Eating quality of the same meat samples from different animal types cooked at two end-point cooking temperatures (55 °C and 74 °C) was evaluated by trained panels in France and the United Kingdom. Tenderness and juiciness scores were greater at 55 than 74 °C, irrespective of the animal type and location of the panel. The UK panel, independently of animal type, gave greater scores for beef flavour (+ 7 to + 24%, P < 0.001) but lower scores for abnormal flavour (− 10 to − 17%, P < 0.001) at 74 °C. Abnormal flavour score by the French panel was higher at 74 °C than at 55 °C (+ 26%, P < 0.001). Irrespective of the data set, tenderness was correlated with juiciness and beef flavour. Overall, this study found that cooking beef at a lower temperature increased tenderness and juiciness, irrespective of the location of the panel. In contrast, cooking beef at higher temperatures increased beef flavour and decreased abnormal flavour for the UK panelists but increased abnormal flavour for the French panel.