Trained sensory descriptors and volatile aroma compounds of USDA Select steaks using five grill temperatures. Academic Article uri icon


  • Thirty-three USDA Select boneless top loins were selected from carcasses at a commercial major packing plant, vacuum-packaged, and aged for 14 d (4C). The loins were then divided into 10 portions (5 grill temperatures for each of trained sensory panel and Warner-Bratzler shear force). Flat-top electric grills were pre-heated to 1 of 5 different temperatures: 149C (149), 177C (177), 204C (204), 232C (232), or 260C (260). Steaks were placed on the grill, turned when the internal temperature reached 35C and removed when the internal temperature reached 71C. A trained sensory panel evaluated ten basic flavors and five texture attributes. Extra cubes from each sample were frozen in liquid nitrogen and stored at -80C for GC/MS volatile aroma compound analysis. Beef identity, brown, and roasted flavor descriptors increased linearly (P<0.001) while bloody/serumy tended to decrease (P=0.016) and sour flavor decreased (P=0.006) linearly as grill temperature increased. Furthermore, burnt (deviation P=0.008) and bitter (deviation P=0.012) flavor descriptors were affected by effects other than linear or quadratic, while umami (P=0.002) and overall sweet (P=0.016) flavors increased quadratically from 149 to 232 then declined at 260 grill temperatures. Two alcohols, eight aldehydes, four alkanes, three furans, eight ketones, and twelve pyrazines were impacted by differences the grill temperature. Increasing grill temperature increases volatile compounds, primarily from the Maillard reaction, that improve positive beef flavor descriptors.

published proceedings

  • Meat Sci

author list (cited authors)

  • Kerth, C. R., & Miller, R. K.

complete list of authors

  • Kerth, Chris R||Miller, Rhonda K

publication date

  • August 2023