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Tomato 'Big Beef'

Lycopersicon lycopersicum

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
» View all varieties of Tomatoes


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

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Unknown - Tell us

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


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

Ukiah, California

West Sacramento, California

Greeley, Colorado

Snellville, Georgia

Madison, Illinois

Wichita, Kansas

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

Hendersonville, North Carolina

Bayamon, Puerto Rico

Jonesville, South Carolina

North Sioux City, South Dakota

Clarksville, Tennessee

Cleveland, Tennessee

Fort Worth, Texas

Houston, Texas

Salt Lake City, Utah

Orange, Virginia

Walkerton, Virginia

Walla Walla, Washington

Grafton, West Virginia

Sheboygan, Wisconsin

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Jan 31, 2016, nkda1819 from Indianapolis, IN (Zone 6a) wrote:

I grew one of these in an Earthbox and one in the ground in my Salt Lake City garden. We had a hot dry summer with a couple weeks of triple digit heat. Both plants had no disease up until frost. Production was above average compared to my other 14 plants. Taste was average with occasional fruits being truly exceptional. I suspect the average taste would have been improved but I was having to adjust watering as we had to rely almost 100% on irrigation and I suspect sometimes the plants had too much water leading to poorer flavor. This will continue to be the backbone of my hybrid red slicing tomatoes. I recorded 45 usable tomatoes from the Earthbox plant and 61 from the plant in the ground. Fruit yield from transplant was 78 days for the Earthbox plant and 79 days for the ground pla... read more


On Sep 30, 2015, ocean_314 from Ukiah, CA wrote:

Good tasting tomato the produced a good crop in a summer where the temps got to 105% for a couples of days every month.

Better Boys did not do a thing this year. They where planted next to the Big Beef and Early Dolls. I guess the Better Boys dont handle the hot temps as very well.

Next year its the Black Brandywines, Big Beefs and Early Dolls, all produce a good to heavy crop.


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

Very good production. O.k. tasting. I grow these for filler for big batches of sauce more than anything.


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.


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.


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 ... read more


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.


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

All America Selections Winner in 1994.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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)


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.


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.



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


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.


On Nov 22, 2003, Michaelp from johnson city, TN (Zone 7a) 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]


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.


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!


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.