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Competition BBQ *On Topic Only* Discussion regarding all aspects of Competition BBQ. Experiences competing or visiting, questions, getting started, Equipment, announcements of events, Results, Reviews, Planning, etc. Questions here will be responded to with competition BBQ in mind.

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Old 05-07-2012, 10:04 AM   #1
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Default Loin back vs Baby Back

What is better loin back or baby backs for competition. What is the difference??

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Old 05-07-2012, 10:08 AM   #2
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I thought they were the same thing, just two different names.
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Old 05-07-2012, 10:10 AM   #3
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Basically the same thing. "Baby" Backs are supposed to be 2.5 lbs and down, technically....meaning the hog was small or young.

Hard to find a rack that is under 3 lbs today.
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Old 05-07-2012, 10:59 AM   #4
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same thing
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Old 05-07-2012, 11:12 AM   #5
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They're the same, from what I understand most like to use spares for comps though. Meatier and straighter bones for presentation.
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Old 05-07-2012, 04:43 PM   #6
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We'll depends on where you're from. Loin backs, when I talk to the pig guy at Seaboard farms is a size determination. Small BB can't be call loin backs, although some butchers and other DO call them the same thing.

Generally, loin back will be more to the heavier weight of ribs (supposed to) because they contain more loin meat.
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Old 05-08-2012, 08:18 AM   #7
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True baby backs are from the far end of the rib cage and are pretty dang small. Loin backs are further down the rib cage and a little larger. What you are used to seeing is most likely loin backs.
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Old 05-08-2012, 11:55 AM   #8
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There seems to be some confusing answers in this thread and I will now add more to the confusion.............

Years ago and before the big four pork producers controlled 66%+ of the hog markets, hogs were usually butchered when they weighed about 225 pounds. A hog this size would yield full racks of spares that weighed around 3.5 pounds and full racks of back ribs that weighed about 2.0 pounds. Hogs weighing less than 225 pounds were the source of spares 3.5 pounds and down and the TRUE baby ribs that weighed 1.75 pounds or less. This how these terms originated.

Fast forward to today where two out of every three hogs we consume are slaughtered and processed by the four major pork producers, old terms are applied to bigger cuts and these terms are are no longer valid as hogs are now being slaughtered when they weigh at least 275 pounds or more. The producers figured out it takes just as long for workers to process a large hog as it does a smaller hog so their cost per pound for processing is cheaper by slaughtering larger/heavier hogs.

Because there are fewer hogs going to market weighing less than 225 pounds, a true baby rib is getting harder to find in the grocery store. Same goes for the 3.5 and down spare ribs. Now the industry uses terms such as small, medium and large for describing the size of spares. The term "baby back" is still used by many outside the industry to describe all back ribs or loin back ribs, but under the old standards, unless the full rack of back ribs weighs less than 1.75 pounds, this term is used incorrectly.
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