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ARS Home » Plains Area » Clay Center, Nebraska » U.S. Meat Animal Research Center » Meat Safety and Quality » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #89617


item Wheeler, Tommy
item Shackelford, Steven
item Koohmaraie, Mohammad

Submitted to: Journal of Animal Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/6/1998
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Cooking method and instrumentation are important considerations of research studies that include measurement of meat palatability traits. Surveys reveal that consumers use a wide variety of cooking methods when preparing steaks. Thus, scientists strive to identify a cooking methodology that not only provides consistent results, but also provides results that are relevant to consumers. Although commonly used in meat palatability research, consistency of cooking obtained from open hearth electric broilers has been questioned. Thus, the objective of this experiment was to determine the precision of measurements of various cooking and palatability traits in steaks cooked on an open hearth electric broiler or a belt grill. Ribeye steaks from carcasses of grain-fed steers or heifers were used to make duplicate measurements for Warner-Bratzler shear force (an objective measure of tenderness) and trained sensory panel evaluation using both cooking methods. Results indicate that belt grill cooking of steaks increased the precision of tenderness, juiciness, and connective tissue amount ratings, shear force value, and cooking loss measurements compared to cooking with the open hearth electric broiler. Belt grill cooking had minimal effects on the means for palatability traits, but cooking loss was reduced. Use of the belt grill in place of the electric broiler for cooking when collecting research data would increase precision of evaluation of differences. Increased precision would result in more accurate evaluations and require fewer experimental observations to detect significant treatment differences.

Technical Abstract: The objective of this experiment was to compare a belt grill and an open hearth electric broiler for cooking and palatability traits. The longissimus thoracis from carcasses of grain-fed steers or heifers was used. Duplicate measurements were made for Warner-Bratzler shear force at both 3 and 14 d postmortem (n = 180) and trained sensory evaluation at 14 d postmortem (n = 91) using both cooking methods. Belt grill cooked samples had lower (P < .01) percentage cooking losses (21.5 vs 25.8%) and higher (P < .01) shear force values (4.6 vs 4.3 kg) than electric broiler cooked samples. Repeatability of duplicate measurements was higher for both cooking losses (.58 vs .23) and shear force value (.85 vs .64) in belt grill compared to electric broiler cooked samples. Sensory evaluation samples had lower (P < .01) cooking losses (20.2 vs 29.8%), higher (P < .01) tenderness (7.0 vs 6.7), juiciness (6.0 vs 5.1), and lower (P < .02) connective tissue amount (7.7 vs 7.8), beef flavor intensity (5.0 vs 5.1), and off-flavor (3.2 vs 3.3) ratings if cooked with the belt grill compared to the electric broiler. Belt grill cooking increased the repeatability of duplicate sensory measurements for tenderness (.87 vs .71), connective tissue amount (.66 vs .30), and juiciness (.51 vs .08) ratings, and cooking losses (.63 vs .18) over cooking with the electric broiler. Belt grill cooking increased the precision for measurements of cooking and palatability traits of beef longissimus thoracis.