Country ribs as a meatier, cheaper alternative to baby back ribs?

GON

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Country ribs are essentially pork chops cut in a very different manner. I love baby back ribs, but they at times can be a challenge to cook. My Wife is not a fan of baby back ribs, she says the take too much work to eat. I am not a fan of ST Louis ribs.

Decided to try making country ribs, baby back style. I seasoned the country ribs in fresh ground pepper and Weber's "kickin chicken" seasoning. Put the country ribs on a Traeger smoker for four hours at 180 degrees. Finished the country ribs on a gas grill with Sweet Baby Rays regular BBQ sauce.

Verdict- Wife loved the smoke flavor, meat was tender and moist. I enjoyed the country ribs, but likely still prefer the baby back ribs.

Made a side of Italian potato gnocchi with parsley, cheese, and butter. A canned cream corn.

As every meal I make, super simple. Auto Mechanic could make this meal while reading the tool section of a 1962 Sears Roebuck catalog.

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That looks very good. I cook country ribs polynesian style. Coat the meat with a mixture of soy sauce, dry mustard, corn starch and water. Then bake for about twenty minutes to remove the fat. Broil for 4/5 minutes to give it a nice patina. In a crock pot mix apple cider vinegar, small amount of water, 1/4 cup white sugar, cloves, bay leaf and a nice hunk of fresh ginger. Put the pork in the crock pot for 6 hours on low and enjoy.
 
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Country ribs can.... Be very, very good.

Though it depends upon how much actual meat you get and how much fat is there.

I like St Louis styles ribs better than baby back ribs . More flavor and better meat in my opinion.
 
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Marinated and smoked country ribs can be cheap and delicious

Just grilling them though you need good quality meat, I’ve had bad luck with country ribs being excessively aged fresh from the grocery to the point of having the rather nasty rancid afternotes despite being far from expired.

2020+ has been terrible for quality , even from formerly good sources, same with ground pork
 
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Those look good and I love all things pork.

I don't have a smoker so I use my gas grill to cook meat slow by turning off the two middle burners. Problem for me was the meat turned out dryer than I wanted so I found using a mop sauce seals the meat and keeps in the juices. It's basically a sauce that is low in sugar so it doesn't burn being on the meat for hours. Mop both sides right away and then every half hour until done. It also doesn't add a lot of flavor so go ahead and use your seasoning and the BBQ sauce at the end, although I don't ever put BBQ sauce on the meat while on the grill, it takes away the crunch.

 
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Next time skip the creamed corn and grill up some vegetables. Mushrooms, asparagus, onions, etc. Coat with olive oil and salt and pepper. Find one of those grill top cooking pans with small holes in it and cook the vegetables in that.
 

GON

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Next time skip the creamed corn and grill up some vegetables. Mushrooms, asparagus, onions, etc. Coat with olive oil and salt and pepper. Find one of those grill top cooking pans with small holes in it and cook the vegetables in that.
PT,

My Wife also was very unhappy with the selection of creamed corn. I was too lazy to run to the store; I was unboxing the garage all day.
 
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Problem for me was the meat turned out dryer than I wanted so I found using a mop sauce seals the meat and keeps in the juices. It's basically a sauce that is low in sugar so it doesn't burn being on the meat for hours.


I’m not sure what farmers have done to pigs but “dry pork” outside loin is a new problem.

Turns out modern pork has much less fat than even 10 years ago.

Sort of like the dry ground pork or the bacon that doesnt generate grease.

I’ve found a few sources that are like I remember but grocery meat is a mixed bag, never thought I would need to marinate pork like I’m cooking round or chicken breast.
 
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Country ribs are essentially pork chops cut in a very different manner. I love baby back ribs, but they at times can be a challenge to cook. My Wife is not a fan of baby back ribs, she says the take too much work to eat. I am not a fan of ST Louis
GON

Can I inquire about the qualitative difference between baby back and St Louis ribs that you find makes the Back ribs superior? In my summation everything a back ribs does well a St Louis cut does better and many of the shortcomings of a back rub are not present in the St Louis cut either. I agree with your wife, Back wins are more work, they have many more small pieces of cartridge and the bones do not take as well to cutting the slab up to serve or eat. St Louis have few, if any, small pieces of cartridge, have enough fat to be moist and tasty and yet not a lot and certainly less than back ribs. St Louis have/are more meatier/more meat, less inedible fat, less cartridge, cut up well to eat and serve and I think are far superior to back ribs.

I find the biggest challenge with both Back and St Louis ribs to be cooking them (smoking them) long enough to make them tender while keeping them juicy-it takes a while, low and slow, which you seem to have well in hand on the Trager-but with special methods at the end to keep them moist. I find most BBQ restaurants are on the dry side, whereas those I cook at home, I’ve found a good method to maintain the juice.
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Country ribs are essentially pork chops cut in a very different manner. I love baby back ribs, but they at times can be a challenge to cook. My Wife is not a fan of baby back ribs, she says the take too much work to eat. I am not a fan of ST Louis ribs.

Decided to try making country ribs, baby back style. I seasoned the country ribs in fresh ground pepper and Weber's "kickin chicken" seasoning. Put the country ribs on a Traeger smoker for four hours at 180 degrees. Finished the country ribs on a gas grill with Sweet Baby Rays regular BBQ sauce.

Verdict- Wife loved the smoke flavor, meat was tender and moist. I enjoyed the country ribs, but likely still prefer the baby back ribs.

Made a side of Italian potato gnocchi with parsley, cheese, and butter. A canned cream corn.

As every meal I make, super simple. Auto Mechanic could make this meal while reading the tool section of a 1962 Sears Roebuck catalog.

Food looks awesome! I smoke country ribs often because my wife hates to pick up food to eat it. She can eat country ribs with a fork and knife!

On baby back ribs I find the secret is 3-2-1... Peal the membrane off the back of the ribs, then rub the ribs down with your favorite seasoning, then smoke for 3 hours @ 200-225F, foil wrap them and pour in a mixture of butter and brown sugar and smoke / cook @ 200-225F for 2 hours, then unwrap them, sauce and smoke for 1 hour @ 200-225F. Hence the 3-2-1 method...

The ribs should be fall of the bone delicious. If you don't like sauced ribs (we don't) I keep them in the foil for 2.5-3 hours. FWIW, I use a traditional wood / charcoal fired side draft smoker, so with a Traeger you should be golden.

just my $0.02
 
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All that fussing takes too long, I grill my baby backs on my 26" kettle for an hour and they come out just as juicy and tender as can be, get my ribs up to room temp then rub with olive oil and sprinkle seasoned salt, garlic powder and coarse black pepper. set my grill up with the ring of fire, get the charcoal going on the chimney starter then pour into the grill and spread the hot charcoal all along the edge of the grill, once everything is ashed over set my ribs in the middle of the grill and let her go, turn every 15 minutes. the last 15 minutes is when I coat the ribs with Sweet Baby Rays, wifes favorite and mine, one hour ribs are fantastic. :love:
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Food looks awesome! I smoke country ribs often because my wife hates to pick up food to eat it. She can eat country ribs with a fork and knife!

On baby back ribs I find the secret is 3-2-1... Peal the membrane off the back of the ribs, then rub the ribs down with your favorite seasoning, then smoke for 3 hours @ 200-225F, foil wrap them and pour in a mixture of butter and brown sugar and smoke / cook @ 200-225F for 2 hours, then unwrap them, sauce and smoke for 1 hour @ 200-225F. Hence the 3-2-1 method...

The ribs should be fall of the bone delicious. If you don't like sauced ribs (we don't) I keep them in the foil for 2.5-3 hours. FWIW, I use a traditional wood / charcoal fired side draft smoker, so with a Traeger you should be golden.

just my $0.02
Cook my ribs in this manner as well. Only thing I do different is I cook with a pellet smoker. (Apple) wood. Everybody loves them.
 

GON

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Can I inquire about the qualitative difference between baby back and St Louis ribs that you find makes the Back ribs superior? In my summation everything a back ribs does well a St Louis cut does better and many of the shortcomings of a back rub are not present in the St Louis cut either. View attachment 106781
Balrog, great question and I am unable to answer with any level of competency. I simply enjoy the taste/ flavor of baby backs over St Louis ribs. When eating out, if the restaurant has baby backs, I often will order those ribs. If ST Louis is offered, I typically will pass.
 
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One thing I think confuses people is the rib part of "country ribs", they are not from the rib area, they are cut from the shoulder area (if they would leave the bone in it would be obvious) and we all know how good a pork shoulder can be.

The St Louis cut has more meat and less fat so you lose some flavor and moisture but most people, like what you see in this post, season them heavily so it doesn't matter, just make sure and don't let them dry out.
 
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