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What is a "Pork Loin Rib Half"?

Discussion in 'Pork' started by jester805, Dec 6, 2018.

  1. jester805

    jester805 Newbie

    Hi, I'm new. You guys are awesome and I've been learning a lot.

    In the area where I'm located we have Schnuck's Grocery stores. They often have what's called a "Big Box" of meat for $20. This box usually consists of four separate meat choices bundled together for a total price of $20. It is usually a pretty good deal.

    Ok, so for my question...... The latest Big Box I picked up has a "Pork Loin Rib Half" in it. I initially thought these were really big ribs. Now I know that I'm dumb and (I don't think) they are ribs at all. That is what leads me to my question. What are Pork Loin Rib Halfs? Can I smoke them using the 3-2-1 method like I would with St. Louis style ribs?

    I am kind of guessing that I can't go wrong smoking them. I just don't know what to expect as far as temperature & taste . Do I smoke them low & slow? Or do I raise the temp? Low for the first few hours, then high temp the last hour? I think I'm going to do a simple rub (McCormick's Spicy Montreal Steak seasoning mixed with brown sugar and garlic powder).

    Any thoughts or ideas would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks in advance!
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2018
  2. SonnyE

    SonnyE Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I didn't want to go to bed wondering, So I did a search and got this:

    Pork Loin Rib Half
  3. SecondHandSmoker

    SecondHandSmoker Master of the Pit ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    If it has bones, you have options. Cut out the loin portion and reserve for a later smoke. The rib portion can be smoked just as you mentioned 3-2-1.
    20 bucks for a box of meat is a heckuva deal.
  4. mosparky

    mosparky Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    OK, the whole loin is 3 1/2 to 4 feet long. One end being the Rib End (shoulder area) the other the loin end which terminates with the sirloin (near the rump). What you have is the front end. The underlying ribs are the Babybacks. You can cook as a roast or cut the meat off and have baby backs and a boneless roast which can be done as boneless chops, canadian bacon or any number of other things. It is an awfully big piece of meat for the 3-2-1- method, but it might work pending temps. For best results you might want to keep the IT to 150 ish if cooking as a roast.
    And yes the Big Box is a pretty good deal if you have a desire for all the items included.
    jester805 likes this.
  5. tallbm

    tallbm Master of the Pit OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Hi there and welcome!

    What you have there my friend is the Pork Loin attached to the Baby Back bones of the ribs.
    The Pork Loin comes from the back of the pig and should not to be confused with tenderloin which is from inside of the pig's body cavity. The pork loin would also be called the backstrap.

    If you had the WHOLE thing you could make the beautiful crown roast:

    If you want to smoke the thing as is, you cook to where the internal temp (IT) of the meat is 145F and no higher!

    You can also cut chops by simply cutting between the bones and smoke or grill those as loin chops.
    Finally, you can cut away the ribs leaving some meat on them and have an un-sawed "L" shaped rib bone for an odd version of baby back ribs and a separate boneless pork loin but I'm not sure the rib portion would come out so well.

    What I Would Personally Do
    Personally I suggest you leave the thing whole BUT I would do the following.
    I would face the meat/fat side towards me (making the bone side the back side) on a cutting board.

    Next I would slice as though I were going to cut a pork chop BUT I would only go halfway deep towards the bone side.
    I would now be able to season into the meat where the slices are as well as the outside of the meat.

    I'd push the whole thing together so the sliced areas weren't just sitting spread apart (or tie it with some butcher twine) and smoke the whole thing to an IT of 145F and no higher!
    Then I would eat like a king! :emoji_crown:

    I hop this info helps :)
    jester805 likes this.
  6. jester805

    jester805 Newbie

    You guys are awesome! Thank you so much!
  7. jester805

    jester805 Newbie

    Ok, so since I got this huge piece of meat so cheap, I decided to start cutting it up. I followed what mosparky and tallbm said above. I cut the whole piece in to 1/3 chunks. I took one of the 1/3 chunks and cut eight 1/4 inch pork chops and about a 4-bone section of ribs. I can't believe how much meat there is on this thing!

    Here is a picture of what I started doing. (This was my first time ever cutting up a large chunk of meat). On the left is the other 2/3 chunk of the original piece of meat. In the middle you see the ribs, and on the right are eight pork chops (layered). I also saved some of the loose trimming pieces (top of the pic). I mixed up a dry rub consisting of brown sugar, McCormick's Spicy Montreal Steak, Garlic powder, and black pepper. I put the dry rub all over the top of the ribs, wrapped them in clear wrap and stuck them in the fridge. I can't wait to smoke them tomorrow.

    Attached Files:

    tallbm likes this.
  8. chopsaw

    chopsaw Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I hope that's 1 1/4 " .
    They had the whole loins by me last week for 1.29 . I bought 3 . Already cured one . I saw the whole loin rib halves yesterday , but they were sliced , so I passed . Didn't want 3 foot of chops .
  9. jester805

    jester805 Newbie

    I mean I got eight chops that were each 1/4" thick. :)
  10. chopsaw

    chopsaw Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Ok . That's pretty thin . Enjoy .
  11. GaryHibbert

    GaryHibbert Legendary Pitmaster OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Welcome to the Forum.
    Looks like you're going to eat real well for $20--that's a heck of a buy.
    I have to agree with chopsaw about the thickness of your chops. I generally buy a whole loin (minus ribs) and slice it into 2" thick chops.
    chopsaw likes this.
  12. jester805

    jester805 Newbie

    You guys are probably right that they are too thin. It was my first time cutting chops. :)
    I was thinking I would put the chops on the charcoal grill to make porkchop sandwiches. :emoji_thumbsup:
    tallbm and chopsaw like this.
  13. chopsaw

    chopsaw Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    That would be great . They look more like pork steaks . Won't take long to cook .