Six steaks from each of 24 loins (from electrically stimulated and control sides of each of 12 steers) were thawed to produce steak temperatures of 2, 7,13,14,18 or 26°C just prior to cooking. After cooking to 70°C steaks with a starting temperature of 26°C were 30% more tender than those with a starting temperature of 2°C. Electrical stimulation increased tenderness of steaks from all treatments (an average of 23%), and no interaction was found between electrical stimulation and starting steak temperature. Tenderness and cooking loss can be optimized by electrically stimulating carcasses and by starting cookery when steaks have high internal temperatures.