Mention barbecue to anyone north of Texas and the first thing that comes to mind is BBQ ribs or its more formal cousin barbecue ribs. For folks that love their Q, there is just no substitute for that smoky and rich barbecue flavor of a good rack of ribs cooked “low and slow.”
Baby back ribs(also called back ribs, loin ribs or Canadian back ribs) come from the curved section of the rib cage between the backbone and the spare rib. These ribs are usually meatier than spare ribs and when when smoked and cooked correctly will be fall off the bone tender tender.
The spare ribs come from the lower portion of the rib cage between the baby backs and the sternum. These cuts will traditionally have more bone and less meat than the baby backs and will usually have more fat, making this cut a more tender cut of meat.
The spare ribs can be further trimmed to create what is called St. Louis Style ribs. This is accomplished by removing any sternum bone, cartilage and rib tips, resulting in a fairly rectangular shape rack of ribs.
If you desire more information related to the various styles of BBQ ribs, please see this Wikipedia article.
Once you have identified the cut of ribs you are going to cook, it is time for the preparation. On the bony side of the rib you will find a membrane layer that should be removed. This membrane prevents any rub or sauces from permeating into the meat. The following short video will give you a visual instruction on how to remove this membrane.
Now that the membrane has been removed, it is time to start smoking and barbecuing. In the next video you will be taken through the steps to make fabulous Baby back BBQ ribs. In this video you will see the smoker of choice, the Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker that we reviewed here. You will also see the use of a canister style charcoal starter, the safe way to start your fire and avoid the use of harsh chemical starters.
Both, the Smokey Mountain Charcoal Cooker and the Weber Rapidfire Chimney Starter, are available from Amazon today. Quantities may be limited, so place your order today.
If Baby back barbecue ribs are not what you are craving at the moment, perhaps St. Louis style ribs are more to your liking. As we mentioned above, this cut of meat comes from the mid portion of the rib cage. While these BBQ ribs may have a lesser amount of meat, they are usually a more tender cut.
The next short video will demonstrate how to trim the rack of ribs to achieve the St. Louis style of cut.
The following video demonstrates how to cook these ribs using the Weber Performer charcoal grill. We reviewed this grill here and at the time of this post is available from Amazon FREE Super Saver Shipping. Clicking the Buy From Amazon button below will add this grill to your Amazon shopping cart. Add this grill to your shopping cart now.
I wish to give thanks to the BBQ Pit Boys for the videos used on this page. Through their BBQ Pit Boys website and the BBQ Pit Boys show on Youtube , you will find all kinds of barbecue recipes and how to videos.