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Q: I see where someone asked what the best ribs to buy where and the answer was baby back. Can you tell me why? What's the difference between ribs? Thanks.

A: The best way to decide which is the best rib to buy is to taste them and see what you like. Here's some general information.

There are two categories of ribs - pork and beef. Pork ribs are broken down into a few more sub-categories. Some of these are exactly the same, but the name is different.

Baby Back Ribs: These come from the center cut of the pork loin. The blade bone is stripped out and the meat is left on the rib. These are much thinner ribs than the other option.

Spare Ribs: The only difference between a Baby Back Rib and a Spare Rib is that the Spare rib has the blade bone intact.

Western Ribs: Western Ribs are fattier, they come from the Pork Butt shoulder.

Country Style Ribs: Same as Western Ribs, but are also available without the bone.

Hotel Ribs: Same as Baby Backs.

Chinese Ribs: Same as Spare Ribs, but cut smaller.

St. Louis Ribs: Same as Baby Back.

Beef ribs are also broken down further.

Back ribs: These are usually 7 ribs from the shoulder of the cow. They are normally tender, but not very meaty. If you remove the ribs (bones) you are left with a Rib eye Steak (also known as Delmonico).

Short ribs: These come from the front should part of the cow. They are tough and fatty, but have a lot of meat.

There are many ways to cook ribs.
Click here for some options:

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Meat Cutter Joe McCluskey
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