Rib contreversy? expose' !

Discussion in 'Pork' started by capt dan, May 3, 2008.

  1. capt dan

    capt dan Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    We all have our favorites, baby backs, or spares. I myself prefer the BB's. I have heard dozens of times how the baby backs have less meat, and cost too much for the money. Well I just don't agree. I have smoked plenty of each, so for chits and grins this weekend, I am gonna smoke em both. Same rub, same temps, same wood, right next to each other. A little rib integration right on the Lang!
    So heres the set up. I have trimed up a couple racks of spares to the St Lewey style[​IMG] , and I also have 3 racks of baby backs. All have the membrane off, and have been rubbed up tonight with the same rub, eaqual amounts, wrapped in celophane and in the fridge at 35 degrees till 1 hr before smoke tomorrow!
    I will smoke em up together, and take each to the desired tenderness/break point. Then I will Take some pics. I wil cut up the ribs from one side of the bone, skip a bone and then to the far saide of the other meat, so as to have 1 bone with full meat on each side of it. I will weigh them, total up 6 of each bone measurements for each type and give you the results. I think I will also peel the meat off the bones on a few of the selections that are similar in size and score th results. I think you will be suprised. I will do it as fairly as possible and set the myth straight once and for all. I am also doing 2 fatties, and a tub of Dutch's wicked beans. Going for the shorter smoke tomorrow, cuz I gots lots of honeys do's to take care of. I will post results on this thread. I will also poll the people who are eating these ribs, and see which is the tastiest![​IMG]
  2. bearmoe

    bearmoe StickBurners SMF Premier Member


    Sounds like a thorough scientific study. Looking forward to the results. I wish I could participate!
  3. huskersmokeman

    huskersmokeman Smoke Blower

    Very interesting, Capt. Dan....I'm smoking one rack of spares and two of baby backs tomorrow myself. I'm not going to all the lengths you are, but I was also wondering how they stacked up head to head. Same rub , same smoke, gonna 3-2-1 both of 'em (maybe 3-2-1/2 for the baby backs). I'll let you know what I decide. Good eatin no matter which one wins, I'd say. Good idea on the fattie. I think I'll toss one of them in, too.
  4. walking dude

    walking dude Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member


    don't you think the bone from the spare...........since its farther away from the spine........would be heavier and thicker, than upper part of the side, closer to where the bb sits?will make a diff in weight over all?

    this also, i would think, is whats available to you in meat selection in your area, maybe

    i have looked at both, just looking at em in the cryovac will tell you which is meatier......or however its wrapped
    also......would't it be fair.....after trimming. to make sure each weights the same, or in purorsion.......crap......since i moved up to xp pro, i lost spell check for here, ..........but you get my idea..........to me, since the bb's are closer to the spine, the bones are closer together. Further down the side of the side............LOLOL.......the bones will get wider apart. More room for meat..........jm2cw
  5. davenh

    davenh Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Dan...wouldn't you want to do whole spares vs BBs for a more fair comparison of which is a better value? Cutting down the spares would kind of skew the cost vs qty comparison.

    I buy my spares at Sam's Club with the breastbone removed for $1.80lb vs BBs at $2.98. I think the BBs are leaner, but to be an equal value to spares wouldn't they need to be closer to the same price per lb? Unless they have 50% more edible meat on them.

    Sounds like a fun experiment.
  6. ajthepoolman

    ajthepoolman Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    You will need a blind panel of judges to make this a scientific experiment. I volunteer my services!
  7. lc in va

    lc in va Meat Mopper

    I believe baby backs pound for pound that thier is more meat.spare ribs usually not as thick.
  8. meowey

    meowey Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I looking forward to seeing your results. I usually smoke St. Louis trim spares or Baby Backs. I think the cost per pound compares favorably because of all the "trim" that is removed from the untrimmed racks of spares that are available at Sam's or Costco.

    Take care, have fun, and do good!


  9. So are you going off total weight of the racks, or the meat? I would think a better test would be to see which gives more edible meat after cooking both racks for comparison and value.
    Man I'm jealous I can't come taste test for you.
  10. travcoman45

    travcoman45 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Good luck with the experiment capt.! Ifin ya don't prove nothin least ways ya got some good eatin in the trial runs eh?
  11. flyin'illini

    flyin'illini Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    Dan, I look forward to seeing your thoughts as I want to do more ribs.
  12. richtee

    richtee Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    OK Dan I *KNOW* this is all just a cover to smoke more ribs and not have the wife on your butt... "I'ts RESEARCH Hunny!"

    LOL! Great idea!
  13. chargrilled

    chargrilled Meat Mopper

    "If your going to compare St. Louis Style To Baby Backs... Yes the BB will have more meat.. But if you are going to compare a full rack of spares to BB. I believe you will find more meat.."

    Ditto. The flap and tips is quite a bit of weight. Still like full slabs of spares as I get to babysit the smoker longer.

    As Richtee said I believe I am going to use this experiment to tell the wife that this is a mad scientist experiment!! Make sure you wear your Dr. coat and mess up your hair while your tending that Lang!!!![​IMG]
  14. wmarkw

    wmarkw Smoking Fanatic

    Sounds interesting; will be interested in the results. I'm smoking my first batch of BBs tomorrow; I've only smoked spares, so I'm looking forward to that.
  15. morkdach

    morkdach Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    spares ,bb ,full rack i,m ready lets eat then judge[​IMG]
  16. lcruzen

    lcruzen Master of the Pit OTBS Member

  17. flyin'illini

    flyin'illini Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    Good info, Lou. Thanks for adding the link. (I missed it then)
  18. smok'n steve

    smok'n steve Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Can't Wait to see what you come up with Dan. Sounds like as usual, you have thought this thru pretty well!!!!

    I am interested in a financial analysis too:) I am going to click on lcruzen's link next.

  19. capt dan

    capt dan Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Hey guys , thanks for the interest. This study is just for the H of it! So you all got the set - up. here is the load in at 8:15.nice morning, a bit breezy!

    the TBS was rolling nicely![​IMG]

    Looks like I need to cut the grass, been on the business end of a log splitter most of the morning!
    Two hrs into the smoke, and I already know the answer to my experiment.

    the 2 center racks are spares and the lil pieces of"chump meat are from them". I cooked them too, and foiled and spritzed and all that. They were OK, but not worth the time IMO. So you can already see the size difference, and if you look at the first pic of them in the same position, the spares shrink up alot compared to the BB's. So here they are out of the smoker, with a slick brush of my "NEW" rib sauce! Me and Rich, and Glen came up with it![​IMG]

    Now the spares are nearest to the camera, and the back 3 racks are the BB's. Last night, when I rubbed these all up, the racks were all about the same length, but the BB's were thicker, and bone length was similar.

    So I looked at the racks for a while( wife was gettin pissed, she was hungry) and decided on a section of the spares that had good bone coverage and length, and was in the largest section of the st. Loius cut. I cut out 3 bones worth, with the adjacent meat still attached. In other wards I put as big a piece of meat as I could by cutting right next to and against the bones that were not included in the sample.
    First the spares and their weight

    and the BB's

    so now I took the bones out and any knuckles ect, just good eatin meat left to weigh, with the bones laying next to the plate.
    BB's first.
  20. fireguy

    fireguy Smoking Fanatic

    cap, contreversy aside, they all look darn good to me!!!

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