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Unread 10-04-2010, 09:10 PM   #1
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Default Baby Back vs.Spare Ribs

I’m an old man on the grill, but a newbie on the board. As to ribs, I only cook baby backs and never spare ribs. Baby backs are always good! When I read the threads, particularly competition, everyone seems to go spare ribs. Is it a cost issue? I have never competed, so am I cheating with the baby backs or simply missing the boat on spare ribs? If this is a sacrilege between Brethren, I apologize………….
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Unread 10-04-2010, 09:24 PM   #2
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Now that I have tried both I think I like spares the best. Tastier piece of meat IMHO.
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Unread 10-04-2010, 09:26 PM   #3
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Are you cooking on direct heat or indirect? Baby backs are more conducive to the former type of cooking than spares. (though both are better low and slow).
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Unread 10-04-2010, 09:27 PM   #4
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Good call ^^^ I do cook my baby backs direct vs smoking my spares.
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Unread 10-04-2010, 09:31 PM   #5
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Spares (and St. Louis spares) have more fat. Pork fat tastes good! I like both but prefer St. Louis cut spares.
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Unread 10-04-2010, 09:41 PM   #6
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Has nothing to do with cost for me, I just like spares (trimmed to St Louis) better.
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Unread 10-04-2010, 09:47 PM   #7
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I also just like spares better. They are meatier and IMHO more forgiving than bb's.

However, whatever is on sale for the best bang for the buck price is what goes home with me for a normal weekend cook.
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Unread 10-04-2010, 10:13 PM   #8
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Since we're on the subject, what is the specific advantage of St. Louis trimmed spares vs untrimmed?

I promise I'm not trying to hijack the thread - figured this info would be useful for the OP as well
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Unread 10-04-2010, 10:16 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vr6Cop View Post
I also just like spares better. They are meatier and IMHO more forgiving than bb's.

However, whatever is on sale for the best bang for the buck price is what goes home with me for a normal weekend cook.
I'm with Vr6cop... I love the flavor of spares over bb. And, there is more to eat. I trim mine so they look like bb and that gives me alot more to eat.
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Unread 10-04-2010, 10:19 PM   #10
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I prefer spares cuz they were the first I ever smoked.
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Unread 10-04-2010, 10:28 PM   #11
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I like spares best for the following reasons:

1. Texture. The gelatinous yummy moist deliciousness that melts when cooked at the right temperature for the right amount of time. Whereas with baby backs, you get mostly just the moist meat and none of the gelatinous cartilaginous. I love the meat between the cartilage in spares.

2. Price. I can often get it for $1.49/lb at Smart and Final, sometimes even 99 cents/lb. Baby backs are usually twice as much.

3. Taste. There is nothing like rack of spares cooked over a UDS. Spares have just the right amount of fat content to give you that vaporized drippings taste while still maintaining a good amount of moisture in the meat. I love it. I crave it about halfway through the week.
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Unread 10-04-2010, 10:29 PM   #12
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spares are what we smoke in comps.. BB are 5.95 a lb and spares are 1.59 a lb and you get more meat so spares it is lol
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Unread 10-04-2010, 11:44 PM   #13
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Darth, well said!

For me the cost is the best reason though :)

WOW $5.95/lb in CA?!? I don't even feel they are worth the $2.99 they go for here compared to Spares :)
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Unread 10-04-2010, 11:48 PM   #14
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For me, economics is part of the choice. Just started cooking ribs about 6 months back. I can usually get spares for $1.29 to $1.99, and a couple of times this summer for .99 cents per pound. BB's are x2 the amount. Not saying I would not want to do a taste comparison, but so far.. price has dictated what has went home with me.
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Unread 10-05-2010, 12:16 AM   #15
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Well why are spares so cheap and everyones saying they are better than BB's..

We actually don't have BB's as a cut in Australia, so I don't know the diff unless you tell me.
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