A Guide to Different Types of Pork Ribs

Pork ribs are a globally popular meat that is enjoyed by many. This cut is derived from the rib cage of a pig and comes in a variety of different cuts and types. In the United States, pork ribs are particularly popular, often associated with barbecue and grilling. Understanding the various types of pork ribs is crucial for anyone who wants to cook them to perfection.

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    A Brief History of Pork Ribs

    Pork ribs have been a favored cut of meat for centuries. In the United States, they have a long history as a staple of Southern cooking. In the past, slaves in the South were given the less desirable cuts of meat, including pork ribs. They learned to cook them to perfection over an open flame, creating a delicious, smoky flavor. Today, pork ribs are enjoyed by people all over the world, and there are many different types to choose from.

    history of pork ribs

    St. Louis Ribs

    St. Louis ribs are cut from the belly of the pig and are named after the city of St. Louis, Missouri, where they are particularly popular. These ribs are flatter than other types of ribs and have more meat on them. They are usually trimmed of excess fat and cartilage. St. Louis ribs can be cooked using various methods, but they are especially good when smoked using wood pellets. Some popular recipes for St. Louis ribs include honey garlic ribs and apple smoked ribs.

    Best St. Louis Ribs Recipe for Beginners

    Indulge in the succulent taste of our smoked St. Louis ribs, seasoned to perfection and slow-cooked to melt-in-your-mouth tenderness.

    St. Louis–style ribs

    Spare Ribs

    Spare ribs are another popular type of pork rib. They are taken from the belly of the pig and have more bone than meat on them. These ribs are usually cooked low and slow, either on a grill or in a smoker, and can be seasoned with a variety of different rubs and spices. Popular spare rib recipes include barbecue spare ribs and spicy Korean-style spare ribs.

    Best Spare Ribs for Beginners

    Smoked pork spare ribs are a popular dish in many cultures and cuisines. They are typically made from the rib section of a pig, which is cut into individual ribs and then slow-cooked in a smoker or grill. The result is a tender, juicy meat that is infused with a smoky flavor.


    Baby Back Ribs

    Baby back ribs are a smaller, more tender type of pork rib. They are taken from the top of the rib cage, near the spine. Although more expensive than other types of ribs, baby back ribs are considered the most flavorful. They are best cooked using wood pellets and can be seasoned with various spices and rubs. Popular baby back rib recipes include sweet and spicy baby back ribs and herb-crusted baby back ribs.

    Best Baby Back Ribs Recipe for Beginners

    These delicious ribs are the perfect meal for any occasion, from a casual weekend barbecue to a special celebration with family and friends. And the best part? They’re surprisingly easy to make!

    smoked baby back ribs

    Country-Style Ribs

    Country-style ribs are taken from the shoulder of the pig and are meatier than other types of ribs. They are usually boneless or have only a small bone in them. Country-style ribs can be cooked using a variety of different methods, but they are especially good when grilled or smoked using wood pellets. Popular country-style rib recipes include maple mustard glazed ribs and Cajun-style country ribs.

    Best Country-Style Ribs Recipe for Beginners

    Succulent and tender, smoked country-style ribs are a BBQ favorite. Slow-cooked to perfection, they are perfect for any occasion.

    country style ribs on the grill

    Frequently And Questions

    What are the best methods of cooking pork ribs?

    Pork ribs are a popular and delicious food enjoyed by many around the world. Cooking pork ribs requires careful preparation, choosing the right cut, and using the best cooking methods. The following is a summary of some key points to consider when cooking pork ribs:

    Best methods of cooking pork ribs:

    1. There are several methods of cooking pork ribs, including grilling, smoking, baking, and braising.
    2. Grilling and smoking are popular methods that give the ribs a smoky flavor and crispy exterior.
    3. Baking and braising involve cooking the ribs in a covered dish with liquid, which results in tender and juicy meat.
    Best methods of cooking pork ribs

    How to know when pork ribs are done?

    • The best way to determine if pork ribs are done is to use a meat thermometer.
    • The internal temperature should reach 145°F (63°C) for medium-rare, 160°F (71°C) for medium, and 170°F (77°C) for well-done.
    • The meat should also be tender and easily separated from the bone.
    How to know when pork ribs are done

    What are the health benefits of pork ribs?

    Pork ribs are a good source of protein, vitamin B12, and zinc.

    However, they are also high in fat and calories, so it’s important to eat them in moderation and choose lean cuts.

    How do I choose the best pork ribs at the grocery store?

    • Look for ribs with a pink color and minimal amounts of fat and connective tissue.
    • Avoid ribs that have a strong odor or are discolored.
    • Consider the cut of the ribs – spare ribs are larger and fattier, while baby back ribs are smaller and leaner.

    What are some popular pork rib sauces and rubs?

    • BBQ sauce is a classic choice, but there are many other options such as honey mustard, teriyaki, and jerk sauce.
    • Rubs can be made with a variety of herbs and spices, such as paprika, cumin, and garlic powder.
    • Some popular combinations include sweet and spicy, garlic and herb, and smoky and savory.


    Knowing the different types of pork ribs is essential for anyone who wants to cook them to perfection. St. Louis, spare, baby back, and country-style ribs all have their unique characteristics and are best cooked using different methods. When choosing pork ribs, it is crucial to look for fresh meat that is well-marbled and free of excess fat. Beginners should start with baby back ribs, which are the most forgiving type of pork rib to cook. With a Z Grills wood pellet grill, anyone can become a master of pork ribs and impress their friends and family with delicious, smoky meat.

    About The Author

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    Z Grills

    Z Grills is a grill manufacturer with over 30 years of experience within the industry. With over 650,000 pellet grills sold and 85 million cooks made, trust us.

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