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Jun 5, 2003 06:47 PM

72 oz. steak challenge - I need advise

  • a

I am contemplating taking the steak challenge at The Big Texas Steakhouse in Amarillo. The basic idea is to eat a meal consisting of a 72oz top sirloin, baked potato, salad, shrimp cocktail, and a roll within one hour. It's free if successful, $50 if not. Only about 10% succeed.

It might be fun to try. What advise would you have for me to make this feat possible, in terms of pace, chewing, sauces, salad dressing, etc? Is drinking water along with meal helpful, or a hinderance? Should one not eat for a couple of days before trying this? Should I order the top sirloin meat rare, medium, well done?

Opinions and advise are welcome.

See this link for the offer:

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  1. In regards to fasting ahead of time, that's probably a bad idea. 1) you'll get very sick if you gorge after fasting a few days, and 2) I find that when you limit your food intake for a few days, your stomach seems to "shrink," or at least, you feel full more quickly. Seems that increasing your eating for a few weeks before would be a better route, then maybe limiting it for 12 hours before.

    Drinking water will fill you up, that's a Weight Watcher's trick. Similarly, no point in adding salad dressing, as it's fatty and will make you feel full quicker.

    Well-done steaks, if you can stand the taste, have much less moisture and probably less fat than rare or medium, so you might be able to eat more.

    Eating slowly and chewing slowly will probably make you feel fuller, faster.

    My advice: Ask your doctor if your health is up to it, bring a small dog to hide under the table and help, and don't try to drive home right away from Amarillo, as all that meat will make you sleepy. Good luck and keep us posted.

    1. You might actually mail order one ahead of time for practice. Definitely practice eating big portions.
      I'd also reccommend cutting it up in bite size pieces first(or at least half at a time), then just start cramming it in. Good Luck-be sure to take pictures!

      1. a

        1. Don't go in after not eating for a few days. As a matter of fact you should start 'pacing' yourself for a few days having a big meal once or twice a day. Expand your area.

        2. The steak itself takes about an hour to cook. Remember, you are cooking a 4.5 pound chunk of meat, it damn near resembles a roast. So if you go in thinking in 30 minutes you will be done, you won't finish. Plan on a 2 hour visit.

        3. If you get up there and decide not to have the steak try Taco's Garcia (mexican), David's Steak House, or Marty's. There are some others, if you wish I can list.

        11 Replies
        1. re: AmarilloRaider

          Why? Are the restaurants you listed better than The Big Texan?

          1. re: avi

            Almost anything is better than the Big Texan. Here's my advice: don't do it. Do you really think that this will be an enjoyable experience? Feeling miserable after a meal is no way to eat. Besides, not only is gluttony one of the seven deadly sins, it is also quite uncool.

            1. re: Mesquite

              I agree with you ... thanks for the good advise... it's off

              1. re: avi

                Smart move Avi.

                1. re: avi
                  Howard Coone

                  Give it a try. Just because a couple folks here that you don't know wouldn't do it, don't back out on this once in a lifetime experience. Who knows, you might make the list of "winners"...

                  1. re: Howard Coone

                    I agree with Howard. If you succeed, you will be a god among men (and women). We will declare the day that you accomplish the feat: "Avi Day" from here on out. I'll personally file a petition to rename the Texas Board "Avi (Texas) Board". Forget the naysayers. Plenty of people thought Christopher Colombus would never make the trip. If the naysayers had their way, we would never have burritos...sno cones...Spam.... Now, start stretchin' that belly and go win that free steak!!!

                    1. re: Bob

                      Do it, Avi!

                      Show Homer Simpson who's the Boss!

                      "This is the biggest steak you've got? 72-ounce steak? I thought this was a steak house, not some girly, underpanty, tinyweeny place".



                  2. re: avi

                    Good for you, Avi.

                    1. re: avi

                      Yes, that's good advice...not to go.

                      Spend the money on a banquet at a good Chinese restaurant. Invite a few friends, or Chowhounds. Get a big lobster or giant crabs.

                      1. re: avi

                        this is an incredibly old thread, but I thought If I could help anyone I would like to say, yes, try the Big Texan 72 Ounce steak challenge.

                        You only live once. And if you're miserable for a day, so what, the glory will follow you for all time.

                        I myself tried to eat that steak five years ago on a road trip. After managing down almost everything I had about twelve ounces of charred beef on my plate--couldn't do it.

                        My advice? If anyone wants to do it, order it extra rare instead. Well done or med well or medium will result in a very thick char on the outside of the steak and too much char can make you puke.

                        Even to this day I wake up in a cold sweat thinking maybe I could do it...

                        1. re: avi

                          This is for therealbigtasty:

                          Well if you have conqured that mountain, here is another one for you:


                  3. As embarrassed as my wife would be if she finds out I posted this this, I will admit to eating the monster way back in 1982 or 83. Was in Amarillo visiting a friend and he wanted to see if I could do it and offered to pay for it. (At least back then you had to pay up front and got a refund if you ate it.) Being young and foolish, I took him up on it.

                    Ordered it medium rare. Got through about half of it before it really started to be miserable. I did finish it and thought I felt awful then. I didn't know how bad I would feel during the next few hours. Our group followed up the Big Texan by going out to Palo Duro canyon for the musical "Texas" and the hot August weather set in. My stomach churned and I was so hot (attributed that to the digestive process) that I thought I was going to really be sick. But I survived.

                    By the way, if you finish it you get a certificate commemorating your "accomplishment."

                    From about any way of looking at it, it's a very bad idea.

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: River Rat

                      My friend tried to eat that steak five years ago on a snowboarding road trip. After managing down almost everything he had about sixteen ounces of tender (he said it was really tasty) beef on his plate--he couldn't do it. What nobody talks about is the fact that they make a spectacle of whoever tries to do it. Instead of eating with our part, my friend had to sit on a stage with a bright LED timer, and become a circus act for the fellow patrons.

                      Also note that for the $55. dollars me and friends fronted for the one who couldn't finish it (that was the agreement, if he didn't finish it, the others would cover it) he could _almost_ buy a dinner at Hibiscus that would include a nice bone-in beef tenderloin. He wouldn't have felt sick aftwards either. But, heck, Hibiscus wasn't open 5 years ago.

                      1. re: dfw.eats

                        Hell, it's 72 bucks now, so good going back then.

                        That's about how far I got.

                        1. re: dfw.eats

                          I've also tried a 20 X 20 at In n' Out.

                          1. re: therealbigtasty

                            I've never resurrected a thread this old, but due to a recent confluence, I found myself at this place. And yes, some sad sack attempted the 72 oz steak plus sides contest, and no, he didn't finish. The oddest thing about this (other than from the time we drove into the parking lot and until we drove out I could have sworn I was at Disneyworld because it was that surrealistic) was that the contestant was on stage just sitting there solo, chomping away as people came up to mainly take pictures of him and his plate. It looked like a head table at a wedding reception sans bride, with the groom chomping away for all to gawk. The clock counting down the time only added to the "suspense.".

                            I gathered he'd either tried this before or seen others try, because he was totally unfazed by the attention. Not being a fan of theme restaurants I don't regularly go, but nothing I've ever seen compared to this joint. Not in size, noise, cowboy hats, mounted deer heads, the huge plastic cow outside, souvenir drinks in a pink cowboy boot,a gift shop that would put Cracker Barrel to shame, and my personal favorite, a mariachi band. Only they were a bunch of country singers that were at least 90 y/o crooning "Dropkick me Jesus through the Goalpost of Life." I kid about the song but not the group. Although it's a real song, I swear. Actually, they weren't half bad, considering.

                            Can't speak for the food because I don't eat meat and I wasn't hungry so I just had a couple of sides that were delivered at room temp, at best. Not that I cared, I was there for the conviviality of the group I was with. I hope to return next year, not for the food but for what it symbolizes to the people I was with.

                            All in all, a memorable experience and not an unpleasant one. Cowboy hats off to the waitstaff who pretended to be unfazed at the idea of roughly 16 separate checks, although something tells me this is not unusual, considering the other large groups that were there when we were.

                            The best line came from a guy in our group named Stu who stuck around to, as he said it, "watch this guy kill himself."

                            1. re: marcia

                              I must agree with all the post, I have been there years ago. I did not try the 72oz because I did not want to feel like I ate a cow. Now if they did a 72oz of Sushi challenge I might actually do that one.

                      2. I filmed two people trying this at the Big Texan last year and neither of them finished. It looked like a terrible piece of meat and not cooked very contestant said it was the toughest steak he'd ever eaten. According to the staff, one of the most successful tricks is to roll the steak into a giant tube and just start at one end and eat till you're done...messy but apparently successful.