American Royal, K-State Olathe conclude high 'steaks' contest for US beef producers

Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017


Dozens of steaks were cooked and taste-tested at K-State Olathe over the summer as part of the American Royal Steak Contest.

OLATHE — Over the summer, the American Royal Association and the Kansas State University Olathe campus turned up the heat on U.S. beef producers in a competition to find America's best-tasting steaks.

The American Royal Steak Contest is an annual, nationwide competition that identifies the tastiest steak in the country. Through the contest results, cattle producers are able to determine what breeds, feeding methods and other factors consistently produce the best steak for American consumers. The contest is in its sixth year.

"The American Royal Steak Contest is a great opportunity for top beef producers to have their product judged purely on its quality," said Lynn Parman, president and CEO of the American Royal. "This year we were excited to see the contest continue to attract some of the best steak producers from around the country."

Grand and Reserve Grand Champions of the contest were recently announced, along with breakdown profiles of the flavor, tenderness, juiciness and flavor finish of each steak.

The contest began in late July when K-State Olathe received dozens of steaks from beef producers across the U.S. Steaks were divided into two categories: grain fed and grass fed. Each steak was prepared in an identical manner in K-State Olathe's research kitchens.

Once cooked, a panel of experts consisting of restaurateurs, food bloggers, beef representatives and members of the Kansas and Missouri Beef councils, judged each steak in a blind taste test at the campus. Points were assigned for flavor, juiciness and texture.

Marianne Swaney-Stueve, research assistant professor of human nutrition and manager of the Sensory and Consumer Research Center at K-State Olathe, and Bryan Severns, director of food programs and services, oversaw the preparation and evaluation processes.

"Steak is very much a part of the culture in the Midwest and Kansas City," Swaney-Stueve said. "At the Sensory and Consumer Research Center, we work with industry and help them understand consumer preferences about their products. This competition provides valuable information to beef producers about how their steaks perform on key attributes that resonate with consumers."

K-State Olathe and the American Royal Association have a longstanding partnership with the annual steak contest.

Woven through the history of Kansas City since 1899, the American Royal provides opportunities for youth and adults from around the country to compete in our Livestock Show, ProRodeo, Horse Shows and the World Series of Barbecue®. These events allow the American Royal, a 501 (c) (3) not-for-profit organization, to give more than $1 million annually for youth scholarships and support agriculture education programs. In 2016, more than 90,000 attendees attended American Royal events, generating more than $60 million of economic impact. To learn more about the American Royal, visit