The 7 Best Steak Sauces You Can Buy

Steak sauce is at the epicenter of dad-culture. It’s right up there with WWII documentaries, following your son on Instagram with a burner account, and yelling, “Slow down! Children live in this neighborhood!” When we think of steak sauce, we think of dads, and we think of cheap, tough, well-done steaks slathered in tangy A1 Sauce—despite the fact that in the modern food world, steak sauce is blasphemy. But is steak sauce necessarily tacky? Is it really some societal gaffe? 

Chef Christopher Dennis at Pine’s Steakhouse in San Bernardino, California, shed some light on the issue. His thought process was this: If the steak is super rich and flavorful, the tanginess of a steak sauce actually helps to cut that richness. That blew my mind. It goes against everything I’d ever heard about steak sauce. All these people who think that a perfectly cooked steak is ruined by steak sauce might actually be wrong. 

But a good steak actually needs good steak sauce, meaning a taste test was in order. Seeing as how we were playing with steak sauces of unknown provenance, we didn’t try them out on dry-aged steak or wagyu beef. I bought some sirloins from Target and cooked them up in the Sporked office kitchen, along with director of operations at Mythical, Jordan Blazak, who joined for the taste test. Steak sauce can be sweet, savory, tangy, citrusty, and peppery all at once, but we looked for tang, bite, and zing. We wanted strong savory flavors, as well. Steak sauce should feel like you can put it on anything, not just steak. There should be complexity and versatility. And finally, there is arguably nothing more savory than steak, so the sauce should be bold.

A quick note: A1 Sauce didn’t make this list. Simply put, A1 has been around since the 1820s. Better recipes have developed since then. There’s a brave new world of steak sauce, and A1 is currently being left out.

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Great Value Savory Steak Sauce

Best of the Best

Great Value Savory Steak Sauce

All things considered, Great Value brings a really great steak sauce to the table. “It has a tang that makes underneath your tongue water,” Sporked staff writer Jordan Myrick said. The flavors here are in line with most store-bought steak sauce, with notes like tomato puree, vinegar, spices, raisin puree, and orange puree, but it’s just so damn savory it took our number one spot. This sauce could be used for a billion things outside of steak: Baked potatoes, french fries, tater tots, popcorn, roast beef, and chicken would all be great applications for Great Value steak sauce. Combine it with butter or sour cream to make a flavorful dairy accoutrement. Now, I wouldn’t go putting this on a porterhouse or a dry-aged ribeye, but you’ll get a ton of uses out of it. Plus, it’s a dollar. Considering the price for the flavor, Great Value takes the crown.

Credit: Ryan Martin / Walmart

Rating:

9/10

Sporks

Braswell's Vidalia Onion Steak Sauce

Best Splurge

Braswell’s Vidalia Onion Steak Sauce

This steak sauce combines the sweet, aromatic flavor of a vidalia onion with the savory tanginess of a classic steak sauce. If it weren’t for its distinct piquancy, this sauce would be downright sugary. There’s a nice roasted flavor to the onions as well. Braswell’s is the thickest sauce on this list, to the point that it’s almost too thick, but the good far outweighs the bad here. The sweet, roasted tang of Braswell’s vidalia onion steak sauce pairs well with the richness of beef, but you could also throw this on a burger with some more caramelized onions and some goat cheese, or dollop it on a nice ribeye to maximize flavor. Whatever you decide to pair this sauce with, you’ll be pleasantly surprised. It’s pricey, but you get what you pay for.

Credit: Ryan Martin / Amazon

Rating:

9/10

Sporks

Heinz 57 Sauce

Best for Chicken

Heinz 57 Sauce

This is an outlier in the steak sauce world. The color of Heinz 57 is bright red, almost like a Buffalo sauce. But it’s still zesty, mouth-watering, and peppery. There’s a sort of malty flavor to it, and it’s got a nice kick from onion powder and garlic powder, too. According to the Heinz tagline, you should “Add zest to chicken, steak, or pork!” Truly, this sauce will work with any protein, but it’s best partner is probably grilled chicken. The peppery tang will add a wanted kick to the lean flavor of chicken breast and chicken thighs.

Credit: Ryan Martin / Amazon

Rating:

8/10

Sporks

Signature Select Bold Steak Sauce

Best Bold Flavor

Signature Select Bold Steak Sauce

This sauce says bold, and boy is it. Signature Select bold steak sauce has all the dark, umami-packed tang of a regular steak sauce but with additional spicy notes. It’s not by any means hot (although the ingredients do list hot sauce), but just a well spiced steak sauce. Plus, it’s mouth watering as all get out. I tasted it three weeks ago and I can still taste it now. That seems like a good sign. This sauce could save even the driest meats, so it would be best to keep around in case you royally screw up a steak or overcook a chicken breast.

Credit: Ryan Martin / Instacart

Rating:

8/10

Sporks

G. Hughes Sugar Free Steak Sauce

Best Sugar Free

G. Hughes Sugar Free Steak Sauce

This steak sauce has a nice, hickory smoke to it without dipping too far into barbecue territory. If you think steak sauce is too tangy, then this is your guy. It’s on the sweeter side of things, and that’s without any actual added sugar. Though it’s sweet, it’s also somehow one of the more savory steak sauces, which I’m guessing is from the plum puree and tamari soy sauce listed in the ingredients. This one surprised us, and it’s got the most unique flavor on this list.

Credit: Ryan Martin / Amazon

Rating:

7/10

Sporks

O Organics Steak Sauce

Best Organic

O Organics Steak Sauce

This one is nice and peppery, and it’s heavy on the worcestershire flavor if you like that sort of thing. It stings your taste buds with flavor, so much so that it kind of needs steak to balance out the boldness. It’s more sour than sweet, but most steak sauces are (save for a few earlier in this list). The price of Organics is a little higher than most, but hey, you’re paying for that organic-ness, right? You be the judge there. The taste is good, though.

Credit: Ryan Martin / Instacart

Rating:

6/10

Sporks

Burman’s Steak Sauce

Best Budget

Burman’s Steak Sauce

If you somehow can’t find A1 but you really want it, look for Burman’s, whose name is lettered on the label in that bombastic, Old West font we’ve all come to know and love on a bottle of A1. The whole design reads like it’s being sold at a general store in the 1800s, so they’re killing it as far as branding is concerned. The ingredients list, meanwhile, includes orange puree, raisin paste, and spices, which provide citrusy notes and the expected tang of A1. There’s some additional sweetness here, and, as Justine commented, “It’s not as tomato forward.” The price is dirt cheap, and for that reason it takes the final spot on our steak sauce list.

Credit: Ryan Martin / Aldi

Rating:

5.5/10

Sporks

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About the Author

Danny Palumbo

Danny is a comedian, cook, and food writer living in Los Angeles. He loves gas station eggs, canned sardines, and Easter candy. He also passionately believes that all the best chips come from Pennsylvania (Herr's!). If you can't understand Danny when he talks, it's because he's from Pittsburgh.

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  • A1 not being on here is a gosh darn travesty. Its the G.O.A.T.

    Reply
    • I was thinking the same thing! A1 has been stuntin’ on my taste buds since my early infancy.

      Reply
    • They put the Great value version of A1 at #1, but they put Heinz 57 on the list (and not the great value brand version of it.) So I found it weird A1 wasn’t on the list.

      9and not the great

      Reply
  • That diss towards A1 sauce on hahahaha. Regardless though, I balk at the idea of putting on steak sauce on an actual good steak. I grew up eating tough steaks with steak sauce as a kid, and until I was in college, never really experience anything else outside of that. Having had my fill of steak sauce, I just think there is so much better things that can be used instead. IMO, sure it could cut through the richness and fattiness, but I’d much rather utilize either delicious side dishes to balance that out, or a nice chimichurri. Steak sauce just seems like the lazy man’s method when they couldn’t be bothered to make something else, but my question is … if you already went as far as buying high quality meat, and cooked it to perfection … why not go the extra mile to make sure it tastes the best it can?

    Reply
    • I’m mostly with you here. But when you look at the ingredients on some of these things – Worcestershire, anchovy, Vidalia onions, those are all things I enjoy.

      Do I use steak sauce on my steak? I do not. But, there is a place for it I believe, whether it’s on chicken, potatoes, or a tougher cut of meat. I’ve also had fancy, homemade steak sauce on a dry aged ribeye and it was incredible. There’s a spectrum here.

      It’s pricey, but that Braswell’s was pretty legit.

      Chimichurri all day tho

      Reply
  • You guys missed A1!!? By far the best steak sauce.

    Reply
  • The Japanese and Koreans serve some of the best steak on the planet and they usually serve it all with a variety of sauces and salts. It always tastes good when I eat it at Japanese and Korean restaurants so I have to think they know what they’re doing. I may not always use sauce on my steaks but I always have steak sauces available and pretty much enjoy it when I do use it.

    Reply
  • You don’t make a best steak sauce list you can buy without putting A1 at the number 1 spot. And you throw major shade at it for being the oldest and best? All these below wish they could be A1. The Walmart one is literally the closest clone. Like if A1 is sold out I’ll go with that because it’s the closest to A1. It’s the best for everything. Chicken, beef, pork. Whatever. A1 slaps every single other product on this list.

    Reply
    • yes, we can. it was mentioned in the notes. A1 has been around the longest, for sure, but it’s not the best tasting or even the best bang-for-your-buck. As you mentioned, Walmart is at the top.

      In my experience, just because something has been around forever doesn’t mean it’s the best. We covered that.

      Reply
  • GV has a version of Heinz 57 that’s super cheap just like the generic A1 that made the list 🙂

    Reply
  • A1, and Country Bobs isn’t on the list. 😮

    Reply
  • I only will use A1 sauce but since I rarely use much of it a bottle will last in my fridge for years and it still tastes great! It is so strong though I have always mixed it half and half with Heinz Ketchup…Yum!

    Reply