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Weird Pork Ribs

Mark1499

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Just getting started with my pellet grill. I wanted to try ribs. I did the 321 method. Pretty good results but the ribs themselves were just weird. The bones sticking out were only about an inch long and then went into the normal cartilage that normally at the end of an untrimmed spare rib. Beyond that was almost all fat and connective tissue. Did I just get a bad cut? I searched the Internet and couldn’t find anything. The taste and the technique were fine but the product was just not good . Pretty disappointing after you have 6 hours invested.
 

Mark1499

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Maybe. On one end they had those little cuts between the bones. I double checked the package afterwards and they were labeled as spare ribs. It was a single slab but folded in the package. I will look much more closely in the future. They were pretty ugly. I didn’t notice when they were raw. I didn’t notice the bone didn’t go all the way through until I started cutting them apart. Live and learn I guess. It must not happen too often . Couldn’t really find anyone with the same issue online.
 

flatbroke

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I got that on my last batch of st lous from Costco
 

forktender

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I've posted about that too: https://www.smokingmeatforums.com/threads/st-louis-rib-question.281319/#post-1893584

Although the ribs themselves have been good, I find it very annoying to have them cut like that. I've been cooking STL ribs for many years and only recently starting running into this. Virtually every pack I get now is cut like that.
Same here, I asked my cousin who is a district manager for Costco, and he said that it is because of Cov-19 the processors are rushing through the products on the line to try to keep up with demand and to limit the time the meat processors are standing shoulder to shoulder. I'm not sure if that is true or not, because an eight hour day is an eight hr day in my mind. I can understand the reason why they are rushing through product to keep up with demand but the limiting the time the meat processors are standing shoulder to shoulder doesn't make sense too me.

I smoked up some S.L. ribs yesterday for Mom's birthday, and they were cut more like loin back ribs, They were good, but they for sure weren't Saint Louis style ribs. I was going to trim them down to S.L. style ribs but got in a rush and said screw it. I should have smoked them at a higher temp to render out more of the fat quicker because they took 7 hours to smoke at 240*, I've never smoked ribs over 4.5 hour...NEVER, until yesterday and I won't ever do it again. Next time I will trim them down myself and save the trim for sausage or smoke it up in a pan to use in beans.
 

noboundaries

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My first thought as I was reading this thread was "it was cut wrong." The fact it happened to more than one person is confirmation enough for me. I buy single, uncut racks, and I've still seen some weird shapes.
 

Mark1499

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Thanks guys at least I don’t feel like I’m crazy. Will definitely be more careful in the future.
 

saltysandman

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all good ideas here. i would also piggyback on trimming your st louis style ribs so that you get portions that have a similar thickness. i always trim the rib tips (section with white softer bone/cartilage. every rack can be different. there is some trial an error and even for those expert pit masters which i make no claim that i am, it can still throw you for a loop.
 

thirdeye

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I haven't seen any ribs like the ones you described, but I'm getting ribs that have a weird flap of meas on one end that look like this. Three individually wrapped racks all looked the same. I had to literally fillet off the excess meat so they would cook evenly. In the end, they all came out fine.
cibOfLv.jpg
jFPMU4A.jpg
 

thirdeye

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Joined Dec 1, 2019
I cooked a rack of St Louis ribs last night that were sort of what you described. The first 5 bones were slightly shorter than normal, but ran at more of an angle than normal. The rest of them got shorter and the amount of cartilage became longer. The last 2 bones were only about 1" long. I'm thinking the rack full slab was crooked when they made the first cut, and they tried to square them up even though they were into the cartilage area.
 

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