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Baby back versus St. Louis style ribs

pasoeggpasoegg Posts: 220
What is the biggest difference between these 2 style of ribs??  Would you cook both styles the same way????  Are the baby back's a little more tender than the St. Louis with all things the same???

"it is never too early to drink, but it may be too early to be seen drinking"

Winston-Salem, NC

Comments

  • EggcelsiorEggcelsior Posts: 8,501
    Baby back just come from further back on the ribcage(by the spine) than spareribs.They are next to the loin whereas spare ribs are next to the pork belly(bacon). They are smaller so typically have a little less meat, depending on how they are trimmed. They are just as tender, to me.
  • EggcelsiorEggcelsior Posts: 8,501
    Oh, St Louis refers to the spare ribs being cut in a uniform shape with the "rib tips" trimmed off. I do cook them the same way. They are both ready when a toothpick slides between the bones without resistance or the bend 90 degrees when one half is held.
  • SkiddymarkerSkiddymarker Posts: 5,525
    edited May 2013
    @pasoegg this page helped me a number of times. 
    Just like @Eggcelsior says.....
    Delta B.C. - Vee-Gan: old Indian word for poor hunter. 
  • pasoeggpasoegg Posts: 220

    @eggcelsior - thanks for your info

    @skiddymarker - what a great place for info and descriptions of all the pork cuts...I definetly learned a bunch and marked the site for later use!!!!  maybe bumped my IQ a couple of strokes....on second thought i will just drink a beer and kill off those brain cells....

    "it is never too early to drink, but it may be too early to be seen drinking"

    Winston-Salem, NC

  • SkiddymarkerSkiddymarker Posts: 5,525
    pasoegg said:

    @eggcelsior - thanks for your info

    @skiddymarker - what a great place for info and descriptions of all the pork cuts...I definetly learned a bunch and marked the site for later use!!!!  maybe bumped my IQ a couple of strokes....on second thought i will just drink a beer and kill off those brain cells....

    Perfect, why remember when you can just look it up. Some very good info on Meathead's web site. He is not big on the BGE, likes the two zone Primo. Read the section on reverse sear, very good. 
    Delta B.C. - Vee-Gan: old Indian word for poor hunter. 
  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 4,847
    Given the learning curve you are riding-I have cooked both with the same cook several times-not a planned event but when the guest list expands...should you ever be in that space plan on the St Louis ribs to run about 45-60 mins longer.  Finish indicators the same-and I prefer St. Louis trimmed spares but SWMBO rules :)>-
    Louisville
  • cookinfuncookinfun Posts: 129
    I do agree with lousubcap.... baby backs vs spare ribs. the spares willtake longer ( more mass,more meat ).  If I am entertaining I will trim the spares to the " st louis cut, which basically removes 35-40% of the spare.  Cookin for myself I will not dissect, just remove the silver skin and trim down the ?? flap of meat that doubles over tie ribs.  BTW, if I do trim to spares, I always cook the trimmings at the same time, just as good.  The trimmings cook time is less ( no bone ).
    Just sayin....its all good.
    (2) LBGEs,  WSM, Vidalia Grill (gasser), Tailgater Grill (gasser)
  • TerrebanditTerrebandit Posts: 750
    I've found the St. Louis ribs to be less lean than baby backs. Consequently, they cook up different. Personally, I like te St. Louis ribs better because of the higher fat content. They just taste better after a slow cook. Also more tender.
    Dave - Austin, TX
  • BeaumontyBeaumonty Posts: 159
    I am doing some baby backs today. After reviewing some recipes, it appears that the 3-2-1 method was developed for St. Louis style because of their size. In fact, I think I will be doing 3-1-1 because I want to stop just short of fall off the bone.

    I am also cooking at 240-250 dome. Anyone disagree on that temp?
  • BeaumontyBeaumonty Posts: 159
    I ask because the details on the 3-1-1 method are actually kind of hard to dig up. The search function on this site is for the birds.
  • cazzycazzy Posts: 5,472
    edited May 2013
    Beaumonty said:

    I am doing some baby backs today. After reviewing some recipes, it appears that the 3-2-1 method was developed for St. Louis style because of their size. In fact, I think I will be doing 3-1-1 because I want to stop just short of fall off the bone.

    I am also cooking at 240-250 dome. Anyone disagree on that temp?

    Temp should be fine! I tried 3-1-1 for baby back ribs when I first got my egg and they fell off the bone too much. Ever since then, I just let em go the entire time and have enjoyed my results. I'm actually doing St. Louis Ribs this weekend. Going to let em go for 5 hours before my 1st tenderness check. Then when I'm close, I will sauce up one of the 2 slabs.

  • dweebs0rdweebs0r Posts: 492
    You may want to try 2-1-1 for babybacks at 250 and dont put too much liquid in the foil when you foil them or they will definitely fall off the bone from the steaming.  My SWMBO prefers them fall off the bone tender but if you arent careful they can get "mushy" from the liquid.
    -Jody Newell (LBGE & finally a mini BGE!)
    Location:  Munford, TN  Homepage:  Shadow photo shadow.gif
  • dweebs0rdweebs0r Posts: 492
    Back to the original topic, Babybacks arent as fatty or meaty as St Louis style ribs but I prefer the babybacks texture and flavor over the fattier St Louis style.
    -Jody Newell (LBGE & finally a mini BGE!)
    Location:  Munford, TN  Homepage:  Shadow photo shadow.gif
  • EggcelsiorEggcelsior Posts: 8,501
    dweebs0r said:

    Back to the original topic, Babybacks arent as fatty or meaty as St Louis style ribs but I prefer the babybacks texture and flavor over the fattier St Louis style.

    Maybe it's just me, but the loin backs I get always have more meat on them.
  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 4,847
    edited May 2013

    WRT ribs-all good info above and you will read different approaches to the cook.  All rib cooks are some variation around X-0-0 which translates into the following:

    Basically ribs are cooked as usual (bone side down for me) for the first X hours. Then they are removed from the cooker and wrapped with liquid (Q sauce, some other liquid for flavoring etc) in a foil pouch with the meat side down. This becomes step -0- mentioned above. The sealed ribs are then returned to the cooker.  At the end of the "0" time-frame, the ribs are removed from the foil and then put back on the BGE for the final "0" time-frame.  This is when sauce is added if your desire.  X-X-X defines the cook cycle.  Those of us X-0-0 run without any of the above extras.  It's all in what you like. 

    And to determine when they are finished-the bend test if you have full racks-pick them up on one end and if they bend around 90* they are finished.  Another method-use a toothpick and insert in the thickest meat-in and out with no resistance and finished.  Also look for a good meat pull-back on the bones. 

    Louisville
  • pasoeggpasoegg Posts: 220

    @lousubcap

    great info you provided...as always your expertise shines through....appreciate your insight...I would expect nothing less from the "old man" on the boat....

    "it is never too early to drink, but it may be too early to be seen drinking"

    Winston-Salem, NC

  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 4,847
    @pasoegg-you didn't forget...Ah, was fun while it lasted.  And I earned that description, too many times... :)>-
    Louisville
  • KoskoKosko Posts: 533
    I use to do the 3-2-1 method too. Then like @cazzy said I just let my ribs ride for 5 or so hours and do the bend test then sauce them let them stay on for about 15 minutes and pull... Best ribs I've ever eatin! Plus this method makes the best bark!
    Peachtree City, Ga Large BGE
  • gdenbygdenby Posts: 4,194
    Baby back just come from further back on the ribcage(by the spine) than spareribs.They are next to the loin whereas spare ribs are next to the pork belly(bacon). They are smaller so typically have a little less meat, depending on how they are trimmed. They are just as tender, to me.
    When I bite into a well cooked slab of BBs, I do think of chops from the loin. And spares, being basted in more of their own fat, have a little bit of crisp bacon-like texture.

    "Are the baby back's a little more tender than the St. Louis with all things the same??? "

    Done identically, either the spares will be likely undercooked, or the BBs somewhat burned. Treated according to their different qualities, both will be tender. I think the spares taste a little better, but BBs usually feel more succulent.
  • BeaumontyBeaumonty Posts: 159
    lousubcap said:

    @pasoegg-you didn't forget...Ah, was fun while it lasted.  And I earned that description, too many times... :)>-

    Well, I've been cooking for about two hours at 240 dome. I am tempted to just let them ride but wonder if I should have lowered the temp. I did three racks so I think I will foil two of them and let the other ones ride. I don't do a water pan as a rule but it is indirect.

    When you "let it ride" what dome temp are you smoking at?
  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 4,847
    @Beaumonty-with ribs you can run at about any temp your BGE settles in with-and you can crank it above that if time is a consideration (@Mickey and turbo ribs).  Car Wash Mike's (RIP) cook is a great way to cook them but you can experiment and go with what works for you.  BTW-for "fall off the bones" ribs you wil have to foil-and the rib finish-line is well defined; bend test to at least 90*, tooth-pick insertion with no resistance "in or out" and good meat pull-back on the bones.
    Louisville
  • henapplehenapple Posts: 10,754
    @Beaumonty... Obviously you're not sure what to do do I'll head over and sample a few to determine how they are. Put some beer on ice.
    Green egg, dead animal and alcohol. The "Boro".. TN 
  • BeaumontyBeaumonty Posts: 159
    henapple said:

    @Beaumonty... Obviously you're not sure what to do do I'll head over and sample a few to determine how they are. Put some beer on ice.

    I have three young boys so you would had to have fought them for the ribs! I went two racks foil and one straight up. I will have a full post with pics later but I'll give a hint on the experiment results: save the foil, trust the Egg!
  • cookinfuncookinfun Posts: 129
    Yeah, for spares tried 3-2-1 , with the 3 bone down, rub added to start, misting every hour with app juice and app cider vin, for the 2 just remove, foil w/ heavy spray of app j / app vin, and back on grill, then the last 1 on grill to done. 

    I found most of the time that the ribs were good, but "mushy" texture. I figures its due to too much acid during the 2 stage.  Modified to 3-1-1, and even cutting short the middle 1, and much better texture, with a slight "pull" off bone.  Much better, I think.

    Also do no foil, just 5+  hours, with occasional mist with juice / vin., and have had good, almost preferable results.
    (2) LBGEs,  WSM, Vidalia Grill (gasser), Tailgater Grill (gasser)
  • lisanevadalisanevada Posts: 17
    edited May 2013
    I have great success with 90 minutes x 90 minutes x 60 minutes in foil. I season the ribs with equal parts Dizzy Dust and turbinado sugar and cook at 250 or so. I add a couple tablespoons of orange juice to the foil. I do not sauce them - we prefer our ribs naked.
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