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Advice on cooking back and side (spare) ribs

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Advice on cooking back and side (spare) ribs

16crab | Dec 31, 2014 12:01 PM

So I'm having a small gathering tomorrow and the intent was to make baby back ribs. I usually dry rub them overnight, then cook in oven at 225 degrees for about 6 hours, saucing them a little in the last hour or so. Not sure where I got the recipe years ago, though my card says 'Memphis style dry rub ribs' and it has been successful many times.

At grocery today there was only one rack of back ribs, one rack of 'center cut side ribs' and several racks of 'side ribs, center removed'. I (thought) I had never cooked side ribs before, so asked the butcher who didn't seem to be overly knowledgeable. He said 'ribs are ribs' (though there were 3 different price points), he prefers the center cut side ribs ('wife usually makes them') but he had no advice as to how to cook them other than that they wouldn't take as long as the back ribs.

So, I bought the one rack of back ribs and the center cut side ribs which are two long thin strips that when cut will look like "riblets". After some research, I realize that here in Canada what is labeled as a side rib is the same as a spare rib. I have made those a few times before but in more of a Chinese style preparation and I remember them coming out kind of greasy.

So the question is what to do with both of these for the same meal and what to expect. I only have the oven at my disposal, no grill/smoker. I have two different sauces available, one spicier than the other, so I was thinking to do them differently so folks would have flavour options, and also make the fact that they are a different cut seem more like an intentional choice!

Any advice on preparing these little side/spare ribs would be much appreciated!

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