This paper describes the development of a two-dimensional heat and mass transfer model of beef carcass chilling. The model includes thermal properties as functions of temperature and composition. The carcass was divided into five zones, i.e. round, sirloin, loin, rib and chuck, and the carcass cross-sectional structure within a zone was considered uniform. The model was solved using finite element method. Temperature and mass histories were collected for three chilling schemes to validate the model. The simulated results are in good agreement with the observed data, and predicted temperature and mass histories within 2·7°C and 0·4%, respectively.