10 Best Browning Sauce Substitutes

brown sauce

Browning sauce, also known as brown sauce is a type of condiment used to enhance the flavor of your dishes. It is a blend of caramelized sugar, seasonings, and vegetable concentrates.

Browning sauce is used to give a flavor and color to gravies, stews, sauces, dressings, meat dishes, meat marinades, soups, vegetables, rice dishes, cakes, and many other recipes.

It has a dark brown color and a beautiful smoky, slightly sweet, molasses-like flavor. You can find different regional varieties of this sauce made with other additional ingredients. They all have their distinctive flavor and are used in many different recipes.

If you have run out of browning sauce, or can’t find the same brand you were usually using you can use some of these ingredients as a substitute for browning sauce in your recipes.

Best Browning Sauce Substitutes

Browning sauce is a flavorful ingredient that makes your food taste better. But if you can’t find it in the store near you can use some of these ingredients as a substitute. Some of them will give a different flavor to your recipe but anyway they will improve its flavor.

1. Worcestershire sauce

Worcestershire Sauce

Worcestershire sauce is a condiment with a sweet, savory, salty, and slightly tangy flavor. The main ingredients in Worcestershire sauce are vinegar, molasses, anchovies, tamarind extract, garlic, onion, salt, sugar, and other seasonings.

There are also other variations of these sauces made with different ingredients. Worcestershire sauce is used in meat marinades, stews, soups, salad dressings, vegetables, and sauces to give them a beautiful umami flavor.

You can use Worcestershire sauce as a substitute for browning sauce in a 1:1 ratio. Have in mind that it has many different flavors that can alter the final flavor of your recipe.

2. A1 sauce

A1 sauce, also known as steak sauce is a type of browning sauce.

It is made of tomato puree, vinegar, salt, corn syrup, raisin paste, orange puree, garlic, onion, caramel color, celery seed, and other flavorings and spices. Other varieties of A1 sauce include different ingredients.

A1sauce has a sour, salty, tart, and sweet flavor and works great with steak, game meats, pork, chicken, fish, and veggies. You can also add it to marinades, grilled meats, meatloaf, and salad dressings.

Substitute browning sauce with A1 sauce in a 1:1 ratio.

3. Teriyaki sauce

Teriyaki Sauce

Teriyaki sauce works as a meat marinade for grilled or broiled meat, vegetables, and fish, in stir-fries, vegetables, rice dishes, and as a dipping sauce.

It consists of sauce, sugar, and mirin and has a sweet, salty, and tangy flavor. This sauce is a good substitute for browning sauce you can use it in your recipes in a 1:1 ratio.

4. Oyster sauce

Oyster sauce

Oyster sauce is a thick dark brown sauce with an earthy, salty, slightly sweet flavor with caramel hints. It consists of boiled, caramelized oyster juice, sugar, and salt.

Other versions of this sauce include soy sauce, caramel, and cornstarch. Oyster sauce works great in marinades, sauces, stir-fries, meat dishes, and veggie dishes. It is saltier than browning sauce. Thus, you should use it in smaller quantities as a substitute for browning sauce.

Substitute 1 teaspoon of browning sauce with ½ teaspoon of oyster sauce and add more if needed.

5. Barbeque sauce

barbecue sauce

Barbeque sauce often consists of tomato paste, vinegar, mayonnaise, onion, liquid smoke, mustard, black pepper, and sugar or molasses. Other varieties of this sauce include different ingredients like chili pepper flakes and tomato sauce.

Barbeque sauce flavor can vary depending on the ingredients used. It can have a tangy, smoky, sweet, sour, spicy, and salty flavor.

You can use barbeque sauce as a marinade for grilled meats, add it in sauces, dressings, and dips. Use barbeque sauce as a substitute for browning sauce in a 1:1 ratio.

6. Dark soy sauce

Dark Soy Sauce

Dark soy sauce is also a good browning sauce substitute you can use in your recipes.

This sauce is mixed with caramel or molasses and cornstarch and has a thick texture and salty, sweet, umami flavor. Dark soy sauce works great in meat marinades, stews, soups, stir-fries, and sauces.

Dark soy sauce will thicken up and give a dark brown color to your recipe. But you have to use it in smaller quantities because it is saltier than browning sauce.

Start with ½ teaspoon of dark soy sauce as a substitute for 1 teaspoon of browning sauce and add more to taste.

7. Liquid seasoning

Liquid seasoning is another substitute for browning sauce. You can find many different brands of liquid seasoning used to give dark color and flavor to many recipes.

They are made from wheat protein and work great in sauces, soups, gravies, grilled foods, stir-fries, and stews. Liquid seasoning has a salty umami flavor. Therefore, you should use it in smaller quantities in your recipes according to your taste.

8. Liquid aminos

Liquid aminos are savory seasonings made of soybeans and water. They often make a good substitute for soy sauce in sauces, stir-fries, dressings, gravies, dips, grilled foods, etc.

Liquid aminos have a dark brown color and salty, savory, slightly sweet umami flavor. You can use them as a substitute for browning sauce, however, have in mind that it is saltier. so you will have to use it in smaller quantities.

9. Parisian essence

Parisian essence is a good browning sauce substitute you can use in your recipes. It is made of water and sugar and has a sweet flavor and dark brown color.

It works great in gravies, soups, casseroles, sauces, stews, cakes, and puddings. Use Parisian essence as a substitute for browning sauce in a 1:1 ratio to get a dish with beautiful color and flavor.

10. Homemade browning sauce

Homemade browning sauce is the best substitute for store-bought browning sauce. It is easy to make with only two ingredients in no time if you follow the next recipe.

Homemade Browning Sauce Recipe

To make browning sauce you will need 1 cup of regular or brown sugar and ½ cup boiling water. Add the sugar to the pan and stir to melt it on low heat until it gets a dark brown color.

Remove it from the heat and slowly add the boiling water spoon by spoon with constant stirring until you get the desired texture.

Let it cool and use it in your meals. If you want to use browning sauce in your savory recipes you can use beef broth and salt to enhance its flavor.

Browning Sauce Vs Worcestershire: What’s The Difference?

Browning sauce and Worcestershire sauce can improve the flavor of many different recipes. They have similar colors but different flavors and textures.

Worcestershire sauce is thinner than browning sauce and has a different flavor, depending on the ingredients used. Worcestershire sauce has a sweet, savory, salty, and slightly tangy umami flavor, while browning sauce has a smoky slightly sweet, molasses-like flavor.

Used Too Much Browning Sauce? Here’s What To Do

If you have used too much browning sauce in your dish it can make your food taste bitter. So, it is important to start with smaller amounts and add more if needed.

You can improve the bitter flavor by adding some water, sugar, baking soda, lemon juice, vinegar, or salt. What you will use depends on the recipe you are preparing and the flavor you want to achieve.


Browning sauce is a condiment that will give more color and enhance the flavor of your recipe. However, if you don’t have it on hand you can use the substitutes mentioned above instead of browning sauce and make your food taste and look better. Use the substitute you have at home and enjoy the flavor that it will give to your food.

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