BBQ Ribs are stacked in all shapes and sizes on the meat market shelves this time of year. It’s downright intimidating and confusing. Beef, pork, lamb, spare, baby back, loin…is this torture? Absolutely not! Can you say “Ribilicious!!!?”
Don’t let big business and the advertisers fool you. “Falling off the bone” ribs are a marketing ploy to get you to believe that ribs need to be overdone to be great. Actually, the perfect rib is tender, juicy and delicious with a great bite through and a quick drying bone. Fall of the bone ribs tend to be mushy and greasy. Being able to experience the difference is Porcine Nirvana.
For competition, BBQ ribs are the most challenging of the categories. The window of perfection is very small. In other words the time it takes to go from “hero to zero” is short. Ribs can go from a “little bit toothy” to a “bit on the mushy side” in a matter of minutes.
This week on GrateTV we continue to break down the presentation box. This segment is filled with Grate Tips and tricks of the competition games.
Watch the BBQ Rib Cook Off Box Episode Below!
BBQ Ribs are delicious. It doesn’t really matter which animal they come from, they are just downright delectable. There are usually two kinds of ribs on every animal. There are loin and spare ribs and down the cage are the spare ribs. These bones are used to protect the lungs and the lung cavity, so they are full of tender muscles and fat too.
On a cow, the structure is the same. Back bbq ribs are located high up toward the spine. As the cutters move down the cage there are beef spares and short ribs. Short ribs are sometimes called beef plate. Beef plate is generally a very meaty rib, the muscles work a little more because of their location. Short ribs are fantastic for braising.
Chops are made from loins and ribs. Lamb and veal ribs are popular cuts with or without the loins still attached. Watch the video on the Lamb loins for a great grilling presentation.Crown roasts and bone in ribeye roasts are great examples of how ribs and loins are cooked together as something extra special.
Watch the Rack of Lamb Episode
The most popular bbq ribs come off of hogs. The Pig is a special creature that gives us a wide variety of ribs to cook. These are the most popular cuts: loin backs, baby backs, whole spare ribs, St. Louis Cut spares, and country style ribs. I’m sure there are more but these are the most popular. Loin back and baby back ribs are essentially the same cut. They are merchandised off of the loin and are the first section of the rib off of the spine. They are fairly easy to identify. They are about the width of your hand and have a pronounced curve in them. Spare ribs are the next cut off of the cage. They are wider, flatter, and have more fat in them because they are located in the belly region. Whole spare ribs usually have the brisket bones attached. To make St. Louis cuts, the brisket bones are removed where the cartridge and bone meet and the ribs are squared up to look uniform.
There are plenty of sources on the web that demonstrate cutting St. Louis spare bbq ribs from whole spare ribs. It is relatively easy, choose anyone. St. Louis spares are preferred. They cook well, and are easy to eat as opposed to picking the briskets and surrounding cartilage for meat. Good cooks use pork bbq rib brisket bones for seasoning or lunch for the cook. They’re Grate Food either way!