How to Trim Pork Spareribs Into a St. Louis-Style Cut

The one thing I’ve learned about KCBS contests is that judges like big, meaty ribs. They tend to score you lower when you have those thin, little ribs you have to chew around the bone to get any meat…

And I don’t blame them. I would score a big, meaty, delicious rib higher too if it’s cooked properly because there is no guessing if it’s done – and you can tell they ain’t trying to hide anything.

And the best way I’ve found to get the biggest, meatiest rib is to buy a whole sparerib and cut it down myself. It’s pretty easy to do – only takes a few minutes to cut down 4 or 5 slabs -and I’m ready to go to the contest.

This quick trim gives you some of the best spares – and gives you those rib tips you can throw on the smoker too.

spareribstrimming

Malcom Reed
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Comments 4

  1. Mr. Reed, I have enjoyed all of your videos. I am starting to enter in comps and I learned much more with your experience. Can you pass any pointers that I can use as far with brisket , ribs, and chicken? On the chicken part whats the best chicken to turn in on comps? I live in Texas and under ICBA rules . which is the best, smoked or indirect grilled half chickens? Thanks and hope to hear from you soon,

    1. Post
      Author

      I’ve never cooked in a ICBA contest. So my biggest piece of advice for you would be to go to an ICBA contest on Friday afternoon and walk around. Most teams would be happy to talk with you and answer any questions you might have. That way you can get a good idea of what the judges are looking for in your area.

      These teams won’t give you their secrets… but they are usually happy to help someone new get started.

      Good Luck

    1. Post
      Author

      I buy ribs from Sam’s and Kroger and some of the local grocery stores around here. They all carry good brands of meat. Of course, the higher-end “competition meats” like Compart Duroc just have more flavor and a higher fat content. So they are going to taste better and give you a better finished product. But you can still turn out great BBQ with meat you get from Kroger.

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