ST Louis Ribs Vs Spare Ribs: What’s the Difference?
Are you a barbeque enthusiast looking for the best cut of rib to satisfy your craving? Look no further than St. Louis ribs vs spare ribs! Both are undeniably delicious, but there are some key differences between them that make them each suitable for different types of cooking methods and desired outcomes.
Now is your chance to get an insider’s scoop on two popular types of ribs: St. Louis style and spare ribs. This blog post will arm you with all the knowledge you need about their differences so that next time you’re out grocery shopping for dinner, or visiting a BBQ joint for takeout – you’ll be able to confidently pick between these delicious options!
Spare Ribs Overview
Spare ribs are cut from the belly of the pig. This cut contains a lot of fat and connective tissue, which gives it its signature juicy and tender texture.
The bones in this rib section curve around the meat, creating an iconic “U” shaped appearance.
Spare ribs come with more bone than meat, making them great for slow roasting or boiling because they can absorb all the flavors you put into them without drying out too quickly.
-Where on the Pig They Come from:
They’re cut from the end portion of the rib cage, right down at the belly of the pig, and extend around its sides as far as its breastbone. Where this area meets is where I find these delicious treats.
A typical rack of spare ribs usually contains 11 bones and they sport a bonus flap of meat called the skirt that just adds to their overall succulent taste.
Plus, each rack comes to an end with extra meat and cartilage that just tantalizes my taste buds.
-How Much Meat and Fat do They Contain?
Spare ribs are a great choice for anyone trying to serve food to a large crowd, as the amount of meat on them is abundant.
Additionally, what really contributes to that delicious flavor when you bite into the ribs is all of the fat present in them.
Depending on the specific type you buy, there can be up to 80% fat content – that’s a lot! How much meat and fat do they contain? The safe answer here is “it depends”, as this really varies from cut to cut.
-Nutritional information Per 4oz (1/4 Pound)
|% Daily Value (based
on 2000 calories/day)
-Portion Size: How Many Spare Rib Ribs Per Person
When you pick up a rack of spare ribs, you’ll be impressed size-wise. It’s big enough to make an unforgettable presence at any barbecue! Even better, every guest will get plenty of satisfying meat since there are only 4-5 bones per person.
-How to Prepare Spare Ribs for Smoking
If you’re considering smoking a rack of spare ribs, don’t be tempted to leave it untrimmed. A little prep work goes a long way — it’s important to trim any big fat flaps and nodules off before getting started.
Don’t worry, this will still leave plenty of fat on the ribs for flavor and juiciness! Another job that needs doing is the removal of the membrane attached to the bone side — this would otherwise just pass the job on to your guests.
Taking away this membrane also creates deeper penetration of smoke, rub, and sauce for even more flavor. Preparing your spare ribs properly is worth the extra effort!
Knowing how to prepare spare ribs for smoking can make all the difference in flavor.
Use a sharp paring knife to carefully slip the blade between one of the outside bones and the membrane.
With short, careful strokes, separate them until you have a flap large enough to grab with your hands and peel away the entire membrane in one piece.
Once that’s done, marinate or brine your meat for several hours – or even overnight is best – then massage in your desired spice rub before moving onto the smoker.
Find our comprehensive guide on How to Prepare Spare Ribs for Smoking for more detail and step-by-step instructions with images so you can create delicious and tender smoked dishes every time.
-How to Cook Spare Ribs in a Smoker
It’s easy, but you must stick to the right temperature. For optimum results, your grill or smoker should be preheated to 250 °F.
This may seem high for low ‘n’ slow cooking, but that is the preferred temperature for large and thick spare ribs.
Your smoke session will take some time – roughly half of a day is needed – but the reward will be worth it in the end.
To get the tastiest results, choose your wood type carefully. Regional favorites for smoked meat include mesquite, hickory, cherry, and applewood. However, more conservative users may opt for oak instead.
Do I wrap my ribs or not?
The answer is more often than not a resounding yes. Wrapping your ribs helps retain their moisture while ensuring that the flavor stays locked in.
On the other hand, you may also choose to keep it unwrapped, leading to a slightly drier result.
Ultimately, it’s all up to personal preference at the end of the day. The famous 3-2-1 method of smoking spare ribs always uses wrapping; 3 hours of unwrapped heat followed by 2 hours in foil and 1 hour unwrapped with higher temperatures will yield smoky, succulent ribs with an amazing bark.
Keep an eye on the internal temperature—you’ll want to cook the ribs until they reach around 190°F – 200°F. Visually, you’ll want to look for exposed bones as the meat contracts and that the meat is probe tender.
If you pick up a rib with tongs, it will crack slightly when bent. When you feel like you’re getting close to these indicators, add any BBQ sauce of your choice during the final 30 minutes of smoking, and make sure not to leave it any longer because most BBQ sauces are sugar-based and risk burning if cooked for too long.
-Where to Buy Spare Ribs Online
Now that you know the ins and outs of how to prepare and cook spare ribs, where is the best place to get them?
The answer: online. Online butchers like Snake River Farms have a wealth of top-grade meats to choose from. All their products come vacuum sealed and frozen — they can be stored in the freezer or fridge until you’re ready to start cooking!
When it comes to spare ribs, there are several options available at Snake River Farms including American-style pork spare ribs, St. Louis cut pork ribs, and even beef short ribs for those who want something a bit more robust.
Each variety has its own unique flavor profile so take your time deciding which one will fit your meal best.
With the right preparation, cooking techniques, and quality ingredients, you can make delicious spare ribs that will tantalize your taste buds. Don’t be afraid to get creative with your recipes but always remember to take it slow and easy—the extra effort is worth it in the end!
St. Louis Ribs Overview
St. Louis-style ribs are cut from the same area of pork as spare ribs but have a different shape due to being trimmed down to create a neat rectangular slab.
This trimming removes some of their excess fat and cartilage, giving this cut of rib a more uniform texture and flavor. St. Louis ribs have a higher meat-to-bone ratio than spare ribs, making them ideal for grilling or smoking.
-Nutritional information Per 4oz (1/4 Pound)
|% Daily Value (based
on 2000 calories/day)
-How to Trim Spare Ribs to Become St Louis Cut Ribs?
To transform your spare ribs into a St. Louis cut, you’ll need to do some trimming.
Remove the membrane on the back of the slab using a sharp knife and kitchen scissors (try not to puncture it too much!). Once that is done, feel along the edges of each bone and use a sharp pair of kitchen shears to trim away any excess fat or meat.
Take your time here—you want to get as close to the bone as possible without removing any of it. Once all sides have been trimmed, begin cutting off each rib individually just above where they meet at their base. This will create individual portions that are easier to cook evenly and ensure an even flavor throughout.
Now you have your St. Louis ribs! All that’s left to do is apply your favorite rub, seasonings, and sauces and get cooking. Enjoy the amazing ribs you just created!
-Why Bother Cutting St Louis Style? What are the Benefits?
While spare ribs already have a great flavor and texture, St. Louis cut ribs bring out even more of that deliciousness due to their higher meat-to-bone ratio.
The trimming process also helps the ribs cook more evenly, resulting in juicy and tender flavors. Plus, the uniform shape makes them easier to portion out for an even meal every time.
In addition to tasting better, they are also less messy than spare ribs since they don’t have as much fat or cartilage attached to them. This makes them ideal for grilling or smoking in competitions where presentation is key.
Whether you decide to serve up some classic spare ribs or go with St. Louis style, you can expect some delicious BBQ in the end.
-Where to Buy St Louis Ribs Online?
If you’re looking for top-grade St. Louis cut pork ribs, look no further than Snake River Farms. They offer a wide selection of quality meats to choose from, all vacuum sealed and frozen for freshness.
Their St. Louis-style ribs are perfectly trimmed and ready to cook — just thaw them out, season them with your favorite rubs and sauces, then fire up the grill or smoker! You can expect delicious results every time.
So don’t settle for anything less than the best when it comes to spare ribs – go online and order some today! Your taste buds will thank you later!
You can also find St. Louis-style ribs in many local butcher shops and grocery stores. Talk to the meat counter staff to make sure you’re getting the freshest and highest quality product available.
No matter which type of rib you decide on, there’s no doubt that it will make a delicious addition to any BBQ spread! So the next time you’re out at the store or restaurant – feel confident in your decision to choose either St. Louis or spare ribs for your meal!
So which is better?
Both types of ribs are delicious and can be used in a variety of recipes to achieve different outcomes.
Ultimately, the answer largely depends on what type of cooking method you prefer and the end result you’re looking for.
If you’re looking for juicy, tender ribs that absorb flavors well – then spare ribs are your best bet! If you want leaner, smokier-tasting ribs with plenty of meat on them – try St. Louis-style ribs!
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Conclusion: ST Louis Ribs Vs Spare Ribs
It really comes down to preference when deciding between ST Louis Ribs vs Spare Ribs. If you are looking for a heartier meal, then ST Louis ribs may be the way to go. However, if you want something that is easier to eat and not as messy, spare ribs might be the better option. Whichever you choose, make sure to cook them well so they are juicy and falling off the bone!
Pitmaster Lives in Eugene, USA. Bio: I’m Billy McCallum, and I love barbecue. I’m the president and founder of Billy Mac’s Bar & Grill, with over 20 years of experience in the field. I’m an exceptional pitmaster and grill expert who uses charcoal, wood, and fire to craft extraordinary culinary masterpieces. My mission is to educate others how to master their grills and cook a diverse range of foods on them. I have extensive expertise smoking briskets, pork shoulders using charcoal, wood, or propane grills/smokers.
I also review kitchent appliances such as grills, smoke, and more. I’ve tried out almost every model available, so if you’re in the market for any of these items be sure to check out my reviews!