Photo found on Flickr, courtesy of observing life.
Beefsteak tomatoes are some of the largest and meatiest tomatoes. They hold together well, are perfect for sandwiches, and are among the best tomatoes for eating raw. These large tomatoes (typically 10 to 16 ounces each) typically have a squat and irregular shape, making them poor candidates for mechanized processing, but ideal for home gardens and kitchens.
Gardeners can find seeds and plants for many types of beefsteak tomatoes. The following are five favorites:
Brandywine is an heirloom tomato, which means it’s open-pollinated and not a hybrid. It’s a large, meaty, pink, late-season tomato. Gardeners excuse its low yield and uneven ripening because of its classic tomato flavor.
2. Cherokee Purple
Cherokee purple is popular for its unusual dusty rose color, its dense and juicy texture, and its luscious sweet flavor similar to Brandywine’s. Some consider Cherokee Purple to be one of the best-tasting heirloom tomatoes.
3. Big Beef
Big Beef is a hybrid prized for its large beefy fruits and old-fashioned, homegrown flavor. A midseason tomato, it’s a heavy producer, bred to yield bright red, smooth tomatoes until frost.
4. Black Krim
An heirloom tomato from the Black Sea area of the former Soviet Union, Black Krim produces intense, slightly salty maroon tomatoes in mid season. Its color tends to be darker in hot weather.
5. German Johnson
German Johnson is a popular heirloom tomato from the southern United States. It produces very large (16-ounce) reddish-pink fruits with meaty flesh and few seeds. German Johnson tomatoes are popular for canning and slicing.
Learn more about beefsteak tomatoes at the following sites:
Growing Tomatoes in the Home Garden from Ohio State University Extension
Tomatoes from Arizona Cooperative Extension
Growing Heirloom Tomato Varieties in Southwest Florida from University of Florida
Lynne Lamstein gardens in Maine and Florida and is currently working on a sustainable landscape. She has a degree in ornamental horticulture from Temple University.