Have you ever felt overwhelmed by all the rib choices in your meat market or supermarket? There is a huge assortment of choices, but the main cuts of ribs boil down to five common ones.
Let’s Talk Ribs
Here’s a guide to the mostly commonly found rib cuts:
Spare ribs come from the belly rather than the back. They’re flat and have more bone than meat. They also contain more fat than ribs that come from the back of the animal, making them more tender when cooked.
St. Louis Style Ribs
St. Louis style ribs are trimmed of the breast bone, cartilage and rib tips and have a rectangular shape.
Baby Back Ribs
These are meaty little ribs cut from the lower back section. They are more tender than spare ribs and have meat both on top of the bone and on the sides.
This is a rectangular rack of ribs cut individually from the shoulder. Short ribs contain a cross section of rib bones, with layers of lean meat and fat that alternates throughout the ribs resulting in a perfect rib for long braising.
Also known as Korean-cut ribs, they are from the same area as short ribs and are very similar to short ribs except that they are cut lengthwise rather than between the ribs.
These are more meaty than other rib cuts, and contain no bones. They come from the rib end of the loin and are suitable for grilling or roasting.
If you encounter other rib cuts you’re unfamiliar with, ask your butcher for advice. Otherwise you will find short ribs, baby back ribs, flanken-style ribs and spare ribs both in a rack, as well as cut individually, in your supermarket.
With spare ribs, St. Louis cut ribs and baby backs, you’ll want to take the sheet of connective tissue off the back of the ribs before preparing them. It’s inedible and easy to remove by just grasping the edge of the tissue with a paper towel for traction and peeling it off.
Now get the grill fired up and let’s make some ribs! I am making a simple little rack of spare ribs with a nice grilled apple barbecue sauce for you to enjoy.
Ingredients Instructions Notes This is a delicious marinade that would work equally well as a dry rub by simply leaving out the lime juice and the water and substituting lime zest.
This is a delicious marinade that would work equally well as a dry rub by simply leaving out the lime juice and the water and substituting lime zest.
A sweet and spicy finishing sauce for ribs or other grilled meats.
- 1 apple, cored, sliced and grilled until soft
- 1 teaspoon sriracha
- 3 tablespoon ketchup
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt mixed with 1/2 teaspoon of minced fresh thyme
- 1/4 cup white vinegar
- Mix all the ingredients with a blender or immersion blender.
- Taste and season as necessary to get to your desired salt and spice level. Serve on grilled ribs as a finishing sauce.