How to Cut St. Louis Style Ribs

Originating in St. Louis, Missouri, a leader in the meat-packing industry in the early 20th century, St. Louis Style Ribs begin as pork spareribs. When the breastbone is cut off, the ribs take on a uniformly rectangular shape.

 St. Louis Style Ribs are not always easy to find pre-cut. And when you do find them, they can be a little pricey. Learning how to trim them yourself will save you time and money. For this cut, you’ll remove the sections of the spare rib that generally cause ribs to cook unevenly.

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1. Find the spot where the longest bone ends to determine where to cut. Using a sharp butcher knife, remove the section containing the breastbone and a bit of cartilage called the sternum. This is the section that runs parallel to the ribs and follows the whole slab horizontally.
Hot TipWatch the embedded video for a demonstration of this technique.
2. Remove the flap of meat located at the end of the slab where the shortest bone is. Once those two sections are removed, your spare ribs should have a rectangle shape.
3. Flip the ribs over and remove the skirt, that piece of meat that runs across the back of the slab diagonally.
4. And finally, remove the tough, rubbery membrane that covers the back of the ribs. To do this, carefully insert a butter knife between one of the bones and the membrane to detach. Using paper towels, grab the loosened membrane and peel it off from the entire slab of ribs.
5. Your St-Louis Style Ribs are now ready to be seasoned and smoked.

Here’s a great recipe for St. Louis Style Ribs with Orange BBQ Sauce.

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