Big Beef Reviews

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Sue_CT
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Re: Big Beef Reviews

#21

Post: # 29363Unread post Sue_CT
Sat Aug 29, 2020 12:23 pm

I think it is interesting that most of the people that think Big Beef is the be-all end-all seem to be those that grow for commercial production. Even the home growers seem to focus on its productivity, not taste. Not a fan here.
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MissS
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Re: Big Beef Reviews

#22

Post: # 29368Unread post MissS
Sat Aug 29, 2020 1:13 pm

I am growing BB and it is very productive. I will tell you something Daniel Burson is keeping up quite well, if not surpassing BB in production and the flavor sure knocks it out of the ball park. However, I do understand that the general public wants firm perfect red balls. I gave my neighbors 2 tomato plants one was Daniel Burson. At first the wife was complaining to her husband that the tomatoes weren't perfectly round and had some blemishes. After hearing that, I sent over the Big Beef to try to appease her. I saw them again last week and she was raving about her tomatoes. The best that she had ever had. I asked which was her favorite and she thought the purple and wanted me to be sure to save her some seeds for that one for next year. I tried to give her some more BB and she declined them.
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Re: Big Beef Reviews

#23

Post: # 29390Unread post JRinPA
Sat Aug 29, 2020 7:55 pm

There is nothing to hate about good production, that's for sure, for whatever reason one grows tomatoes. I still haven't found my tuning fork. I think that helped a lot on the heirloom flower set the year I actually used it.

For perfect red balls with nearly perfect formation but at 6-8 oz, Estiva is the best I have seen. Shape and size like Eva Purple Ball, but red, and excellent fruit set. The years I grew them, mostly used for Annie's salsa, the plants stayed so healthy that the stems were still a bright green when the tomatoes were ready. They would form complete trusses like huge cherry tomatoes.

Big Beefs aren't a round tomato, not usually for me. They tend to be a somewhat flattened with ribs and prone to some of the deep cracking near the stem when the sun is pounding in the 90s day after day like it was this year from end of June to early August. Sweet Ozark Orange has a size and shape very close to big beef. A little flatter, maybe, but the same stem pattern and ribs and deep cracking. For that matter, so does Cuostralee have a similar form, but Cuostralee turns a deep red and can be phenomenal at times. Unfortunately they tend to rain split easily and at times there is significant loss. I missed some good ones from the plot below. I went inside to get a scissors "to cut the stem" as I recently learned is proper type tomato picking...promptly forgot....and when I noticed them again TWO DAYS LATER they were past prime. I blame Shule since the argument for stem cutting was so convincing... :P :P

The disappointments have been CP, Paul Robeson, and Black Krim. Now those three have been some really firm tomatoes with the green shoulders and concentric cracking that I dislike. Thessaloniki has the concentric cracking, but the skin is thin and the tomato inside is not firm and mealy like those three.
PIcs from backyard "BLT bed".
Cherokee Purple
Cherokee Purple
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Paul Robeson
Paul Robeson
268.JPG (168.26 KiB) Viewed 1843 times
Black Krim
Black Krim
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Sweet Ozark Orange
Sweet Ozark Orange
274.JPG (184.86 KiB) Viewed 1843 times
Thessaloniki
Thessaloniki
282.JPG (122.83 KiB) Viewed 1843 times
Cuostralee
Cuostralee
255.JPG (77.65 KiB) Viewed 1843 times
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MissS
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Re: Big Beef Reviews

#24

Post: # 29400Unread post MissS
Sat Aug 29, 2020 9:22 pm

You have had your share of concentric cracking this year. Black Krim is known for doing that but it is usually so very good. The weather must have really been tough on your plants this year and I'm sorry for that. All of these are very good tomatoes that usually have great flavor and texture. I can see why you are so pleased to have Big Beef in your garden. Yes they are shining compared to what I have just seen.

My BB are firm red balls. I will get a picture of mine and post it here so you can see what my plants produce.
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Re: Big Beef Reviews

#25

Post: # 29407Unread post Mark_Thompson
Sat Aug 29, 2020 11:54 pm

MissS wrote:
Sat Aug 29, 2020 1:13 pm
.At first the wife was complaining to her husband that the tomatoes weren't perfectly round and had some blemishes. After hearing that, I sent over the Big Beef to try to appease her. I saw them again last week and she was raving about her tomatoes. The best that she had ever had.
This is something to celebrate right here. Converted another one from the dark side- tasteless perfect tomatoes. Nice work!
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Wet and windy side of a Hawaiian island, growing in ground in the summer and in pots in the winter.

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brownrexx
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Re: Big Beef Reviews

#26

Post: # 29413Unread post brownrexx
Sun Aug 30, 2020 8:03 am

Interestingly I don't think that all Big Beef are created equal and I don't really know why. I always grow my own from seed and have good production and good taste. These BB guarantee that I can have enough tomatoes all at once to make my sauces that I freeze. This year I had a problem with damping off right after I planted the seedlings in the garden and I was concerned that I would lose all 3 of my BB as well as quite a few others. I cut off some of them and rooted in water and re-planted with good results but I decided to try something else with the BB and I just piled up soil above the dead brown area of stem to encourage rooting. Success, all 3 plants produced beautifully with big quantities of large, nice tomatoes.

However when I thought that I would lose my home grown BB, I bought 2 BB seedlings from Lowe's and planted them right away in my garden. These 2 plants produced a few decent tomatoes but the plants were spindly and now the tomatoes are small, round globes that are not that great.

All are planted in the same garden within 20 feet of each other so I am not sure if the Lowe's plants were stunted by being in their small pots too long or if something else is going on but the appearance, size and taste are night and day different than the ones I grew from seed.
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Re: Big Beef Reviews

#27

Post: # 29423Unread post MissS
Sun Aug 30, 2020 11:13 am

@brownrexx I won't buy plants from big box stores anymore. The plants are treated with growth regulators so that they are all identical in size and will fit on the racks in the trucks for shipping. I bought a Cherokee Purple this year from a nursery that is usually quite reliable. After a week in the ground it sure was apparent that something about this plant was very different than all of those that I had started myself. A few others at the community garden had the same comments about their plants purchased from them this year. Never again will I buy a tomato plant there. The plants treated with regulators just never recover and produce or grow like their unadulterated siblings. The plants look great when you buy them but....
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Re: Big Beef Reviews

#28

Post: # 29427Unread post brownrexx
Sun Aug 30, 2020 11:54 am

Interesting. I never heard that before @MissS but then I usually don't buy plants from big box stores although I have bought them from local greenhouses with no problems. When I bought the BB at Lowe's everyone else was sold out of tomato plants.
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Re: Big Beef Reviews

#29

Post: # 29431Unread post Sue_CT
Sun Aug 30, 2020 12:33 pm

I usually buy my plants from local stands, small markets, etc., when I dont grow them from seed myself. Interesting though. Maybe next year if I remember I will try to get some seed and grow a big beef that way.
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Re: Big Beef Reviews

#30

Post: # 29448Unread post JRinPA
Sun Aug 30, 2020 1:58 pm

I would not doubt that a Lowe's plant could have the growth retardant in it. I would wager heavily that the first jalapeno plant I ever grew had that. I had that dog of a jalapeno (looked great, probably just marked "Jalapeno", came in peat pot), a habanero (came in a 4" plastic pot), and some thai dragon and cayenne peppers I grew from locally saved seed. That jalapeno hardly grew for months and put out just a handful of peppers the entire season. Everything else was great. That was about my transition time from buying plants to starting my own seed. I'm still using habanero seed from that plant. They put out a couple hundred per plant that start ripening in late August. The jalapenos I plant now (technically jalafuego F2 I suppose) grow more in the first two weeks than that store bought plant did all season.

My first Big Beef were two plants....I want to say 2013 or 14. I can picture the garden setup. All purchased plants. A flat CRW wall trellis with 2 big beef and 2 supersteak. The supersteak were dogs, they grew but could not get many tomatoes to completion. Big Beef was super productive. Early Girls (old standby) were okay. Better Boys had green shoulders and the concentric cracking...I didn't know the term for it then. A row of Romas that had some BER but were fairly plentiful, just tasteless. Brandywines that were nice and big on one plant, but only a few. Most just would not set fruit. Fourth of July...not that early nor productive and rather pointless other than for on a salad. Big Beef is the only one I still grow. Once I got swap seeds of tomatoes, peppers, bean, and peas from Tormato it was a whole 'nother level of gardening. No more $1.69+ transplants!
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Re: Big Beef Reviews

#31

Post: # 29459Unread post Tormato
Sun Aug 30, 2020 2:46 pm

I can understand that it can be a garden saver for those that can have a tough time with heirlooms, whether it's production, flavor, or anything else.

In a side-by-side trial in my 2019 garden, SOTW blew it away for overall production and flavor. the only redeeming quality is that Big Beef produced a bit later, far into a long season. At that point, almost no tomatoes taste great.

If I were to nitpick, it would be the name: Big Beef. It's not that big. And, to me, it's more of a big globe, having an interior with much more gel than the "solid" beefsteaks that I prefer.
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Re: Big Beef Reviews

#32

Post: # 29483Unread post MissS
Sun Aug 30, 2020 6:54 pm

These are what my Big Beef look like. They were grown in very poor clay soil.
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Re: Big Beef Reviews

#33

Post: # 29491Unread post JRinPA
Sun Aug 30, 2020 9:53 pm

That looks like an Estiva. Not the big beef I grow!
Edit I thought those were tormatos pics. But let me dig up old pics and I will show you what I mean. MissS's pics look like estiva F1 to me.
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Re: Big Beef Reviews

#34

Post: # 29494Unread post JRinPA
Sun Aug 30, 2020 10:40 pm

Estiva 2015
Estiva 2015
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Estiva 2015
Estiva 2015
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Estiva pics look like August 2015. Great for salsa, seedy/wet for slices.

Big Beef from outside, would have been soup tomorrow. Oh well, now they are sandwiches tonight! All in the name of science, right? And yeah on camera they do look rounder than some of mine...but I just grabbed two from the carport in the dark. They are plenty meaty, though. Estiva always had that big 3 or 4 cavity deal. Early girls and fourth of july are like that too, 2 or 3 cavities for them, usually.
Big Beef...picked a few posts back, 3rd big pick
Big Beef...picked a few posts back, 3rd big pick
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Big Beef...picked a few posts back, 3rd big pick
Big Beef...picked a few posts back, 3rd big pick
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Big Beef...picked a few posts back, 3rd big pick
Big Beef...picked a few posts back, 3rd big pick
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Big Beef...picked a few posts back, 3rd big pick
Big Beef...picked a few posts back, 3rd big pick
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Big Beef...picked a few posts back, 3rd big pick
Big Beef...picked a few posts back, 3rd big pick
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Big Beef...picked a few posts back, 3rd big pick
Big Beef...picked a few posts back, 3rd big pick
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MissS
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Re: Big Beef Reviews

#35

Post: # 29495Unread post MissS
Sun Aug 30, 2020 10:47 pm

Yes I do see the difference. I think you may be right. I do have another BB plant, I will have to see if they both are the same. I did start these myself from seed and they are the only hybrid in the garden other than some cherries. @JRinPA Thanks for your help!
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Re: Big Beef Reviews

#36

Post: # 29496Unread post JRinPA
Sun Aug 30, 2020 10:53 pm

And another thing, Estiva was from johnny's, an excuslive at least the time. The marketing said something like, If you like Big Beef, You'll LOVE Estiva F1! And they sent a "free" 40 pack of Estiva when I bought a 250 pack of big beef on a big order there. But I had already grown Estiva when I got a flat...maybe two flats, of free leftovers from a local co-op. Around 60-70 plants in 50 cell plastic if my memory serves.They had seeded them and grew them out, beautiful plants, but didn't have planting space or need for another red other than big beef, so I saved them from the compost pile.
Point being, when I read the marketing blurb, I had to laugh because I didn't consider them particularly similar other than color and high production. Taste and gel content and size and squatness were different. Estiva is more blemish free than big beef. But I guess that is all from my own growing experience here in 95% humidity but little rain, land.

EDIT: I always think of hybrid seed as a CONSTANT. Same two parents, so it never changes. But, really who is to say the parent plants don't change slightly over the years? And are they all from the same source, from different vendors? Hopefully when I re-order big beef, possibly before next season, I am as happy with the new seed as I have been with this.
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Re: Big Beef Reviews

#37

Post: # 29710Unread post JRinPA
Wed Sep 02, 2020 11:23 am

Those Paul Robeson above (I typed Paul Reuban and had to look above to scroll up to correct, as it didn't sound right.!? isn't that peewee herman?) LOL anyway, Those Paul Robeson above tasted pretty good, better than big beef, but I only got 60% of the tomato due to the tops. Both here and the comm garden, PR was pretty small and I doubt I'll grow again soon. PR, at the comm garden was my first ripe truss, but it didn't follow with hardly anything.
Those Paul Robesons
Those Paul Robesons
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Those big beefs I sliced above were about as good as they get for me. I could eat them and not complain. But a nice cuostralee blows it away taste wise. It is just hard to keep them ripe without collapsing, the "shelf life", whether on the vine or the counter, has a much narrower window in my opinion. That cuostralee is top center for visual comparison in the trays below.
Cuostralee
Cuostralee
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These big beefs, along with their brethren and a few thessaloniki and the fauxpice met their end for the greater good. The greater good being Soup, #2, 2020. Ready to go down to the shelves downstairs. Box was made well before any "classic" needed to be reintroduced, and therefore is still plenty strong and can hold 12 qt jars. Some shapes can squeeze in 14 qts but unfortunately that is getting heavy for me.
3rd pick Big Beefs with a cuostralee
3rd pick Big Beefs with a cuostralee
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I wish I had an A-Treat box like that!
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