The World’s Best Steak title was awarded to JN Meat International from Denmark, who produced the grass-fed Ayrshire Sirloin steak, raised in Finland.
John Sashi-Nielsen, founder of JN Meat International, described picking up the title as a “very proud moment”.
“I’m so proud to pick up this award and we have so much passion for meat,” said Sashi-Nielsen. “This award means that the company and Finland will stand together to prove that we’re here to stay.”
Running for its fourth year, the competition was held at the Magic Roundabout venue in London on 4 July.
The competition was judged by a panel of experts, who gave each steak a score based on the internationally agreed set of criteria, including appearance, aroma, colour, marbling and consistency of fat trim.
The steaks that achieved the Gold Medal status then went through to the next round of judging, the consumer panel round, where chefs and experts cooked the steaks for an agreed time and specification.
Overall there were 45 Gold, 37 Silver and 54 Bronze accolades awarded to entrants.
JN Meat International dominated the category winners, scooping the Best Grass-Fed, the Best Rib-Eye and Best Sirloin steaks.
Last year’s winner, ABP Poland, won the Best Fillet steak category, while OSI International from Germany scooped the Best Grain-Fed steak for its Rib-Eye Angus.
But JN Meat International came out on top and impressed the judges with its entry.
Judges described the winning steak as having intense “aromas and flavours” and “perfect marbling”.
“It was a tight call,” said Alan Franck, chair of judges and South African master butcher. “Finland took the overall champion’s title [with a steak] that was generous in marbling, very tender with a good balance and a very intense flavour.”
“Winning the World Steak Challenge will boost the producer’s business in terms of its sales and every aspect of the business.”
A total of 22 countries participated in this year’s World Steak Challenge – a record number since the competition began in 2015 – with steaks from 35 different breeds, including cross breeds and pure breeds.
Aidan Fortune, deputy editor of GlobalMeatNews, said every year the organisers were blown away by the quality of entrants in the competition and 2018 had been no different.
“We've had more entries from more countries and the standard has been excellent. I know the judges found it very tough to award an overall winner,” said Fortune.