Baby backs or good old spareribs

  • Some of the links on this forum allow SMF, at no cost to you, to earn a small commission when you click through and make a purchase. Let me know if you have any questions about this.
SMF is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.


Meat Mopper
Original poster
SMF Premier Member
May 23, 2021
I know this as probably been asked a million times but, what do you all like better? My wife asked me to smoke some baby backs but I have always done spareribs. What’s the difference between the two? I see them at the butcher but personally have never smoked them. I always get the spareribs and cut them up st. Louis style. They seem to have more meat and less fat then spares. Do they cook up different? I think I read once they take a little longer then the spareribs. Would love to hear all your opinions on this since I may do them Tuesday for dinner.
  • Like
Reactions: JLeonard
Yeah I really like the the spareribs as well. I do the st. Louis trim only because they fit on my smaller pellet smoker better. But the little ribs I cut off don’t go to waist, I cook those babies off and there my favorite bite🍖❤️‍🔥
BBs seem more readily available around here. Full spares that haven't been pre-marinated are getting tougher to find in the local grocers.

I live in Fl and have several butchers and Cosco and both still have plenty of both. I find that the butchers are way more expensive they are averaging around 5.99 to 7.99 a pound but Coscao is still .3.99.
I prefer the spare ribs myself since they clean up nicely and done have the curved bone as much as at baby backs do... sounds weird I know !
  • Like
Reactions: 912smoker
I like them both. BB are a shorter cook so its nice when time is short. If the loin section is too thick I will even trim some of it so they cook more even. They are more "meaty" than spars so I usually do them with a sauce or thick glaze.
  • Like
Reactions: binnesman
I was a big BB guy, but since they started adding a big chunk of loin meat to the top of them, I switched to either full spares or STL’s. It’s almost impossible to get bb’s with the extra loin meat on them moist & tender. The loin part needs to be c.ooked to 140-145, but the rest of the rib needs to go to 195-205, depending on how you like your ribs. At that point the loin part is dried out.
  • Like
Reactions: HalfSmoked
Another vote for full spares(usually cheaper) !
I do the St Louis trim and try different flavors/rubs on the trimmed meat.
I used to be a baby back guy, but once I started smoking spares, I've never wanted to go back. Better flavor because of the higher fat content, and I like the flatter bones. And they give me the flexibility to either do a full rack, or do a STL cut and make rib tips with the trimmings.
  • Like
Reactions: binnesman
Spare rib guy here, too (cheaper and less fussy). My wife used to prefer BBs, but once I started smoking her rack of spare ribs to FOTB, she prefers spares. She likes St Louis cut. I like untrimmed. How the heck have we stayed married for more than 40 years?
  • Like
Reactions: 912smoker is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

Latest posts