For avid tomato lovers in the kitchen, nothing could be better than growing your own giant tomatoes in your backyard.
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has guidelines for what constitutes a small, medium, large and extra-large tomato. At the top of the scale (which we will call the giants), the size of the tomato is a whopping 2.75 inches or larger. The weight is usually about a pound or more, differing between varieties and growing conditions.
There are more than a hundred giant tomato varieties, but these 21 are some of the world’s best.
One of the most well-known giant tomatoes has to be the Beefsteak. This heirloom variety is known for its ribbed sections, meaty flesh and excellent taste – perfect for slicing for sandwiches.
There are several other varieties that have sprung from this one including Beefsteak Rainbow, Pink, Yellow and Great White and also Ponderosa Red and Crimson Cushion. These tomatoes are often over a pound in weight and 6 inches in diameter.
High yields of pinkish-red tomatoes that weigh 1-2 pounds can be found on this plant that can reach an impressive 18 feet tall. The fruits are around 4-5 inches in diameter and have a good flavor with few seeds.
The vines have to be trellised due to their size. Most growers opt for horizontal trellising to make it easier to harvest.
The name says it all for these massive tomatoes. The bright red heart-shaped fruit is 4-6 inches in diameter and they can weigh up to 2 pounds. They have a good flavor for use as sliced tomatoes for salads and sandwiches. As an indeterminate heirloom variety, the vines will also require stalking.
Believe it or Not
This tomato variety is unusual due to the large fruit 2 – 3 pounds in weight. Along with this incredible weight, they also have an excellent flavor described as juicy and sweet. This makes them perfect for tomato juice, or for using as sliced tomatoes in salads. Believe it or Not fruits have a smooth shape which is also unusual in giant tomatoes.
The legend of the Mortgage Lifter comes from the mid-20th century when a tomato dabbler sold his giant tomatoes and pay off his mortgage. These are pinkish red meaty tomatoes with a rich, sweet taste with a ribbed shape and fruit that weighs in at over a pound.
A popular Russian heirloom tomato with a double heart shape and a rich flavor. They are prolific producers of red fruit 1-2 pounds in weight and up to 6 inches long. The rich, meaty flesh is ideal for slicing for sandwiches and salads.
With a perfect name, it’s easy to see why Goliath fits on this list. These plants are some of the most disease-resistant in the giant tomato range and have sweet, tasty flesh. They are high-yielders with fruit weighing in at 1-3 pounds and 3-4 inches in diameter. Make sure you leave space for these huge plants.
These tomatoes have a distinctive heart shape, named for their resemblance to an actual oxheart in size and shape. Oxhearts have a mild flavor and pinkish-red flesh with few seeds, making them great for slicing.
Several varieties stem from this tomato including Jung’s Giant, Pink, Orange and Red. They have a diameter of 3-5 inches and can weigh up to 3 pounds.
An heirloom variety that has multipurpose uses in the kitchen and preferred by chefs for slicing with a sweet, juicy flesh and an excellent flavor. The fruits are at least 1-2 pounds in weight and they are considered crack-resistant which makes them a very popular choice for growing at home.
This tomato was thought to be an extinct variety, recently discovered in a seed packet from the 1930s and now grown around the world (although seeds are still rare). They produce fruit that is about a pound in weight, juicy and ready for slicing.
If one tomato makes the grade for the biggest, it has to be this variety that broke the World Record in 2020 with a tomato weighing a whopping 10.795 pounds (and with a circumference of 33 inches). Seeds for this giant variety can be purchased online if you want to enter the world’s largest tomato competition, although you can also be assured of red fruit with a pleasant flavor.
Known for its excellent taste, this heirloom dates back to 1886 and has won several taste awards. It’s a good yielding tomato with fruits up to 1.5 pounds and a diameter of 6 – 7 inches. More popular varieties have sprung from this beloved tomato, including Pink, Purple, Yellow, Liam’s and Sudduth, to name a few.
From Australia comes this sweet and flavorful heirloom vine tomato perfect for slicing fresh. The plant has good yields of lightly ribbed fruit weighing around 1-2 pounds each. They are considered classic tomatoes with a traditional tomato taste.
This heirloom tomato has an excellent flavor similar to that of Brandywine tomatoes. They are disease resistant and produce pinkish fruit, 1-2 pounds in weight that are perfect fresh for slicing into salads and for sandwiches. It’s known as an old-fashioned, rich, and flavorful giant variety.
Stump of the World
One of the very best old-fashioned tomatoes for flavor is this interestingly named Stump of the World tomato that has a sweet, meaty and juicy flavor for slicing. The plant is very productive, with yields weighing around 1 pound each of dark pink to red tomatoes.
A tomato named Pineapple has an immediate interest. It’s not named for its taste (which would be weird), but for its shape similarly ribbed like a pineapple and its yellow and red bicolor. It has a very sweet taste with a juicy flesh and the high-yielding plants produce fruit at about 2 pounds each.
As the symbol for gourmet cooking in her day, chef Julia Child has this tomato named after her. The plant produces well with deep pink lightly ribbed fruit that have a good tomato flavor that Julia would approve of. Weighting up to a pound with a diameter of 4 inches, these certainly fit into the giant tomato category.
As Italy is known for its abundance of good tomato varieties, at least one of the giants must be added to this list. This is a very delicious beefsteak-type tomato 4 inches in diameter with a deep red color and ribbed sides. The fruit weighs around a pound each and they are good for anything from slicing to salsas and sauces.
As the name suggests, the Ultimate Giant tomato has incredibly big fruit averaging around 4 inches in diameter and weighing about 2 pounds each. For those interested in entering the biggest tomato competition, all but one fruit is harvested from the plant, giving all the energy into producing an ultimate giant tomato. There have been cases of this one fruit being more than double the diameter at 9 inches. They are also good for slicing and canning.
Nothing to do with cereal, this tomato was named after railroad man Darrell Kellogg. They are huge carrot-colored tomatoes with a good balance of sweetness and acidity, making them ideal for slicing for salads and sandwiches. The fruits are around 2 pounds each, a great heirloom variety for home gardens.
Very sweet, juicy and tasty Giant Belgium tomatoes are a 1930s heirloom that has many uses including slicing, sauces, salsas and canning. Some of the fruits are known to reach 5 pounds in weight, but they are usually closer to 1 – 2 pounds with dark pink flesh and low acidity.