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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 04-06-2011, 10:05 AM   #1
Bamabuzzard
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Question Why do people think Baby Backs have more meat than spares?

Here recently I have heard the statement that the reason baby backs are so popular is because they have more meat than the spares. Now unless I'm mistaken I think it is the other way around. But I can't tell you how many people I've talked to over the last few weeks that say they prefer BB's over spares because there is more meat on the BB's.

My brother in law was over and we had ribs and he couldn't get over how meaty the "Baby Backs" were. I told him they weren't baby backs they were spares. He was shocked. I think a lot of people assume that these restaurants serve baby backs because they are "meatier" rather than simply quicker to cook.
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Unread 04-06-2011, 10:12 AM   #2
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I think the perception comes from most spares aren't cooked well and the fat isn't
rendered much and certainly not completely. While you can get BB's that haven't had the fat rendered much, they start with less fat so there's "more meat" per bite (well, really less fat).

Anyway, that's my conjecture.
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Unread 04-06-2011, 10:25 AM   #3
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I think restaurant advertisements make people think baby backs are better than spares. "I want my baby backs baby backs baby backs!" I think the truth is, baby backs are cheaper for restaurants to prepare and cook than spares so restaurant advertisements tell us all how great BBs are.

I was in Costco recently when a guy came over to the meat counter and was looking for baby backs while I was looking for spares. He asked what the difference was and I explained that spares have more meat and many people think more flavor than BBs but BBs cook a little quicker and are a little less meaty. He grabbed some spares and walked over to his wife and explained to her what I said to him. She put her finger in his face and told him "GO GET BABY BACKS!" Evidently TV commercials convinced her that BBs are cool and spares are for us poor hillbillies. That's my opinion and I'm sticking to it.

Personally, I like either BBs or spares. It depends on what's on sale.
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Unread 04-06-2011, 10:25 AM   #4
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Spares usually have more meat between the bones because they're longer, but BBR's tend to be thicker. The meat to bone ratio is much higher for BBR's than spares. Give me BBR's all day long...
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Unread 04-06-2011, 10:36 AM   #5
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It depends on the guy with the knife. BBs around here are always cut more uniform and quite likely to have shiners. Spares may have a thin end and definitely have more bone and more meat. BBs to show Spares to win!
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Unread 04-06-2011, 10:42 AM   #6
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I think that it's more to do with marketing and sales in the restaurants. They can charge more of a premium price for a rack of BB's and as you said, they cook faster, so they make more money per rack. I personally like to cook untrimmed spares at home. Much meatier and better flavor in my opinion!
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Unread 04-06-2011, 10:49 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CarolinaQue View Post
I think that it's more to do with marketing and sales in the restaurants. They can charge more of a premium price for a rack of BB's and as you said, they cook faster, so they make more money per rack. I personally like to cook untrimmed spares at home. Much meatier and better flavor in my opinion!

+ 1 untrimmed spares at home.
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Unread 04-06-2011, 11:04 AM   #8
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Interesting.....never considered smoking untrimmed spares (of course I haven't been smoking that long). I guess people just eat around those bones, or cartilage, or whatever that stuff is?
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Unread 04-06-2011, 11:25 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daninnewjersey View Post
Interesting.....never considered smoking untrimmed spares (of course I haven't been smoking that long). I guess people just eat around those bones, or cartilage, or whatever that stuff is?

Yeah, it actually falls pretty much in line with the bone when you cut the ribs. So it's very easy to eat around.
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Unread 04-06-2011, 12:03 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GrillinFool View Post
Spares usually have more meat between the bones because they're longer, but BBR's tend to be thicker. The meat to bone ratio is much higher for BBR's than spares.
Yeah, I've noticed that too. At least with all the ones I've been getting from my supplier.
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Unread 04-06-2011, 12:06 PM   #11
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i used to be a firm believer in baby backs, but lately i've come around and prefer spares. plus, if you get the untrimmed spares, you get all the goodness that you cut off and cook with the ribs.
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Unread 04-06-2011, 12:18 PM   #12
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Gimme spares "3 and under"...trim 'em up St. Louis style and I'm in heaven.....
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Unread 04-06-2011, 12:24 PM   #13
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BB fan here...I like 'em thick and juicy...don't care for skinny ribs.
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Unread 04-06-2011, 12:28 PM   #14
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Sometimes baby backs are marketed as "meaty" and the butcher has left a lot of the pork loin attached to the baby backs. Of course this works out great for the grocer since baby backs are selling for $3+/lb. and pork loin is selling for less than $2/lb.
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Unread 04-06-2011, 12:28 PM   #15
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A well trimmed rack of spares doesn't give you that much more meat than a rack of BB's. I prefer to cook loin backs (BB's) because I can get the loin meat more tender, more consistently than spares.
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