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spare ribs vs baby backs and other pressing matters

hounddoghounddog Posts: 126
edited 10:25AM in EggHead Forum
was doing a dinner party this weekend with ribs planned. was going to do babybacks in mustard with rub and then try the Jack sauce that Jim Slatterback has posted with his rib recipe. We had a fun and successful cook, and I learned two things:[p]1. There is a reason people argue. Jim had mentioned in his recipe that he didn't care for gooey sauce and such on his ribs, and I am kind of of that mind, but in preparing for this dinner, I made his Jack sauce, which by the way, is very, very good. I put the sauce on half of the ribs. Some of the guests didn't like the ribs without the sauce. Others liked the sauce but didn't care for it on the ribs. My wife, who is usually first in line for anything that has ketchup in it, was one of the latter group, which surprised me and leads me to thing that perhaps i am sophisticating up her palate.[p]2. Be friends with your butcher. We have a sam's club and a costco within reach, and I shop at both. They both routinely carry nice spare ribs and nice baby backs. But they both are about a half hour drive. So, I do a lot of my shopping at a local place that I trust.[p]I called them and asked them for baby backs. Butcher said he didn't have any and that he really didn't try to keep them in stock any more because of their cost relative to the cost of spare ribs. He pointed out to me that babybacks routinely sell for over 4 bucks a pound, while spare ribs can be had routinely at buck and a half a pound. And that, when cooked right, they are about the same amount of treat.[p]Now, I am probably cheaper than the average guy, but when I am doing a dinner party for friends, I kind of tend to the view of erring on the side of the more expensive. So, before talking with the butcher, I would not have priced the difference between the two. I would have just gone with baby backs and turned my head and coughed when paying the bill. So, for what it is worth, if you are feeding a large number of people (which I was) you may want to consider spare ribs over baby backs. I like both, but I really preferred the cost for the spares.


  • hounddog,
    It's funny that you brought this up. I did Pork Spare Ribs for the first time the other night. Of the 6 people eating them, 5 of us thought that they were every bit as good as the Babybacks in taste and are considerable easier to eat, since more meat is on each rib.I thought at the time that I have probably cooked my last Babyback rack. I fed 6 people for less than 10 dollars. It would have taken at least 20-25 to feed them with babybacks. [p]As for the lone Babyback holdout, I told him that I am happy to cook his, as long as he's buying the meat.;)

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