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Trimming a Whole Pork Spare Rib Rack

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Know your Rack
Spare Ribs Untrimmed Top View Uncooked

Spare Ribs Untrimmed Top View Uncooked

Regarding BBQ Inc.
The typical rack of pork spare ribs has a lot more than just the ribs. The actual rib section, what you might get at a restaurant or see in barbecue competitions, is a portion of the whole spare rib area. Once you familiarize yourself with pork ribs and know how to trim them, you will be able to smoke or grill delicious barbecue ribs without any trouble.

There are three parts of the full spare rib rack. The pork rib section is what we are most interested in, but we will discuss the other two parts as well. These parts consist of the skirt (or skirt meat), or the flap that sits in the middle of the rack on the back side. This will burn and cause the ribs to cook unevenly if you leave it here. The last section is the rib tips that lay on the bottom edge of the rack. This is basically the base of what would be the pork brisket. It contains cartilage as well as the sternum, which makes it cook differently and carving more difficult, so this portion too needs to go.

The first step is to take a good look at the full rack of ribs. The top side of the rack is the side with the meat. The back side of the rack is the side where you can see the bones and where all the work is going to take place. But before you flip this rack over, get a feel for the length of the bones and the point where the ribs stop.

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