Originally Posted by thirdeye
Yeah, they were butchered alright ...
And yes, they need some practice with the knife.
There are two schools of thought here, one is custom butchering, the other is standard practice. Your basic ribs fall under standard practice. The bad thing is, many butchers these days use a box cutter as much as a knife or saw because most of their meat comes in already broken down into primal cuts.... in other words not every meat cutter starts with a carcass like the AG department does.
You can get some good experience by hanging around a custom butcher, and in Idaho, I'll bet during hunting season there are processors that hire extra help. Working on elk and deer will give you plenty of experience with working with a carcass (although wild game ribs are pretty skimpy).
The NAMP Meat Buyers Guide is the industry standard that meat cutters should follow, it covers all meats and has descriptions of each cut and many diagrams. However.... I know many meat cutters that only looked at it when they were in school, and others that need to read it again. Here is a sample of what kind of information is available.
This is fine and all but says nothing about a "standard" amount of meat thickness on the bacon side.They didn't get the name SPARE ribs for nothing.Until recently there wasn't a huge demand for them.Any meat left on while removing them makes the bacon thinner.It seems like the OP is implying that the meat cutter doesn't know what they are doing.I see nothing wrong with the ribs he got.If you want meaty ribs then get the whole belly and cut it yourself or tell them you want meaty ribs and prepare to pay accordingly.
UPBS(Ugly Plywood Box Smoker), Costco Vision Komado, Weber Smokey Joe Silver(soon to be a mini WSM)