What's the difference between Baby Back Ribs and St. Louis Ribs?!


Question: The food network says that St. Louis ribs are better, but Baby Back ribs are more popular. Whats the difference?


Answers: The food network says that St. Louis ribs are better, but Baby Back ribs are more popular. Whats the difference?

They're talking about the cut of meat, not how they're cooked. Baby back ribs are a smaller cut, and have less meat on them. St Louis cut is from a different part of the pig than baby back ribs. They are actually the same ribs you'll get if you buy spare ribs, but with some of the meat trimmed away.

Basically what you are getting with a St Louis cut is more meat, and since they are trimmed differently, the meat shrinks away from the ends of the bone to form "handles" that make them easy to eat with your fingers. If you ever had them, you'd probably prefer them to baby back as well.

The biggest downside of St Louis cut is that they are hard to find than baby back or spare ribs, and usually have to be specially ordered from the butcher (or butcher counter at the grocery store). This means they're never on sale either. If you're good with a knife and can find a good picture, you can just buy spare ribs and trim them down. Make sure you cook that extra meat too though, no reason to let it go to waist!


St. Louis style has a dry rub, & the other uses a wet one, I think?

The part of the pig the ribs come from is the difference. Baby backs are the last ribs (toward the back, duh), closest to the loin section of the animal. These are meatier ribs, and they're fairly uniform in size. There's also a bit less fat on baby backs, as compared to spare ribs.

Spare ribs are more plentiful, and also much longer (and wider). There's also more fat attached to them, which imparts more flavor in the cooked product.

St. Louis-style ribs are actually spare ribs that have been cut into rectangular sections, so they more closely resemble baby backs. Your butcher can cut a full (wide) rack of spare ribs into two St. Louis-style racks, if you ask him nicely. It'll cost you considerably less than if you purchase 2 racks of baby backs.


As a former chef the rib cage on a pig extends from the back along the spinal cord area right around to the sturnum, back ribs are cut from the back area, side ribs and St Louis ribs are from the lower area around the front, St Louis ribs tend to be longer a center cut and sometimes in bigger racks, no breast bone (sturnum) attached.

I use a St Louis style ribs in Alberta Canada, these were actually sow ribs, from breeding stock, the rib bones were bigger and meatier as the animals are 3-4 years old, most hogs are slaughtered at 12-18 months.


probably the sauce used in the cooking. the midwest is know for BBQ, but the south does it enturely different.

St Louis is a cut of spare ribs , the brisket and cartilage is cut off at the fat line. Baby back ribs are the smaller set of ribs (Leaner) and more prone to be dry when cooked Spare ribs are tastier in my opinion.

I don't know what the difference is ......... but I prefer St.Louis because they taste like bacon to me. But I have no idea where to find them. I first tasted them at a restaurant called "Smokey Bones".





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