement your culinary masterpiece, consider buying A1 sauce. And if you have not tried it before or you have some questions, this article will be your guidance – we will see what A1 sauce really is, what it is made of, and what it tastes like.

What Is A1 Sauce?

A1 sauce consists of tomato paste, raisin paste, corn syrup, distilled vinegar, orange puree, dried garlic and onion, salt, spices, celery seed, a very unusual ingredient of xanthan gum, potassium sorbate, and caramel color. 

The ingredients listed above make the original version of A1 sauce. The base of the sauce is tomato puree. It gives not only the taste but also makes the meat softer. Raisin puree from the time of invention also served as an antioxidant to mask the flavor of spoiling meat before refrigeration. Due to the presence of orange puree, the sauce has a sweet taste.

What Does A1 Sauce Taste Like?

A1 sauce has a salty, sweet, fruity taste. It is a bit tart and has notes of pepper. Since there are variations of the sauce, the taste can differ. Thus, the Tabasco version is spicy, and BBQ sauce has smoky undertones. However, the original version of the sauce is the most popular. 

All the ingredients contained in the sauce are well-balanced and bring something additional to the taste. Thus, orange puree brings a sweet taste and a fruity aftertaste. Potassium sorbate preserves freshness (the sauce can be preserved for a long time and does not have an expiry date, only “best before”). Caramel color comes from the sugar, and xanthan gum is used to thicken the sauce. As you can see from the ingredients, A1 is vegan.

See also: What Sauces Does Zaxby’s Have? Zaxby’s Sauces Ultimate Guide!

Pairing A1 Sauce – What Does A1 Sauce Go With?

A1 sauce is good with almost everything. Originally the sauce was developed for steak. However, the sauce is also a great choice for all grilled meat – chicken, pork, and hamburgers. For vegans, it is a great addition to grilled mushrooms and vegetables. 

Originally A1 sauce was invented as a steak sauce. So primarily, it was used for beef steaks. The ingredients of the sauce even could hide the signs of old meat, which was very useful at the time of invention. Even the bottle itself stated that A1 is steak sauce.

However, in 2014 the production company Kraft Food Group decided to give up the brand name “steak sauce”. The sauce was losing its popularity, and the consumption of beef declined. People changed their eating habits and started consuming more chicken. Therefore, to survive changes, the brand claimed that the sauce is good with almost everything.

Here you can see some examples of dishes that taste good with A1 sauce:

  • Meatloaf;
  • Potato Pie;
  • Cheeseburger;
  • Beef Stroganoff;
  • French fries.

A1 Sauce Easy Recipe

A1 sauce can be easily made at home. It requires a bunch of ingredients, but all of them can be found in the local shop, and they are not expensive. A1 sauce is made with a mix of ketchup (tomato paste), mustard, raisins, orange juice, vinegar, and corn syrup.

See also: What Sauces Does Dairy Queen Have? Dairy Queen Sauces Guide

A1 Sauce Ingredients:

  • ½ cup of water;
  • ¼ cup of ketchup;
  • ½ cup of vinegar (better balsamic);
  • ¼ cup of Worcestershire sauce;
  • ¼ cup of mustard (better Dijon);
  • ¼ cup of raisins;
  • ¼ teaspoon of black pepper;
  • dried garlic;
  • dried onions;
  • salt;
  • ½ orange for orange juice.


  1. Mix all the ingredients in the pan except for orange juice.
  2. Add orange cut into 2 pieces.
  3. Put it on low heat and stir.
  4. Keep it on the low hit for 15 min.
  5. Then turn it off and take the orange pieces out of the sauce.
  6. Let it cool.

To store sauce longer, keep it in the fridge in a sealed jar. You can keep it in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. If you want to keep it longer, you can put the sauce in the freezer. Frozen lasts for 2 months.

What Is Similar to A1 Sauce? A1 Sauce Substitutes

If you cannot find A1 sauce, you can easily substitute it. A1 sauce is similar to most brown sauces but with a fruity taste. A1 sauce is similar to Worcestershire sauce but is not as spicy. Therefore, they cannot be directly substituted. But, there are some ways to do it. 

Here are some recipes for A1 substitution:

  1. ½ cup of ketchup and 2 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce. Worcestershire sauce is a bit spicier than A1 sauce, however, with the combination of ketchup, it is a good A1 substitution.
  2. ½ cup of ketchup and 1/3 cup of lemon juice with pepper and salt to taste. Lemon juice will add necessary acidity and fruit notes.
  3. Brown sauce can also be a good substitute.

A1 Sauce Health Benefits – Is A1 Sauce Healthy?

A1 sauce is not harmful but, at the same time, is not entirely healthy. It is not bad for your health if you do not consume it in large amounts, but overconsuming this sauce can lead to some health issues. 

A1 sauce is low in calories, and the ingredients contain some healthy ingredients; however, there are some of them which may raise concern. One tablespoon of the sauce contains 280 mg of sodium, which is 10% of the daily norm. Overdose of sodium can cause heart issues and kidney diseases. Corn syrup increases the amount of sugar. High fructose can cause type II diabetes and obesity. Potassium sorbate used for preservation proved capable of being destructive to DNA. Finally, xanthan gum used for separation prevention might cause digestive discomfort and an allergic reaction.

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A1 Sauce Nutrition Facts

Per serving (1 tbsp) 100 g
Calories 15 95
Protein 0 g 1.25 g
Carbs 3 g 22.04 g
Fat 0 g 0.23 g
Sugar 2 g 9.82 g
Sodium  280 mg 1647 mg

A1 Sauce History – When And How A1 Sauce Was Invented?

What Is the Origin of A1 Steak Sauce?

A1 sauce has its origins in England. It was invented in the 1820s by the chef of England’s King George IV, Henderson William Brand. It is believed that the King himself gave the name to the sauce. 

Another version says that, according to the maritime classification of Lloyd’s register, A1 was used to designate the best first-class vessels. Therefore, the term A1 means the best of the best. Well, no one knows for sure now. It is up to you what to believe.

How Long Has A1 Sauce Been Around?

After the invention of the sauce for the King the sauce was introduced to the world at the 1862 International Exhibition in London. Brand was appointed as a cook and cuisine manager and presented his invention to the world. 

The company producing the sauce changed its ownership several times. Officially as a trademark, it was registered in the US in 1895. In the US now, it is produced by Kraft Heinz. In the UK, it is currently owned by Premier Foods.

Was A1 invented during the Civil War?

The sauce was invented much earlier than the Civil War. It was invented in the 1820s in the UK and 1862, so during the Civil War, it was introduced commercially to people. The “Established in 1862” line on the bottle refers to the creation of the company, not the sauce. 

See also: What Sauces Does Pizza Hut Have? Pizza Hut Sauce In-Depth Guide


A1 sauce is truly fit for a king and not because of its rich taste. This sauce was invented for the King of England. A1 sauce goes incredibly well with steak. Try our recipe and make your own version today!

A1 Sauce FAQ

Is A1 Sauce Just Worcestershire?

A1 and Worcestershire are not the same. Although they taste similar, A1 sauce has a fruity sweet flavor and lacks the heat and spice of Worcestershire.

Is A1 the Same as Brown Sauce?

Although A1 sauce and brown sauce are similar, they are not the same. The main difference in the ingredients is tamarind, which you can find in brown sauce, but not in the A1.

Can A1 Be Used on Chicken?

Originally A1 sauce was used mainly for steaks. However, in 2014 the brand changed the rhetoric and deleted “steak sauce” from the name. A1 pairs well with all meat dishes, including chicken.

Is A1 Steak Sauce a Meat Tenderizer?

A1 sauce is a meat tenderizer. The sauce’s ingredients, namely distilled vinegar, are one of the oldest and most effective meat tenderizers known to people. This sauce is great for making meat extra soft!

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