View Full Version : Spare ribs - Trimmed or not?

07-03-2008, 11:58 PM
I've only turned in loin back ribs so far, but every time I make spare ribs I trim them st. louis style - then typically make some rib tips and some other different recipes.

At my last comp I've seen a few teams turn in the full spare rib with the horizontal cartilage part. Personally I hate that full cut of rib. It's full of fat and I hate eating the two different "styles" in one.

Just curious what your thoughts are...

07-04-2008, 12:37 AM
If I used spares, I would use a St. Louis cut. I just think they would fit in the box better.

Professor Salt
07-04-2008, 12:46 AM
St Louis cut, without a doubt.

How'd that team do with the untrimmed rack, just curious?

07-04-2008, 01:08 AM
St Louis cut, without a doubt.

How'd that team do with the untrimmed rack, just curious?

I know the team next to me that did untrimmed did poorly, but I saw a couple passed around to the public and not sure who won. I haven't done many comps so just wanted to take an informal poll.

07-04-2008, 05:33 AM
I'd stick with the st. Louis cut.

07-04-2008, 06:26 AM
St. louis cut If nothing else it will fit better in the box. Also most people think of baby backs when the think ribs. A single St. Louis rib looks a lot like a super sized BB. Mentaly the judge might think they are getting Flintstone sized BB. It's giving the uninformed judge what they want and giving you the chance to show off your skills as a cook.

07-04-2008, 06:38 AM
st louis cut, or stick with loin backs. I think the whole spare are great for parties for more bang for the buck,

Professor Salt
07-04-2008, 02:58 PM
I know the team next to me that did untrimmed did poorly

That doesn't surprise me.

I'm assuming you're competing in KCBS contests, so baby backs are legal if you prefer to use them. IBCA contests do not allow back ribs, so check the rules for each contest and plan accordingly.

07-04-2008, 03:11 PM
I've done well with untrimmed spares, but for the last few years I trim them to a St. Louis cut. It is just a lot easier to get them in the box.

07-04-2008, 06:41 PM
Did my first IBCA last weekend and I barely got the seven ribs in the box after cutting the St L style...glad I trimmed before cooking or we would have been in big trouble.

Just Smokin' Around
07-05-2008, 10:52 PM
I cut spare to St. Louis cut, even at parties. I see a lot of people throwing away the "knuckle" part and to me that's a waste. So, I serve trimmed spares. I use the rib tips and trimmings for personal use at home. I don't mind eating the meat from the knuckles. For comps, we sue St. Louis stye cuts. Looks better, cooks more even and fits in the box better.

07-06-2008, 12:44 AM
I use a kinda fuller cut St. Louis for catering, if that makes sense. I still trim them but leave alot more of the meat passed the bone around the knuckle. They feed alot more that way, sense people eat with there eyes for the most part and 2 big ribs with more meat on the end look bigger that 3 straight cut St. Louis Style at the bone end. Now for comps St. Louis is the way to go.

smoke showin'
07-06-2008, 09:55 AM
st.louis it's all about uniformity and now cost is a plus

07-06-2008, 10:43 AM
St. Louis cut look better in a box, and you can fit more in while maintaining a pleasant presentation.

Now the religious debate between spares and baby backs.... well, that is a whole other thread :) <tastes great, less filling mod>

07-06-2008, 11:02 AM
We can only cook spares down here for main turn. St. Louis cut, membrane removed, for most of our cooks. There are some that will leave the knuckles on if there are country folk judging. The thinking is they like that cartilage to chew on.

Big George's BBQ
07-06-2008, 02:59 PM
I have only done BB in comps. Now that I know how to do St. Louis cut I want try them