Spare ribs > Babyback ribs for smoking.....

Discussion in 'Pork' started by lucc, Jul 18, 2010.

  1. lucc

    lucc Smoke Blower

    I've cooked both and have had much better reults with the spare ribs. More juicy and tender, fall off the bone. Babybacks seem tougher and less tender.
  2. pit 4 brains

    pit 4 brains Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    After fiddling around with spares, I tend to like the back ribs better. I can get them at my local butcher shop with a generous amount of loin meat.
  3. bmudd14474

    bmudd14474 Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I find that the spares have a bit more fat so they need less tending. But if you mop/spray every hour and put a good amount of your spray/mop in the foil I get BB just as juicy but with more meat.
  4. I feel that if you can get baby backs on sale with a decent amount of meat on top, then they can be a great rib and more of a crowd pleaser.  But that just isnt the case very often.  90% of the time I can get spares for about half the price around here & they always have a good amount of meat on them, so thats what I go with.  Havent ever had a problem with them drying out or being less tender, and you can throw the trimmings on as riblets to add to the presentation.  All being equal, I would go spares.
  5. ak1

    ak1 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I go either way depending on whats on sale. I like back ribs for the amount of meat, but I also like side ribs because the fat makes it easier to keep them tender. Both are very good.
  6. tnbarbq

    tnbarbq Fire Starter

    More meat for the $$ with spares and I can trim them the way I like them.  I never cook them fall off the bone.  That's overcooked.  There should be just a slight tug to the meat when you take a bite.  That's a properly cooked rib. 
  7. did someone say ribs? i hated ribs growing up, then i had good ribs. now i'm hooked.....
  8. cliffcarter

    cliffcarter Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    I prefer spares because they taste better IMHO, but when I cook for the in laws it's loin backs, preferably 3lb+ racks.
  9. deannc

    deannc Master of the Pit

    I like both and cost is what usually drives my decision...I can get spares for $1.70 (not on sale) and backs as low as $3.39 (not on sale).  I've got to get by one of our stores (Harris Teeter) tomorrow though because they have back ribs on sale through Tuesday for $2.49.  Three or four racks for next weekend sound in order! [​IMG]
  10. lucc

    lucc Smoke Blower

    Yes baby backs are def less fatty but as others sad you get more for your money with spares and can use the trimming for a bunch of different meals/recipes.

    The grocery store near my house has fresh spares for $6.99/rack. Might have to pick some up for the weekend.
  11. ak1

    ak1 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Just bought some full racks the other day. I haden't done spares in a while. Needless to say there's one on the smoker right now.[​IMG]
  12. Today was the second time I've ever used a smoker ( first time was doing smoked Salmon) and I just did  2  racks of BB's using the 2-2-1 method.   I'm not real happy with how they turned out. When I unwrapped them at the end of  thesecond 2 hour mark, there was a lot of pull back showing and the rack was already very limp when I tried to pick it up.....almost to the point where I they looked "OVER DONE" but according to the 2-2-1 method, I still had an hour to go.   I put them back in for 15 minutes of the "last hour" to evaporate some of the wetness. . They were really sloppy wet coming out of the foil.  I only spritzed them with apple juice before wrapping in foil.

    The bones pull right out and the meat tastes a tiny bit on the dryer side, although there was some juice on the plate. I dont get a "tug" when I bite into it so I'm sure they're overcooked by most standards.   My neighbor said the piece he ate was very good. But he'll eat anything's that hot and free, so I dont take much stock in his opinion.

    I didn't use any sauce or mop. Just sprayed Apple juice on them a couple times. I maintained 225-230 all the way through the process. I think I might have put too much rub on them, or left it on too long ( overnight) drawing out some of the juices? 

    They're not god awful bad though, especially for my first try.  I applied 2 different rubs.  One sweet, one spicy. I think I like the sweet better. Right now I re-wrapped them in foil to "rest".  They definately I dont have " the tug" you folks talk about. More fall off the rib "overcooked" soft.  Again, they're not bad, but I've got a long way to go before I can start bragging about my ribs.  I guess that's the fun of learning how to smoke.  Trial and Error I guess......... everybody was a newbie at one time. 
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2010
  13. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I am definately $$ driven. Spares I can usually get for $1-$1.25 cheaper per lb. than BB.
  14. eman

    eman Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member

    I don't foil my BBs and don't do the 221 method. i smoke till i have some pull back and check em . usually they are done by then.

     I havn't done BBs in a long while. I like spares much better and for the price to me they are a better value.  

     i have 6 racks in the freezer and since one of my local grocers has a sale tomorrow on spares for $1.59 lb  i'll buy 9 more racks for the freezer.

     buy when on sale trim and vac seal and freeze.
  15. EMAN.........Thanks for the input.  That's what I'm going to do with the next batch.  I'll try doing spares next time.  I have a feeling they were done at around 3.5 hours truth be told. They were "extra meaty" so I thought I was safe trying the 2-2-1 method. 

    But as mentioned, that's part the learning process one goes through to acquire skills!!!  We learn from failures and disappointments.
  16. ddigitalpimp

    ddigitalpimp Smoke Blower

    i only buy BBs when they are on sale, otherwise they are over $20 a rack depending on weight.  the last three times i was at my local store they were on sale for more than half off.  cant go wrong with a big rack of back ribs for $8.  when they arent on sale i get the spares.  i think i like baby backs more but it may be one of those things that they cost more so i think they are better. 

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