The objectives of these experiments were to determine 1) the most effective vitamin C concentration to stabilize color of beef cuts during retail display and 2) the effect on color of incorporating vitamin C into a calcium chloride (CaCl2) injection solution. Top round cuts (semimembranosus and adductor) were injected with 5% by weight of a 0, .25, .5, 1, 2, or 4% sodium ascorbate solution (Exp. 1) or a 0, .5, 1, or 1.5% sodium ascorbate solution (Exp. 2). In Exp. 1, vitamin C resulted in more (P < .05) stable lean color during 9 degrees C display, and .5, 1, and 2% vitamin C were most (P < .05) effective. In Exp. 2, all concentrations of vitamin C maintained redder (P < .05) steaks after 3, 5, and 7 d of display than control steaks and had a lower (P < .05) percentage of surface discoloration after 5 and 7 d of display at 1 degree C. Experiment 3 used beef bottom round cuts (biceps femoris) to compare control, vitamin C- (1%), CaCl2-(200 mM) and vitamin C + CaCl2-treated steaks displayed at 1 degree C. Calcium chloride-treated steaks were more (P < .05) brown and had a higher (P < .05) percentage of surface discoloration on d 5 and 7 than control steaks, whereas steaks treated with vitamin C or vitamin C + CaCl2 were more (P < .05) red and had lower (P < .05) discoloration on d 5 and 7 than control steaks. Vitamin C can be injected into beef subprimals to enhance lean color stability and extend retail display life. Vitamin C also can be used in combination with CaCl2 to offset potential color deterioration, after 5 d of display, due to salt-induced oxidation.