Skip to main content
ARS Home » Plains Area » Clay Center, Nebraska » U.S. Meat Animal Research Center » Meat Safety and Quality » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #240383

Title: Consumer Acceptance and Steak Cutting Yields of Beef Top Sirloin and Knuckle Subprimals

item King, David - Andy
item Shackelford, Steven
item Wheeler, Tommy
item PFEIFFER, K - Standard Meat Company
item MEHAFFEY, J - Texas Tech University
item MILLER, M - Texas Tech University
item NICKELSON, R - Standard Meat Company
item KOOHMARAIE, MOHAMMAD - Former ARS Employee

Submitted to: Meat Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/10/2009
Publication Date: 9/20/2009
Citation: King, D.A., Shackelford, S.D., Wheeler, T.L., Pfeiffer, K.D., Mehaffey, J.M., Miller, M.F., Nickelson, R., Koohmaraie, M. 2009. Consumer Acceptance and Steak Cutting Yields of Beef Top Sirloin and Knuckle Subprimals. Meat Science. 83:782-787.

Interpretive Summary: Purveyors seek to find alternative muscles that can reduce raw material costs, while delivering palatability attributes that are equal to those of traditional steak cuts. This experiment was conducted to evaluate the steak cutting yields, palatability attributes, and consumer acceptance of steaks from two beef muscles from the wholesale knuckle in comparison to the top sirloin steak. Beef full knuckles and center-cut top sirloin butts were aged for 21, 35, or 49 d before being cut into steaks. Steak yields of tip side and tip center steaks from the full knuckle were compared to the yield of top sirloin steaks obtained from the top sirloin butt. Steaks from each muscle were then compared using trained and consumer sensory panels. Steak yields were higher for top sirloin subprimals. However, at current beef prices, the yields from full knuckle subprimals would be economically feasible. Overall, trained and consumer sensory panel ratings were similar between top sirloin and tip center steaks. Tip side steaks received lower ratings for tenderness than either tip center or top sirloin steaks. Additionally, a much higher proportion of consumers identified the palatability of tip side steaks as unacceptable. These results suggest that the tip side steak would amply substitute for top sirloin steaks in foodservice settings, but the tip side steak would require improvement in tenderness to be suitable for foodservice applications.

Technical Abstract: Beef knuckles (n = 150) and center-cut top sirloin butts (n = 150) were used to determine the portion-controlled steak cutting yields, palatability characteristics, and consumer acceptance of rectus femoris (RF) and vastus lateralis (VL) steaks compared to gluteus medius (GM) steaks. Yields were higher (P < 0.05) for top sirloins than knuckles. Trained sensory panel ratings for overall tenderness, juiciness and flavor were similar between RF and GM. Consumer ratings for tenderness and juiciness were higher (P < 0.05) for GM than RF; however, consumer perceptions of overall like and flavor were similar for GM and RF. Vastus lateralis received lower (P < 0.05) trained panel and consumer ratings for all traits than either RF or GM. Palatability of VL will need improvement to be a viable foodservice offering. Yet, these data suggest that RF would amply substitute for GM in foodservice settings, and that knuckle steak yields would be adequate for foodservice applications.