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Old 07-24-2008, 02:35 PM   #21
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Baby Backs donít need to cook very long at all. Around 2 hours in the smoke at around 235 is all it takes. You can also grill them over low coals for about 45 minutes and get pretty good ribs. Baby Backs are naturally tender, so you donít need a long cook time to break the collagen and connective tissue down to make the meat fall off the bone tender.

The cheaper Spare Ribs (Pork or Beef) on the other hand require about 3.5 to 4 hours at 225 to be done.

Just remember that Baby Backs are more expensive and more tender. They only need about 2 hours cook time at 235.

Spare Ribs are cheaper but much tougher and require around 4 hours cook time in order to break down the meat and make it tender.
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Old 07-24-2008, 02:49 PM   #22
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You make a good point between a true baby back rib and a Louisiana cut rib.
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Old 07-24-2008, 04:05 PM   #23
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You make a good point between a true baby back rib and a Louisiana cut rib.
I've never heard of the Louisiana cut pacanis, around here in Balto. I only see full size spare ribs or baby backs. Are the Louisiana cut ribs somewhere in between these two?
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Old 07-24-2008, 04:22 PM   #24
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I haven’t heard of the Louisiana cut before either, but with spare ribs, you have a few options.

First, you have the whole slab which includes the sternum bone, flap, and tips.

If you trim off the sternum, flap, and tips so that you have a long rectangular slab of ribs, then it is St. Louis style.

If you trim even more of the St. Louis style away so that it is a small almost square hunk of ribs, then you have Kentucky style.

Both styles just refer to how you trim your spare ribs.
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Old 07-24-2008, 04:38 PM   #25
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Thanks for the reply Red,
I usually get the whole rib, (2 in a vacume pack) and just remove any excess fat and the membrane from the back of the ribs. Now you say that, I have seen ribs in the plastic trays at the grocery stores with the sternum and tips trimed off.
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Old 07-24-2008, 04:45 PM   #26
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Some times I’ll smoke the whole rib too. It’s all good meat. The only catch being that some of the outer edges can dry up before the inner meat on the ribs is ready. Still, it makes for great baked beans and such.

I’ve seen the St. Louis style wrapped and ready for sell as well. Sometimes they even call them “Back” ribs (not baby back....just Back). I think they do this in order to fool people into thinking they’re getting the more expensive Loin Ribs or true Baby Backs. When you see those kinds of ribs again, notice what they are calling them and also look at the price per pound and compare that per pound price with a whole slab of untrimmed ribs. They often mark it up by a dollar or so per pound since they trimmed them for you.

Same thing with whole chickens, so I always trim my own ribs and cut up my whole chickens. If anyone is getting paid to do that, it think it should be me.
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Old 07-24-2008, 05:33 PM   #27
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Yeah, that's probably what I meant... St Louis style ribs. oops.
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Old 07-26-2008, 09:35 PM   #28
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Baby Backs donít need to cook very long at all. Around 2 hours in the smoke at around 235 is all it takes. You can also grill them over low coals for about 45 minutes and get pretty good ribs. Baby Backs are naturally tender, so you donít need a long cook time to break the collagen and connective tissue down to make the meat fall off the bone tender.

The cheaper Spare Ribs (Pork or Beef) on the other hand require about 3.5 to 4 hours at 225 to be done.

Just remember that Baby Backs are more expensive and more tender. They only need about 2 hours cook time at 235.

Spare Ribs are cheaper but much tougher and require around 4 hours cook time in order to break down the meat and make it tender.
Well I was at it today trying out some of the suggestions from this thread. I set the temp at about 250 and got the smoke going. Put a tin foil pan with water over the lit burner and let ribs cook for an hour. Checked them after the first hour and they looked very good already. Basted with Worcestershire and olive oil and put back on for 30 min. Flipped and basted again for another 30. Put BBQ sauce on for final 20 min. Total time about 2.5 hours. They came out very good. Extremely moist and tender. Not fall off the bone tender but very, very good. I think they could have stood to be cooked a little longer. Maybe a full 3 hours.

I was definitely cooking them for way too long initially. That much seems obvious now. Still I think they could be even more tender. Perhaps next time I'll try wrapping them in foil for a portion of time so I can cook them a little longer without drying them out.

Making definite progress. Very excited. Thansk to everyone for offering their tips.
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Old 07-26-2008, 10:47 PM   #29
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Good news!!!! Keep them unwrapped initially so they'll get the smoke flavor. Wrap in foil for the final hour or so. You can finish them on the grill to caramelize the bbq sauce.
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Old 07-26-2008, 11:35 PM   #30
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Be careful how long you cook a rib though. You can cook them so long that the meat literally falls off the bone with a shake of your wrist. That makes it pulled pork with bones and not ribs!

Sounds like you're getting along though. Great job.
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