Originally Posted by snyper77
I've tried Smithfield, IBP, and Prairie Fresh spare ribs from Winn Dixie and Food World (Grocers). Every one of them are "thin" and "skinny" racks.
I've seen competition ribs there were very thick and meaty. Do ribs come in "quality" categories like brisket (select, choice, prime)? I simply can't find thick, quality spare ribs. Thanks for your help here.
Although inspection is mandatory, its grading for quality is voluntary, and a plant will have to pay to have its pork graded (so most is not graded by a USDA inspector to save these fees).
USDA grades for pork reflect only two levels: "Acceptable" grade and "Utility" grade.
Pork sold as Acceptable quality pork is the only fresh pork sold in supermarkets. It should have a high proportion of lean meat to fat and bone.
Pork that is graded as Utility, is mainly used in processed products and is not available in supermarkets for consumers to purchase.
When buying pork, look for cuts with a relatively small amount of fat over the outside and with meat that is firm and a grayish pink color. For best flavor and tenderness, meat should have a small amount of marbling.
Also stores that are known for quality food product have their own standards that must be met for their products. Costco, Restaurant Depot, BJ's are just a few of these. If you remember when the issue of "Pink Slime" was raised last year, these stores were the few who never never allowed this product in their fresh meat products.
I would suggest to try a different store that you currently use, or try a local butcher. Remember cheap isn't always good, and good food isn't cheap.