View Full Version : Spare VS Baby Backs Ribs

02-15-2012, 10:03 AM
Here is the age old question. Spares VS Baby Backs. What is everybody using in competition Spares or Baby Backs? I been using spares for the last 2 years and do ok with them. The problem I find is the bones aren't very straight on the spares and I end up butchering them up when cutting. I have never tried Baby Backs in competition and was wondering if anybody is using them? Also how well do the judges like them?

02-15-2012, 10:05 AM
don't know about BB's, but simply purchase spares with straight bones.

02-15-2012, 10:13 AM
Common question.

Here is just one of many threads:


I have used both at various times with mixed results from both.


02-15-2012, 10:17 AM
I haven't yet competed but have cooked a LOT of ribs. I can say that my intention will be to use spares for comps because they look (and are) fuller/meatier. As for cutting, I say just flip them over so you can see the bone when you cut. Of course, looking for racks with straight bones will be a good idea as well!

02-15-2012, 10:22 AM
I have done well with spares not a BB fan especially the price difference.

02-15-2012, 10:32 AM
We use Spares for KCBS and Baby's for MBN-MIM

02-15-2012, 11:02 AM
We used spares for the first few years and slowly changed to baby backs more recently. You have to avoid the big hump back ones, but we seem to have had better luck with them lately. Really have no issues cooking either one though if we find good ones.

02-15-2012, 11:19 AM
We have used both and have been very happy with them. That saying, our scores are usually pretty miserable regardless of which we use...

02-15-2012, 11:37 AM
We've cooked both in the past and when this topic came up before I went back through our last four years results and found that our top 10 finishes in ribs were pretty much split between spares and baby backs, including the same number of first place finishes. If you present a well cooked, great tasting rib I don't think it matter whether they are spares or baby backs.

I'd suggest choosing one and working on cooking that type the best that you can and work out your flavors and stick with it.

02-15-2012, 11:55 AM
We only cook baby backs and our last three comps have yielded 3rd, 1st and 1st.

Now if only we could cook the other three meats!

02-15-2012, 12:38 PM
We have used both and have been very happy with them. That saying, our scores are usually pretty miserable regardless of which we use...

I'm doing a private rib and chicken class Saturday. Just sayin'.......

02-15-2012, 12:42 PM
i've toyed around with both, but it seems bb's i score the best with and i think it comes down to the best method versus differant kinda rib. if you figure out the proper cooking method for which ever rib you cook then you are king

BC Squared
02-15-2012, 01:33 PM
Spares here...

02-15-2012, 03:47 PM
Our rib cook uses only BB and in our first and only two comps last year finished tied for 10/23 and 9/47.

02-15-2012, 08:48 PM
....tough question. Just make sure they are pork :tongue:

Contracted Cookers
02-15-2012, 09:08 PM
the one you can cook the best

02-16-2012, 08:44 AM
Thank you for all your advice.