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.


Other names: Canadian back ribs, back ribs, Loin ribs, pork ribs
Translations: Baby Επιστροφή Ribs, عودة الطفل الأضلاع, On kyllä totta, Côtes levées, 赤ちゃんに戻るリブ, Baby Natrag rebara, Baby Inapoi Coaste, בייבי לראש צלעות, Baby Вернуться Ребра, 아기, 아기 ..., Baby Back buto-buto, वापस बेबी पसलियां, Baby Повернутися Ребра, 婴儿返回肋骨, Baby Back rebra, Беба Назад ребара, Бебе Обратно ребра

Physical Description

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.

Colors: Brown, tan, red

Tasting Notes

Flavors: Spicy, rich, meaty, tangy
Mouthfeel: Slightly chewy
Food complements: Salad, Cole slaw, Rolls, Potatoes, Corn, Baked beans
Wine complements: Syrah, Dry riesling
Beverage complements: Beer, Iced tea
Substitutes: Spare ribs, Pork chop, Pulled pork, Barbecued beef roast, Beef tips

Selecting and Buying

Seasonality: january, february, march, april, may, june, july, august, september, opctober, november, december
Choosing: Look for a meaty rack of ribs without any exposed bones.
Buying: It is best to purchase baby back ribs from a reputable butcher, since they will cut, prepare and trim them for the best fat content and flavor.
Procuring: Baby back ribs are taken from hogs grown on farms.

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.

Cleaning: No cleaning is necessary.

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.


Pig farms are controversial in the United States because their waste products, if not disposed of properly, can cause hazardous bacteria to leak into soil and ground water.

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