Baby Back Ribs vs. St. Louis Ribs – What’s the Difference?

san diego ribs

Here at Felix’s BBQ With Soul, we firmly believe that all barbecue ribs are great, but sometimes you just need some help deciding. All ribs may be great, but that doesn’t mean all ribs are the same. There are many things that differentiate baby back ribs from St. Louis-style ribs, and knowing these differences may help you decide what to order or choose for catering. So if you’re in the mood for some San Diego ribs, keep reading to learn more about the food you love and make ordering a little bit easier!

Baby Back Ribs

For those who may not be familiar, we’ll start with the basics of baby back ribs. This cut comes from the area where the rib meets the spine after the loin is removed from the pig. These upper ribs are called baby back ribs because they are much shorter than spare ribs.

This cut is fairly lean, more tender than spare ribs, and is most likely to be found at restaurants. Baby back ribs are also characterized by their slight curve, which is absent from St. Louis-style ribs. The curvature of these ribs can make them difficult to cook directly on a grill, which is why indirect cooking methods like smoking are most commonly used for baby backs.

Slabs of baby back ribs also tend to be wider on one side than on the other, with the longest bones typically measuring around 6 inches and the shortest measuring about 3 inches.

St. Louis-Style Ribs

St. Louis-style ribs are spare ribs that come from the belly of the hog. These ribs usually have the rib tips, which are mostly bone and cartilage, cut away, making them into the quintessential St. Louis rib cut. 

This cut tends to have more bone, but it also has more fat, which makes them more flavorful than baby back ribs. Unlike baby back ribs, these ribs are fairly flat, but because the meat is usually fairly tough before cooking, St. Louis ribs require low and slow cooking to become tender. However, once they’ve been cooked, they are just as tender as baby backs and all the fat included in this cut gives them a rich flavor that’s noted for being both sweet and savory.

Get Delicious San Diego Ribs at Felix’s BBQ With Soul!

We have both St. Louis-style ribs and baby back ribs on our menu, and in our opinion, you can’t go wrong ordering either of these cuts. Both taste great, especially when thoroughly covered in our seasoning, topped with our signature BBQ sauce, and smoked to tender perfection.

When you’re looking for authentic and delicious BBQ ribs made with care in San Diego County and Lake Elsinore, visit any of our locations and try them out for yourself! At Felix’s BBQ With Soul, our goal isn’t just to provide our customers with great food, but with the Southern hospitality that should go along with BBQ and Soul Food as well. When you step into any of our locations, our goal is to make sure you feel just as comfortable and welcome as you would at home.

Visit us today! You can even order ahead of time online. We hope we’ll see you soon!