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Unread 06-29-2010, 01:58 PM   #1
Hook'em Texans
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Default Rib Differences?

There are spare ribs, baby back rib, pork ribs, beef ribs, and many more. What makes them all different? Do they cook differently? Which is the best? Which is the easiest? Honestly, I know very little about ribs and want to begin cooking them with my smoker. I woulod love to hear everyone comments and thoughts about the different types of ribs.

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Unread 06-29-2010, 02:10 PM   #2
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OK... Step away from the meat counter... Now take a deep breath...

Spare ribs and Baby Back (Loin Back) ribs are both pork ribs. Beef ribs are, well, beef. You will also see Beef Short Ribs, which are still beef (doh!) but from a different part of the cow.

Which is best? That's like asking a mother to pick her favorite child All of them are good, but they are different. Spare ribs are typically meatier than baby backs and have more of a "pork" flavor. But, they have more fat and cartilage than baby backs so some folks don't like them. Baby backs are considered "better" than spare ribs mainly, I think, because of marketing. Restaurants advertise their baby back ribs all of the time, so folks think they are better. Personally, i prefer a well cooked spare rib any day. Spares typically take longer to cook than baby backs.

Beef ribs are completely different since they are beef. The most common beef ribs for BBQ are the long bone ribs that are part of the rib roast. They are hard to find with much meat on them because the meat can be sold at much higher prices when it is part of the rib roast. If you do find meaty ones that are great. Because of their size, they take longer to cook than either of the pork ribs.

The other beef rib that is commonly available it the beef short rib. These are most commonly braised, but they can be cooked low and slow with some success.

Does that help?
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Unread 06-29-2010, 02:14 PM   #3
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Oh yeah...

Here is an interactive reference to different pork cuts. It will show you where the different ribs come from...

http://www.askthemeatman.com/hog_cut...tive_chart.htm
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Unread 06-29-2010, 02:16 PM   #4
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Whooo, RonL, that was a well thought out response.
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Unread 06-29-2010, 02:38 PM   #5
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Now, beef short ribs are off of the chuck cut and provide a tougher cut of meat with loads more connective tissue, this makes for a softer texture and in some folks mind, better taste. I prefer beef ribs from the side which is cut off of the standing beef rib roast, these have the meat from the same cut as a prime rib roast.
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Unread 06-29-2010, 02:49 PM   #6
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And don't be fooled by those country style pork ribs. They aren't ribs, but cuts off the shoulder. Hard to have proper ribs without bones...
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Unread 06-29-2010, 02:52 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zydecopaws View Post
And don't be fooled by those country style pork ribs. They aren't ribs, but cuts off the shoulder. Hard to have proper ribs without bones...
Nope, not ribs, but still shore be dam good y'all.
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Unread 06-29-2010, 03:38 PM   #8
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St. Louis style spares are the best, next question...

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Unread 06-29-2010, 03:49 PM   #9
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Well said Ron... Just a couple of things though....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron_L View Post
Which is best? That's like asking a mother to pick her favorite child
Actually I think it's easier to pick the favorite child....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron_L View Post
The other beef rib that is commonly available it the beef short rib. These are most commonly braised, but they can be cooked low and slow with some success.
Actually, while I love braised short ribs, I think the best way to use them is to make mini briskets-on-a-stick.

Coat them with your favorite brisket rub and put them bone side down on your cooker at 225* for 7-9 hours... Crispy bark and oh-so tender inside...

Gotta go, getting hungry!!!!!

Oh, one more thing, St. Louis cuts are just trimmed up spare ribs. You can do this your self and save a bunch of money...
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Unread 06-29-2010, 03:58 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Divemaster View Post
Oh, one more thing, St. Louis cuts are just trimmed up spare ribs. You can do this your self and save a bunch of money...
Uh huh. What he said ^^^.

Also, unless you're doing a comp, I wouldn't even trim to a St. Louis cut. IMO, the only reason to trim up a Spare is to make as many of the bones as uniform as possible for a turn in. Leaving the ends in place adds to the "bone-in" flavor and you get more meat per bone without trimming. Yes, you get the little cartilage thingies at the end, but so what? With a good, tender cook they pull right off, no worries.
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Unread 06-29-2010, 04:01 PM   #11
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So when you guys make spares, you don't trim at all? Just the Skirt and the membrane?
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Unread 06-29-2010, 04:06 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fat_bastard View Post
So when you guys make spares, you don't trim at all? Just the Skirt and the membrane?
it's all a matter of preference..

some trim so that it looks like a perfectly flat rectangle, membrane off etc. and others don't trim at all and leave the membrane on.. some are in between...

Heck.. even Tony Montana trims his spares in the shape of a "P" with the membrane on

http://www.youtube.com/user/Popdaddy.../2/GbBFZstQRUY
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Unread 06-29-2010, 04:11 PM   #13
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YOU PEOPLE ARE CONFUSING ME!!!!!!!


you shouldn't do that
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Unread 06-29-2010, 04:19 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fat_bastard View Post
YOU PEOPLE ARE CONFUSING ME!!!!!!!


you shouldn't do that

not trying to confuse you..

Truth is that you'll end up getting different answers based on what each person does or believes is best. You may then decide to select one that you think makes sense to ypu but may also likely to adapt it with other processes that you already use which may not work best.

the answer is.. you really need to try them different ways and figure out what you think works best.
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Unread 06-29-2010, 04:21 PM   #15
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Last week I got some rib slabs from CostCo and trimmed them to St Louis style but had no idea what to do with the scraps... I hated wasting that much meat. Those of you that do trim, what do you do with it?
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