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What Makes St. Louis Ribs Different From Baby Back Ribs?
Although they may not attract the same attention and mass appeal as their barbecue brethren pulled pork and brisket, ribs still feature prominently in the smoked meat scene. Two kinds of ribs that should sound familiar to even the casual consumer of the food are St. Louis-style and baby back ribs, but what makes these two rib cuts different?
The main difference between the two ribs lies in the meat itself, both in quantity and fat quotient as St. Louis-style ribs contain less meat than baby back ribs but have a higher fat content, which makes them more flavorful. Additionally, St. Louis ribs tend to cook more evenly and brown easier because they are thinner and flatter than baby back ribs.
St. Louis ribs, like spare ribs, come from the belly — except that St. Louis ribs are generally trimmed to remove cartilage and the breastbone. However, baby back ribs are taken from the top of the rib cage where the rib meets the spine. St. Louis-style ribs also tend to cost less than baby back ribs because the latter kind is the more popular cut.