Manhattan, KS— When you hear a friend mention grilling up a nice, juicy steak, does a T-bone come to mind? For many who enjoy eating beef that is the visual image of a high-quality steak, said Kansas State University meat scientist and graduate student Kaylee Farmer.


“There is a long-standing belief that bone-in steaks provide a more flavorful eating experience when compared to boneless steaks of the same cut,” Farmer said.


Under the guidance of her mentor and associate professor of meat science Travis O’Quinn, Farmer set up a study to evaluate the eating experience of strip loin, ribeye and tenderloin steaks in a bone-in versus boneless scenario.


Farmer said the products tested were purchased form a commercial processor and cut into 1-inch-thick steaks that were aged 28 days in vacuum packages. The steaks were cooked to 160 degrees Fahrenheit and evaluated in 18 consumer sensory panels.


Along with comparing bone-in versus boneless, Farmer said there was a secondary goal of the study.


“The study also aimed to determine if the impact of bone on palatability is dependent on marbling level, so steaks from USDA Upper 2/3 Choice and Select quality grades were compared,” Farmer said.


The research showed that 70-97% of consumers rated the samples acceptable for juiciness, tenderness, flavor and overall eating quality, said Farmer.


She added the results of this study showed that “the same eating experience can be derived from a less expensive boneless steak as with a higher-priced premium bone-in steak.”


Farmer and O’Quinn’s work is included in the research report for K-State’s upcoming Cattlemen’s Day, scheduled March 4 in Manhattan. The report is available to view online through the K-State Research and Extension bookstore.