Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Tomato
Lycopersicon lycopersicum 'Big Beef'

Family: Solanaceae (so-lan-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Lycopersicon (ly-koh-PER-see-kon) (Info)
Species: lycopersicum (ly-koh-PER-see-kum) (Info)
Cultivar: Big Beef

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4 vendors have this plant for sale.

8 members have or want this plant for trade.

8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)

36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Seed Collecting:
N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed

Growing Habit:

Fruit Shape:

Fruit Size:
Medium (under one pound)

Days to Maturity:
Mid (69-80 days)

Fruit Colors:

Seed Type:
American hybrid

Fresh, salad
Fresh, slicing

Disease Resistance:
Fusarium Wilt (F)
Verticillium Wilt (V)
Root Nematodes (N)
Tobacco Mosaic (T)

Leaf Type:
Regular Leaf

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16 positives
2 neutrals
1 negative

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive CaliforniaGuy On Aug 17, 2013, CaliforniaGuy from Lakewood, CA wrote:

Very good production. O.k. tasting. I grow these for canning.

Negative davidguss On Nov 17, 2012, davidguss from Walla Walla, WA wrote:

I grew several Big Beefs this year. The plants were vigorous and productive. However, 90% of the fruit cracked. They even cracked when they were green. I also planted Early Girls in the same row and watered them the same and they had virtually no cracking. Quite disappointed in this variety.

Positive jserena On Aug 14, 2012, jserena from Woodfin, NC wrote:

Reliable, heavy producer with exceptional disease resistance, although like most tomatoes it will succumb quickly to late blight. Crack-resistant, very little cat-facing. Fruits typically 8-12 ounces, but I've grown some to 21 or 22 ounces. Flavor and texture are consistently good under a variety of growing conditions. My favorite hybrid beefsteak tomato.

Neutral Gardening3133 On Apr 18, 2011, Gardening3133 from Westlake Village, CA wrote:

Hi there, I live in Southern California and for the first time I'm growing tomatoes in homemade earthboxes! I have planted a Big Beef and the Aunt Ruby's German plants.
[The next one will be yellow - I'm debating b/w Old German or Lemon Boy...?]

So the Big Beef plant has been in the earthbox for 4-5 day but I can see that the leaves at the bottom near the soil are curling upwards at the edges.

I've researched and seems it could be from a few diff reasons from transplant shock, not enough water, to various diseases.

The soil in this container is pretty damp, almost wet, so I don't think it's from being dry...?

Friend of mine who has grown tomatoes for years says to give it another full week and pay attention to it, but not sure if you guys might recommend anything in the meantime.

Thank you in advance!

[in case it helps, it's in an 18 gallon container, i'm using miracle grow potting mix and the tomato plant food called vigoro.]

Positive riceke On Mar 10, 2011, riceke from Snellville, GA (Zone 7b) wrote:

It's everything the description says it is. This is the mainstay of my tomato plantings.

Neutral Marilynbeth On Mar 2, 2011, Marilynbeth from Hebron, KY wrote:

All America Selections Winner in 1994.

Positive b54red On Jul 10, 2010, b54red from Dothan, AL wrote:

The most consistently productive tomato that I have found in over 30 years of growing tomatoes. It will always have a spot in my garden. It is a good tasting juicy hybrid that compares favorably with many heirlooms with the bonus of great disease and nematode resistance.

Positive azruss On Jun 9, 2010, azruss from Marana, AZ (Zone 8b) wrote:

Agree with Suze--good flavor, not great. I'm going to give it another try next year (or maybe for this fall) with improved soil because it was the most prolific variety of the season with perfect, crack-free and BER-free fruit. Better with a tiny pinch of sea salt.

Positive lssfishhunter On Jan 21, 2009, lssfishhunter from Jonesville, SC (Zone 7b) wrote:

This variety produces good-sized, great-tasting tomatoes. I would say that this one is a winner in my trials.

Positive toughgardengeek On Dec 10, 2008, toughgardengeek from Bethpage, NY wrote:

I have been growing this one since it was introduced and have no reason to stop growing it. Very heavy production for such a big slicer. Dependable with all the disease resistance. Very good flavour, dare I say that it was not too far from Brandywine. Even the occasional "scrawny" plant produced lots of good big fruit. It did seem to need a little bit more pampering (bottom heat) at seedling stage (as did Goliath), but worth the little extra work.

Positive metallic On Mar 12, 2007, metallic from St. Catharines, ON (Zone 6b) wrote:

Like others have noted, this plant is vigorous, disease resistant and high yielding. Nice uniform tomatoes with no cracking and good colour. Jarred many for the past winter and still have some. Beats store bought tomatoes any day. I'd have to say though that I've tasted better hybrids (Goliath and Ultra Girl). If you want a bumper crop of large and tasty tomatoes with a lot of disease resistance, go for Goliath. (Canadian Zone 6b)

Positive Suze_ On Apr 8, 2006, Suze_ from (Zone 7b) wrote:

I find the flavor to be pretty good - but not great. Fairly crack resistant, uniform fruit, usually 8-14 oz or so, productive.
Note -- There is also a dehybridized version available.

Positive CricketsGarden On Nov 24, 2005, CricketsGarden from Nauvoo, AL (Zone 7a) wrote:

This is by far my favorite tomato. I sowed the seed Jan 30. I grew them in my greenhouse. they had ripe tomatoes in 17 weeks. They were so huge they were braking the truss (blossom stem) . One truss had 18 or 20 tomatoes on it. Great flavor. Not too firm and not too watery. Just right. And on the acid side.
The early tomatoes had some cat facing but that was due to some cold spells while they were blooming. They all did great. I only grew them til they were too tall to handle. That was about 12 feet tall By July 5th. (5 months growing) But I did trim the plants to only one stem per plant. That might be why they grew so tall in such short time span.


Positive raisedbedbob On May 9, 2004, raisedbedbob from Walkerton, VA (Zone 7a) wrote:

I've been growing this tomato for four years now. I find it to be an outstanding variety. It is disease resistant, bears tons of fruit and I find the taste comparable to "Brandywine" and other heirlooms. I now grow it from seed so I know I'll have some each year

Positive halifax_guy On Mar 20, 2004, halifax_guy wrote:

I tried Big Beef for the first time summer of 2003 and it performed great for me. Tomatoes were large and ripened evenly on vine. Flavour was very good to excellent. I live in Nova Scotia.

Positive Michaelp On Nov 22, 2003, Michaelp from Glendale, UT (Zone 5a) wrote:

So far ,as a greenhouse crop it is surviving I bought Johnnys big beef,for a trial this year[I don't know if there is a difference] -in 15 years of tomato growing[mostly organically]-this is the 3rd one to last the season[10 months]still in production and still good quality-the other 2 are Miracle Sweet,and Goliath,[hybrids too]

Positive vinifera On Jan 16, 2003, vinifera wrote:

I live in the San Joaquin Valley, CA. This tomato wintered over with no shelter and I just picked 5 pounds or so of large green tomatoes. We had frost 5 days or so this winter. It is January and it is blooming. The plant was very vigorous and set tasty tomatoes.

Positive Pala On Sep 8, 2002, Pala from Olympia, WA (Zone 8b) wrote:

This is one of the very few hybrids that I grow anymore in this world of exciting heirlooms. Big Beef proves, time and time again, to be a highly productive variety which seems very resistant to disease and sometimes resists late blight here in the Pacific Northwest. The flavor is very good and texture is firm and juicy. I highly recommend this variety!

Positive madman On Jun 6, 2002, madman wrote:

This is one of my favorite tomatoes. I have had good germination of seed, good disease resistance, and all plants have been extremely heavy bearers. The tomato is a very large beefsteak type with good flavor. It is excellent for slicing or in salads. If I could only plant one variety each year, it would have to be this one.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Dothan, Alabama
Huntsville, Alabama
Nauvoo, Alabama
Newton, Alabama
Holbrook, Arizona
Tucson, Arizona
Lakewood, California
Morgan Hill, California
Palo Alto, California
West Sacramento, California
Snellville, Georgia
Madison, Illinois
Hopkinsville, Kentucky
Lexington, Kentucky
Winthrop, Maine
Earleville, Maryland
Valley Lee, Maryland
Gobles, Michigan
Paw Paw, Michigan
Southfield, Michigan
Moorhead, Minnesota
House Springs, Missouri
Saint Joseph, Missouri
Watchung, New Jersey
Syracuse, New York
Yorktown Heights, New York
Bayamon, Puerto Rico
Jonesville, South Carolina
North Sioux City, South Dakota
Clarksville, Tennessee
Cleveland, Tennessee
Fort Worth, Texas
Houston, Texas
Orange, Virginia
Walkerton, Virginia
Walla Walla, Washington
Grafton, West Virginia
Sheboygan, Wisconsin

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