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What Are Baby Back Ribs?

Pork, Ribs -

You know baby back ribs are delicious because you order them at pubs and restaurants all the time, but do you know exactly what they are, or where they come from? We're here to help.

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What Are Baby Back Ribs?

Baby back ribs, also known as loin ribs, or back ribs, is the term used to refer to pork ribs (baby back ribs are always pork, not beef, despite some confusion) taken from the loin of the animal. The name has nothing to do with the age of the animal they are taken from, they are actually known as baby back ribs because they are cut much shorter than pork belly ribs (sometimes referred to as spare ribs). 

Where do baby back ribs come from?

Back ribs are cut from next to the spine after the loin is removed, which means they are usually only around 10cm wide. A rack of baby back ribs is usually around 12-13 ribs in length, and, unlike pork belly ribs, are the same width all the way along. This is useful to know to help identify which is which; back ribs look more like a strip of ribs, whereas the belly ribs taper down into a point, in a kind of triangle formation. Belly ribs are also much wider that baby back ribs.

What's the difference between baby back ribs and spare ribs?

Baby back ribs are cut shorter than spare ribs (usually referred to as belly ribs), and have thicker bones, but they are also much meatier, leaner and more tender, which is why you usually have to pay more for back ribs than belly ribs. Baby back ribs are cut from the loin of the pig, whereas belly ribs are cut from the belly of the pig.

Written by Matt Rhoades

Matt is our full time tea maker/web designer/delivery driver/butcher/accountant/social media man who you'll often find bickering with Dennis. Our MD with a passion for great meat and great customer service. When he's not at work he'll be creating recipes and probably barbecuing something somewhere, or making bacon jam. He loves it!!

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