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Replay – How to trim St Louis style spare ribs

Originally posted January 2011
Don’t be intimidated by those big old racks of spare ribs you see in the meat case!  With a little practice you can be trimming St Louis style spares like a pro.  Babybacks are lean and tender, but spare ribs are meatier and in my opinion even tastier!  We use spare ribs in our competition BBQ; here’s how we trim them.

I’m starting here with a two pack in cryovac that I picked up at BJ’s.  As you can see, the two racks weigh a little more than ten pounds.

Open up the package and put the first rack on your cutting board.

Now, flip it over and take hold of the flap.

Holding your knife parallel to the board, slice off the flap as close to the bone as possible.

This is what it should look like with the flap removed.

Next, slide a butter knife between the membrane and the bone.

With the back of the blade, lift up to separate the membrane.

Now, using a paper towel for grip, start to pull the membrane back.

With a little practice you’ll be able to pull it off in one piece.

The next thing to do is find the longest bone on the rack and insert the tip of your knife.

Cut down the length of the rack to get a nice even slab of ribs.

Repeat the process with the other rack.  Remove and discard the breast bones (sorry, I don’t have a picture, but it’s easy!), and trim (and save) all the loose ends from the rib rib tips you removed earlier.  This is what you should wind up with.

I like to take all those trimmings and run them through the meat grinder to use later for sausage, meatballs, meatloaf…but that will be the subject of another post!

For now, I’ll vacuum pack them with the FoodSaver.  Check back soon to see what I’ll do with all this awesome pork!

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