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Steak Sauce Vs Worcestershire Sauce

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Steak sauce and Worcestershire sauce

Steak sauce and Worcestershire sauce are two pantry essentials for people who enjoy adding punchy, spicy flavor to dishes. They can both be used as a condiment or as a flavor-packed ingredient in recipes.

If you’re unsure how these two British sauces differ then keep reading. We’ve created an essential comparison guide that answers all your questions.

What’s the difference between steak sauce and Worcestershire sauce?

Steak sauce is a popular brown condiment that’s made from ingredients like tomatoes, molasses, vinegar, spices, dates, and occasionally anchovies. Although each brand has subtle differences, they usually have a sweet, tangy taste with a peppery undertone.

Worcestershire sauce is made from vinegar, tamarind paste, molasses, onion, garlic, fermented anchovies, spices, and sugar. It is most commonly used as an ingredient for adding a mix of sour, sweet, and umami flavors to a dish.

Main comparison points

• Worcestershire sauce has a similar flavor to steak sauce, but it is more concentrated and also has a runnier consistency.
• A tomato base gives steak sauces a reddish-brown tinge and a little fruity taste that you don’t get from Worcestershire.
• While both sauces have a variety of uses, steak sauces are often squirted over food like meat, eggs, and rice; Worcestershire is more popular as an ingredient to build umami flavor.

Uses in cooking

Steak sauce

Condiment: Squeeze a liberal dose over fries, steak, and burgers.
Ground beef: Any recipes that involve ground beef will benefit from steak sauce. Meatloaf, chili, stroganoff, and burgers are great options.
Marinades: Give meats extra flavor and color by smearing with this sauce.
Basting: Steak sauce is a perfect partner in the kitchen for basting meats.

A bowl of steak sauce in a bowl.
Steak sauce is delicious served with fried food.

Worcestershire sauce

Marinades: adds concentrated savory flavor to marinades for meat, fish, tofu, and poultry.
Sauces: A spoonful of Worcestershire gives sauces depth of flavor to sauce or can be added on its own to food like stir-fries. It’s a key ingredient, along with ketchup, in the popular Japanese dipping condiment, tonkatsu sauce.
Dressings: splash into a Caesar salad dressing to get a salty, anchovy undertone.
Slow-cooked food: Recipes for soups and stews will usually taste better with Worcestershire.
Burgers: Check out our tasty burger recipe or add them to Swedish meatballs.

Marinating a bowl of meat with Worcestershire sauce and a range of other ingredients
Worcestershire is excellent added to marinades.

Origins

Steak sauce, or brown sauce, was invented by King George IV’s Chef back in the 1820s. It wasn’t commercialized until 1862 when it was named A1 sauce. [source] Today, there is a wide range of steak sauce brands.

Worcestershire sauce was first made by William Perrins and John Lea in 1837. These two chemists from Worcester made their first batch by accident. Soon after, they began selling their product in barrels as it didn’t spoil easily.

Related reading: What can I use to replace ketchap manis in the kitchen?

Popular brands

If you’re looking to try a good-quality steak sauce for the first time, consider A1 Original Sauce, Heinz 57, Texas Roadhouse Steak Sauce, or HP Sauce.

Anyone interested in Worcestershire may want to use Lea & Perrins, The Wizards, or French’s.

Both steak and Worcester sauces are easy to find at the grocery store or from online retailers.

Nutrition (per 100ml)

We checked the ingredients label of two leading brands, HP Steak Sauce and Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce. Here are the nutritional results.

Per 100mlSteak SauceWorcestershire Sauce
Energy (calories)138 (580kJ)97 (405kJ)
Protein1.0g0.8g
Fat, total0.1g0.9g
Fat, saturated0g0.4g
Carbohydrate32.7g21.0g
Sugars26.7g18.8g
Sodium550mg1160mg

Both sauces have similar amounts of protein and fat, while Worcester is lower in sugar and calories than steak sauce. If you’re trying to cut salt from your diet, then you’ll notice that Worcestershire is roughly double the sodium of steak sauce.

Keep in mind that Lea & Perrins suggest using one teaspoon per serve while HP recommends 3 teaspoons as a serving.

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What are the best alternatives to XO sauce?

An infographic comparing steak sauce and Worcestershire sauce.

Worcestershire sauce recipe

Making homemade Worcestershire sauce is easy and requires very little prep work. Although you need to pull together lots of ingredients, the quality of the sauce will make it all worthwhile.

Makes: 1 cup. Prep time: 5 minutes. Cook time: 15 minutes.

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp water
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • ½ Tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 Tbsp tamarind paste
  • ½ tsp mustard powder
  • ½ tsp ground cloves
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp black pepper

Method

  1. Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and bring to boil over a high heat.
  2. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 15-20 minutes. The sauce reduction is ready when it thickens and becomes syrupy.
  3. Remove from heat and allow to cool before transferring to a jar or suitable airtight container. Store refrigerated for up to 2 months.

Summing up

Worcestershire and steak sauces are both revered in the United States, Britain, and many other parts of the world. Although they can be used for similar purposes, you’ll find steak sauces are thicker and more “tomatoey”; Worcestershire is more concentrated and better for adding savory flavor to other foods.

While steak sauce is the perfect texture for squeezing on top of all your favorite fried foods, Worcester will sometimes be too runny, making some foods soggy. People who enjoy Asian cuisine may enjoy splashing Worcester onto their rice and noodles at serving time.