There are two different cuts of pork ribs, with a popular
third cut that is a variation of the spare rib, and one wanta-be.
1. Back Ribs: Back ribs are cut from the blade and center
sections of the loin. They contain at least 8 rib bones and
the bones length is about 4 inches. The average weight
is 1-1/2 to 3 lbs retail cut. They contain meat between
the ribs called finger meat, with a layer of meat covering
the ribs that comes from the loin eye muscle. Baby Back
Ribs are the same rib but coming from a small pig, they
may be a little smaller, hence “baby back ribs”. Back
ribs are the most expensive of the three, leaner, and may
be found cryovaced in some stores.
2. Pork Spare Ribs: Spareribs are cut from the side and
belly area. They contain at least 11 bones and the bones
length is tapered from 8 inches on one end to 4-5 inches
on the other end. Average weight is 3-1/2 lbs for retail
cuts. They contain long rib bones with a thin covering of
meat on the outside and between the ribs. They contain
other bones attached at the bottom, such as the diaphragm
and coastal cartilage. Spareribs are the least expensive of
the three, less meat and more bones.
3. St Louis Style Ribs: Same cut as the spareribs, but the
diaphragm, costal cartilage and some fat is trimmed off.
They contain at least 11 rib bones and the bones length is
tapered from 6 inches on one end to 4-5 inches on the
other end. The average weight is 2-1/2 to 3 lbs for retail
cuts. They are not readily found in all markets, most
popular in the Midwest and Southwest areas of the
country. St Louis ribs are higher priced than the spareribs,
because of the additional labor.
4. Country Style Ribs: This is not a rib cut, but has been
given a rib name. The Country style rib is a Boston Butt
Shoulder that has been cut on the band saw width wise,
then cut into individual ribs sections. You can find them
bone-in or boneless. Very good product with a moderate
price range. Can be found in most stores that carry fresh
FOR THE HEALTH OF IT
Healthy Pork Ribs
Pork ribs are not low in fat by any means. They are an
item that you can (should) enjoy only seldom. They are
very high in vitamins and protein but contain a fair
amount of fat.