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Tomato Battle: Big Beef Vs Big Boy — Which One Wins?

Recently Tomato enthusiasts have hyped their talks about the varieties and hybrids of the Tomato, with the new addition to the list being Big Beef and Big Boy.

Generally, Big Beef and Big Boy are an indeterminate hybrid variety of Tomato with huge mushy flesh. Still, the difference (Big Beef vs Big Boy) does resemble when kept closer, as the Big Beef has a much bigger texture and size than Big Boy with bright red flesh.

Look through the article to understand the differences and similarities between Big Beef Tomato and Big Boy to bring the right one for your sandwiches and juices.

Big Beef Tomato & Big Boy: Similarities

Belonging to the Nightshade family, both varieties resemble one another in various aspects, including the rounded shape and the growth pattern.

The Big Beef and Big Boy are vigorous vine growers requiring full sun for at least six hours and weekly watering.

Also, the vines of both varieties demand support from trellises or Tomato cages (better option) as they flop on the ground, which is not good as it invites soil-borne diseases.
A cage around the tomato plant for support
Staking the large varieties of Tomatoes might not be sustainable, so better to use a cage.

Not to leave out, the Big Beef and Big Boy are not from the heirloom group. Instead, they are hybrid varieties that are not open-pollinated.

Even the ripening season of the Big Beef and Big Boy is in the late season as they continue to bloom and give around 50-100 Tomatoes per plant till fall as an indeterminate type.

Big Beef Tomato Vs. Big Boy: Differences

To be a different variety of Tomato, Big Beef and Big Boy should have specific differences making them appear as two.

The All-America Selection Winner, Big Beef, ruled the market from 1994 by originating in Mexico, while the best seller Big Boy originated in Pennsylvania in 1949. 

Some other noticeable differences are listed below to clear out their uses and care tips.

1. Vining Habit and Fruit Size

Although both are indeterminate types, Big Beef tends to extend up to 7 feet long with a 2 to 3 feet width.

In contrast, Big Boy grows to attain a length of 4-6 feet in a single season to give out 8-9 ounces of large fruit that sums up to produce 50-100 fruits per plant.

While the total number of Tomato fruit remains the same for the Big Beef, the fruit size is slightly bigger, ranging around 10-12 ounces.

Moreover, the Tomato fruit of Big Boy gives off a scarlet hue compared to the Big Beef Tomato’s bright red.

2. Yield & Harvest

As an indeterminate, both the Big Beef and Big Boy produce continuous bloom throughout the season until the first frost date arrives.

However, the harvest days might vary as the Big Beef gets ready to give the first harvest after 73 days of seedling transplantation and continues for eight weeks.

On the other hand, the Big Boy gives their first harvest after 78 days of seedling plantation and continues till the first frost date (for 2.5 months).

3. Culinary Uses

Big Beef holds up to the taste of the old-fashioned Tomato, bearing the same sweet and tangy flavor of the heirloom type but richer in taste.

In contrast, Big Boy seems to be flavorful and sweet, which gives a mildly tart taste but is in a balanced form.

So considering the flavor and size of the Tomato fruit, Big Boy is best suited to eat raw in sandwiches, burgers and salads, while Big Beef blends in soups, salsa, stews, and casseroles.

You can also enjoy the Big Beef raw, but better to use it as juices and canning to prepare hot sauces.

Look at the table below for the summary!

CharacteristicsBig Boy TomatoBig Beef Tomato
NameLycopersicon esculentum 'Big Boy'Lycopersicon esculentum 'Big Beef'
Plant GrowthAttain a height of 4-6 feetAttain a height of 7 feet
USDA Zone4-113-11
Fruit SizeAlmost 225 to 255 gramAlmost 285 to 340 gram
FlavorClassic Tomato flavor with ideal balance of sweet and acidityMild sweet flavor with a hint of tanginess
Harvest Time78 days after outdoor plantation73 days after outdoor plantation
Disease ResistantResistant to crack and Fusarium wiltResistant to diseases like Verticillium and Fusarium wilts, and Mosaic virus

From Editorial Team

Which One is Better?

Choosing one between the Big Beef and Big Boy can be a tough job, but you can decide based on your location and purpose of growth.

If you want longer yielding, go for Big Boy and grow Big Beef to savor a richer taste of Tomato.