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Baby Backs vs. St. Louis

 
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Jerk Pit Master
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PostPosted: Mon May 17 10 7:51 am    Post subject: Baby Backs vs. St. Louis Reply with quote

I've always been a baby back rib guy and that's all I've cooked for my catering business for the past 5 years. Why?

Because they cook in 3-4 hours, are higher end and more appealing to most clients and typically cost the same per slab or per serving as other ribs, even though their cost per pound is a lot higher.

Well I cooked 21 slabs of baby backs and 3 slabs of St. Louis ribs this weekend and I may be a convert. They cooked just as fast, had a better taste and sliced a lot easier and prettier.

I still won't touch spare ribs though.
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corndog
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PostPosted: Mon May 17 10 9:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

JPM, I understand bout the baby backs, but I love the meat on the St. Louis ribs better...and like you said, they cook in about the same amount of time..
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G's BBQ
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PostPosted: Mon May 17 10 12:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Baby Backs enjoy a great marketing gig from some major chains. I love them too but they just arent as meaty as St. Lou's. Lou's have twice the meat and when done right are just as moist, flavorful and cooking is about the same.
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Harry Nutczak
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PostPosted: Mon May 17 10 1:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I do not like back-loin ribs due to their uneven thickness and width from end to end which makes them very difficult to have consistency when you sell half-rack portions. I specifically use Curly's 2.5 pound STL ribs for those events because of their even size from end to end.

And why should I pay more for a pile of bones that the beautiful backloin came off of, than what the actual boneless loin typically sells for.

The term "Baby-Back" ribs;
There is lots of speculation on that term! I guess it was originally used as a marketing descriptor for imported "Danish Ribs". Danish ribs are backloin ribs, but the bones are really thin and tiny and they usually weighed 1.5 pounds per rack. It is a unique product, and calling them baby-backs worked well for the product to distinguish them from the typical back-loin ribs from American hogs,

Now over the last few decades the term has been bastardized and is commonly used to call on back-loin ribs "Baby-Backs" no matter the size or the age of the hog they came from. Same with a rib-roast, many people automatically call a rib-roast "Prime-Rib" no matter if it is graded choice, select, or not graded at all!

I have seen an advertisement from a restaurant claiming they have the biggest "Baby-Back" ribs in town at 3.75 pounds per rack.
How does that make sense?
So when does the "Truth in menu descriptions" law come in effect?
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PostPosted: Mon May 17 10 6:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with what you have said about the St Louis Style vs Baby Back. I even went to the trouble of learning how to cut my own. I had my butcher show me how and now I don't pay the high price for St Louis cut and I have the trimmings to cook.
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Ridge View BBQ
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PostPosted: Mon May 17 10 8:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Same with a rib-roast, many people automatically call a rib-roast "Prime-Rib" no matter if it is graded choice, select, or not graded at all!

Man you hit the nail on the head there Harry,I hate to order "PrimeRib" and then when you get it have it be tougher than the bottom of your shoe because it comes from a lowly ungraded roast or better yet the "Chef" took it from a pre-cooked bag and reheated it!

My vote is for St. Louie's too sometimes if the deal is sweet we cut ours down from spares and sell "riblets"
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Louie3
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PostPosted: Mon May 17 10 8:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We use all St Louis, but spares are a fair bit cheaper.
How do you cut them, I mean with what..a bandsaw???
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Ridge View BBQ
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PostPosted: Mon May 17 10 9:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Southern Smoke wrote:
We use all St Louis, but spares are a fair bit cheaper.
How do you cut them, I mean with what..a bandsaw???


Naw, I cut them along the bone line with a boning knife (the smaller narrow blade knife your butcher uses) only take a few seconds. We buy pre cut most of the time, but sometimes we can get killer deals on spares and do it that way.
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Jerk Pit Master
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PostPosted: Mon May 17 10 10:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the education Harry! Man you have a wealth of knowledge and experience. Have you written a book yet?

I have noticed that wholesalers/retailers are now correctly labelling "baby backs" as loin back ribs, though most caterers and restaurants continue to use the term incorrectly. Though like you say the term has been so bastardized that consumers would now be confused with the correct labelling.
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PorkQPine
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PostPosted: Mon May 17 10 10:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Harry, you are right on about Curly's. The most consistent racks available. Like you, they are all I use and they are worth it.
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Harry Nutczak
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PostPosted: Mon May 17 10 11:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As long as I am on a ranting parade here about truth in Menu's.

Here is my latest annoyance;

I have been trying to find a special ham which is named "Fleur De Lis" ham. It is a flat pressed ham that was made by Dubuque packing company. One of the best hams I have ever used for sandwiches, garnish, etc etc etc. They are a wonderful ham for anything you could ever want it for. Due to it being flat like a prosciutto, you would get long even strips of meat when sliced.

Apparently Smithfield bought Dubuque packing, then gutted the plant and fired all the employees. With the loss of Dubuque, we also lost the "Fleur De Lis" ham! I found this out when everyone one of the food purveyors I have called gave me the "I never heard of it" story until one guy about my age said "Oh those were great hams, if you happen to find a place to get them, call me and I will order one through you"

So I do a web search, and my first search pulled up hundreds of restaurant menu's with the term "Fleur De Lis" ham, so I tried different search words and found out the "Fleur De Lis" was last produced in 1994.

So if the ham is no longer made, how are all these restaurants and caterers selling a "Fleur De Lis" ham that has not been produced since 1994? Did they buy a semi truck load, and they are keeping them frozen? And if so, do I really want a sandwich from a ham that has been in a freezer for over 16 years?
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Louie3
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PostPosted: Tue May 18 10 12:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Funny Harry that Smithville bought them out and closed it down, sounds more like shuting down the competion? Shocked
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Andy Reese
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PostPosted: Tue May 18 10 1:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

went shopping for ribs and found that the St.Louie cut was cheaper and discovered they were loaded with meat Now all we use are St. Louie by The Rib Co. excellent product for about $5.00 per rack
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Bbq Bubba
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PostPosted: Tue May 18 10 3:31 am    Post subject: Re: Baby Backs vs. St. Louis Reply with quote

Jerk Pit Master wrote:
I've always been a baby back rib guy and that's all I've cooked for my catering business for the past 5 years. Why?

Because they cook in 3-4 hours, are higher end and more appealing to most clients and typically cost the same per slab or per serving as other ribs, even though their cost per pound is a lot higher.

I think you've been mistaken for the past 5 years. Cool

Well I cooked 21 slabs of baby backs and 3 slabs of St. Louis ribs this weekend and I may be a convert. They cooked just as fast, had a better taste and sliced a lot easier and prettier.

I still won't touch spare ribs though.


St. Louis ribs ARE spare ribs, just trimmed. Question

Glad ya jumped to the dark side. I think your customers will be happier too. Laughing

Just curious, what did you sell a slab of loin backs for?
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Jerk Pit Master
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PostPosted: Tue May 18 10 5:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Catering: For $24
Vending: $20-30 depending on the weight.
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