Three Types of Pork Ribs

There are three primary categories of pork ribs: spare ribs, baby back ribs and St Louis ribs. This article will explain how to differentiate among them and when each type should be used.

Before beginning to cook ribs, it is necessary to first remove the thin membrane covering the underside of the bone. It’s easy – simply slip a knife underneath the membrane and pull up on it with one finger.


Spareribs (commonly referred to as country-style ribs) are pork ribs from the belly primal cut that includes the lower breast bone. Spareribs tend to be meatier and typically less expensive than baby back ribs; each slab typically containing 11 bones typically covered in fat that imparts flavor when slow-cooked at a lower temperature. Spareribs have become an immensely popular cut due to their ease of seasoning with rubs before slow cooking in a smoker or barbecue for hours, producing delicious tender meaty flavoured ribs full of smoke flavor that taste amazing.

Sparerib preparation is similar to baby back rib preparation; however, before cooking begins the silver skin or membrane must be removed from each rack before being placed on the grill. Without removal it becomes chewy and tough while also inhibiting full smoking potential of the meat. To do so simply ease a butter knife or narrow metal spatula underneath one end of the rib cage to lift and pull.

Once the membrane has been removed, each rib should be carefully trimmed of any large areas of fat in order to add to their overall smoky flavor. Any excess liquid or juice should also be removed as this could drain off during cooking and leave an unappetising coating on their surfaces.

After seasoning the ribs with salt, pepper and garlic powder they are lightly coated in a mixture of honey, apple cider vinegar and soy sauce – this sauce will then be applied during the last hour of baking for a rich and flavourful coating. After an additional hour at low temperatures they are then cut up for serving so everyone can enjoy them! This simple yet delicious recipe can be enjoyed by all!


Baby back ribs are a deliciously popular choice among barbecue fans, as they’re leaner than St. Louis-style or spare ribs and often turn out tender and flavorful when slow-cooked. Furthermore, they’re easier to prepare at home as most grocery stores stock baby back ribs in their meat departments – the name itself being misleading because this cut of rib actually refers to its smaller size, often sold in three or four racks at once!

Ribs are cut from the pork loin primal, and typically weigh two pounds with about half being bone and cartilage. Ribs are typically coated in either a dry rub (also known as spice rub) or sauce before cooking to add both sweet and smoky flavors to the meat, adding in herbs such as garlic powder, mustard powder, cayenne pepper or even smoked paprika for an authentic barbecue taste. Many barbecue enthusiasts favor cherry, apple or hickory wood for smoking to achieve that authentic smoke flavor.

While hickory is the go-to wood for barbecue, you should also experiment with other varieties to see what works for you. Some woods have stronger flavors while others feature fruity undertones for an alternative take on traditional smokiness like that found in hickory.

Keep in mind when cooking baby back ribs that they require a longer cooking time than other cuts of ribs; otherwise they will become tough and chewy. A general guideline would be to allow the ribs to cook for around two hours before checking them for tenderness.

For an easier way to prepare ribs, create your own quick and easy bourbon barbecue sauce using just a bottle of bourbon and your preferred barbecue sauce. This method works perfectly when using leftover ribs as the sauce will help the meat fall off easily from their bones.


At barbecue restaurants and backyard barbeques alike, Spareribs are an especially delicious dish to serve up. Due to having more meat than their counterpart, this cut of pork ribs must be cooked slowly for optimal flavor and to lock in moisture during their journey through the kitchen. Incorporating BBQ sauce helps lock moisture into their structure as they cook to add an additional level of moisture retention and prevent drying out while the ribs cook.

Make this delicious country-style ribs recipe quickly and easily in either the oven or on the grill, with minimal effort required to achieve perfect tender ribs every time! The key to getting perfectly succulent ribs lies in using an irresistibly tasty rub that stands up to long smoking processes – for this recipe we used an aromatic combination of paprika, fine sea salt, garlic powder onion powder ground black pepper cayenne pepper in order to produce an ideal blend that gives the ribs great flavor without becoming overpoweringly spicy.

Preheating your oven to 350degF (177degC) is crucial if you choose to prepare ribs in an oven. Once heated, remove membrane and trim off any extra fat before seasoning ribs with spices. If using a smoker instead, place preheated ribs inside after preheating until reaching an internal temperature of around 145degF on an instant-read meat thermometer, basting several times during this process to maintain moist and juicy results.

Once your ribs are cooked, they should be tender enough to pull apart easily with a fork. Transfer them to a baking dish and top them off with your preferred barbecue sauce before returning them to the oven to finish cooking for another 30 minutes without cover.

Serve these ribs with coleslaw, fries, and sweet tea for an unforgettable meal. Be sure to wear gloves when handling these messy treats – but they are well worth it with their combination of smoky barbecue sauce, citrus flavors from oranges, and spicy peppers providing a delectable bite! Additionally, expect frequent hand wiping as necessary while eating these amazing dishes – you might just end up needing it!


Baby Back Ribs are the most beloved type of ribs. As one of the most beloved types, they sit closer to the spine than beef ribs, curved like hockey sticks with approximately one half-inch of pork loin meat per bone on top. Baby backs make an ideal introduction into smoking because they cook faster than spare ribs yet become fork tender in less time than their counterparts; nonetheless, fork tenderness still requires several hours on your smoker!

Spare ribs are more meaty than baby backs, as they come from the belly of a pig. Their generous cuts of meat often contain more fat and flavorful characteristics than its baby back counterpart. Since there is more connective tissue present and thickness issues to deal with, tenderization takes longer. Depending on their butchering, spare ribs may have a thin membrane on their back which needs to be removed prior to cooking; simply work a butter knife underneath until loose then use paper towel to grab and peel away this thin membrane from before proceeding with cooking process.

St Louis ribs are one of the more visually pleasing types of pork ribs commonly seen at competitive barbecue events, featuring straight rib bones with more marbling for enhanced juiciness and flavor. Though popular among competitive barbecuers, St Louis ribs may not be top picks among backyard grillers.

Most people season their ribs with a dry rub before slow-cooking them either in the oven or barbecue for several hours, adding additional flavors and textures as desired. Some prefer smoking their ribs for even greater depth of flavor and texture – cherry or apple wood makes a good choice to help create desired profiles in flavor profiles.

Though many rib recipes will work with either pork or beef ribs, their flavour and tenderness will vary dramatically between them. Pork ribs tend to be much leaner than their beef counterparts, which are much more succulent when prepared correctly. If smoking your ribs isn’t your preferred method or saving time is your top priority there are also alternatives such as steaming, roasting or boiling before finishing them on the grill.

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