When it comes to classic BBQ cooking, ribs are the king of the grill. However, there are many different forms of ribs that each feature their own distinct textures and tastes. Pork is a versatile and delicious meat, but the best meals are prepared well and seasoned smartly. Here’s a guide on the difference between spare ribs vs. country-style ribs to ensure your next cookout is a smashing success.
Country Style Ribs Aren’t Really Ribs
Don’t worry—country-style ribs do come from genuine pork. They taste as great as spare ribs and are the perfect addition to any cookout with loved ones. However, the meat isn’t like spare ribs. For starters, spare ribs are found after baby back ribs. They’re pretty large with big bones and lots of fat. They also have extra meat and cartilage.
Country-style ribs, on the other hand, are cut from the rib end of loin meat at the shoulder. This cut has many more bones than spare ribs, and they look more like pork chops. While spare ribs may feel and look more prominent, country style ribs feature more meat. Regardless, they’re both delicious when cooked right.
Spare Ribs Are Cooked Differently
Because these cuts of meat are different, it’s important to know how to prepare them. Country-style ribs are cooked in a straightforward way—they’re usually grilled like pork chops. Preparing them is relatively easy, especially if you’re well versed in pork dishes.
Spare ribs require different preparation methods. Let your ribs reach a safe temperature in a covered pan before putting them on the grill. Then, wrap them with foil to reduce the amount of smoke that touches them. Always cook with a low and slow method whether you’re using a grill or oven.
They’re Both Pork, So Season Accordingly
Spare and country-style ribs are both made from pork, which means they're prepared relatively similarly. More specifically, these different cuts of meat pair well with the following spices:
- Juniper Berries. These add tartness to the natural sweetness of pork. They’re better suited for country-style ribs.
- Caraway. These give the meat a subtle licorice taste that’s unique and delicious.
- Sage. Sage is a classic addition to pork; it’s perfect for any rib dish featuring a side of mashed potatoes.
If you want a smokey, fiery taste, spices and herbs such as paprika, black pepper, sugar, and garlic are perfect for spare or country-style ribs. Luckily, Williams Food Co proudly offers a quality rib-tickler rub full of all those ingredients and many more. Shop with us and enhance your next rib meal!
Now that you know the difference between spare ribs vs. country-style ribs, you can confidently make a perfect meal for your friends and family. Experiment with the meat you enjoy cooking the most and try different seasonings. Williams Food Co’s wide selection of products is sure to fit all of your needs!