What Are Pork Spareribs
When most people hear the word "barbecue", they think "ribs". Pork spareribs
to be exact. A slab of these ribs on the grill or in the smoker can be
transformed into some mighty good eatin'. But just what are pork spare
Spareribs are not the meatiest cut from the hog, nor the leanest. But
they are extremely flavorful. As the ribs cook, the fat melts, adding
flavor and juicyness to the meat. And for some reason, they're just
plain fun to eat!
The Whole Pork Sparerib Slab
The whole sparerib slab consists of several different parts. These
include the ribs, point, skirt, sternum, membrane (the fell), and the
- The Ribs - The lower half of the hog ribcage is taken
off and makes up the sparerib slab. The ribs remaining between the top
of the spareribs and the backbone are the back ribs...babyback ribs if
not too large.
- The Point - This is the tail end
of the slab, the small end. It's a boneless section that's trimmed off
when preparing a Kansas City Style slab. Great for cooking on the side,
as it cooks quicker than the ribs, and is great for snackin'.
- The Skirt
- Connected to the bone side of the rib slab is a flap of membrane
covered meat. It's what's left of the diaghram. The skirt should be
trimmed off for a nicer looking presentation. Remove the membrane, and
it makes a great snack, too.
- The Sternum - This
is on the wide end of the slab, opposite the cut ends of the rib bones.
It runs about five inches, parallel to the length of the slab.
- The Fell
- The fell is the tough, rubbery lining of the inside of the hog's body
cavity. It's attached tightly to the rib side of the slab and should be
removed if you want the best tasting and eating ribs around.
- The Cartilage
- This is between the breastbone (the sternum) and the ends of the rib
bones. Trimmed off, this section is known as the brisket or rib tips.
Whole pork spareribs
are a versatile cut of pork and can be cooked in the barbecue grill or
the smoker when the weather cooperates, or inside in the oven when it's
raining. The spareribs slab should be trimmed before cooking. That'll
ensure that it cooks evenly, and looks great at serving time.
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