Are you a frequent visitor of barbeque joints? If so, do you know how many ribs on a rack? Do you have any idea about that at all?
Why should you even bother about the number of ribs on a rack? Well, I certainly don’t want to get a half rack when ordered a full rack at a barbeque restaurant. If you know the right number of ribs in a rack then you will never be shortchanged again.
The answer to the question “how many ribs on a rack” depends on the meat. The number of ribs in pork ribs rack is different from that of a beef ribs rack and even a lamb ribs rack.
How many bones are in pork ribs?
There’s no question that pork rib platters are popular in many parts of the globe. I’ve been to different countries in Europe and Asia, and there’s always a barbeque joint that serves mouthwatering pork rib platters.
Pigs have 14 rib bones, but not all of these ribs end up in the platter. One or two of the ribs are left on the shoulder when removed from the loin. Thus, a rack of pork ribs has at the most 13 ribs.
Yet it is also possible that some of the ribs are removed especially if damaged, so you would end up with a rack of 8 ribs.
Pork rib cuts
There are four popular cuts of pork ribs. These are:
Spareribs - also referred to as side ribs, this is cut from the breastbone and the belly.
One thing to note about spare ribs is that the meat is scanty. However, I have to say that the meat is a lot richer and more flavorful than baby backs.
A slab of spareribs should have at least 11 bones or ribs.
However, there is usually more bone than meat in a slab of spare ribs. The bones and fat make spareribs very flavorful.
Spareribs range from 2 to 3 pounds and can usually feed two individuals.
St. Louis style spare rib is very similar to spare ribs. The main difference is that the breast bones and cartilage are removed in St. Louis style spare ribs.
St. Louis style spare ribs have a minimum of 10 bones and a maximum of 13. These are straight and flat bones. As such, the St. Louis style spare ribs are typically browned in a frying pan.
It can feed two to 3 individuals what with its standard weight of 2 to 3 pounds.
I know a lot of people who think that baby back ribs are from young pigs. But that’s not true. The name “baby back ribs” is used because the baby backs are shorter than spare ribs. A typical full slab of baby back ribs consists of 11 to 13 bones.
While comparatively shorter than spare ribs, no one can deny that baby back rib is very tender and lean. I also find this easier to cook.
Rib tips, on the other hand, are those that have been cut from the end of spareribs in making St. Louis style spare ribs. Also called briskets, these usually measure 8 to 12 inches long and 1 to 3 inches wide.
How many bones in beef ribs?
Meanwhile, beef ribs have 13 bones ranging from the backbone to the breastbone. A full rack of beef ribs though only consists of nine bones with the ribs ranging from the second to the 10th bone as the bottom ends are cut off and sold as short ribs.
Just as in pork ribs, you can get an entire rack of beef ribs although it’s not as widely available as pork ribs. Moreover, beef ribs aren’t as cheap as pork ribs.
Like pork ribs, beef ribs have different cuts.
Beef back ribs are also known as dinosaur ribs. These consist of 7 rib bones as the feather and chine bones are eliminated. Bones are usually 6 to 8 inches long.
Plate short ribs, on the other hand, are sold in 3-bone portions. A single rib can weigh 1 to 2.5 pounds, and serve 2 to 3 people.
Chuck short ribs are the most commonly sold in supermarkets. These consist of 5 ribs usually 3 to 4 inches long.
How many bones in lamb ribs?
Finally, a full rack of lamb ribs has eight bones. Don’t be surprised to see only seven at times because meat from two ribs is attached to a single rib bone.
Similar to pork ribs, lamb ribs have more fat and bones than meat. Lamb has more fat compared to pork, though. In cooking lamb ribs, slow cooking is needed to render out the fat and make the meat tender.
Pork ribs have the most number of ribs at 13, although it is also possible that you can get fewer bones depending on the cut. Beef and lamb ribs have fewer bones at 9 and 8, respectively.
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