To evaluate meat quality of beef with different α-tocopherol tissue levels, 55 feedlot steers were fed a barley-based finisher diet with four vitamin E supplementation levels (0, 350, 700 and 1400 IU dl-α-tocopheryl acetate/animal per day) for 120 days. Although the increase in oxidation levels overtime was much smaller (P < 0.001) in the high-medium and high groups, α-tocopherol tissue levels did not affect (P > 0.05) pH, proximate analysis, drip and cooking losses, and shear force of steaks. No effect of α-tocopherol tissue levels was found in retail evaluation of steaks after a short ageing time of 6 days, but with 21 days of ageing, a delay in formation of metmyoglobin (P = 0.008) was observed in steaks with higher tissue levels of α-tocopherol. Similar results were found for ground beef (25% fat) prepared from 6-day aged meat. Thus, higher α-tocopherol tissue levels protect ground beef and long-aged steaks from discolouration and lipid oxidation.