Effect of muscle location, fiber direction, and slice thickness on the processing characteristics and tenderness of beef stir-fry strips from the round and chuck

Meat Sci. 2008 Apr;78(4):369-74. doi: 10.1016/j.meatsci.2007.06.024. Epub 2007 Jul 14.


The objective was to assess different beef muscles for use as stir-fry. Inside round, outside round, eye of round, knuckle, chuck clod, and chuck tender were obtained from six beef carcasses. Different slice thickness (2, 4, or 8mm) and muscle fiber direction were evaluated. Slices were cooked from frozen on a flat grill and then cut into strips for shear and sensory testing. While meat cut had little effect on shear values of these thin slices, increasing slice thickness greatly affected tenderness and cook yield. The sensory panel found that strips from the knuckle were more tender and juicy, with less connective tissue and with a better flavor than that of slices from the eye of round and outside round. Increasing slice thickness resulted in detection of greater amounts of connective tissue but did not result in a significant difference in the perception of tenderness. Fiber direction was also of importance. Slices removed perpendicular to the fiber direction had shear values up to 50% lower than slices removed parallel.