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Beef Ribs vs. Pork Ribs: Which Rack Should You Crown King For Your Next BBQ?

Planning for your next BBQ party but don’t know what to serve? Let us help you out!
Typically, people tend to go for ribs. But deciding on what kind of ribs to go for is a huge debate on its own. Should you go for the safe yet luxurious option of beef ribs? Or should you get the most tender, fatty rack of pork ribs? The possibilities are endless, which is why it’s easy to get overwhelmed. However, in this blog, we’ve compiled all the information you need to know about beef ribs vs. pork ribs, so keep on reading!

What are Beef Ribs?

Even a novice can tell beef ribs apart from pork. This is because beef ribs come from a bovine, usually a cow or steer. There are multiple variations that stem from within a simple niche of beef ribs. There are back ribs, short plate ribs, and even chuck short ribs.

In total, a cow has 13 ribs, so when counting the rib bones, butchers start from the top. The first rib bone, which is right by the shoulder, is known as the chuck primal. In comparison, the last rib bone is the mid-back or loin rib.

A rack of short ribs is taken from between the second and fifth set of bones. This specific trim is the chuck primal cut, otherwise known as brisket primal cut. On the other hand, plate cuts contain the sixth to eighth rib bones.

In addition, when it comes to the cheapest beef ribs, fatty plate short ribs take the prize. In contrast, the ribs with the least meat come from the top of the rib cage, the rib primal. Although this contains less meat, people still love to devour it.

What are Pork Ribs?

As the name suggests, pork ribs come from a pig’s rib section. There are variations even for these, extending all the way to the shoulder butt. It might seem confusing, but many regard country-style ribs as ‘pork ribs.’ This is the cheapest cut off the entire animal since country-style ribs aren’t exactly ribs but shoulder meat instead.

However, the two main rib cuts are the baby back ribs and spare ribs. Babyback ribs contain a higher percentage of loin meat, whereas spare ribs have more flap meat. Moreover, baby back ribs have shorter bones, which means they’re smaller in size. At the same time, spare ribs are bigger due to their excess bone and cartilage. This can render them too hefty to deal with, which is why they are usually removed. This slight alteration leads to an entirely new cut, known as St. Louis style ribs or Kansas City ribs.

Beef Ribs vs. Pork Ribs: Who’s the Winner?

Now that you know all about beef ribs and pork ribs, let’s see which rack wins among the following categories and comes up top:

  • Size
    Beef ribs are bigger in size and quantity than pork ribs.
  • Fat
    Beef ribs are fattier because of the higher level of fat marbling. Pork ribs, on the other hand, are leaner.
  • Flavor
    Beef ribs taste more like prime steak, whereas pork ribs have a distinct flavor resembling pork chops.
  • Cook Time
    Both beef and pork ribs require a lot of cooking time. However, beef ribs do take slightly longer to cook than the former.
  • Cost
    Pork ribs are far cheaper than beef ribs. In fact, you can get them in bulk at grocery stores, unlike beef ribs.

Satisfy Your Cravings, Now!

Call Jerry Lawler’s Memphis BBQ Company at (281) 864-5298 (Wallisville Road) or 832-446-6557 (Jester Blvd. Suite) to get your fill of our delicious bbq menu. We offer the best of the best meat, be it beef ribs or pork ribs.