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Definition of a "RACK" of ribs?

 
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GrnXnham



Joined: 10 Dec 2008
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Wed Dec 10 08 10:26 am    Post subject: Definition of a "RACK" of ribs? Reply with quote

I can't seem to find an answer to my question elsewhere. Folks on this site surely mast have the answer!

Never done too much BBQ at home but I've always eaten a lot of ribs out at restaurants over the years. Never had any problems until recently.

What is the definition of a rack of ribs? I've always been under the impression that a rack of ribs was 12 or 13 ribs and so, obviously, a half-rack would be 6 ribs. Maybe I'm wrong.

I've gotten into some arguments at a couple of restaurants recently over what a rack of ribs is.

One restaurant advertised a "rack of ribs" on their menu. I ordered it and got four ribs. I asked them where the rest of my ribs were. They said that all I got was four. I said that a rack of ribs was 12 or 13 ribs. They said that at "their restaurant" a rack of ribs was four!

I have now ran into this same problem at a couple of other restaurants recently. According to these restaurants, I am the only one complaining, therefore, I must be wrong. Maybe I am but I would guess that BBQ gurus on a forum like this would have the correct answer!

So what is the definition of a rack of ribs? Should I just take my four ribs and be happy when the menu calls it a "rack" of ribs? Am I being petty for demanding 12 or 13 ribs in a "rack"
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qdoc



Joined: 31 May 2008
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Wed Dec 10 08 11:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A rack may contain only 3 or four bones whereas the slab is the untrimmed rib carcass from one half of the animal. Some restuarants serve 3,4,6, or 11 bone "racks". It pays to ask. Wink
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roxy
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Joined: 29 May 2005
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 10 08 12:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A rack of ribs is just that. anything less is a portion or the appropriate percentage there of. Most spare rib racks are about 9 or 10 bones. Back ribs can be as many as 12 or 13. The reason for the difference in number is that on a rack of spares, when trimmed to a St Louis cut, there are a few ribs that are cartilage and are usually trimmed off.

If a restaurant advertises a rack of ribs they should provide you with such. If they are selling a portion of a rack then it should be stated as such, 1/2 rack, 1/3 1/4 rack what ever. If I ordered a rack and got 4 bones I would freak out to say the least. It would be sent back and I would refuse to pay



Spare rib racks



Back ribs racks
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Rojellio Es Caliente
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Joined: 15 Aug 2008
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 10 08 9:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wink I think the other tip off is directly underneath the "Full Rack" will be listed "Half Rack" and sometimes "1/3 rack" or sometimes just "Ribs" to imply small portion. The pricing scheme should also reflect how much you are getting. Hopefully the pricing scheme was proportional to the serving size..... if it was you really shouldn't be expecting a full rack.

If you asked the server questions regarding what a rack consist of.... You have to consider, that the server might not have seen a Rib in their life until the day they hired on serving up such Bill o' Fare. So to the server, the restaurants "rack" portion might be the only rack they know. The server will be damn surprised if they order up a rack in another establishment that observes proper weights and measurements....

The number of bones you get isnt everything.... an un-named corporate joint that I hold a few shares of stock in... has skinny little bones off of skinny little pigs. The "full rack" specified at 12 bones has about as much meat as a 1/2 rack of the ribs I get from Sams Club.
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pacanis
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Joined: 13 Oct 2008
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 10 08 11:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think a big tip off would be the price, too, but around here they usually say 1/4 or half. Or one place even sells them by the lb. Same with wings.
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Harry Nutczak
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Joined: 01 Mar 2007
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 10 08 11:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I consider a rack A full slab!! But I have seen what you speak of by restaurants calling a partial rack a rack, and serving less than a full rack.


Watch for misleading terminology, I guess asking questions these days is prudent.

My ribs are listed by "Full Rack, & Half Rack" to aoid confusion.

But then again, what weight is a rack?? it all differs according to the restaurants menu writers views.
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Sa-Mokin
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Joined: 24 Jan 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 11 08 12:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Most states have established weights & measures guidelines for most all retail sales. If you feel like these restaurants are not meeting these guidelines do an internet search on "weights and measures" and your state and see if you can find some contact information and ask them the question
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PlaneSmoke
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 11 08 12:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

All of these responses provide the answer: there is no institutionalized standard.

If you paid $15-18 and only got 4 bones then you have an issue. If you paid $5 and thought you were getting a 12-13 bones, well....

Most reputable places that have ribs that people on this forum would want to eat will usually describe what their "portion" is, whether it's a chain or 1-off. If they don't, ask them.
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GrnXnham



Joined: 10 Dec 2008
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 11 08 1:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for all the answers. So it sounds like the definition of "rack" isn't as clear-cut as it seems. I always thought that the term "rack" had a clear definition like the word "dozen." If a restaurant had "One dozen ribs" on their menu and then you got only four, should you be angry?

Yeah, I understand the price of things. If I got only four ribs but the cost was only $5 I'd be tickled pink! I do remember that one place that advertised a "rack" of ribs had them for 12.99 and the 1/2 rack was $9.99. The full rack was four spare ribs. So the 12.99 was a little low in price for a full rack but not ridiculously low.

And I have no complaint when a restaurant uses different terminology. Instead of "rack and 1/2 rack" I've seen them use "Dinner portion and lunch portion" or "Full serving and 1/2 serving." If I ordered a "Full Serving" and got four ribs I would have no complaint because any restaurant could call anything a "Full Serving."

I just had not experienced this until recently and wondered what had changed. Sounds like I shouldn't assume anything anymore and should always ask how many ribs I get when ordering them regardless of price.

Thanks

Thanks
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