An experiment was conducted to test the hypothesis that meat products have digestible indispensable amino acid scores (DIAAS) >100 and that various processing methods will increase standardised ileal digestibility (SID) of amino acids (AA) and DIAAS. Nine ileal-cannulated gilts were randomly allotted to a 9 × 8 Youden square design with nine diets and eight 7-d periods. Values for SID of AA and DIAAS for two reference patterns were calculated for salami, bologna, beef jerky, raw ground beef, cooked ground beef and ribeye roast heated to 56, 64 or 72°C. The SID of most AA was not different among salami, bologna, beef jerky and cooked ground beef, but was less (P < 0·05) than the values for raw ground beef. The SID of AA for 56°C ribeye roast was not different from the values for raw ground beef and 72°C ribeye roast, but greater (P < 0·05) than those for 64°C ribeye roast. For older children, adolescents and adults, the DIAAS for all proteins, except cooked ground beef, were >100 and bologna and 64°C ribeye roast had the greatest (P < 0·05) DIAAS. The limiting AA for this age group were sulphur AA (beef jerky), leucine (bologna, raw ground beef and cooked ground beef) and valine (salami and the three ribeye roasts). In conclusion, meat products generally provide high-quality protein with DIAAS >100 regardless of processing. However, overcooking meat may reduce AA digestibility and DIAAS.