The Secret to Perfectly Complementing Your Steak: Detroit Style ‘Zip Sauce’

The Secret to Perfectly Complementing Your Steak: Detroit Style ‘Zip Sauce’

The history of Detroit style ‘Zip Sauce’ for steak is somewhat unclear, but it is believed to have originated in the 1940s or 1950s at a popular Detroit steakhouse called the Caucus Club. The sauce was created by the restaurant’s founder, Lester Gruber, who was looking for a way to enhance the flavor of his steaks and create a signature dish that would set his restaurant apart from others in the area.

The exact recipe for the sauce is a closely guarded secret, but it is believed to contain a mixture of Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, ketchup, garlic powder, onion powder, and other seasonings. The sauce is typically served on the side or drizzled over the top of a perfectly cooked steak, and it has become a beloved staple of Detroit-style steak houses.

Over the years, many variations of the sauce have emerged, with different restaurants adding their own unique twist to the recipe. Some versions of the sauce include additional ingredients like mustard, horseradish, or hot sauce, while others are kept simple with just the basic ingredients. Despite the variations, the core flavor profile of the sauce remains the same – a tangy, savory sauce that perfectly complements the rich flavor of a perfectly cooked steak.

Zip Sauce

Course Sauces, Stocks, and Accompaniments
Prep Time 15 minutes
Author N. J. Sorensen, RDN


  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper


  • Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat.
  • Add the Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, ketchup, water, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, and cayenne pepper to the saucepan. Whisk the ingredients together until they are fully combined.
  • Cook the sauce over medium heat for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has thickened slightly.
  • Remove the saucepan from the heat and allow the sauce to cool for a few minutes.
  • Pour the sauce into a small serving bowl.
  • Serve the sauce with your favorite steak, either on the side or drizzled over the top.


Enjoy the Detroit style ‘Zip Sauce’ with your perfectly cooked steak!

Detroit style ‘Zip Sauce’ is traditionally served with steak, but it can also be enjoyed with other types of meat, such as chicken, pork, or lamb. The sauce adds a rich and savory flavor to the meat and is often used as a condiment or a dipping sauce.

In addition to meat, Zip Sauce can also be served with a variety of side dishes. Here are a few ideas:

  • French Fries: Dip your fries in the Zip Sauce for a tangy and savory flavor.
  • Grilled Vegetables: Drizzle the sauce over grilled vegetables such as asparagus, zucchini, or bell peppers.
  • Mashed Potatoes: Mix a spoonful of Zip Sauce into your mashed potatoes for an extra burst of flavor.
  • Sandwiches: Use Zip Sauce as a spread on sandwiches or burgers for a unique twist on traditional condiments.
  • Seafood: Zip Sauce can also be served with seafood dishes such as grilled shrimp or scallops for a delicious flavor combination.

Overall, Zip Sauce is a versatile condiment that can be enjoyed with a wide range of dishes.