Gluten-Free Steak Sauce Options

steak on grill being brushed with sauce
 Ross Durant Photography / Getty Images

To source truly gluten-free steak sauce, you need to venture beyond the most popular products on store shelves. Fortunately, there are other options for steak lovers who want some sauce to spice up their meat.

Here's the lowdown on why some steak sauces aren't gluten-free and which brands are thought to be safe on a gluten-free diet. There are even a few tips for getting the most out of whatever steak sauce you decide to use.

Gluten-Containing Ingredients in Steak Sauce

Recipes for steak sauce vary. Some are sweeter or spicier, for example, while others rely more on the tang of vinegar. Either way, this highly processed condiment can be made from many different ingredients, some of which contain gluten.

  • Barley malt: The main gluten-containing ingredient used in steak sauce is barley malt. Barley malt, which is in Heinz 57 sauce, is more commonly found in products made in the United Kingdom as opposed to those made in the United States.
  • Vinegar: A fraction of people who react to gluten also react to vinegar derived from gluten grains, even though the distillation process is supposed to eliminate the gluten molecules.
  • Additional ingredients: Steak sauce has many additional ingredients. Among them are ketchup or tomato paste, mustard, sugar, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper, and spices. Through the sourcing of these ingredients (and the manufacturing process), gluten cross-contamination can become an issue.

For a steak sauce product to be considered gluten-free, everything that goes into it must also be gluten-free. The manufacturer must use gluten-free ketchup and gluten-free spices, for example.

Gluten-Free Steak Sauce Brands

There are a few steak sauce brands that are considered gluten-free, enabling you to add more flavor to your protein without adding gluten.

Dale's Steak Seasoning

Dale's comes in two varieties: original (red label) and reduced sodium (green label). Ingredients include: gluten-free soy sauce, sugar, spices, and monosodium glutamate (MSG). (Though, you may want to steer clear of this product if you're sensitive to MSG.)

Golding Farms Vidalia Onion Steak Sauce

This tomato-based sauce contains plain distilled vinegar, high-fructose corn syrup, molasses, Vidalia onions and spices. It's labeled gluten-free, meaning it contains less than 20 parts per million of gluten.

Lea & Perrins 

Lea & Perrins Original Worcestershire Sauce, made by the Kraft Heinz Company, is labeled "gluten-free" by the company in the United States. (A version sold in the United Kingdom contains malt vinegar and is not gluten-free.)

This sauce does contain distilled white vinegar. However, this vinegar is most likely derived from corn, even though it can also be derived from wheat.

Technically, Lea & Perrins is Worcestershire sauce, not steak sauce. Worcestershire is a darker sauce that, unlike steak sauce, doesn't usually contain tomatoes. However, many people use the two sauces interchangeably to season their steak.

LC Foods Low-Carb Steak Sauce & Marinade

According to the company (which specializes in gluten-free, low-carb foods), this steak sauce tastes more like Heinz 57 than A.1. Steak Sauce. Ingredients include cider vinegar, stevia, gluten-free soy sauce, and red wine.

LC Foods' Low-Carb Steak Sauce & Marinade does contain less than 2% bourbon, which is distilled from gluten grains. Bourbon is considered by many experts to be gluten-free, but some people do react to it.

Paleochef Steak Sauce

This product, produced by Steve's Paleogoods, is gluten-free and made with no additives, preservatives, or refined sugars. It's sweetened with honey and golden raisins and contains olive oil.

Two different types of vinegar are used: balsamic vinegar and red wine vinegar. Both of these are derived from wine, not gluten grains.

Rufus Teague Steak Sauce

This product comes in two varieties: original (in the green wrapper) and spicy (in the orange wrapper). Both are non-GMO verified, kosher, certified gluten-free (with the Gluten Free Certification Organization logo), and bottled in a reusable glass whiskey flask.

Ingredients include vinegar (which may be derived from gluten grains), raisin paste, tomato paste, tamari (gluten-free soy sauce), anchovies, and spices.

Stonewall Kitchen Roadhouse Steak Sauce

Stonewall Kitchen's Roadhouse product is another tomato-based steak sauce with seasoning from green chilis, mustard, raisins, and molasses. It contains red wine vinegar and balsamic vinegar. The label says it has "non-gluten ingredients."

The New Primal Classic Marinade & Cooking Sauce

This marinade, made by the brand The New Primal, says that is certified paleo and "certified gluten-free" (although the website does not indicate what organization certified it). It's also dairy-free, oil-free, and sugar-free.

The Classic Marinade contains organic coconut aminos, apple cider vinegar, pineapple concentrate, lemon juice concentrate, and spices.

Steak Sauce Brands Not Gluten-Free

Two of the most common steak sauce brands are not gluten-free: A.1. Steak Sauce and Heinz 57. Heinz 57 contains malt vinegar, which contains barley malt, making it a gluten-containing product.

A.1., a product of Kraft Foods, does not label many of its items gluten-free. But it will call out gluten grain-based ingredients on its labels (even when not required by law).

Based on Kraft's gluten-free labeling policy, the company would disclose an ingredient that contained gluten, such as caramel color, for example.

The gluten-free status of A.1. is the subject of much debate in the gluten-free community. The bottom line is that it is not labeled gluten-free, which means Kraft has reason to believe it does not meet the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's legal standard of less than 20 parts per million of gluten.

Since A.1. does not contain any obvious gluten grain-based ingredients, it's likely that the main problem with A.1. is the risk of gluten cross-contamination in processing. So, there are better choices in steak sauce out there if you need one that's gluten-free.

If You Can't Find Gluten-Free Steak Sauce

Finding steak sauce that's truly gluten-free at your local grocery store might be challenging, especially if the store is smaller or not particularly well-stocked. And many of the most popular products are not considered safe on the gluten-free diet.

If you want something to put on your steak and you're in a hurry, consider turning to Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce. It's not technically steak sauce, but it is tasty and gluten-free...and available in most grocery stores.

Alternatively, plan ahead to source gluten-free steak sauces online. For those who want to stick with only certified gluten-free products, The New Primal and Rufus Teague are the only choices.

How to Use Steak Sauce

Wondering how to best use your steak sauce, regardless of which one you choose? One option is to use it before cooking as part of a marinade.

Combine enough steak sauce to cover your meat with salt, pepper, olive oil, and your preferred gluten-free spices (onion and garlic powder work well). Place it in a covered bowl or a zip-lock plastic bag for at least an hour (preferably more) before grilling your steak.

You also can use steak sauce as a seasoning for side dishes, a topping for hamburgers, or even to spice up your homemade chili.

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Article Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Celiac Disease Foundation. Sources of gluten. Updated 2020.

  2. Dale's Seasoning. Original Dale's Seasoning FAQ.

  3. Lea & Perrins. The Original Worcestershire Sauce.

  4. Steve's. Paleochef Steak Sauce Case of 6.

  5. Rufus Teague. Steak Sauce.

  6. Stonewall Kitchen. Roadhouse Steak Sauce.

  7. The New Primal. The Classic Marinade & Cooking Sauce.

  8. Kraft Foods. Frequently Asked Questions.

  9. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Gluten and food labeling. Updated July 2018.