Meat Test

Reporter: Graeme Butler

It's the biggest meat survey ever undertaken with 70, 000 testers but the question…can you really tell the difference between expensive cuts and cheaper cuts?

Kelly Pearce from Murdoch University is overseeing today's test. She says the very same tests have been performed with consumers across Australia and even overseas...

"Nobody knows what meat they're eating and they know they're probably eating beef or lamb but they won't know what cuts of meat or what treatment those samples have come from" says Kelly.

Three cuts of beef and three cuts of lamb are being tested. Scotch Fillet, Oyster Blade and Eye Round…

These testers are mostly students, but the same tests have been conducted on Mums and Dads. We'll let you know the verdict shortly. Dr David Pethick from Murdoch is more at home on the land than the lecture theatre. He says tasters should be the same, down to earth everyday consumers.

"Consumers are actually very good and know what meat they want and if there's a tough piece of meat, sure enough if you test 100 consumers you'll get an answer that says it's tough and so they're extraordinarily accurate. It was never thought that possible to use so called ordinary people. People used to use trained analysts and panellists…"

The panellists were asked to give a score out of 100 for each sample taking into account flavour, juiciness and tenderness.

The results…

Eye round failed to impress scoring just 49.

Scotch Fillet did very well as expected, top scoring with 70.

The real surprise was Oyster Blade scoring 66. Almost as good as fillet but remember it's half the price!

If it's taken thousands of testers to discover an Oyster Blade is almost as good as Scotch Fillet how were you expected to know? Well the simple answer is to ask your butcher for advice, but remember the best cut of meat really depends on how you want to cook it.

Master Butcher Vince Gareffa says the secrets in the cooking…

"Cheaper cuts are always the muscle that has done the most work on the beast. The muscles that have done the most work are tougher but they've got much more flavour and so if you cook them right they'll be very tender and they'll be intensely flavoured".

The next sample was Lamb Cutlets at $41 a kilo. Chump chops $22.99 a kilo and Topside Lamb steaks at $14.99. Again all cooked under strict scientific conditions.

The results for the lamb had the cutlets on top with a score of 79 but you'd expect that premium meat at a premium price. The surprise package was the Chump chops a very good score of 73 nudging the Cutlets but at almost half the price. A great buy was the Topside Steaks though failing at just 49.

Vince says "Ask your butcher questions. Get their bargains of the week and enjoy cooking for your family because when you cook for your family you're sharing love".