Last Updated on February 24, 2023 by Lauren Beck
Ribs are a beloved food worldwide, known for their tender and flavorful meat. They are a staple at barbecues, picnics, and other social gatherings. But did you know that there are different types of ribs?
In this article, we will explore what are the different types of ribs, the different styles of ribs, which cut of ribs is best, whether beef ribs and short ribs are the same, which type of ribs has the most meat, what to look for when buying ribs, and how to prepare ribs.
10 Different Types of Ribs:
- Baby back ribs – These ribs come from the upper part of the pig’s ribcage, between the spine and the spare ribs. They are shorter and meatier than spare ribs and have a curved shape.
- Spare ribs – These ribs are taken from the lower part of the pig’s ribcage, near the belly. They are longer and flatter than baby back ribs and have more fat and bone.
- St. Louis-style ribs – These ribs are spare ribs that have been trimmed down to remove the breastbone, cartilage, and flap of meat. They are rectangular in shape and have a more uniform thickness.
- Country-style ribs – These ribs are cut from the pig’s shoulder area and have more meat than bone. They are often sold in thick, boneless slabs.
- Beef short ribs – These ribs come from the lower part of the cow’s ribcage and are larger and meatier than pork ribs. They are usually sold in long strips with several bones.
- Beef back ribs – These ribs come from the upper part of the cow’s ribcage, between the spine and the short ribs. They are meatier than beef short ribs but have less meat than pork ribs.
- Lamb ribs – These ribs come from the upper part of the lamb’s ribcage and are small and tender. They are usually sold in small racks or individual chops.
- Bison ribs – These ribs come from the lower part of the bison’s ribcage and are larger and meatier than pork ribs. They have a slightly sweeter flavor than beef ribs.
- Venison ribs – These ribs come from the deer’s ribcage and are smaller and leaner than pork ribs. They have a gamey flavor and are often marinated before cooking.
- Fish ribs – These ribs come from the spine of fish and are often used to make fish stock or broth. They are not commonly eaten on their own.
What Are the Different Styles of Ribs?
There are several different styles of ribs, including:
- Dry-rubbed ribs – These ribs are seasoned with a dry rub made of spices, herbs, and sometimes sugar. They are not sauced during cooking.
- Wet ribs – These ribs are basted with a sauce made of vinegar, ketchup, molasses, or other ingredients during cooking.
- Smoked ribs – These ribs are cooked slowly over wood smoke for several hours, which gives them a smoky flavor.
- Grilled ribs – These ribs are cooked on a grill over direct heat, which gives them a charred flavor.
Which Cut of Ribs Is Best?
The best cut of ribs depends on your personal preference. Baby back ribs are tender and meaty, while spare ribs have more fat and bone. St. Louis-style ribs are a good compromise between the two. Beef short ribs are larger and meatier than pork ribs but require longer cooking times. Lamb, bison, and venison ribs have a unique flavor that some people enjoy.
Are Beef Ribs and Short Ribs the Same?
Beef ribs and short ribs are not the same. Beef short ribs come from the lower part of the cow’s ribcage and are cut into strips with several bones, while beef back ribs come from the upper part of the cow’s ribcage and have less meat than pork ribs. Both types of beef ribs require slow cooking to become tender and flavorful.
Which Type of Ribs Has the Most Meat?
Country-style ribs have the most meat of any type of rib. They come from the pig’s shoulder area and are sold in thick, boneless slabs. They have a higher meat-to-bone ratio than other types of ribs and are a good choice for those who prefer more meat.
What to Look for When Buying Ribs?
When buying ribs, look for the following:
- Freshness – Choose ribs that are fresh and have not been frozen.
- Color – Ribs should be a deep pink or red color.
- Marbling – Look for ribs with marbling (small streaks of fat) throughout the meat, which will keep them moist during cooking.
- Thickness – Choose ribs that are a consistent thickness throughout.
- Odor – Ribs should not have a strong odor, which can indicate that they are not fresh.
How to Prepare Ribs?
Here are some tips for preparing ribs :
- Remove the membrane – The tough membrane on the underside of the ribs should be removed before cooking to make the ribs more tender.
- Seasoning – Rub the ribs with a dry rub made of spices, herbs, and sometimes sugar, or marinate them in a liquid seasoning.
- Cooking – Ribs can be cooked in a variety of ways, including smoking, grilling, baking, or slow-cooking in a crockpot or oven.
- Basting – Baste the ribs with a sauce made of vinegar, ketchup, molasses, or other ingredients during cooking to add flavor and moisture.
There are many different types of ribs, each with its own unique flavor and texture. When choosing ribs, consider the cut, style, and amount of meat, and look for fresh, high-quality meat. Ribs can be prepared in a variety of ways, and each method will result in a slightly different flavor and texture. Experiment with different types of ribs and cooking methods to find your favorite.