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Babybacks vs. St. Louis cut spareribs

I decided to do a side by side cook and taste test to compare babybacks and St Louis style spare ribs.  In the photo, the babybacks on the bottom weighed in a 2 lbs 7 oz and the spares above weighed 2 lbs 11 oz.

The membrane is removed on both racks.  Notice the curved bones on the backs and the relatively straight bones on the spareribs.

I gave both racks a light coating of Tony Chachere’s Original Creole Seasoning and a liberal coating of Simply Marvelous Sweet Seduction rub.  This is a great combination for pork.

Because spare ribs take longer to cook than babybacks, I gave the spares a 45 minute head start.

Then  the babybacks go on right alongside.

About an hour later, I melted one stick of lightly salted butter and stirred in two tablespoons of honey and drizzled it over the ribs.

Now we’re about two and a half hours into the cook, so I bring both racks inside to wrap.  They’re looking good at this point, but they’re no where near done.

I spread some BBQ sauce/glaze on the foil, then lay on the ribs meat side down, then put some more glaze on the bone side before wrapping it up.  I then double wrapped and put the ribs back in the cooker for one hour.

Next, I opened up the foil, painted on some more glaze and put them back into the cooker to finish.  I used the toothpick test to determine when they were done.  As soon as the toothpick slides in with very little resistance, they’re perfect!

Here’s how everything turned out.  First the spareribs.

The babybacks:

A perfect bite on the spare,

and the same on the babyback.

Both were done to perfection, but which one was the winner?  My wife and I both preferred the spareribs.  They were a little meatier, and I think the extra fat gives them a more flavor.

8 Responses to “Babybacks vs. St. Louis cut spareribs”

  • Erik:

    I prefer the spareribs as well!!!

  • I like that Chachere’s seasoning too, lots of zip to it.

  • Mister Bob:

    The exact recipe if a Family secret, but I will tell you some of the more unusual ingredients it contains:
    – concentrated pomegranate juice
    – concentrated black cherry juice
    – white balsamic vinegar
    – ground allspice

  • Mister Bob:

    When I layer spices or rubs, I apply one, then the other. I’m not sure if this make a difference (logic tells me it shouldn’t), but that’s the way I do it.

    If you want to mix first, I would say that if a teaspoon represents a light coating, then 2 teaspoons would be a medium coating and a tablespoon would represent a heavy coating. So, to duplicate what I did in this cook, you could add a teaspoon of Tony C’s to every tablespoon of SM Sweet Seduction for similar results.

  • JS-TX:

    That does it! I’m doing ribs for sure this weekend :) When you layer your rubs do you find that helps add another layer of flavor or are you mixing the two together? Or is that the same things? Thanks for the post.

  • Danielle:

    These look fantastic! Maybe we should add ribs to our Christmas tradition?

  • Christopher Sorel:

    Dang those both look good. Prefer babyback myself as more meat.

  • Nice! I’d love to know what’s in that “glaze”! ;-)