What makes a great steak?
Judging good steak can be a complicated decision process; as there are a myriad of factors that influence the final product. Meat judging can be assessed “on the hoof”, “on the hook” and “on taste”.
The cut of meat itself, how it’s prepared, what sort of gradation you prefer. That’s why many steak competitions often use the same cut and preparation method, so that only the meat itself is evaluated.
South Africa has nearly 30 annual beef carcass competitions; driven by the SA Meat Industry Company (Samic). About 850 producers participate in these competitions, which aim to improve the quality of meat.
Our rating is purely from a consumer perspective – flavour and texture. A good steak is juicy and tender, full of flavour, with minimal amount of fat. No doubt flavour carries the most weighting.
Flavour - 60%
Overall flavour 30%. The immediate reaction to the dominant flavour notes and their intensities. Rated during the first 2-3 chews.
Sustained flavour 15%. Perception of flavour sustained throughout chewdown; flavour that doesn’t die out quickly.
Flavour finish 15%. The flavour that remains when ready to swallow, or after swallowing.
Texture - 40%
Tenderness 20%. Ease with which meat can be cut through with chewing.
Initial juiciness 10%. The amount of liquid tasted during first 2-3 chews.
Sustained juiciness 10%. The amount of juiciness sustained throughout the chewing process. Rated after 4 chews.
- Beef flavour, umami, brown/roasted, buttery, nutty, bloody
- Liver, metallic, rancid/spoiled, chemical, musty, medicinal, soapy, sour milk, stale, oily/fatty mouth coating.