Big Green Egg - EGGhead Forum - The Ultimate Cooking Experience...
Welcome to the EGGhead Forum - a great place to visit and packed with tips and EGGspert advice! You can also join the conversation and get more information and amazing kamado recipes by following Big Green Egg at:

Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Instagram  |  Pinterest  |  Youtube  |  Vimeo
Share your photos by tagging us and using the hashtag #EGGhead4Life.

In Atlanta? Come visit Big Green Egg headquarters, including our retail showroom, the History of the EGG Museum and Culinary Center!  3786 DeKalb Technology Parkway, Atlanta, GA 30340.

Baby Backs vs. Spares - Your Preference?

Dan in StLDan in StL Posts: 252
edited 8:23AM in EggHead Forum
For whatever reason, every time I've done ribs I've always gone with baby backs. I was reading 2FAT's posting below about the spare trimmings and it got me to thinking more about taking a run at the spares.

So, what's your preference and why? Do you always trim up your spares into St. Louis style?



  • I'm not walking away from either - like both

    But if I could only choose one it would be spares

    Why? Flavor and more meat

    Do I trim? I have but not normally - If I was into competing, I would, but I'm only trying to please a few judges around the house. :)
  • CBBQCBBQ Posts: 610
    There are times, especially if it's a big group get together/picnic that I use the entire spare rib, tips and all. Although there's a lot more fat near the tip there's also meat that a lot of people enjoy. That also includes the flap on the inside.
    For myself I prefer St louis style spares.

    Bill in St Louis
  • Spares. They are more flavorful, meatier, usually moister, but they do take more time and a little more patience to cook. I cook both the full slab as well as the trimmed down racks.
  • trimmed spares for us, backs for company (smaller, served with lots of sides, etc.)
  • SGT BBQSGT BBQ Posts: 190
    Baby Back ribs. Shorter cooking times and they taste great.
  • I usually do spares trimmed and untrimmed doesn't really matter, but for the last 2-3 cooks been doing BB's. BB's are a little easier to manange not as much prep work. Kinda like Frank, only trying to please the judges around the house and guest occassionally!!
  • 5450_1037797283978_1796882653_81413_7603903_n.jpg

    Hard to beat a well cooked sparerib.IMO



    from SANTA CLARA, CA

  • Spares all the way!
  • tjvtjv Posts: 3,721
    I prefer St. Louis style. I find most women prefer babybacks. t ACGP, Inc.
  • Car Wash MikeCar Wash Mike Posts: 11,244
    I cook mostly baby backs, but every know and then will cook St. Louis Style. Still not for sure what I will carry in my restaurant.
  • Car Wash MikeCar Wash Mike Posts: 11,244
    Great looking turn-in box Darry. Do you remember how they scored? Or placed?

  • A bit overcooked, they finished 10th out of 28 if I remember correctly.

    We trimmed back the foil time next time out by 4 minutes and won 1st.



    from SANTA CLARA, CA

  • Free ribs
  • Car Wash MikeCar Wash Mike Posts: 11,244
    If you showed up, YES!
    Bring The Chickens.

  • gdenbygdenby Posts: 5,940
    Prob'ly depends on your customers. The adverts for the chain operations seem to feature baby backs a lot. But spares are generally less expensive (maybe because the chains aren't buying so many?) Where I live, every down-home BBQ place offers rib dinners, almost always spares. But tip dinners are their mainstay. Given my druthers, I go with tips instead of the whole rib. The quality between pieces is more uneven, but the meat can sometimes be even better.

    Altho' having a whole bone to grab is much more refined. So my company gets that.
  • FidelFidel Posts: 10,172
    Yea, what he said.
  • JalopyBobJalopyBob Posts: 175
    Mostly spares for me, usually St.Louis style trimmed. When I eat a slab of spares, I have been fed well. I can eat a slab of baby backs and walk away still hungry.
  • SteveinTNSteveinTN Posts: 229
    For me BB's- because that is the only rib i have cooked.
    - i guess i should try spares
  • llrickmanllrickman Posts: 589
    I love them both but usually do spares. I have found that my sams club carries very nice ribs both spares and bb. I usually cut them up st Louis style and throw the pieces around my rib rack if using one, those pieces usually come out tasting the best

    Hmmm got some leftover spares in the fridge think i'll go have me one as im waiting on my 2 7lb butts to finish been on for about 15 hours now at 180 degrees :)
    2 LBGE
    Digi Q
    green Thermapen

    Albuquerque, NM
  • BeliBeli Posts: 10,751
    Dan....spares of course.....

    BB's not bad........................ :laugh:


    OK....OK....BOTH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :whistle: :laugh:
  • JeffersonianJeffersonian Posts: 4,244
    My preference is for spares...I think they have more flavor than the babybacks. I've only recently started trimming them, and while it takes a bit more time and you lose the extra meat from the tips, it does make cooking and handling easier and the final product is more attractive.
  • JeffersonianJeffersonian Posts: 4,244
    I'm a spare guy, but I think you and I need to go on a multi-year investigation into the question. C'mon up to St. Looie and I'll run the first phase of the research! :woohoo:
  • BeliBeli Posts: 10,751
    :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: ....yeaaaaaaaaaaaa love the idea mi amigo...........about me bringing the booze & you supplying the Famous SL style ribs..... ;)
  • Beli & Brad - don't leave me out of this booze and ribs feast! Great pics Beli!!
  • JeffersonianJeffersonian Posts: 4,244
    It's a plan! I vote for some agave azul, I'll have the rest!
  • HamiltonHamilton Posts: 115
    Spares, trimmed. Always.
  • emillucaemilluca Posts: 673
    Spares untrimmed unpeeled 3 2 1 method. Love to suck meat off the bones.
  • RicklesssRicklesss Posts: 391
    Are trimmed spares, the same as baby backs?
    I haven't done any ribs yet. I guess I'm a little intimidated...
  • JeffersonianJeffersonian Posts: 4,244

    No, babybacks are ribs from higher up on the pig, near the spinal column. They tend to be smallish, with a more pronounced curve.

    Spares are lower down on the rib cage, near the pig's belly. They are larger-boned ribs, generally straighter in shape than the BBs and come with a ridge of breastbone cartilage and meat that is trimmed off for St. Louis-style ribs. The trimmings can be cooked and eaten or cooked and chopped up for other dishes like baked beans.
Sign In or Register to comment.
Click here for Forum Use Guidelines.