Twenty-six crossbred steers were finished either on ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum Lam.) forage (FOR, n = 13) or a primarily grain diet containing 85% corn, 7.5% cotton-seed hulls, and 7.5% vitamin/mineral/urea supplement (GRAIN, n = 13) to determine the consumer acceptance of forage- and grain-finished beef in 3 southeastern states. Shear force values were not affected by finishing treatment (P = 0.62), and both total and heat-labile collagen content means of the FOR and GRAIN steaks were similar (P = 0.88 and 0.14, respectively). Ribeye steaks were cut from wholesale roasts after 14 d of aging and were evaluated by 1250 consumers in a retail study and 87 consumers in a take-home study across Alabama, Tennessee, and Kentucky. Retail consumers rated GRAIN steaks higher for flavor (P = 0.001), overall palatability (P = 0.001), and price per kg (P = 0.001) compared to FOR steaks, but consumers in the take-home study found no differences in any of the 3 traits. Consumers that preferred FOR steaks were willing to pay an average of $2.38/kg and $5.61/kg more for FOR steaks than for GRAIN steaks in the retail and take-home studies, respectively (P = 0.001 ). Among consumers surveyed across all 3 states, 34.1% of retail consumers and 54.0% of take-home consumers preferred FOR steaks. At least one-third of the consumers surveyed preferred the taste of forage-finished beef and were willing to pay a premium.