Tutorial on Pork Ribs Cuts
Baby Back Ribs: The most popular of all pork ribs, Baby Backs are the most lean and tender. These types of ribs are located at the top part of the rib bone that is connected to the spine (backbone), just below the loin muscle. The name “Baby” is derived from the fact they are shorter than spare ribs, and “Back”, because they are nearest the backbone.
Butchers make Baby Back Ribs by cutting them where the longest bone is, around 6″ from the spine. The meat on top of the bones is tender and delicious. Depending on how they are butchered, Baby Back Rib racks weigh about 1.75-2.5 lbs and will normally have between 10-13 bones per rack. Baby Backs can be grilled, barbecued, roasted and smoked. They are typical to the northern region of the U.S. and Canada.
Spare Ribs: Rib starts from the end of Baby Back Ribs and extends to the end of the rib bone. Spare Ribs are bigger with more meat between the bones than the top of the bones
and are a little tougher and fatter, but much richer in flavor. Spare Ribs average 10-13 bones per rack weighing between 2.5 – 3.5 lbs. They can also be grilled, barbecued, roasted and smoked.
St. Louis Ribs in the St. Louis area who wanted a better rib cut than they were receiving from big meat packers at the time. St. Louis Ribs, or St. Louis Style Ribs are Spare Ribs with the rib tips cut off where a lot of cartilage and gristle exists with very little meat. “Pork Ribs, St. Louis Style” officially became an official USDA cut standard NAMP/IMPS #416A in the 1980’s. Spare Ribs and St. Louis Style Spare Ribs are found on grills and smokers in the southern states of the U.S.
Rib Tips Rib Tips are found at the end tips of the rib bone. They are the by-products of St. Louis Ribs where butchers cut the tips off the end of the ribs into strips with a saw. Even with little meat and a lot of cartilage and gristle, Tips are rich in flavor due to the presence of bone and higher fat content. People generally either love them or hate them.
Country-Style Ribs You may be surprised to know that Country-style Ribs are not cut from the rib cage but from the front end of where the Baby Back Ribs are near the shoulder blade. They are the meatiest variety of ribs and are perfect for those who prefer to use a knife and fork rather than eating with their hands.
Rib Chops & Roasts: Bones are also used in other types of butcher cuts. Rib Chops are produced where the loin meat is kept attached to the bone and portion cut into a chop. The end of the rib bone can also be exposed to create a “French Cut” Rib Chop. A Crown Roast is created when instead of cutting the loin into chops, it’s formed into a circle and tied to look like a crown. Crown style roasts are seasonal holiday favorites.
Three Little Pig’s BBQ Championship Ribs
Simple No-wrap Memphis dry rib recipe
- 4 of either spare/St Louis or baby back pork ribs
- Cup of Regular Yellow Mustard
- 4 -Cups of Three Little Pig’s All Purpose Rubs and Three Little Pig’s Touch of Cherry Rub
- Strip membrane off the back of all the ribs.
- Using a fork poke the back side between each rib to break up connective tissues.
- Coat both sides of the ribs with a thin coat of yellow mustard.
- Coat both sides of the pork ribs with Three Little Pig’s All Purpose rub, then apply a coat of the Touch of Cherry Rub on Top of the All-Purpose rub. (layer flavors)
DIRECTIONS · Heat Smoker 250 degrees using Good-One Natural Lump Charcoal, add 2 chunks of either apple or cherry flavor wood once the charcoal is ready to go. ·Select (4) Slabs of Pork Ribs, Strip membrane off back of each rib to guarantee tenderness. Liberally coat yellow mustard over both sides of the baby back rib, this will act as a tenderizer and a bonding agent for the rub. · Meanwhile, coat both sides of the ribs with the Three Little Pig’s rubs. · Place ribs in a vertical rib rack for 4-5 hours depending on your smoker, ½ ways through the cook rotate the 180 degrees in the rack this will guarantee an even cook. · Once the meat has pulled back from the bones, use a toothpick to check tenderness. · Remove from Rack and place flat on the smoker and apply a light coat of Three Little Pig’s Touch of Cherry rub to finish.