ABSTRACT: The most important sensory attribute affecting consumer acceptability is tenderness, which is a complex trait. Aging is the practice of holding meat at low temperatures to improve tenderness. In order to assess consumer quality attributes, cattle were selected to represent a range of quality grades from Utility to Prime. Steaks from these cattle were aged in vacuum bags for 0, 7, or 14 d, cut, and cooked on open hearth grills to 70 °C. Sensory evaluation was completed by consumers (n= 522). Warner–Bratzler (WB) shear and various physical characteristics were also determined. Shear values decreased with aging time and tenderness increased. Consumers perceived the majority of change in tenderness occurred during the first 7 d of aging while change in WB shear was similar during the first 7 d and the second 7 d of aging. Aging had no effect (P > 0.05) on juiciness, flavor, pH, lipid content, or water content of steaks.