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View Full Version : A Rib Poll


Solidkick
04-22-2007, 04:44 PM
Another brother and myself was having a conversation today about ribs...what we prefer verses what we think the judges would prefer.

Though we both decided we like baby backs as our personal preference to eat, we were wondering if that is what people are turning in for a competition, or are they turning in spares and if there is a decisive advantage to do so.

So...do you turn in Baby backs or Spares?

Poll is set up to NOT show who voted how, only your answer.

The_Kapn
04-22-2007, 04:55 PM
I think (may be wrong) that we have been through this before.

We do not prefer one over the other and do not see many judges who do.
May be a regional thing.

We try to find the best "quality" ribs and cook them the best we can.
We have been having trouble lately finding real quality ribs of either type :twisted:

We llok for "meaty" ribs with bones that are kinda aligned up perpendicular to the rack/slab.
Also, we like some meat between the bones so we can slice them evenly.

Hard to find, of either persuasion :oops:

For us--either work--just gotta be quality going in!

TIM

Sawdustguy
04-22-2007, 05:16 PM
Gary,

I will eat ribs any style. During competition though my team has elected to cook full spares St. Louis style. We feel that after all the cutting and cleaning a St. Louis style full spare looks more pleasing to a judge. Our thinking could be wrong but this is how we do it.

Plowboy
04-22-2007, 05:22 PM
We asked this question of the two CBS aster Judges that cooked with us this weekend. They felt like it was 50/50 on what gets turned in. They also felt like judges don't prefer one over the other and score the rib on its own merit. That's there perception based on their 30+ contests. Wonder what some of the reps here like Arlie or Merl have heard from judges and table captains.

ZILLA
04-22-2007, 05:47 PM
Down this way we have to turn in spares. I'm glad too, BB's are so much more expensive.
TGCBCA, IBCA, Lone Star....

big blue bbq
04-22-2007, 06:13 PM
I tend to do spares also because of the cost and they seem to have more meat on them which should help appearance. I know I don't like to go out to eat and get a bunch of skinny ribs. When you can get three slabs in one pack for the cost of one slab of baby backs it makes a difference when you have no sponsors and a tight budget.

Jeff_in_KC
04-22-2007, 06:48 PM
We just cooked six (I think) slabs of spares today and i'm tellin ya, the slabs, when done, looked thin and dry. And we didn't evercook either. We tore into one and I believe babybacks have more flavor. I just wasn't impressed. Of course, I've only cooked maybe 20 slabs of spares ever.

bcis93
04-22-2007, 07:03 PM
I prefer babybacks to eat. I have always turned in babybacks until this weekend. I ordered 3 racks of St. Louis cut spares. I do like the shape of the St Louis ribs and the whole rack is the same size for the most part as opposed to the smaller ribs on the ends of babys. I cooked 3 racks of babys & 3 of St. Louis cut spares. Same rub, same cook time. One slab of babys was overcooked due to bad placement on the cooker, one broke in two due to a handeling mistake and the other had some appearance issue. so I went with the St. Louis ribs. The result is was the lowest scores I have ever gotten in ribs. In appearance I got 7-9-8-8-8-8. In taste i got 7-7-7-6-8-8. In tenderness i got 8-6-7-5-8-9. I have never gotten low scores in tenderness with babys. I am gonna try some different techniques before the next contest (3 weeks). While I want to go with the spares my results point to babys.

scottyd
04-22-2007, 08:02 PM
We do baby backs or loin back ribs Whatevery you want to call them. I myself have no luck with spars, st louie cut. maybe I just suck at them. But the baby backs I do pretty well.

Chick'n Pig BBQ
04-22-2007, 08:40 PM
Baby Backs !!!!!!!!!!!

Kung Fu BBQ
04-22-2007, 09:59 PM
My biggest problem with baby backs is cutting them. I always screw up 3-4 cuts by hitting bone.

SP
04-23-2007, 07:48 AM
I use cut spares. I like the more meat and ability to ad flavor to them.

MoKanMeathead
04-23-2007, 08:03 AM
I like spares better but we seem to get better scores at contests with loin back ribs.

minijosh
04-23-2007, 08:35 AM
There should have been a both selection button. I eat anything.

Dale P
04-23-2007, 09:26 AM
I like both types of ribs but I also find that spares cut cleaner for me. BBs are good though and my teamates prefer them so I usually give in. In a perfect world I cook both and turn in the best out of the 2.

Puppyboy
04-23-2007, 12:22 PM
I have only done one comp and used BB's so I did not vote up above. They took 20th out of 60. The next week I did up some St. Louis trimmed spares at the house and I believe they were much better than the ones I turned in. So next time, I will do spares.

Puppyboy
04-23-2007, 12:24 PM
My biggest problem with baby backs is cutting them. I always screw up 3-4 cuts by hitting bone.
When I cut my ribs I turn them upside down so I see where the bones are. Before that I was hitting quite a few bones.

Solidkick
04-23-2007, 07:55 PM
Someone will probably ask this question year after year, and I think we'll see cooking trends change....with spares at 2.25 a lb vs babybacks at 3.48 a lb, that's enough to make you consider switching right there....but so far I've still got the feeling of "you got to dance with the one that brought ya"........until I get into a conversation with a judge that says "I don't like babybacks"....then it's "to the moon Alice"

lazyjacres
04-24-2007, 03:15 PM
I usually cook 3 slabs of both for a contest, but have found that I usually end up turning in spares.
They have more meat, you can cut them to present as six ribs of the same shape and size, and they are more forgiving on cook time.
From an eating stand point, I like them both.

Kung Fu BBQ
04-24-2007, 10:19 PM
When I cut my ribs I turn them upside down so I see where the bones are. Before that I was hitting quite a few bones.

I'm worried it will put flat spots on them. i turn em upside down at home when I cook, or set em on the ends and cut down, but at comps I hit from the top side and pray i dont hit bone.

gonna practice my gentle technique for bottom cutting.

Solidkick
04-29-2007, 08:50 AM
Well I took both kinds of ribs to Fulton this weekend, and I must say that the spares ruled.....thanks for all that participated in the poll, I think it was very helpful.....though I still prefer to eat babybacks, I think the spares score much better!!

HoDeDo
04-29-2007, 08:58 AM
We score better at contests with Spares, but my wife likes the Baby backs best to eat.

I think you get a more uniform look if you trim your spares to a St. Louis Cut - and I think they are more forgiving on cooking also. IMO it is much easier to overcook the baby backs...

Plowboy
04-30-2007, 11:29 AM
We score better at contests with Spares, but my wife likes the Baby backs best to eat.

I think you get a more uniform look if you trim your spares to a St. Louis Cut - and I think they are more forgiving on cooking also. IMO it is much easier to overcook the baby backs...

I agree that spares are more forgiving, although, baby backs seem easier to cook them to tenderness. But I'm a BB cooker, too. Only until lately, have I learned how to cook spares right. The bones that come out the back of the ribs on spares is frustrating.

Two weeks ago we cooked Baby Backs and scored a 162. This week we did spares and scored 161: same presentation, same process, same recipe, same relative score.