Ribs are fun to enjoy once they are ready, but most people do not know just how much effort has gone into preparing them. Worst of all, some do not even know the types of ribs they are enjoying. Well, the most popular ribs you can buy and prepare today include spare ribs and baby back ribs. For those who love to order ribs from their favorite restaurant, chances are you are eating the baby back ribs. They are loved by restaurants for being easy to prepare and small in size.
Today, we will differentiate between spare ribs and baby back ribs below. At the end of the guide, you will have an idea of what each mean and how best to prepare them.
What are spare ribs?
Spare ribs are larger in size as compared to baby back ribs. Other than that, the other difference is that these ribs are cut from the belly. This is how they end up having more meat and tougher as compared to baby backs. As a result, the spare ribs would require more cooking time to help tenderize their meat.
For racks weighing around six pounds, they should be enough for feeding up to 6 people. Ending up with a heavier rack indicates that it was an older animal and might mean tougher meat. The price will largely vary depending on the quality of meat. You can find most costing $1.50 per pound. It can go up to $3.50 per pound.
What people do not know is that St. Louis ribs are simply trimmed spare ribs. This is where the rib tips are then removed so as to end up with a nicely uniform rack. This helps with cooking evenly and end up with some of the best cooked ribs.
There are so many ways to prepare these ribs depending on the available recipes. Do not throw away the trimmed tips. You can always cook them alongside the ribs. These tips will cook in half the time the ribs require to cook. You can even start eating them as you wait for the ribs to finish cooking.
So, how much time will the spare ribs take to cook? Because of their size and overall composition, these ribs will take 4 to 6 hours to cook. Always cook at low and slow temperature to end up with the best ribs in terms of looks and taste too.
What are baby back ribs?
Baby back ribs can easily be described as pork chops with most of their loin meat trimmed. For a typical rack of baby back ribs, it has the capacity to feed up to four people as it has twelve to thirteen ribs. When you head out to buy baby back ribs, ensures that you look for one with more meat with a lot of white fat patches and no shiners.
It is better to avoid baby back ribs that have already been enhanced with salt or pre-marinated. You need to work on the whole process on your own so as to end up with baby back ribs that taste just as you want.
It is common to find the baby back ribs being more expensive as compared to the spare ribs. Depending on the where you buy them, you can expect the price to vary from $3 to $8 per pound.
The baby back ribs are characterized for having a thin and slick membrane covering the bones. As to whether to remove or leave the membrane, it will depend on your preference. This membrane is loved for having the papery crackle once the ribs are smoked, baked, or grilled. That being said, the same membrane can hinder the rub from penetrating into the meat.
To remove the membrane, it is not hard at all. You simply use a non-serrated butter knife to easily get the membrane off. It is generally easy to remove it even if you are a newbie to handling baby back ribs.
As for the cook time, these ribs are expected to be ready in 3 hours. You are required to cook them at a low and slow temperature.
Different Ways to Prepare Baby Back Ribs and Spare Ribs
Smoked barbeque baby back ribs
This is where you smoke your ribs to end up with a tasty meal later on. For this case, you can also combine the cooking with a nice spice mix. The mix includes chili powder, paprika, cumin, garlic powder, kosher salt, and dark brown sugar. You should end up with a nice smoky-sweet mix.
Asian glazed spare ribs
There is no arguing that the glaze on ribs definitely makes them stand out as tasty. The Asian glaze is mostly a combination of sauce and other ingredients. This includes seasoning with ketchup, soy sauce, corn syrup, garlic powder, hot sauce, honey, light brown sugar, and rice vinegar. Depending on your cooking needs, you might have to adjust the quantities of each ingredient.
Easy barbeque ribs
This is when you want to achieve the best seasoned ribs. You will have to use a homemade barbeque sauce to take the taste of the ribs to a whole new level. If you do not know how to make your own sauce, there is always the option of buying some from your favorite store. Nevertheless, making the sauce at home always makes the ribs taste different and better.
Sticky Chinese ribs
A sticky sauce is required for this case. The sticky sauce is a combination of several ingredients such as hoisin sauce, ketchup, soy sauce, garlic, honey, red wine, Chinese five spice powder, Sriracha, ginger and a bit of liquid smoke.
To help garnish the ribs, use sesame seed and some freshly chopped scallions to end up with a personalized touch.
To enjoy ribs, you have to know the type of ribs and how best to prepare them. From the guide above, you should now know the differences between spare ribs and baby back ribs. These two will always be the most common you prepare at home or order at a restaurant. If you opt to prepare them at home, take the time to come up with a nice recipe to enjoy the ribs better once they are ready.