Effect of cooking method and quality grade on the juiciness, tenderness, and flavor of beef strip loin steaks
The objective of this study was to evaluate possible differences in consumer perception and objective evaluations of tenderness, juiciness, and flavor, in strip loin steaks cooked on different cooking methods. Consumer sensory analysis (n=288) and objective measures, including cooking loss, slice shear force (SSF), and pressed juice percentage (PJP) were performed to evaluate the effects of four different dry cooking methods [electric clamshell grill (CLAM), flat-top gas grill (FLAT), charbroiler gas grill (CHAR), and salamander gas broiler (SAL)] and four USDA quality grades [Prime, Top (upper 2/3) Choice, Low (lower 1/3) Choice, and Select)] on the palatability of beef strip loin steaks. To accomplish this, beef strip loins (IMPS # 180, NAMP, 2011), were collected from carcasses representing four USDA quality grades included: Prime, upper 2/3 Choice (Top Choice), lower 1/3 Choice (Low Choice), and Select (n = 12 / quality grade). After aging (21 d), strip loins were cut into 2.5-cm thick steaks and frozen (-20°C) prior to subsequent analyses. Proximal composition determination of pH, fat, moisture, and protein content were performed for each strip loin. Steaks for sensory and objective analyses were cooked on four different dry cooking methods targeting to a medium degree of doneness (70-72°C). No main effects or interactions influenced (P > 0.05) slice shear force (SSF) and press juiciness percentage (PJP). The cooking method with the lowest cooking loss was CLAM, (P > 0.05), whereas FLAT, SAL, and CHAR did not differ from each other. Cooking method and quality grade had an effect (P < 0.01) on tenderness, juiciness, flavor liking and overall liking when evaluated by consumer panel. Steaks cooked on CHAR had greater (P < 0.05) flavor liking and subsequently greater overall liking than any other cook method. FLAT steaks were scored lower for tenderness and juiciness than any other cook method (P < 0.05), whereas steaks cooked on CLAM had lower (P < 0.05) flavor liking scores than any other cook method, excluding FLAT. Overall acceptance was greater (P < 0.05) for steaks cooked on CHAR compared to all other cook methods, while steaks cooked on FLAT had lower (P < 0.05) overall acceptance, but FLAT were not different (P > 0.05) from CLAM. Related to quality grade, Prime samples had greater scores than Low Choice and Select for tenderness, juiciness, flavor liking, and overall liking (P < 0.05), but Prime did not differ from scores for Top choice. These results indicate that different dry cooking methods and USDA quality grade have an effect on beef consumer perception.