Baby Back Ribs
Baby back ribs are pork ribs that are taken from the top of the rib cage between the spine and the spare ribs. They tend to be shorter and meatier than spare ribs, so are often the preferred cut. One side of pig has 15 or 16 ribs, depending on the exact breed, and baby back ribs generally include 10 to 13 of these (a few ribs are generally left on the shoulder when the meat cut is prepared). The term "baby" does not refer to a young animal, but rather that they come from hogs instead of sows. They are generally prepared with a spicy dry rub and then braised in the oven, a slow cooker or a barbecue/smoker for several hours until tender.
A typical baby back rib cut includes 10 to 13 pork ribs that have been cooked or barbecued and then cut apart to serve. Baby back ribs are generally somewhat tender and spicy, with a dark brown outer layer and a light brown interior. The type of dry rub or barbecue sauce may provide a bit of a red coloring to the meat as well.
Selecting and Buying
Preparation and Use
Baby back ribs should have the fatty membrane removed from the back of the ribs prior to cooking. A spicy dry rub with ingredients such as mustard, paprika or cayenne can be used prior to barbecuing, smoking, or oven cooking for 4 to 6 hours or until tender.
Conserving and Storing
Store uncooked portions in the refrigerator for up to three days or in the freezer for six months. Cooked portions can be stored in the refrigerator for 4 to 5 days.