Country, Spare, Baby Back, and more. What's the difference between these ribs?
Isn't a pack of ribs a pack of ribs? Nope! Did you know we offer 6 different rib cuts? We'll take a closer look at each of them and what makes them different (and how to cook them) here.
Country ribs aren't true ribs, but are more like "mini pork chops", cut from the shoulder. They have a bone in and appear like a rib chop, though they aren't technically. They're tender and flavorful and can be cooked on the stove top in a cast iron pan, though we like to make them in the Instant Pot or oven with BBQ sauce. They are meaty, decadent in flavor, juicy, and delicious!
Spare ribs are true ribs. They are mostly bone with a flavorful layering of meat and fat between. Don't let the lack of meat deceive you, though. As Grandma said, "Those spare ribs are actually really good!". Throw them in the slow cooker on low for 6 hours with BBQ sauce for a delightfully delicious mess of a dinner! You will get messy eating these, but the tender, sweet flavor of the meat on these bones will have you and your family looking for more. Be sure to have napkins! :)
Baby Back Ribs (Pork)
Baby back ribs are true ribs, like spare ribs, and have layers of meat around and between the bones. They typically come in a rack, similar to spare ribs. Bake them or grill them for a timeless BBQ delight.
They come from the top section of ribs, making the unique. We can only get them (and pork tenderloin for that matter) cut when we have butterfly chops cut, too. That's because the butterfly chop is boneless and cut below the rib bones, freeing up the baby back ribs for individual sale. The full rib chop, however, contains part of the baby back rib and tenderloin with it, so we can't have both off of the same animal.
This is why baby back ribs (and tenderloin) which are in short supply, are reserved for Your Family First members only.
Rib chops, on both pork and lamb, are cut from the ribs as individual portions and are prized for their ease of cooking, high quality, and exquisite flavor. They have a small bone portion along the top and side, and an outer edge of fat that keeps the meat tender and juicy when cooking. We like to pan fry them in a cast iron skillet (or grill them in summer) with a simple seasoning of salt and pepper. For the pork chops, sometimes we'll use a steak chop style seasoning for extra flavor. Both have a nice flavor on their own, though, and don't require much seasoning.
And then there's short ribs, which come off of a beef. They require braising and slow cooking, as they are a bit tougher than pork ribs, but are well worth the wait for a tasty dinner. They are fatty and meaty, so can be messy to eat on their own. They are great for pairing with soup bones for a hearty homemade beef bone broth!