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Full Version: Baby Back... or Spare...?
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Hello all, I have been Q-ing a lot of baby backs recently, and decided to try a few spare ribs. They turned out great, I liked the amount of meat on the spares but they were harder for me to trim up for presentation. It got me wondering what yalls preferences are.


When I started competing I was a baby back (or loin back, if you prefer) guy, but I have switched to St. Louis spares.

This should help.


P.S. One thing I do differently than the video is that I use the longest bone to gauge my cut, and I cut completely straight with no regard for the shorter ribs. The rationale is that I want my spare rack to be nice and rectangular, almost like a larger rack of baby backs.
Spares or St louis cut spares, I'm not one for buying expensive meat at the best of times, and given the facts that spares have more meat, are cheaper, and have a better flavor (IMO) puts them ahead of baby backs (or loin backs) most of the time.

I've had some loin backs that were nearly as good as the average spares can be, but they were at $4.50 + /lb.

Spares all the way.
I am with John on the cutting and SoEzzy on why spend more. Tried BB's on practice comps and still go with spares. They have more meat, most folks couldn't tell the diff for all intent and purpose and the spares are more forgiving.
I mostly cook with spares/St Louis style for all the reasons mentioned above. I did cook baby backs for a couple of competitions and the primary advantage I saw was that it was easier to fit 6 ribs in the turn-in box because of the curve of the rib.

And to top it all off ... you end up with lots of "goodies" to snack on when you trim up a slab of spares.
Thanks for all the responses, I am amazed at how much you guys know and are willing to share. You guys are great.
As for me, if you want to cook baby backs, I will happily eat them. If I am cooking for others, especially folks who don't have to help pay the tab. My budget cant afford to give away baby backs all the time and to practice wit htem as well. I cook well trimmed spares as well. I believe they have a better taste and there is actual meat on the bones.
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