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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, Equipment and just outdoor cookin' in general, hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures... but stay on topic. And watch for that hijacking.


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Unread 12-29-2012, 03:25 PM   #1
snyper77
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Default Sick and tired of "skinny" spare ribs!

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.
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Unread 12-29-2012, 05:54 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snyper77 View Post
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.
Try to find "rib belly" at your local butcher store. Basically spareribs and pork belly (wanna-be bacon) are right next to each other on the pig, and at least one place here in Chicago sells them as a single cut called a rib belly. I trim most of the fat that you'd find on the pork belly, and you end up with ~1" of meat on top of the bone, as well as what's between the bones. I've used rib belly to make real rib sammiches in the past (especially when the Arches sells their faux rib abomination). I'll find some pr0n I kept the last time I made the rib sammich and post it here.
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Unread 12-29-2012, 05:56 PM   #3
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I have had pretty good luck with Smithfield and Prairie Fresh. I do have to high grade packages from time to time, and I always make sure the top and bottom racks look decent.

Of late, I have been buying from the local restaurant supply house, and their ribs are much more meaty and dependable. No brand on them, just cryo-vac packages.
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Unread 12-29-2012, 11:19 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snyper77 View Post
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.

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Unread 12-30-2012, 01:16 AM   #5
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If you can find a shop that cuts their own meat rather than buying it in boxes or cryovac, you'll have a better chance. Whenever I must have seriously meaty ribs, I call a local specialty butcher (The Local Pig) here in Kansas City. They buy only whole hogs and cut them according to demand. The demand for ribs is so great that I have to call a week ahead of time but I can tell them how much meat I want left on the bone. Of course I pay a premium price for the premium slabs.
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Unread 12-30-2012, 01:38 AM   #6
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I seem to recall that restaurants can order their cases of ribs by the number of racks to a pound, thus fewer racks per case would often mean more meat.
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Unread 12-30-2012, 09:42 AM   #7
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This is how the rib belly cuts I get cook up:
41203_151291494890631_2895732_n.jpg
46824_151291411557306_1335761_n.jpg

Thick and juicy when it's all said and done.
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Unread 12-30-2012, 09:42 AM   #8
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The drought is to blame; hogs are sent to market sooner as the feed prices increase for producers. It is more profitable to send quantity vs quality. The price at the Store remains the same or higher due to customer demand. If you think them pork bones look like they came from an Ethiopian pig you should see the dino bones we get here. or as I call it sinew in a stick
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Unread 12-30-2012, 09:51 AM   #9
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I bought a case of these spares in 2011:



They were the best I ever had.
Big, meaty, full of flavor.

TIM
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Unread 12-30-2012, 10:22 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Kapn View Post
I bought a case of these spares in 2011:



They were the best I ever had.
Big, meaty, full of flavor.

TIM
Maybe I'm the exception. Hormel ribs are the only brand that I've had no luck with. They always turn out hammy and the texture is mealy.
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Unread 12-30-2012, 10:28 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dadsr4 View Post
Maybe I'm the exception. Hormel ribs are the only brand that I've had no luck with. They always turn out hammy and the texture is mealy.
I really can't speak for any other Hormel ribs because these are the only ones I have ever ordered and used.
Not enhanced.

I do know that we and the FBA Judges liked these a lot

Just my limited experience with cooking spares--we are baby back fans.

TIM
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Unread 12-30-2012, 11:24 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bludawg View Post
The drought is to blame; hogs are sent to market sooner as the feed prices increase for producers. It is more profitable to send quantity vs quality. The price at the Store remains the same or higher due to customer demand. If you think them pork bones look like they came from an Ethiopian pig you should see the dino bones we get here. or as I call it sinew in a stick
My local HEB hasn't had any spares in the last 2-3 visits. My local butcher shop didn't have any either.. instead they had "sinew on a stick" where the spares usually are.
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Unread 12-30-2012, 11:26 AM   #13
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I agree quality spares are hard to find. In my last comp. I did in early Nov. I shopped around for about 2 weeks looking for nice meaty ribs with straight bones. Luckily it paid off.. 2nd place and $125.
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Unread 12-30-2012, 11:34 AM   #14
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Don't buy cheap meat!
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Unread 12-30-2012, 11:35 AM   #15
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Swift and Prairie Fresh have been good to me.
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