Saw & Log Tees

Baby backs vs. St Louis

Discussion in 'The Smokehouse' started by BigPapi, Jul 22, 2017.

  1. BigPapi

    BigPapi

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    I've run a smoker for only ten years or so, but have managed to get my process dialed in pretty well for ribs. I have always used a St Louis cut, but decided on babybacks for tomorrow. Anybody have some wisdom on what I may want to do differently?
     
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  2. TurboDiesel

    TurboDiesel

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    They're not really much different. I've done both, mostly baby back. Most people like to remove the silver skin on the bottom side, but it's not necessary. If you decide to remove the skin, use a butter knife to plunge between the bone and skin near the center of the rack. Push till you can get a good hold of the skin, then use a paper towel to get a hold of the skin and pull it from the center to the ends.
     
  3. BHags

    BHags

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    Baby back ribs are from the loin. They are smaller and have less fat. St louis is a regular rack of ribs , but cut down shorter, eliminating some rib cage bone. they are a little bigger than babyback, and generally have more fat.
     
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  4. TurboDiesel

    TurboDiesel

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    There are back ribs and spare ribs.

    Back ribs come from the shoulder/spine/loin and have more meat on them. Spare ribs are from the belly/breast, include the rib tips and have more fat on them. Less expensive.

    St Louis style ribs are spare ribs that are cut to a rectangular shape and have had the sternum bone, cartilage, and rib tips removed. Kansas City style ribs are spare ribs cut similar, but are trimmed less closely than the St. Louis style ribs, and have the hard bone removed.
     
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  5. Brad M

    Brad M

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    I typically do St Louis cut spares also and stick pretty close to the 3-2-1 method but when I've done baby backs, I find that I need to do more of a 2-1-1. They are just lean enough that they don't do well with the 3-2-1. That's my 2cents that's only worth 1.
     
  6. BigPapi

    BigPapi

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    Thanks all for the advice. Babybacks came out fantastic. They finished up a little quicker than the spares I'm used to with the same 225-235 temp I usually run. I added a little white sugar to my regular rub hoping for a little more bark on the shorter cook, and it worked out beautifully. Good bark, nicely charred ends, and crazy juicy. I let them rest for a half hour while I whipped up a little bourbon barbecue sauce for occasional dipping, and the only reason there's a couple ribs left over is that I'm a nice dad and saved a few for my oldest daughter, who is out scooping ice cream for some summer money.

    Wife made a nice cheddar potato salad, and we had stuffed jalapenos (atomic buffalo turds) for an appetizer. Only thing missing was the pics.. Baby was hungry for her blueberry supper. Sorry guys! :)
     
  7. FatBoy85

    FatBoy85

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    Im glad you asked this BigPapi!
    Been wondering about the differences and compare the answers! I go to the store often and see the baby backs and st louis or spare ribs beside each other. The bigger differences I see is the size of them and sometimes the price, just depends on the day. Sometimes I want to have the big ribs for more eating but babybacks tend to be more tender. After some good slow cooking its hard to tell though. Spareribs are good for the big party, more to feed too. Gonna get some of these soon and try some.
     
  8. TurboDiesel

    TurboDiesel

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    Was looking at bb back ribs at the grocery store yesterday. The highest price ive ever seen! Yikes! $5.99 per pound? Are you friggin kidding me? :mad:
     
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  9. FatBoy85

    FatBoy85

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    You serious??? Over here its 1.99 give or take...
     
  10. Horkn

    Horkn

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    Same here.

    Yeah, spare or st.louis ribs are fattier than baby back ribs. My wife prefers the baby back because they are leaner. One of the bbq competition shows I used to watch said several times that baby back ribs were for beginners, and spare ribs were for the pros. Lol. I'll be a beginner, or a pro forever, and eat all the evidence.

    That's my story and I'm sticking to it.:beerbbq:
     
  11. FatBoy85

    FatBoy85

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    In other words, you'll never be im the wrong!
     
  12. Jon_E

    Jon_E

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    I used to do baby backs years ago, had one of those Kamado "ceramic" smokers. I coated them with yellow mustard and dry rub, rolled them up into a cylinder and held them that way with a skewer, and then cooked them over lump and apple wood low and slow. The cylinder was to always keep the tips of the bones on the grill. I would finish them with some sauce occasionally but usually ate them dry. They always turned out great and fall-off-the-bone tender.

    I don't have a Kamado or any kind of smoker anymore, so I commit heresy and pre-cook St Louis spareribs in the oven. I do the same yellow mustard and dry rub, but they go in a roasting pan for 3 hours at 275, tightly sealed with foil. After that, I take them out and let them cool off, then sauce them and grill them on my Weber. The family seems to actually like the St Louis ribs done this way, better than the old way. Plus there's a lot more meat on the St Louis ribs and they are a lot cheaper in my area.

    The latest method, thanks to my youngest son's idea, is to precook and then finish over apple wood on our keystone fire pit grill. So far so good.
     
  13. Horkn

    Horkn

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    Try my method. Do whatever rub you want on them. Then portion them out, I do 4 chunks per rack of ribs ( I always remove membrane), and double foil wrap them. Cook them on the grill 30 minutes medium heat, them flip a coin another 30 minutes. After 1 hour, unwrap, and that's when I baste them in my favorite sauce. Flip and recoat with the sauce every couple of minutes. About 15 minutes with of flipping and recoating.

    It's so easy it's not even funny. So freaking good too. No pre cooking, no boiling ( yuck) no big waste of time. Just good stuff.

    I use a pretty standard pork rub ( brown sugar, kosher salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, and paprika) , then sweet baby Ray's BBQ sauce.
     
  14. BigPapi

    BigPapi

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    Man, $5.99 is crazy. I was barking about $3.99 on the Babybacks. $2.99 on the spares. On sale, the spares can go for $1.99, that's usually when I grab 'em. The Babybacks were great, but ultimately not really better than the spares. I like the little trimmings that I get from the spares, too. Gives me something to nibble on if I don't make ABTs for an appetizer. :)
     
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  15. FatBoy85

    FatBoy85

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    Yeah last week im at cash and carry and they got the spareribs at 1.69 a lb. only problem? I got zero room in my freezer.
     
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  16. BigPapi

    BigPapi

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    Heard that. I've got to start brewing again so I can clear out my chest freezer - I've got about a third of it stuffed full of hops.. makes it tough to take advantage of big sales. :)
     
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  17. FatBoy85

    FatBoy85

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    I wanna brew bad son, but it gets really hot where I would have the space in the summer(garage), If I did it... I'd have to shoot for a holiday style dark amber not too hoppy good body. Post holiday id love to make a K├Âlsch style, good ABV keeping both low bitter style clean finish, maybe unfiltered for this one.
    See how it compares to a Hef.
     
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  18. Highbeam

    Highbeam

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    Really? Costco sells BB or spare 3-4$ per lb in 3 packs. Just bought some.

    Ah, cash and carry. I need to head there anyway to pick up more BBQ pellets.
     
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  19. FatBoy85

    FatBoy85

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    Yeah i noticed they were a rack that was about 8 lbs or so for a single rack maybe 14-16 inches long? but its probably back up to around Costco says since i went there a week later. Most stores that have the low prices are selling the babybacks that have been frozen and need to clear out. Depends on where you go and WHEN!
     
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  20. FatBoy85

    FatBoy85

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    IMG_2568.JPG IMG_2569.JPG
    Hey guys so I wanted to just show you that these prices were actually still in effect. I know this will likely make you PO'ed TurboDiesel....suffice to say its hard to turn this down. So I grabbed one of each.
     
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