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Are Baby Back Ribs Pork or Beef

Baby back ribs are one of the more popular cuts for pork barbecue, and there is a good reason for it – they taste amazing. But if you’ve never cooked pork ribs before, you may be wondering: are baby back ribs pork or beef? This page will answer all your questions, so continue reading.

Baby back ribs are from pork or beef spareribs. Beef ribs are more tender than pork ribs, but pork baby back ribs have a richer flavor.

You can tell if ribs are beef or pork by looking at their shape. Pork ribs are square, with square tips. Beef ribs are rectangular, with rounded tips.

What are baby back ribs?

What are baby back ribsThey are the meaty ribs that come from the upper part of the pork loin. They are baby-back ribs because they are smaller than spareribs.

Baby back ribs are, on average smaller than spareribs and pork loin back ribs (also called pork loin ribs). 

It is meatier and more tender than spareribs; however, they contain less fat and do not contain the large amounts of connective tissue that make spareribs tougher.

Baby back ribs are sandwiched between the shoulders and the loin on the pig. The pork loin is one of the leaner cuts of pork making baby back ribs the tenderest cuts of pork you can find.

What are pork spare ribs?

Pork spare ribs are the meatiest of pork ribs. They are taken from the rib cage of pork carcasses that are less than two years old. These ribs are cooked with the skin on them, which gives them their unique flavor. Pork spare ribs can be roasted, steamed, braised, baked, or smoked.

They are best cooked low and slow over indirect heat for at least 6 hours to tenderize them. But If you’re grilling spare ribs, remember that they tend to fall through slats or cracks, so be careful when turning them over.

The bones used for spare ribs create a different texture and flavor than those found on baby backs. There is much more meat on the ribs. Spare ribs, like baby backs, can be grilled or smoked with excellent results.

The difference between the two is that baby back ribs are taken from higher up on the rib cage while Spare ribs are cut right below beef ribs. They are pork spare ribs, or beef ribs, depending on what cut you buy.

What animal do baby back ribs come from?

What animal do baby back ribs come fromBaby back ribs come from a pig that is less than a year old. The ‘baby’ refers to the lower portion of the pig that they came from.

It is from the middle section of the pork loin, just behind the shoulder blade. The ribcage in this area is tiny, so many cooks remove the baby back ribs when the whole loin is cut into chops. 

However, because baby back ribs can be consumed in one mouthful, they are kept for convenience and ease of service in restaurants.

It is considered part of the loin section, which also includes pork chops. Like other forms of pork, baby back ribs are very versatile and can be used in soups, stews, or just grilled.

What are beef ribs called?

In the United States, baby back pork ribs are from a pig. In the rest of the world, baby back pork ribs come from different animals.

Baby back ribs are also back ribs, rib tips, or flap meat, depending on where they’re from. These single porky bones are irresistibly tender, with a rough exterior that provides excellent chew.

It is also called short ribs or flanken ribs. They come from different animal parts than baby back ribs, don’t contain breastbone, and usually have more fat.

They are called baby back ribs because baby pigs have smaller rib cages than full-grown swine. Baby back ribs come from a pig that weighs less than 70 pounds.

On the other hand, spare ribs come from the side of the beef above the brisket. Beef back ribs are larger than beef spare ribs. 

Where spare ribs are 6 to 7 inches long, beef back ribs are at least 6 inches in length and sometimes up to a foot in length.

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Are short ribs beef or pork?

Are short ribs beef or porkShort ribs can be either beef or pork, though you may also see short ribs that are a combination of pork and beef. 

Beef short ribs will have a larger bone and more fat, while short pork ribs will have a smaller bone and less fat. Both types should have an excellent meat-to-bone ratio.

Short ribs are a beef cut taken from the upper part of the cow’s rib cage, roughly between the fifth and ninth ribs. 

Short ribs are prized for their intense flavor – a mix of beefy meatiness and rich, gelatinous fat – as well as for their texture, which tends to be exceptionally tender and succulent.

Beef ribs vs pork ribs cooking time

Beef ribs vs pork ribs cooking timeBeef ribs and pork ribs both contain the same amount of meat and calories. The difference is that beef ribs take 1 ½ hours to cook, while pork ribs take 2 ½ hours.

Beef ribs cooking time

Beef ribs are one of the most challenging cuts of meat to cook. They’re also one of the most spectacular. At their best, they’re very tender yet have a texture that sets them apart from other beef cuts. 

They’re tougher than pork ribs, but they have an inner sweet spot, which gives you bacon-like results if you hit it right.

And when it comes to cooking them, start this recipe early. Allow at least 2 hours for beef ribs to cook slowly over indirect heat for that tender, fall-off-the-bone taste.

Pork ribs cooking time?

A smaller pork spare ribs will cook in 30 to 45 minutes, depending on whether they are whole or cut-up. Larger baby back ribs will take 40 minutes to 1 hour.

Simmering ribs in liquid also helps tenderize them, but if you prefer barbecued ribs, then you’ll need to grill them on a charcoal or gas grill at medium temperatures for about 30 minutes.

The time it takes to cook the ribs will also vary by oven type, temperature setting, the thickness of the cut.

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What temperature should pork spare ribs be cooked to?

What temperature should pork spare ribs be cooked toPork spare ribs should be cooked to a minimum internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit. The internal temperature should be measured using an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the center of the meat.

You might want your pork spare ribs to have a nice pink color which means they are perfectly cooked, but it’s better to go by the temperature at which they are cooked rather than the time.

And also, the temperature that you cook your pork spare ribs can vary depending on how you prefer for them to be cooked

Which Is Better Spare Ribs or Baby Back Ribs

 Barbecuers prefer either spare ribs or baby back ribs but both come from the lower portion of a pig’s rib cage and can be found on sale in most supermarkets. Both the baby back and spare rib are slow-cooked over low heat flavored with sweet sticky barbecue sauce.

Spare ribs come from the lower part of the rib cage, while baby back ribs come from the upper part of the rib cage. 

Here are some differences between the two kinds: Spare ribs tend to be wider than baby back ribs because they come from a bigger piece of meat. 

Also, the meat tends to be more flavorful on spare ribs than baby back ribs. Baby back ribs are easier to cook because there are fewer bones. 

But practically, it depends on the cook, the quality of the meat, and your method. Both are equally flavorful and both options can be incredibly delicious when cooked the right way

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Baby Back Vs St Louis Ribs

Baby back ribs are cut from the loin and contain more meat than spareribs. They’re also easier to eat since they contain less bone. Baby back ribs are the meatier, more flavorful cut taken from the top portion of the rack of pork ribs, and usually contain less bone than St. Louis style ribs.

St. Louis style ribs, however, have more flavor because they have more fat on them and are messier. St. Louis Ribs shows that they’re different cuts of pork ribs. 

St. Louis-style ribs are cut closer to the spine, they’re smaller than baby back ribs and have a smaller amount of fat on the bones. St. Louis-style ribs are streaked with more fat and connective tissue than baby back ribs which make them a bit tougher to chew. 

Baby back ribs look similar to St. Louis style but the slab of meat is larger and there’s less connective tissue making the meat leaner and more tender

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know if my ribs are pork or beef?

Beef ribs are less meaty, generally leaner, fattier, and thicker than pork ribs. Pork ribs are meaty, fatty, and thinner than beef. Suppose you are still unsure if you are eating pork or beef ribs. Check the cut next to the bone. If it is pink, you are eating beef ribs. If it is white, you are eating pork ribs.

Are Chili’s baby back ribs pork or beef?

Chili’s baby back ribs are not entirely made of pork. Chili’s ribs are actually a mixture of beef and pork (70 percent beef, 30 percent pork). These ribs taste like they’re straight out of the deli with that same smoky barbequed flavor.

Are Applebee’s baby back ribs beef or pork?

They’re not pork. It is 100% delicious meaty American baby back ribs, crafted fresh in the restaurant every day to Applebee’s high-quality standards.

Are Texas Roadhouse ribs beef or pork?

They are 100% beef. It is hand-rubbed in a proprietary dry rub and smoked over hickory for at least 6 hours until they reach that delicious level of tenderness. They then get finished on the grill to caramelize the sugars in the rub for an unforgettable smoky flavor.

Are Costco ribs pork or beef?

The Costco Baby Back Pork Ribs are 100% pork. The fresh, pure pork rib is the reason why Costco’s ribs are so good; they are perfectly smoked to lock in all the natural juices for a succulent taste. Perfect for when you need to feed a crowd, these ribs come in a 26-pound box of individually wrapped juicy ribs.


Are baby back ribs pork or beef? A common question comes up at BBQ gatherings, and this page has perfectly answered them all by getting to the bottom of whether they are pork or beef ribs in a simple way.


Are short ribs beef or pork

Baby Back Ribs

Baby back ribs are one of the more popular cuts for pork barbecue, and there is a good reason for it – they taste amazing.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
2 hours 15 minutes
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Baby Back Ribs
Servings: 3
Calories: 644kcal


  • The Oven


  • ½ cup ancho chile powder
  • ¼ cup white sugar
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup salt
  • 2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon ground dried chipotle pepper
  • 1 rack baby back pork ribs
  • 1 cup barbeque sauce


  • Cut the ribs into four equal pieces.
  • Cut four pieces of aluminum foil that are large enough to enclose a single rib part. Spray some frying oil on each foil sheet.
  • Put a generous amount of barbecue sauce on the ribs and arrange each chunk on a piece of foil. Wrap firmly and place in the fridge for eight to twelve hours.
  • Set the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit (150 degrees C).
  • For 2 1/2 hours, bake the ribs in a preheated oven while firmly wrapped in foil. If you’d like more sauce, remove the ribs from the foil and serve.



Calories: 644kcal | Carbohydrates: 97g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 65mg | Sodium: 11152mg | Potassium: 1357mg | Fiber: 16g | Sugar: 69g | Vitamin A: 12251IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 251mg | Iron: 10mg
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