Q: Dr. BBQ,
I’d like to know how to select quality ribs. I have heard this makes a huge difference, but they all pretty much look the same to me. What are some signs that I am looking at a good rack?
A: Hi Billy,
It seems to me that most of the hogs being produced these days are very similar in all respects. If by chance you have access to an organic, custom hog grower you might try it but they aren”t very common and you will be paying considerably more than the mainstream prices. I do prefer some brands over others, but mainly because of the way they cut and trim. There do seem to be patterns there. I won”t mention any names here but if you find one that you like, stick with it. I look for a good amount of meat on top of the ribs and the bones trimmed properly. Sometimes a spare rib is just cut too short and sometimes a back rib has too much backbone left on. These things don”t affect the taste but definitely affect the appearance of the rib. Last but not least, I am always happy to see a rack that looks to have come from an exceptionally fatty hog. I”m not talking about a big hog, I”m talking about marbling.